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Beomosa Temple Stay

By on Dec 8, 2014 in Korea, Photography | 0 comments

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When I got asked to shoot Beomosa Temple for an upcoming article in Seoul Magazine, I was really excited. Mostly because I love Beomosa and the other reason was that I really wanted to see what goes on at a temple stay which was the focus of the article. Temple stay programs are a unique way to experience temple life. However, most of the people that I asked about these programs either hated them or did them as a one off thing.

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I think mostly it is because temple life is not as laid back and relaxing as it appears to be. Early mornings and hikes are a part of the program and not to mention the 108 bows that are performed during the prayer bead making part. When I went, I quite enjoyed the time and was really thinking about coming back. For 70,000 won for 2 days, it is not too bad.

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Getting to photograph the monks and the temple with their permission was something that I really enjoyed. I have shot this temple a lot since I started working BUFS down the road. I normally tread lightly and try not to really be noticed. This was a chance to really see what goes on and not get yelled at. Overall, I found the people who run the temple stay program and the head monks to really be kind and quite open about having a photographer around.

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The best part of the evening was when the drumming started. It was an incredible experience and one that I think that everyone would enjoy. The second great thing was being about to shoot inside the main hall. Normally these places are off-limits to photography but that evening they opened up the doors for me. I felt honoured to be given the privilege to photograph inside this sacred and old temple hall.

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The evening ended for me as the guests of the temple stay prepared to make their prayer beads. A group of German tourists joined the group at that point. They were not too thrilled to have me photographing them and I took the hint when a large German lady shouted at me. I thanked the temple stay organizers for letting me get some shots and then went down the road for a much needed coffee at my favourite cafe Route Coffee.

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