Haeinsa

For some reason, the concrete, glass, and urban throng of 4 million people have felt a little more oppressive than usual. It may have something to do with the glorious weather we’ve had lately. Mix the two together and it’s time for an escape to fresh air and trees.

So I put out the emails and the text messages and got a small contingent together to join me. It’s always funny throwing out ideas like that. A dozen people may say hell yeah, but when it gets down to it about half chicken out. I don’t know if it’s laziness or the inertial glue of daily life that keeps people from following through.

Anyway, we leave this evening for 해 인 사 (hae-in-sa), described thusly:

Haeinsa Temple was originally built in AD 802 by two monks, Sunung and Ijong, during King Aejang of the Silla Kingdom’s reign. Despite many fires and subsequent reconstructions, the temple remains one of the most beautiful in Korea set in an idyllic location deep in Gayasan National Park. It eventually reached its present-day size during the mid-10th century. The temple is famous for housing the Tripitaka Koreana – 80,000 wooden printing blocks carved during the Goryo Dynasty (AD 918-1392), which, together, make up the oldest and best-preserved collection of Buddhist scriptures in the world. The temple also houses a great number of artifacts that have been designated national treasures including the Seated Stone Buddha, found at Cheongyangsa Temple, and the Stone Pagoda at Wolgwang Temple.

I’ll be sure to post an update upon my return.

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