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Sajaam Hermitage – 사자암 (Beomeosa, Busan)

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 The beautifully realistic painting of a tiger on the exterior wall of the Samseong-gak shaman shrine hall at Sajaam Hermitage.

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Sajaam Hermitage means Lion Hermitage in English. And it’s the closest associated hermitage to Beomeosa Temple out to the left. But it’s a bit tricky to find through the maze of restaurants and houses even though it’s only 300 metres up a side road.

Now and Then: Beomeosa Temple

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A bird’s-eye-view of Beomeosa Temple from the turn of the last century.

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Jijangam Hermitage – 지장암 (Busan)

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 The statue of Jijang-bosal that greets you at Jijangam Hermitage, near Beomeosa Temple, in Busan.

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Jijangam Hermitage (지장암) is a hermitage dedicated, and named after, the Bodhisattva Jijang-bosal. Jijang-bosal is the Bodhisattva of the Afterlife. He can be identified by his bald or closely cropped hair that is green, black or gold.  In his hands he holds a staff in his right hand and a pearl in his left.  The pearl is a “wish-fulfilling pearl” that grants selfless wishes, while the staff opens the gates of hell.

Winter Hiking in South Korea: Part 3 금정산 (Geumjeongsan)

The Story of…Wonhyoam Hermitage (Busan)

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 The amazing view from Wonhyoam Hermitage…and the hike that nearly killed me to get it.

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As I mentioned in a previous posting about Wonhyoam Hermitage, there are literally dozens of Wonhyoam Hermitages throughout the Korean peninsula named after the famous Korean monk, Wonhyo-daesa. And this entry is about another hermitage called Wonhyoam Hermitage.

The difference between this Wonhyoam Hermitage and others is that this one is directly associated with Beomeosa Temple in Busan. In fact, it’s located on the temple grounds and up Mt. Geumjeongsan.

Temple Stay: Beomeosa Temple (Busan)

CSC_1987The beautiful Beomeosa Temple in Busan.

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In an all new segment on the website, and since a few of you have been asking for it, I thought I would now include the popular Temple Stay program.

Introduction to the Temple:

Naewonam Hermitage - 내원암 (Busan)

The beautiful main hall at Naewonam Hermitage, near Beomeosa Temple, in Busan.

Mireuksa Temple - 미륵사 (Busan)

The wintry view of Mireuksa Temple in Busan up on Geumjeongsan Mountain.

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Geumjeongam Hermitage – 금정암 (Busan)

The cascading water that pools beside the trail that leads up to Geunjeongam Hermitage near Beomeosa Temple in Busan.

Wonhyoam Hermitage – 원효암 (Busan)

A beautiful view from Geumjeongsan Mountain near Wonhyoam Hermitage in Busan.
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Getting up early to visit a few mor

Gyemyeongam Hermitage – 계명암 (Busan)

The beautiful view of Beomeosa Temple from Gyeomyeongam Hermitage in Busan.

Chungryunam Hermitage - 청련암 (Busan)

A Biseon dancing around in the statue courtyard with a golden Buddha at her back at Chungryunam Hermitage, near Beomeosa Temple, in Busan.

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Destination: Beomeosa (Busan)

The largest Buddhist temple in Busan, Beomeosa feels both homey and solemn, if such a thing is possible. Enter through the storied gates and become aware of the temple’s 1,300 year history.


moto’d up to beomeosa, checked out some buddhas, saw some of the fall colors.

holy moly, it was pretty. you could make a donation and write a prayer on a shingle for the roof of the temple.

Beomeosa in black and white

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.

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