When headed to Busan
or the surrounding area, a great add on to your trip is a visit to the magestic Beomeosa Temple
just beyond the city’s northern suburbs. The Beomeosa Temple is one of Korea’s largest temples, dating back to 678 A.D.
To get to the entry gates, you cross over a beautiful arched bridge and mountain brook. At the entry way/gates, which is known as the Gate of the Heavenly Kings
, you will be faced with a 7th century three-stone pagoda, which was built some time during the Silla era, around 826-836 A.D. and the main temple hall, which was built around 1614.
Beomeosa is a head temple of the Jogye Order of Korean Buddhism in Cheongnyong-dong, Geumjeong-gu, Busan, South Korea. Built on the slopes of Geumjeongsan, it is one of the country’s most known urban temples. Built by the great priest UiSang during the reign of King MunMu, it is one of ten HwaEom temples in Korea. It was established to realize the purpose of HwaEom which pursues life full of happiness and generosity.
Along with HaeInsa and TongDosa, Beomeosa is one…
Kyoto’s Rokuon-ji Temple & Golden Pavilion (Kinkaku) are both nestled in the outskirts of scenic Kyoto in central Japan. When you’re first greeted with the magestic temple, it takes a few minutes to adjust to its beauty.
This area has quite a past, for a temple of this magnitude could lay no claims. It’s not the pavilion and temple are that large in size, but their presence overwhelms at first. The area was originally the site of the Kitayama-dai Villa and today is a shariden, a Buddhist hall containing relics of Buddha.
The garden and buildings in and around the Golden Pavilion were said to represent the Pure Land of Buddha in this world. It used to welcome the Emperor Gokomatsu (Father of Zen teacher, Ikkyu) and other members of nobility. This was all during the Muromachi period, a time which flourished with trade. Later, it was converted to a temple by a priest who became the first abbot. Talk about fascinating, but then it goes on…..The temple’s name Rokuon-ji, was derived from the name Yoshimitsu was given for the next world – Rokuon-in-den. It wasn’t until 1994 however that the Rokuon-ji Temple was…
I fell upon a Shinto shrine in the northern burbs of Tokyo called the Yushima Tenman-gū Shrine on my trip this year to Japan. The shrine itself is devoted to Tenjin, the Kami of Learning and is located in the Bunkyo ward of Tokyo, not far from the University of Tokyo. It is apparently a frequent site of prospective students hoping to pass the entrance exams there in April. At this time, the temple receives many offerings of ema votives to petition the kami for success at exams.
I found that amusing in a way as I was walking through there and reflecting on this recently learned factoid. Truth be told, unlike nearly every other shrine and temple I visited in Tokyo, the place was empty which is another reason why I loved it so much and what made my experience there so profound.
Built in 458 for another kami, Ameno-tajikaraono-mikoto of Japanese myth associated with strength and sports, the shrine was then expanded in 1355 to enshrine the kami Tenjin as well. Currently both kami are enshrined at this temple. The shrine was later rebuilt in 1455 at the behest of local warlord Ota Dokan, and enjoyed greater popularity…
As we made our way north from Paris into the heart of Normandy, I didn’t quite realize just how deep the area’s spiritual past was until I set foot in Lisieux. Both a cultural and spiritual center, Lisieux is the home of all things Saint Therese.
People flock to Lisieux to see the remarkable Basilica of Saint Therese
, which roughly stands 300 feet tall. Built in 1929 in honor of Saint Therese and consecrated in 1954, its walls and those of the crypt are covered with mosaics and stained glass illustrating Saint Therese’s message. Six mosaics portray scenes from her life. Catholics who follow saints will know the life and work of Saint Therese, but those who don’t, you might be wondering what was so profound about this saint that one of the largest basilicas built in the 20th century is dedicated to her.
She is known to be one of the greatest saints of modern times. Born in 1873 into a profoundly Christian family, she spent the last nine years of her life devoted to God. Thanks to her writings, entitled Story of a Soul, published one…
While Church Saint Jacques
in the center of Lisieux
may not be able to hold a candle to the city’s infamous Basilica that thousands flock to every year to celebrate Saint Therese, it makes an impressive statement nevertheless. We may have missed it since it wasn’t on our Spiritual France agenda, except for the fact that it sat posturing above me when I walked out of Hotel Saint Louis, the hotel where we were staying on Rue Saint Jacques for two nights. (Read my review of it in our Brittany/Normandy hotel section).
Lisieux is world famous of course because of Saint Therese (Therese Martin aka Sainte-Thérèse-de-l’Enfant-Jésus)
and because of her lifelong work, Lisieux is considered to be the second town of pilgrimage in France with some 700,000 visitors each year who go to see the Basilica built in her honour. The Basilica btw, is also said to be the biggest church built in France in the 20th century.
Lisieux has numerous spiritual and historical factoids to tout. The city was the seat of a Bishopric almost from the birth of Normandy until the French Revolution. The area known as the “Canonical Quarter” dates from that period, and includes the…
SAND is such a great name for a conference and no, it doesn’t hold that acronym because it’s a travel conference that focuses on adventure in the sand. SAND
stands for and is about all things that encompass Science and Nonduality
. The mission of SAND is to forge a new paradigm in spirituality, one that is not dictated by religious dogma, but based on timeless wisdom traditions of the world, informed by cutting-edge science, and grounded in direct experience.
I first attended the event two years ago (see my blog post
from 2012), when it was held in Marin, just north of San Francisco. While they have an annual event in Europe as well, the U.S.-based event is always held in California. This year, they headed south and set up shop for their nearly week long event at the Hayes Mansion on Edenvale Avenue in San Jose California, a resort which was once a lavish private estate.
People across continents and from all walks of life started flowing in on October 22 for this annual gem of an event. It was an entirely different vibe this year and I’m not sure if it was due to its extravagant…
Welcome to the Medieval Ages
….well sort of. Shared by medieval historian Veronica Domagalski, I learned more in a half day about medieval cathedrals, saints and stained glass than I ever thought I would in a lifetime.
I had the pleasure of this historical account of the times during a recent “spiritual
” trip to Normandy
, where Chartres was one of the stops. For those who are not familiar with Chartres
and its magestic cathedral with 4,000 sculpted statues and 5,000 figures in 2,600 square meters of stained glass from the 12th and 13th centuries, its a place of deep history and spiritual amazement.
From April to October, the city of Chartres transforms at night with The Festival of Lights
, a creative project that transforms how the cathedral looks at night.
Before and during this cathedral transformation, I learn that they had 32 banks in the Middle Ages and each town had its own money. I also learn a number of fascinating facts from my guide that is astonishing even to the most astute historian.
Did You Know?
- There are 200 Mary’s on the windows and frescoes?
- The Wings date back to 1194?
Rewind the clock to over twenty years ago. I’m in my early twenties and hitching my way through France…
every nook and cranny of her, from the castles and valleys in the south, to Dijon, Lyon, the Loire Valley and Paris, through the coastline of Brittany and then to northern Normandy. I was young and my luggage and budget were both slight — back then, it was more about the discovery and meeting new people than it was about capturing an experience. Today, I somehow manage to do both.
There was a magical and remarkable place I visited oh so long ago on that lovely and free-spirited summer that has remained on my mind since I first set eyes on her. I didn’t have a serious camera at the time so never managed to get high quality shots of this magical, remarkable place and so I decided to make up for it this time. Welcome to Mont Saint Michel
on the northern coast of France.
Mont Saint-Michel is an island commune approximately one kilometer off the country’s northwestern coast, at the mouth of the Couesnon River near Avranches. It boasts several marvels of medieval architecture, with…
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