From the Scene

Stepping into the Unknown: Danger, Generosity and the Buddhist Mind on the Wonhyo Pilgrimage (Podcast)

By Iwazaru

Seven full days into the more than 400 kilometer pilgrimage across the Korean peninsula in an attempt to trace the footsteps of 7th century Buddhist monk Wonhyo, the members of the trek have changed, the leader, Tony MacGregor, has taken a dangerous fall, Koreans have stepped forward with immense generosity and the road has provided its good share of challenges and rewards. All the while Macgregor, Chris McCarthy and Sangmin sunim, a Buddhist monk who’s joined the pilgrims, have pushed on sometimes joined by professor David Mason.

On Saturday, December 10, MacGregor was happy enough to answer some questions about the journey while settling in after a dinner at Muryang Buddhist Temple in Yeongyang. Among the many things he said, one stood out toward the end of the interview when he offered that each day was a “stepping into the unknown” which he was actually enjoying.


A Korean Orphanage and a Killed Story

Editor’s note: Over the past few months 3WM was in contact with a volunteer at an Korean orphanage who offered to submit an article about the goings on at the center itself. Yet, as she conducted her research for the article, she found herself under increasing pressure from the staff. Below is the article she was able to submit under the circumstances. Following that is some of the correspondence that took place between 3WM and the author during the course of the research and composition process.  3WM is withholding the name of the author and the orphanage.

By Jane Doe

“I do not like this,” Eun Jung said in a low voice. She refused to make eye contact and fiddled with her pencil. I sighed and shuffled through my stack of prepared activities. Dae Kwan shook his head and stared at the floor.

“Do you want to match the flag with the right country?” I asked cheerfully.

“No.”


Four Expats Pilgrimage Across Korea in Footsteps of 7th Century Monk

 

By Iwazaru

On  December 4, a group of four men ranging from 30 to 66 years old began a pilgrimage from the southeast Korean city of Gyeongju to the city of Pyeongtaek more than 400 kilometers away near the western coast just south of Seoul. Four years in the making, the journey is an attempt to retrace the path of Wonhyo, an eclectic Buddhist monk and wayfarer during the 7th century who set out on his own pilgrimage to China but abandoned it near present-day Incheon after experiencing an epiphany of sorts (he allegedly drank maggot-filled water from a broken skull in the dark of night which caused vomiting followed by a vision). Wonhyo’s realization that the refuge he’d sought during a storm had been a tomb and the gourd he’d seen, a skull, led him to develop the philosophy Ekayana which asserts that all things in the universe are connected and that the inner journey is essential. He returned to spread the revelation.


‘Facing’: Filming the Fall Labor Protests in Busan

 

By Yann Kerloc’h


Bipolar, off the Rails and Locked up in Korea Pt. 2

 

Editor’s Note: The name of the author and some aspects of the story have been changed to protect individuals.

Read part 1.


The New ‘Shanghaied’ (and it isn’t all that bad)

By Jake Reed

China was never at the top of the list of places to see in Asia that I made three months before getting on a plane to South Korea.  The land of the morning calm was the first stage in an epic bender that would define my mid- and late twenties.  After six years of highs and lows, lefts and rights, yins and yangs, I can say life is good in China.


Summer in November: Korea’s Strange New Weather

By Mike L. Berry and Iwazaru

The weather is generally a quintessentially dull subject, unless it’s flipping cars, flooding apartments and ripping the ornately placed horticulture out of city pavements. Over the last two years, South Korea’s weather has put drainage systems and electricity grids beyond capacity while hammering the peninsula with torrential rains and soaring temperatures. Ask almost anyone residing in Korea, young or old, about the weather and one word seems to come up: “strange.”

And the first weekend of November added to Mother Nature’s odd behavior with citizens strolling along the streets under foliage-filled trees in T-shirts, shorts, skirts and any old summer attire. “Global Weirding,” as it’s been called, is in full swing.


Branding Korea! How about Culture Shock Day with Mannam? (Pt. 2)

 

By Kyla Polanski


Reflections on the Korean Experience from Phnom Penh Part 2– Haunted by the Ghosts

 

By HBCTravis

Editor’s Note: This is part two of several of a self-reflection from a well-known expat from in and around the HBC hood. Due to the honest and perhaps incriminating events in this reflection and the 420- friendly ones in the parts to follow he is sticking with his code name: HBCTravis


Reflections on the Korean Experience from Phnom Penh – Part 1 – Goodbye to All That

 

By HBCTravis

Editor’s Note: This is part one of several of a self-reflection from a well-known expat from in and around the HBC hood. Due to the honest and perhaps incriminating events in this reflection and the 420- friendly ones in the parts to follow he is sticking with his code name: HBCTravis


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