Took a Sunday stroll up Guemjeong and witnessed evening rites; visiting bhikkus from Thailand were led around in their orange robes and the abbot of Beomeosa passed everyone a gift of his calligraphy (us too). The temple was muffled in dribbly evening haze. Five people quietly watched the monks exit the hall single file and chant the heart sutra into the mountains like a hoarse fight song; an ode to awakening. Metaphysical mercenaries. Many were quite young. I was surprised. Drums and bells echoed and reverberated, tinkling and bouncing through the evening air as white mist mushroomed off the southern peaks. It was a long weekend, and a bleary eyed Sunday, also the first day of monsoon season, and the scene, my mind swamped in stale smoke and alcohol,made me wonder why I don’t go up there more often.