Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Bonguensa Temple

Since I love, love, love the westernized and easily digestible nuggets of wisdom that Buddhism-lite has to offer, I was stoked to visit the temples of Seoul and get my Buddha on for real.

Did you know that Buddhism is actually a religion?

I knew it was, but I didn't really know, you know?

That is, until I visited Bonguensa Temple and finally connected the dots. Bonguensa is less central than Jogyesa Temple which I had already visited and enjoyed, but I heard that Bonguensa was very beautiful and relatively serene. Which turned out to be true, and it was fun to bop around all the little temples that comprise it. But I was struck for the first time there that Buddhism is something people really practice and believe in in a very ordinary, non-exotic way that I want no part of. Don't worry, this discovery hasn't shaken my pseudo-faith.

My favorite part of Bonguensa was the giant Buddha statue.

Also the wildly eclectic group of tiny Buddhas someone had nestled into a nearby nook.

Here are some stone lions...

...and some trees.

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