One Night Two Days at Haweomsa
I have an unforgettable memory which comes from the 'Temple stay'. I think you may know it, temple stay is a cultural experience program made to let more people know about Korean Buddhism. It typically consists of staying overnight at a Buddhist temple and doing various activities such as 108 bows.
It goes back to 2010. I was a sophomore in high school then, and after a few months I was going to be the third year student. In Korea, being a senior in high school exactly means that you should put your all effort into studying. That's why I thought this time was the last chance to get free.
All I wanted was to just have a small time where I didn't have to do anything. Temple stay was exactly fit for this wish. And there was this friend of mine who was like me.
As soon as we arrived there, a Buddhist nun guided us to the room that we were going to stay for two days. She thankfully gave us a large room. It looked so cozy because everything was made of wood. The warm wood floor made us fall asleep.
Because we wanted to do a 108 bows, we had to wake up at 4 a.m. When the alarm went off, we went out of the room only half awake. The next thing, however, was enough to awake us.
There was a countless number of stars in the sky. Think about the sky we usually see in Seoul. It has only few or nothing so we probably can count the number. Also, the air was pure and moist. It was great for the air to caress my face gently. It was not all. This monk was striking a huge bell to let everyone know the beginning of the day. (Unlike the common people, monks start a day very early). The deep, clear sound spread through the temple.
This combination of countless stars, the sound of bell, fresh air, and the shining temples with the electric lighting created a fantastic atmosphere. To this day, the memory is still vivid like a picture.