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I Love Seoul, I Like Temple: Temple Stay Diary

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Watch Our Video about our Temple Experience Here:

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The Offense Rests: a (Rather) Cross Examination of the Jehova’s Witnesses

My latest piece over at Sweet Pickles and Corn, on the reason I’m just not destined for eternal life:

The Offense Rests: a (Rather) Cross Examination of the Jehova’s Witnesses.



The Offense Rests: a (Rather) Cross Examination of the Jehova’s Witnesses


Queer Links from the Week

Queer Links from the Week


Faith In Archy

Thought-sparking piece about anarchy in The New Yorker today: the anarchists involved didn’t convince me, or the author, however, that anarchism is any different from Savonarolism: take everything and burn it just because a few things don’t work. But it did get me to consider anarchy for an instant. I thought of the case of certain religious types, probably predominantly American, who believe that faith in god (and a corresponding fear of hell) is the only thing that keeps everyone from murdering each other, and there would seem to be a parallel among archists like myself: the government is the only thing that keeps murderers from breaking down my door.


Spin Kicks, Spirituality, and a Sunrise: Templestay at Golgusa Temple



It's never a bad idea to start out a new year with a few extra good karma points... you never know when you'll need them.  So, instead of spending New Year's Eve drinking too much in a crowded, overpriced bar in Seoul, I decided to ring it in at Golgulsa, a Buddhist temple located just outside Gyeongju, South Korea.
Templestays have been gaining popularity amongst tourists and usually involve a short-term stay in one of the 900 traditional Buddhist temples in Korea.  Participants follow a rather strict schedule to experience a day (or two or three) in the life of the monks that reside there.  A templestay was something that had been on my bucket list for a while, so when I found a special New Year's program on the official Templestay website, I knew I had to sign up.
It was about a five hour trek from Seoul to Golgulsa Temple that required two bus trips, a bit of waiting around, and a short walk to the temple grounds from the final bus stop.  Once I had arrived, I was given a brief introduction to the program, a map of the complex, and special clothes that I was to wear during my stay.  I was then directed to my room where I would be spending the night with about fifteen other women.  The room was a rather large common area with pillows and blankets spread out on the floor for sleeping.  There was a bathroom with a toilet, a few open showers, and sinks that were to be shared.  I've become use to this arrangement after living in Korea for a few years but wondered how other Westerners not used to copious amounts of nakedness would handle the situation.

Korean Faiths

I was in a cafe, where a Buddhist monk came to bang on his hollow wooden moktak for exactly three seconds before the barrista, a chubby man who had been chomping and slurping at his noodles like a ravening horse not five minutes before—shaking the windowpanes with the barbarous thunderous smacking of his tongue and his lips—ordered him to get the hell out, almost before he even started chanting, like this:

Monk: [to wooden knocking] Ha-may-ha-may-ha
Barrista: Fuck off!


Christian Korea


Beomeosa Temple


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Established in the year 678, Beomeosa is probably the most important Buddhist temple in Busan. And with its location in the foothills of Mt. Geumjeongsan, it’s certainly among the most beautiful. Entering the complex is like stepping into another world, one more sacred and peaceful.


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