Showing posts from May, 2013

Back in Seoul

We left the fish in the rivers Left the mountains and the blue sky And went back to the busy city of Seoul. The sky is white with smog The air seems heavy to breathe.
A businessman held the hand of a prostitute And hurried her into his love hotel As if afraid to be seen Or afraid that she will change her mind
She looked like a small porcelain doll All made up and dressed in pink Her hair in braids Like a lost little girl With no facial expressions.
I thought we booked a boutique hotel With stylish rooms  In Insadong, But it turned out to be a love hotel. I did not sleep well 
I thought about her... Her lack of facial expressions Her pink girly look... Her body might be in his bed But her soul was not there.
Maybe she lived once in a village Maybe she was happy then... Maybe she left her heart With the fish in the mountains....
Did she think she would be happy in the city? Following horny drunken men into love hotels?...
I once heard a Russian prostitute say: "A full bank account,  Is better than an empty bank a…

Mandarin ducks and cranes along the Namcheon river and learning about Pansori traditional Korean music, Jirisan Mountains, South Korea

I am feeling a bit lazy at the end of our trip, so instead of recounting our last day of hiking in the countryside of Jirisan, I am posting here what Jules wrote in his notes.
He is describing our hike from Dongcheon-ri in Unbong-eup towards Inwol-ri.  
We skirted Baraebong Peak and Goribong Peak, following the Namcheon River that irrigates many rice paddies.  
We reached the birthplace of the master of Pansori (a Korean musical style), Song Heung-rok, and our visit to the Museum of Korean Classical Traditional Music.  
So here it is:
"This is our final day in Jirisan - early tomorrow morning, we will check out of our hotel and drive 4-5 hours to Seoul, where we will return our rental car and check into our  hotel in Insadong, a funky hotel that is very well located in a great walking district of the city.   Our trip has nearly ended - just three more days in Seoul, and then we will be flying back to Auckland!  
We wanted to spend our last day here walking once again in the countryside,…

The Amazing Grottos Of Seoamjeongsa Zen Temple, Meditating In Byeoksongsa Zen Temple And A Hike In Jirisan, South Korea

I have heard travelers say that after visiting many Buddhist temples in one trip, they got "All Templed Out." This means that all the beautiful temples that looked so fresh and interesting at first, started looking exactly the same, and the travelers ended up losing their enthusiasm to see more.
At first, the traveler stands in awe at the impressive temple gates, the stunning architecture, the colorfully decorated halls and the serene temple gardens.
But after trekking up to many mountaintop monasteries, cliff side hermitages and remote  temples, their eyes get dulled, and their appetite to visit more temples decreases.
I never agreed with those statements, because I do not visit temples like a tourist attraction or a sightseeing trip; I visit them as a spiritual pilgrim yearning for knowledge and more inner clarity.  
If possible, we sit and meditate in the temples we visit, and I always walk among them as if on sacred grounds.
I always enjoy the sweetness, attentiveness and gent…