Meditating in Ancient Buddhist Temple in Seoul South Korea


Greetings Vagabuddies. Welcome back to Seoul, South Korea. Today is going to be a much slower, more mellow video. We are here at the Bongeunsa Temple. I hope I pronounced that right. It’s a twelve hundred year old temple in the middle of modern Seoul. It’s a Buddhist Temple Once a week they open up to the public to give insight into zen Buddhist lifestyle. We’ll be doing a temple stay, getting a guided tour of the temple complex, and learning more about what it’s like to be a Buddhist monk. Let’s go. Let’s do it. From the right we start the Bongeunsa And “Bong” means respect “Eun” symbolizes the benevolence and last letter “Sa” means temple. So this is the temple to show the respect for the king who contributed to (??) for this Buddhism. One of the things I’ve always been curious about with Buddhist philosophy is the symbolism of the dragon because in the west, dragons have always kind of had a negative connotations….like dragons are kind of the destroyers and they symbolize evil. In Buddhist philosophy, it’s actually the exact opposite that dragons are symbols of good luck. Korea has been historically a Buddhist country. Buddhism came from originally from India and then through China and Japan to here in Korea. There’re two main forms of Buddhism, and this is the one that is similar to that practice in China and Japan. I would consider myself a lazy Buddhist. I agree with much of the principles of Buddhism, but not an active practicer. It will be cool to go in here and see this really older form of Korean culture. Many people in Korea today are Christians. This is kind of an older slice of Korea. When Buddhist monks pass away, their bodies are put onto a funeral pyre and burned; the ashes are collected, and then they’re put into a big, giant, intricate urn. Right as you’re coming into the temple complex, you’re passing the cemetery of important Buddhist monks. You can already feel the serenity. We just saw the story of the Buddha, which is painted on one of the walls down there. Essentially, he was a prince in northern India or southern Nepal. He was living in a palace and one day went outside and saw, basically, suffering, poverty, death. He was going to be the king; he was a prince, but he escaped the palace and went out to meditate under a tree, and during his meditation he came up with three noble truths: First, that life is suffering; and the second that there’s no such thing as a self; and third that everything is impermanent.. that this too shall pass; the good and the bad are all impermanent. This seems pretty permanent, 1200 years right here in the spot surrounded by the skyscrapers of Gangnam, the business part of town. This little, peaceful, tranquil slice of Buddhist culture remains. We’ve just had a tour of the monastery and the temple, and now we are going to learn about the tea ceremony . It’s very interesting. It’ll be cool to see how the tea is served. That was very cool. It was beautiful how the tea ceremony is just like infused with spirituality and meditation. It’s just the way that they did each single thing was the practice of mindfulness. It just goes to show how you do anything, is how you do everything. If you can make pouring a cup of tea last five minutes and have many slow deliberate movements, it just slows everything down. It’s very different to ordering a mocha Frappuccino chai latte thing at Starbucks. Arts and crafts time. We’re now going to make a lotus flower, which is the symbol of Buddhism enlightenment because even though it grows in dirty water, it is still beautiful. It’s been awhile since arts and crafts class, and I’m having a little bit of difficulty. But I think my lotus flower is going to come together nicely. It’s kind of like Korean origami. But it’s nice. I like it. It’s very relaxing. Arts and crafts is over, and we’re moving to the meditation room where there is a monk waiting for us to give us a guided meditation. My name is San Sung We are in Temple Bongeunsa This temple is established in the eight century. More than 1,500 years ago, it was founded. In this monastery, about 20 monks are living together. Buddhism has gone through a lot of changes, and still we have survived in modern society, and it’s functioning. The sun is setting, and our day here at this 1200 year old Buddhist monastery in the middle of the city is drawing to an end, and honestly, it’s a great way to just slow things down and take a moment to really breath Seoul in. One of the first observations we made here was that there was a split: this urban, modern, traditional, rural vibe. It’s something where a temple like this can exist side by side with these big skyscrapers. At first when we came here, we thought how can this be? One of the monks said that whether you live in the mountains or the city, it doesn’t matter. You can still find peace; you can still find enlightenment. It’s really not that odd that it exists here. It’s kind of just part of Seoul. And that dichotomy is really what makes the city what it is. I don’t think we found enlightenment with our thirty minutes meditation, but it’s better than nothing and one step further along the journey. Than you guys for watching. If you enjoyed the video, you know what to do: give it a thumb-s up, share it with your friends, and subscribe, turn on notifications, if you have not already. We are almost done here with our time here in Seoul, but stay tuned for more adventures. Stay curious. Keep exploring, and we’ll see you guys on the road. Peace.

100 comments

  1. The quality of your guys' content is getting more and more insane every week, by far the best travel content of YouTube right now!!! ๐Ÿ˜€

  2. Think this is our favourite video of the series so far๐Ÿ‘๐Ÿผ Felt so chilled just watching this! Have you guys got plans to do a series like this in Japan? You would both definitely love it!!

  3. It is known that when cremate a "GREAT" monk's dead body, it leaves some kinda stones(called "์‚ฌ๋ฆฌ; SARI") other than ashes. The numbers of the stones are relative to the greatness of dead monk.

    So the stone monuments, which you said containing ashes of dead monks, are actually for keeping the stones of dead monks. Some buddhist temples have Buddha's stone and stone monuments for keeping it, though I don't know whether Bong Eun Sa has those.

  4. It would be awesome if you go to Japan soon. I'm gonna make my thesis about travel vlog in Japan for my master's degree and I would love to talk about you guys cause your contents are just great and really defines what my thesis will be about.
    Anyways, keep making good contents! This video reminded me of my last travel in Seoul.I also went to this temple which is a beautiful place to visit. It's amazing to see temples in the middle of a modern city

  5. Great video but there's a mistake that you mentioned Buddhism was from India through "China and Japan" to Korea. BUT KOREA ADOPTED BUDDHISM AS NATIONAL RELIGION IN 4TH CENTURY AND JAPAN ADOPTED BUDDHISM IN MID 6TH CENTURY.

  6. Great video, as usual! HOWEVER, big mistake in saying Buddhism arrived to Korea through China AND Japan. Through China, yes, but Japan 'got' Buddhism after Korea…

    There is a general problem of attributing many (not all, to be clear!) Korean elements to Japan as originator, when in fact it was often the other way round…

  7. These are some of my favorite types of vlogs! Exploring different religions is so interesting. Great job!

  8. Wow! What an interesting and powerful vlog. Buddhism has been a part of my life. My uncle is into buddhism and im teaching myself more about it. โค

    P.S. This video was taken & edited so beautifully

  9. Love the color grading in the video. What software do you use. I am thinking of Magic Bullet. Any advice would be appreciated. Keep up the great work.

  10. thanks so much !!! i really enjoyed watching this video and i really happy that you guys came here in Seoul where i live

    but it is a little shame where there are no official subtitles

  11. I've been to that temple! In the Gangnam district. By the way, the Buddha taught the Four Noble Truths, not three. Oh, and though "thank you" is written ๊ฐ์‚ฌํ•ฉ๋‹ˆ๋‹ค "kamsa hapnida", it's pronounced (and should be romanized as) "kamsa hamnida".

  12. I took a course on Buddhism once. Manyness and otherness we're covered. And, those reaching oneness moved on to twoness.

  13. I really loved the contrast between old (temples) and new (modern buildings)! Could you tell me the name of temple? I'd love to visit there someday!

  14. Marko and Alex for how long are you guys staying in South Korea ๐Ÿ‡ฐ๐Ÿ‡ท I am also coming there we could meet…

  15. I were at gergeous a Buddhist Temple in the centre of Singapore between Skyscrapern! That was cool. Thanks for this amazing video! Loved the music selection!

  16. Buddism had been spreaded out to.. in the order of.. China – Korea – and then Japan.
    Most of the cultures flew out in the same order of China-Korea – Japan.
    And their present dynasty is the descendants of BakJae , part of Korean dynasty.
    ( http://www.nytimes.com/2002/03/11/world/japan-rediscovers-its-korean-past.html )
    ( https://www.theguardian.com/world/2001/dec/28/japan.worlddispatch )
    We, Koreans, influenced Japan, and we delivered letters/cultures/customs, so they followed us.

    Japan was the isolated islands in the past times, which ironically led them to open the gates to westerns lot earlier than neighbor countries such as Korea & China ,, which were stubbornly resistant to be influenced by westerns.
    And these…are the causes of having made Japan to be the early industrialized country than any other nations in Asia.
    Plz take a note of it.

  17. According to the 'Book of Liang', which was written in 635, five Buddhist monks from Gandhara traveled to Japan in 467.
    Although there are records of Buddhist monks from China coming to Japan before the Asuka Period, the official introduction of Buddhism to Japan is dated to 552 in the ancient history book 'Nihon Shoki' when the King Seong Myong of Baekje (in west Korea) sent a mission to Emperor Kinmei that included Buddhist monks with an image of Buddha and a number of sutras to introduce Buddhism. The powerful Soga clan played a key role in the early spread of Buddhism in the country. Initial uptake of the faith was slow, and Buddhism only started to spread some years later when
    Empress Suiko encouraged the acceptance of Buddhism among all Japanese people.
    "I'm a lazy Buddhist…but I don't actually practice it…"
    Is that like being a violinist who doesn't play the fiddle?
    Moreover, these guys speak like faggy metrosexual Bernie-supporting nit-wits….
    This ruins it for some of us….

  18. Oh wow, I'm not sure how you thought buddhism would come from Japan to Korea. Very odd and very wrong. China, yes but Japan, no. And another fact – people in China and Korea actually PRACTICE buddhism as opposed to Japan, it's more of a "cultural" thing there. Regular citizens don't actually practice the philosophies or rules, rather they just go to bow and clap. There are hardcore Buddhists in China and Korea.

  19. Actually dragon has nothing to do with Buddhism, but with Taoism and ancient Animism, when Buddhism came to Korea, China, Japan, it got mixed with local religions. So you can see, in China, a mixture of Buddhism and Taoism, as well as in Korea, Buddhism interbred with Taoism and local fairy tales(??). In one of those fairy tales, only lucky snakes who lived long and did good deeds(like following Buddhism) can become dragons, and they get superpowers to bring rain and thunders. So that's why they are worshiped in Asian countries with agricultural culture, where subsequent rain is sooo important. There's a funny story of a snake who almost become dragon in a Buddhist fable: Once upon a time, there was a snake who worked hard to not to kill humans or animals to become a dragon, however, Buddha didn't make him a dragon cuz his kindness was not genuine but derived from self-worth.

  20. It's too late to correct the error (what was said ) in the video.
    The buddhism went to Japan from Korea. India -> China -> Korea -> Japan.
    Japanese culture is the byproduct of China, Korea and the rest of Southeast Asian cultures.

  21. I love how in you newer videos you guys are filmed walking around but both of you together… who is filming then? A dron? Love it!

  22. oh this is one of my favorite places in seoul because (even though it is next to the city) it is very calm~ Whenever i come here is always re-energize myself. Sadly i havent been recently because my house is on the other side of seoul. But seeing you guys here again make me realize, i should really go again! Also thank you for showing the temple is such a slow and nice way~!

  23. How to express images
    Very poetic and beautiful
    Korea is one of the countries with a tremendous history that was attacked by foreign countries, Mongolia and China

  24. ์ผ๋ณธ์ธ๋“ค์˜ ๋‚ ์กฐ๊ฐ€ ๋Œ€์ฒด ์–ผ๋งˆ๋‚˜ ๋งŽ์ด ํผ์ ธ์žˆ๋Š”๊ฒƒ์ธ๊ฐ€?!ย  ์œก์ง€๋กœ ์ด์–ด์ง„ ํ•œ๊ตญ๋ณด๋‹ค ์„ฌ๋‚˜๋ผ์ธ ์ผ๋ณธ์œผ๋กœ ๋จผ์ € ์ „ํŒŒ๋๊ณ  ๊ทธ ํ›„ ํ•œ๊ตญ์œผ๋กœ ์ „ํŒŒ๋์„๊ฑฐ๋ผ๋Š” ๋ง์„ ํ•˜๊ณ  ์žˆ๋‹ค๋‹ˆ…..ใ„ทใ„ทใ„ท

  25. ์œก์ง€์—์„œ ์œก์ง€๊ฐ€ ์•„๋‹Œ ์œก์ง€์—์„œ ์„ฌ์œผ๋กœ ๊ฑด๋„ˆ๋›ฐ๊ณ  ์œก์ง€๋กœ ๋‹ค์‹œ ๋„˜์–ด์˜จ๋‹ค? ์•„๋ฌด๋ž˜๋„ ๊ทธ๋ƒฅ ๊ตญ๋ ฅ์ด 1.์ค‘๊ตญ 2.์ผ๋ณธ 3.ํ•œ๊ตญ์ด๋‹ˆ๊นŒ ๋‹น์—ฐํžˆ ์ด๊ฒƒ๋„ ๊ทธ๋Ÿด๊ฒƒ์ด๋‹ค๋ผ๊ณ  ์ƒ๊ฐํ•œ๋“ฏ

  26. ํ•œ๊ตญ์€ ์„ธ๊ณ„ ์ตœ๋Œ€ ๊ธฐ๋…๊ต ๊ตํšŒ๋“ค์ด ์žˆ๋Š” ๋‚˜๋ผ๋‹ค.๋งŒ๋ช… ์ด์ƒ ๋ชจ์ด๋Š” ๋Œ€ํ˜•๊ตํšŒ๋“ค๋งŒ ์ˆ˜์‹ญ๊ฐœ๋‹ค.์ด๊ฒƒ์ด ํ•œ๊ตญ์˜ ์ข…๊ต ํŠน์ง•์ด๋ฏ€๋กœ ์ด๋Ÿฐ ๊ตํšŒ๋ฅผ ์ „ ์„ธ๊ณ„์— ์•Œ๋ ค ์ฃผ๊ธฐ๋ฅผ ๋ฐ”๋ž€๋‹ค.

  27. ์˜ฅ์Šคํฌ๋“œ ์‚ฌ์ „์„ ์ฐพ์•„๋ด๋ถ€์ณ๋Š” ๋‹จ๊ตฐ์˜ ํ›„์†์ด๋ผ๊ณ  ์ ํ˜€์žˆ์–ด ํ•œ๊ตญ์‚ฌ๋žŒ์กฐ์ƒ์ด ๋‹จ๊ตฐ์ด์•ผ ๊ณ ๋กœ ํ•œ๊ตญ์ธ์ด์ง€

  28. ์˜์ƒ ๋ณด๋‹ค ํ†  ๋‚˜์˜ค๊ฒ ๋„ค์š”
    ์„ฌ๋‚˜๋ผ๊ฐ€ ์–ด๋–ป๊ฒŒ ๋ถˆ๊ต๊ฐ€ ๋จผ์ € ์ „ํŒŒ๋œ์„๊นŒ์š”?
    ์ƒ๊ฐ์ข€ํ•˜๊ณ ์‚ด์•„์š”

  29. Translate to Googleย ๊ตฌ๊ธ€๋กœ ๋ฒˆ์—ญํ•ด๋ด๋ผย ใ…‹ ์ผ๋ณธ์˜ ๋ฟŒ๋ฆฌ๋Š” ํ•œ๊ตญ์ด๋ž€๊ฑธ ๋ชจ๋ฅด๊ณ  ์žˆ๋Š”๊ฑฐ ๊ฐ™์•„์„œ ์ด๊ธ€์„ ์“ด๋‹คย ๊ณ ์‹œ๋Œ€์— ์ผ๋ณธ์€ ์ œ์ฒ ๊ธฐ์ˆ  ์˜๋ณต ๋งŒ๋“œ๋Š” ๊ธฐ์ˆ ๋„ ์—†์—ˆ๋‹ค ๊ทธ๋ž˜์„œ ์„ ์ง„ ๋ฌธ๋ฌผ์„ ๊ฐ€์ง„ ๋ฐฑ์ œ๊ฐ€ ์ผ๋ณธ์„ ์ง€๋ฐฐํ–ˆ๋‹ค ๊ทธ๋ฆฌ๊ณ  ์ง€๊ธˆ์˜ ์ผ๋ณธ์™•๋„ ๋ฐฑ์ œ ํ›„์†์ด๋ผ๊ณ  ์ผ์™•๋„ ๋งํ–ˆ๋‹ค ์ผ๋ณธ์— ์žˆ๋Š” ์˜ค๋ž˜๋œ ์‚ฌ์ฐฐ์ด๋‚˜ ์œ ๋ฌผ๋“ค์€ย ๋ฐฑ์ œ์ธ๋“ค์ด ๋งŒ๋“  ์˜ˆ์ˆ ํ’ˆ์ด๊ฑฐ๋‚˜ ์ƒํ™œ๋“ค์ด๋‹ค ์ผ๋ณธ์˜ ์—ญ์‚ฌ๋Š” ์›์‹œ์ธ ์ž์ฒด์˜€์œผ๋ฉฐ ์—ญ์‚ฌ๋ž„๊ฒƒ๋„ ์—†์—ˆ๋”ฐ ๋ฐฑ์ œ์ธ๊ณผ ์‹ ๋ผ์ธ๋“ค์ด ๋งŒ๋“  ์—ญ์‚ฌ๋“ค๋ฟ์ด์ง€ ๊ทธ๋ž˜์„œ ์ผ๋ณธ์€ ์ž๊ธฐ๋“ค ์—ญ์‚ฌ๊ฐ€ ์—†์œผ๋‹ˆ ์—ญ์‚ฌ ์™œ๊ณก์„ ์ผ์‚ผ์€ ๊ฒƒ์ด๋‹ค ์ •ํ™•ํžˆ ์ข€ ์•Œ๊ธฐ๋ฅผ ๋ฐ”๋ž€๋‹ค

  30. Fun fact: S.Korean churchgoers put dung in the temple to insult idols, while they also idolize +, $, capitalism, US governments, dictators……..

  31. If you think like "Christianity came to France through Rome and England.", it is ridiculous. It't just the same thing. Buddhism is started in India and spread to China, China to Korea and Korea to Japan.

  32. Korea is to japan as France is to England .
    You know, Roman cultures and Christianity spread to Britain via French regions.
    Likewise ,Chinese cultures and Buddhism spread to japan via Korean peninsula.
    Because of its unique geographical feature, Korea was markedly influenced by Chinese cultures, and then was able to convey them to Japan, as well.

    Ancient Korea greatly contributed to government, law, politics, engineering, art, literature, architecture and technology in Japan.

  33. This is incorrect information.
    If you want to produce a video, you have to produce it with straight information.

  34. The Lotus is the Symbol for Buddhism because it shows the Simultaneity of Cause & Effect. Because it is the only plant that flowers and seeds at the same time. The muddy water in which it grows is the chaos from which our enlightenment springs. Also. My form of Buddhism, SGI Nichiren Buddhism, may well be one of, if not the the largest, in Korea. Even though it is from Japan ( and you know how bad their history is) yet has over 2 Million members.

  35. BUDDHIST TEMPLE is ๅฅ‰ๆฉๅฏบ(๋ด‰์€์‚ฌ,Bongeunsa)
    ๅฅ‰(Respect)ๆฉ(Favor)ๅฏบ(Temple)
    Was fineshed in 794 yr

  36. ์™€…๊ตญ๊ฐ€ ์ด๋ฏธ์ง€๋ผ๋Š” ๊ฒƒ์ด ์ด๋ ‡๊ฒŒ ์ค‘์š”ํ•œ ๊ฑฐ๊ตฌ๋‚˜…์ผ๋ณธ์ด ๊ทผ๋Œ€์‹œ๋Œ€์— ๊ฐ•ํ•ด์กŒ๋‹ค๋Š” ๊ฒƒ ํ•˜๋‚˜๋กœ ๊ณ ๋Œ€ ์ค‘์„ธ ๊ทผ์„ธ ์—ญ์‚ฌ๋Š” ์‹ธ๊ทธ๋ฆฌ ๋ฌด์‹œ๋‹นํ•˜๋„ค. ์–ด๋–ป๊ฒŒ ์ค‘๊ตญ๊ณผ ์ผ๋ณธ์„ ํ†ตํ•ด ๋ถˆ๊ต๋ฅผ ๋ฐ›์•„๋“ค์˜€๋‹ค๊ณ  "์ƒ๊ฐํ• " ์ˆ˜๊ฐ€ ์žˆ์ง€, ์„ค์‚ฌ ์–ด๋””์„œ ๋ฐฐ์šด ์ •๋ณด๊ฐ€ ์•„๋‹ˆ๋ผ ํ•˜๋”๋ผ๋„? ํ”„๋ž‘์Šค๊ฐ€ ์˜๊ตญ์„ ํ†ตํ•ด ๊ธฐ๋…๊ต๋ฅผ ๋ฐ›์•„๋“ค์˜€๋‹ค๊ณ  ๋งํ•˜๋Š” ๊ฒƒ์ฒ˜๋Ÿผ ๋ง๋„ ์•ˆ ๋˜๋Š” ์ƒ๊ฐ์„…

  37. I love ya'll, but please correct your historical facts on Japan and Korea concerning Buddhism. At least in the description area.

  38. Buddhism was Not from (India through China and) Japan TO Korea, It's much earlier that Korea adopted Buddhism than Japan. Thanks for your Video but honestly I feel very offensive for your wrong information. I think you can at least revise your voice comments or can put the subtitles to CORRECT YOUR WRONG INFORMATION.

  39. Nice cinematography. Bad facts. As others have noted, Buddhism came to Japan through Korea. Also, Buddhism has the FOUR noble truths, and the ideas you listed are not accurate. The correct 4 are: 1. all aspects of life are unsatisfactory/suffering, 2. the origin of this is clinging, 3. the end of this suffering is the cessation of clinging, and 4. the cessation of clinging is brought about through the Eight fold Path. However, the Four Noble Truths are not prominent in Mahayana Buddhism (such as in Korea), which sees the higher aims of insight into sunyata, emptiness, and following the Bodhisattva path as central elements in their teachings and practice.

  40. I'm afraid that tea ceremony is fake. Korea did not develop tea culture like China and Japan did basically because tea was primarily drunk by buddhist monks for meditation, but there was a period in Korean history when buddhist monks were persecuted so tea did not prosper in Korea. What you saw is theater for tourists.

  41. Who told you Buddhism came through Japan that was not a country at that time?, Korean Buddhism has a very long historical evidence since AD 42. And remember that the first Buddha's surname was Ko…

  42. Korea was a Confucian society (1392-1910), over five hundred years. Buddhism was banned. This is why the major Buddhist temples are not found in cities in Korea. This is true for China too. Most Koreans are non religious. Christians in Korea make up only less than 12%.

  43. This is a prime example of the Western world always thinking JAPAN first in everything. Westerners are molded to think that way because they've exposed to Japanese culture first or more than any others through pop culture. Very ignorant but I don't blame these guys for thinking that Buddhism came to Korea from Japan. Geographically, doesn't make sense but anywho, lol.

  44. what a great culture and ancient Buddhism wisdom of Korea. unfortunately Korean are converting to Christian losing their culture and Buddhism wisdom. preserve your culture and Buddhism wisdom Korean otherwise you people have to travel to West and north Korea for learning your culture and buddhism

  45. ๋‹ค์ข‹์€๋ฐ ๋ถˆ๊ต๊ฐ€ ์ผ๋ณธ์„ ๊ฑฐ์ณ์„œ ์™”๋‹ค๋Š” ๋ง์— ๋’ท๋ชฉ์žก์•˜๋„ค์š”

  46. watching this youtube , i feel like you guys also like this kind a thang check this out yo
    -> https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=St3mwK4mDV8&t=182s

  47. Buddhism was poppin in Korea far before Japan even knew that such a religion existed. Itโ€™s taught in basic high school world history

  48. Also considering the fact that civilization in japan is much younger than that of Koreaโ€™s. Youโ€™ll find that in any unbiased source

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