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What happens at a Korean temple stay?

108 bows, Woljeongsa Temple
What happens at a Korean temple stay?

Typically, your day will start at 3 a.m when you will be woken by rhythmic drumming which summons everyone to the morning chanting service.

At 4 perform 108 bows, a practice followed by monks to cleanse the mind of earthly attachments. To bow, you get down on your knees, sit on your heels, place your palms on the floor in front of you, bow your head down, lift your palms above your head, and then get back up on your feet. Traditional Buddhist prayer beads are used to count to 108, and during the ceremony, you get to string your own beads, one at a time after completing each bow.

Eating is also ritualistic. You will be given four bowls - one each for rice, soup, side dishes and clear water. At a temple, you are expected to sit straight, eat slowly and only ask for as much food as you think your body needs (not wants!). At the conclusion of the meal, diners use a piece of yellow radish in place of a sponge to wipe their bowls, and then drink tea from them.

Between meals, you are free to hike, or relax in your room.



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