Saturday, October 24, 2009

Temple Visit

I spent the afternoon with my manager today. She invited me to accompany her to an annual flower show at COEX mall, but first we stopped by a Buddhist temple. Both COEX and the temple are located on prime real estate in Gangnam, a high-end commercial and residential area. The temple grounds are huge and include several buildings where locals pray and bring offerings. Out of respect, I opted not to take close ups of the people praying, but it was fascinating to observe them. I learned that this is an especially busy time for temple prayer because parents are concerned about their kids' upcoming entrance exams for various school levels. 

In this shot, you can see people bowing and praying:

My manager explained that people leave a stone behind after making a prayer, which explains why there are small rock towers all over the area:   


Imposing figures at the entrance and throughout the grounds are intended to ward off evil spirits:


On display were paintings and poems about this particular temple:

Taken from the grounds, looking out, with COEX mall in the background:

1 comment:

  1. The stone on the grave site is interesting in its similarities with stones left on Jewish gravesites:"We are taught that it is an act of ultimate kindness and respect to bury someone and place a marker at the site. After a person is buried, of course, we can no longer participate in burying them. However, even if a tombstone has been erected, we can participate in the mitzvah of making a marker at a grave, by adding to the stone. Therefore, customarily, we place stones on top of a gravestone whenever we visit to indicate our participation in the mitzvah of erecting a tombstone, even if only in a more symbolic way". Rabbi Shraga Simmons

    I guess we humans are more alike the world over than dislike...Uncle Fog