Once you open the eye and see everything as it is, you'll realize that "mountains are mountains and waters are waters."ven. Seong Cheol Sunim's Dharma talk
Within the Buddhist tradition, meditation and concentration are highly valued. Meditation is a way to discover the Buddha Mind or True Nature. Seeing things with wisdom as they really are is the Buddha Mind. The Buddhist tradition is very wide and there are several diverse routers to this goal.Korean Seon tradition is the one way to reach the supreme Enlightenment, the Buddha.
Yet, our mind cannot be purified without removing greed, hatred and delusion. How can we root out these three poisons: greed, hatred and delusion? Where can we cleanse our mind?
Here is the gateway that you can do. We offer the best circumstances with a guiding teacher. Please, join us.
Traditionally, monks and nuns spend their time on meditation retreat during the summer and winter. The retreat schedule is very intensive with silence being observed throughout, allowing one to completely devote oneself to formal practice. Sitting meditation forms the core of our practice.
If you are interested in participating in our retreats, please fill out a retreat application.
Meditation & Retreat Rules
All participants are expected to keep the following rules and maintain the harmony of the community.
1. Meditation is held in silence.
2. Be on time for all practice periods, Dharma talks and meals.
3. Do not enter or leave the Zen room after the wooden clapper is hit for sitting meditation.
4. Walking meditation is a continuation of sitting meditation. You may leave the meditation room during walking meditation when necessary. When re-entering the meditation room, do so quietly at your proper place in the line. Always walk softly in the meditation room.
5. Everyone must come to all practice periods. If you are sick and cannot attend, please write a note to the Head Monk before the practice period that you will miss.
6. Everyone must come to all formal meals. They are a part of our practice. If you do not wish to eat a meal, you should still attend.
7. Do not enter the kitchen unless you have been given work to do there.
8. Mobile phones, personal computers or any communication equipment may not be used during the retreat. Please deposit your mobile phone with the Director or Financial Director. All outside communications are suspended for the duration of the retreat. In the case of an emergency, contact the Head Monk or Director.
9. Men and women should not go for walks outside alone with each other. That is, one man with one woman. You should go in groups of three people or more.
10. Men and women should not go into each other's rooms. The exception to this rule is when teachers need to give private interviews or consultations to students.
11. Do not come to the temple office unless you have been asked by one of the Directors.
12. Do not talk to visitors to the temple. If they approach you, please direct them to the temple office or the Director.
13. The head monk will control the opening and closing of windows in the meditation room. If you have a problem or request, let the head monk know.
14. Do not shave your head if you are a layperson. If you wish to keep your hair short, it should be at least 2 cm long (about 1 inch).
15. Do not wear brightly colored clothing during the retreat. Do not wear hats in the Zen room.
16. The use of tobacco and alcohol are detrimental to our practice. Retreat participants should not consume alcohol or smoke tobacco while on retreat.
17. Personal books should not be read during the retreat. Only the books provided by the Meditation Center may be used. Read them in the tea room during breaks and return them to the bookshelf.
18. Everyone will have a job during the work period each day, mostly cleaning the temple and working in the kitchen. Work period is part of formal practice. Please attend to your work period assignment with mindfulness.
19. Do your laundry during the scheduled times. Don't work on your laundry during walking meditation. If you hang your laundry on the lines outside, take it down before evening practice.
20. Do not bring your watch into the meditation room if it makes a beeping sound.
21. Bedroom lights should be switched off by 9.00 p.m.
22. If you have a health problem, let the Guiding Teacher know.
23. If you have any special dietary needs, please let the House Master know in advance.
24. If you need something, write a note to the Head Monk or House Master or appropriate director.
25. If these rules are consistently broken by any participant, they will be given two formal warnings by the Head Monk and a third warning by the Guiding Teacher. If the rule concerned is still broken, the person may be asked to leave.
26. No exceptions to these rules are allowed.
04:00 a.m.: Wake up
04:15 a.m.: Morning chanting / 108 vows
05:00 ~ 06:00 a.m.; Sitting Meditation
06:05 a.m.: Breakfast
06:40 ~ 07:40 a.m.: Community work
08:00 ~ 10:00 a.m.: Sitting Meditation
10:30 a.m : Rice Offering Ritual
11:30 a.m.: Lunch
02:00 ~ 05:00 p.m.: Sitting Meditation
05: 30 p.m.: Dinner
06: 30 p.m. Evening Chanting
07:00 ~ 08:50 p.m. : Sitting Meditation
09:00 PM : Meditation Break and Sleep
For application please see templestay page.
Ordaining In Korea. Korean Monastic Life.
Foreigners who are looking to ordain in Korea may find themselves in the dark as to the many options that are possible. While it is true that most of Koreas temples are not built to support monastic life for foreigners, there are still many that due. True Lotus Lantern Temple is an officially recognized institution for Korean/foreign monastic training.
The benefits of seeking ordination at True Lotus Lantern temple are in its overall approach at monastic life. Many Korean monastery's and temples are geared for a strict Asian style of training, which can create a very disciplined and controlled atmosphere. This might reflect the style best for Koreans - foreigners, on the other hand, often find this to be overly straining, and not in accord with modern spiritual trends. In order to overcome cultural bearers, Lotus Lantern has developed its monastic practice in a more organic fashion; a softer style, emphasizing individual needs and practices, balanced with communal life. Such training creates a wholesome environment, where a novice, or fully ordained monk, develop in concord with the buddha's dispensation. Foreigners usually find this to be the best approach. also, many younger generation Koreans are embracing a more middle way style of practice as well.
Unlike Buddhist monastic schools around the world, the korean buddhist Jogye order offers many different training methods for novices interested in cultivating the holy life. As the modern age guides the Sangha forward, its become important for monasticism to take on many different forms to respond with the changing needs of Buddhist laity and monastic adherents. A novice showing aptitude, may choose to develop in different directions. Forms of training are multifarious. Although, for a novice there are four respected paths of training most commonly available.
- Kangwon: A form of monastic university that dates back to ancient buddhist times, where emphasis on temple form, ancient chinese study and precepts are taught. this program lasts for four years.
- Dongguk University: Instead of taking on a very traditional form of korean scholastic endeavor, one can choose to go to a modern university with programs focused on language study. Korean is expected to be studied. this is a four year bachelors program.
- Zen Hall: The mighty zen hall. The calling card of all buddhist temples. There is know other place like it. Comprised of eight retreats spanning a four year period, one begins to develop the heart of buddhist practice.
- Temple Training: If one is not interested in scholastic practice or group meditation retreats, a novice can choose to stay at his home temple for four years and complete the novice training program with his master/abbott. This is a great way to develop simple temple training and at the same time support your fellow Sangha. Lotus Lantern is a quieter temple then most, with lots of time given to independent cultivation. This being the case, a solid mind dedicated to sense restraint and wholesome virtues works best in such an environment.
These are the basic options. Thou there are a few more, every novice training format is four years in length: full monks ordination is given after completion. At True Lotus Lantern all options are available for aspirants. Depending on the preexisting desire and guidance from ones zen master, the most suitable choice is decided upon. Everyone is different and feelings change over time, so careful consideration is key. A important point to keep in mind is that many korean temples may not give their students the choice that they find most suitable. Traditional monastic formula can push a practitioner in a direction that may not be desired. If a completely korean style temple is wanted, then considering this is paramount.
Whatever the choice, may we all find are true home and nature. Indeed, we can discuss many temples and styles of practice to seek in this life, but there is only one true refuge. If we are ok their, then we are ok everywhere. Being complete we can begin to help others. So in this way we invite you to come see for yourself."You cannot travel the path until you have become the path itself" - Buddha