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Jeongtosa Temple – 정토사 (Nam-gu, Ulsan)

The Jeongtosa Temple Grounds in Nam-gu, Ulsan.

Temple History

Jeongtosa Temple is located in Nam-gu in the southern part of Ulsan past the Taehwa River. And it’s situated just to the east of the diminutive Mt. Samhosan (125.7 m). Jeongtosa Temple is named after “Jeongto,” which is the Korean word for “Pure Land” in English.

Jeongto is a pure heavenly realm that’s occupied by Buddhas and Bodhisattvas who have shed all of their afflictions. This is the ultimate goal of the popular Jeongto form of Korean Buddhism, which is known as the “Pure Land School” in English. Specifically, Jeongto is referring to a heaven in the Western Paradise inhabited by Amita-bul (The Buddha of the Western Paradise). In Mahayana Buddhism, there are numerous Buddhas, and each Buddha has their own Pure Land. For example, there is an Eastern Paradise, known as “Jeongyuri” in Korean, which is home to Yaksayeorae-bul (The Medicine Buddha, and the Buddha of the Eastern Paradise). Of the these Pure Lands, Jeongto is the most popular. Based upon the Pure Land traditions, when an individual enters the Pure Land, it’s equivalent to attaining enlightenment. And once a person enters the Western Pure Land, the individual is then instructed by Amita-bul and numerous Bodhisattvas to help complete their attainment of enlightenment. It is at this stage that a person has the choice to return at any time as a Bodhisattva to any one of the Six Realms of Existence. Or they can stay in Jeongto and reach Buddhahood and deliver others from suffering. So it is to this symbolic meaning and tradition that Jeongtosa Temple is named.

Temple Layout

As you first approach Jeongtosa Temple, you’ll notice an upright stone marker with the name of the temple on it written in Korean: 정토사. Making your way towards the temple buildings, and up a slight incline, you’ll first notice stone statues of a dongja (attendants) and Podae-hwasang (The Hempen Bag) with a well-worn belly that’s been rubbed for good luck by those visiting the temple. Book-ending buildings guide you up towards the main hall and the lower courtyard. These buildings are the monks dorms, the visitors centre, and the temple’s kitchen.

A little to the left, and then back to the right, and up another concrete incline, you’ll be standing squarely in the centre of the temple’s lower courtyard. Straight ahead of you is the Daeung-jeon Hall. This large main hall’s exterior walls are adorned with various Buddhist motif murals like an all-white Gwanseeum-bosal (The Bodhisattva of Compassion) and Munsu-bosal (The Bodhisattva of Wisdom) riding a white elephant. Stepping inside the Daeung-jeon Hall, you’ll find a triad of statues centred by Seokgamoni-bul (The Historical Buddha). This statue is joined on either side by, not so surprising, Yaksayeorae-bul (The Medicine Buddha, and the Buddha of the Eastern Paradise) and Amita-bul (The Buddha of the Western Paradise). On the far left wall is a Dragon Ship of Wisdom mural, as well as a Shinjung Taenghwa (Guardian Mural). And to the right of the main altar is a multi-armed mural and statue dedicated to Gwanseeum-bosal.

Out in front of the Daeung-jeon Hall, and reminiscent of the famed Four Lion Three-story Stone Pagoda of Hwaeomsa Temple, is a three-story stone pagoda at Jeongtosa Temple. Housed inside this pagoda are some purported sari (crystallized remains) of Seokgamoni-bul (The Historical Buddha). And to the right of the Daeung-jeon Hall is the Myeongbu-jeon Hall. Housed inside this temple shrine hall is a green haired statue dedicated to Jijang-bosal (The Bodhisattva of the Afterlife), who sits upon the main altar. And this statue of Jijang-bosal is joined inside the Myeongbu-jeon Hall by Siwang (The Ten Kings of the Underworld).

To the left of the Daeung-jeon Hall and the accompany lion based pagoda is a large stone statue and shrine dedicated to Gwanseeum-bosal. And to the right of this statue is the highly unique concrete pantheon of Buddhas and Bodhisattvas. On the top level of this outdoor shrine, you’ll find statues dedicated to Seokgamoni-bul and Amita-bul. And on the lower levels of this neatly divided shrine, you’ll find images of Birojana-bul (The Buddha of Cosmic Energy), Yaksayeorae-bul, and Gwanseeum-bosal.

To the rear of the Daeung-jeon Hall, and up another embankment that leads to the upper courtyard at Jeongtosa Temple, is the newly built Samseong-gak Hall. The murals housed inside the Samseong-gak Hall are the traditional triad that you’ll find at most Korean Buddhist temples. The central image is that of Chilseong (The Seven Stars). This image is joined on either side by Sanshin (The Mountain Spirit) and Dokseong (The Lonely Saint).

And to the far, far right, and housed on an overlooking courtyard, is a stone semi-circle shrine dedicated to Seokgamoni-bul. And this large stone statue is surrounded in the semi-circle by the sixteen Nahan (The Historical Disciples of the Buddha), the Sacheonwang (The Four Heavenly Kings), and various Buddhas and Bodhisattvas like Munsu-bosal, Jijang-bosal and Gwanseeum-bosal. And to the rear of this outdoor shrine is the newly constructed Geukrak-jeon Hall, which was in the process of being built when I visited in 2018. And it’s also from this vantage point that you get a beautiful view of the temple grounds below, including large temple murals that adorn the temple buildings like the three piece, twelve mural set, dedicated to the history of Buddhism and Buddhism in Korea.

How To Get There

From the Ulsan Intercity Bus Terminal in Nam-gu, you can take a taxi. The ride should last about twenty minutes and cost you 8,000 won. You can do that or take a bus from just north of the terminal around the KEB Bank. You’ll need to head north for about five hundred metres. You can then take Bus # 401, #307, #124, #417, #482, #712, #134, #432, or #733. The bus ride should take about twenty to twenty-five minutes. The name of the final bus stop is “Gongwonmyoji Ipgu – 공원묘지입구.” And from this bus stop, you’ll need to head north for about five minutes (just follow the signs).

Overall Rating: 8/10

I was very pleasantly surprised while visiting Jeongtosa Temple. There are a lot of halls, shrines, a beautiful pagoda, and murals to enjoy in and around the temple grounds. The highlights at this temple are the pantheon of Buddhas and Bodhisattvas, the semi-circle shrine dedicated to Seokgamoni-bul, and the lion-based pagoda out in front of the main hall. But there is definitely a lot to see and enjoy at this lesser known temple near downtown Ulsan.

The entry to Jeongtosa Temple.
The Daeung-jeon Hall and lion-based pagoda.
A closer look at the lion-based three story stone pagoda reminiscent of the historic National Treasure found at Hwaeomsa Temple.
A statue of Gwanseeum-bosal (The Bodhisattva of Compassion).
The amazing outdoor shrine to the left of the Daeung-jeon Hall at Jeongtosa Temple.
A closer look at some of the Buddhas and Bodhisattvas that inhabit it.
The pathway leading up to the Samseong-gak Hall.
The semi-circle outdoor shrine dedicated to Seokgamoni-bul.
Some of the stone reliefs of the outdoor shrine.
One of the temple building’s amazing artwork depicting Buddhism in Korea.

Removing markers when speaking | Korean FAQ

I often see Korean learners making sentences without adding all of the markers - removing the topic marker or removing the subject marker. This is usually fine. After all, native Korean speakers themselves do this sort of thing all the time. However, just because native speakers can remove markers when speaking, that doesn't mean markers aren't necessary in speech. In fact, removing markers isn't as easy as it seems - removing them can also sound less natural. It's unfortunately not as simple as "it's okay to remove markers." And removing too many markers can even sound awkward, or at the least sound less like a native.

I talk about how native Korean speakers do this, and what things to consider when you want to do this. I also give some advice for how you can sound more natural while removing the topic and subject marker.

The post Removing markers when speaking | Korean FAQ appeared first on Learn Korean with GO! Billy Korean.

 Learn Korean with GO! Billy Korean





Liquid Arts Podcast - Liquid Books: Tales of Braving Ulysses

The Liquid Arts podcast network launches its first “Liquid Books” podcast with “Tales of Braving Ulysses.” Join Steve Feldman, Frank Beaucher and Bob Perchan, three long-time Liquid Arts collaborators, for their “stream-of-consciousness” chat on James Joyce’s mammoth masterwork Ulysses--that sprawling tale of one single day in the life of inconsequential “everyman,” Leopold Bloom of Dublin, who, in his resolute humanity, becomes the equal of the greatest hero who ever lived. The greatest novel of the 20th century? Or just the most abandoned by bewildered readers after 120 pages? Whether you’ve read it, tried to read it, or are just curious about this imposing literary landmark, “Tales of Braving Ulysses” will entertain and enlighten. Steve Feldman, Frank Beaucher and Bob Perchan are three English teachers and writers who have all lived for decades in Busan, South Korea where they have collaborated in several Liquid Arts and pre-Liquid Arts readings, plays, films, blogs, and stand-up comedy shows.

The Liquid Arts Network seeks to create a global community for artists. Showcasing everything from poetry, art, film, music and performance, Liquid Arts events are a mosaic of blossoming talent.

Cook in Korean – Useful words and vocabulary for the kitchen

Adding to your knowledge, all the words related to how to cook in Korean and the tools needed can be another fun lesson for you to tackle.

Whether you want to attend a cooking class in Korea or identify the tools used to cook your dinner or explain how to make your favorite dishes when you’re in your home country, the following words will prove useful.

Let’s learn about cooking by learning all the vocabulary in this language for the tools, appliances, and utensils you’ll need, from the English language to Korean.

Cook in Korean

How to say “cook” in Korean

The word “cook” in English may have different definitions depending on whether it’s used as a verb or a noun in sentences. Here are their terms in Korean.

Cook in Korean (Noun)

If you’re pertaining to “cook” in Korean as a noun, you can say it as 요리 (yori). As a noun, it can also be said as 요리사 (yorisa), which means chef.

Cook in Korean (Verb)

The word for “cook” in Korean as a verb is 요리하다 (yorihada). This is made up of 2 words which are 요리 (yori) and 하다 (hada) where 요리 (yori) means cook and 하다 (hada) is to do. 요리하다 (yorihada) can be translated as “to cook.”

Essential kitchen vocabulary in Korean

You may eat or cook in different cuisines like French, Japanese, Italian, German, Dutch, Danish, and the like. Each cuisine creates delicious meals using the tools listed. For now, we’ll focus on the Hangeul translation of each word in English below. This may also be useful and essential if you want to teach your friend about cooking your home country’s cuisine!

Kitchen tools. Cooking utensil and electric appliances for baking oven, mixer, scales, mincer. Home cookware in minimalist style vector set. Toaster, jar for water and glass, frying pan and saucepan

Cookware in Korean

The term for “cookware” in Korean is 취사도구 (chwisadogu).

Words for Korean Cookware

These are the common tools used to prepare and cook food.

Skillet (Frying Pan) 냄비 (naembi),
프라이팬 (peuraipaen)
Braiser 브헤제 (beuheje)
슬라이서 (seullaiseo)
Kitchen Scale 조리용 저울 (joriyong jeoul)
Mixing Bowl
믹싱 볼 (miksing bol)
Chopping Board, Cutting Board 도마 (doma)
Mandolin 만돌린 (mandollin)
Stock Pot 육수 냄비 (yuksu naembi)
Kettle 주전자 (jujeonja)
Rubber Gloves 고무장갑 (gomujanggap)
Food Container 용기포장, (yonggipojang),
식품 (sikpum),
보관용기 (bogwanyonggi)
Mortar and Pestle 막자사발과 막자(makjasabalgwa makja),
절구와 절구 공이(jeolguwa jeolgu gongi)
Stone Pot 돌솥 (dolsot)
Earthenware Pot 뚝배기 (ttukbaegi)
Grinder 가는 기구 (ganeun gigu)
Strainer, Colander 여과기 (yeogwagi),
거르개 (georeugae),
체 (che)
Sauce Pan, Pot 냄비 (naembi)
Sheet Pan 시트 팬 (siteu paen)
Baking Dish 베이킹 접시 (beiking jeopsi)
Can Opener 캔 오프너 (kaen opeuneo),
깡통따개 (kkangtongttagae)
Zester 껍질벗기개 (kkeopjilbeotgigae)
Salad Spinner 채소 탈수 바구니 (chaeso talsu baguni),
채소 탈수기 (chaeso talsugi),
채소건조기 (chaesogeonjogi)
Wok 웍 (wok)
Saute Pan 소테팬 (sotepaen),
볶음용 팬 (bokkeumyong paen)
Grater 강판 (gangpan)

Utensils in Korean

There are two ways to say “utensils” in Korean. You can say it as 밥그릇 (bapgeureut) or 기구 (gigu).

Words for Korean Utensils

These handheld tools used to cook are ultimately important, from the preparation of food to dining.

Knife 칼 (kal)
Spatula 주걱 (jugeok),
뒤집개 (dwijipgae)
Measuring Spoon 계량스푼 (gyeryangseupun)
Rice Paddle 밥주걱 (bapjugeok)
Scissors 가위 (gawi)
Measuring Cup 계량 컵 (gyeryang keop)
Peeler 껍질 벗기는 칼 (kkeopjil beotgineun kal)
Whisk 거품기 (geopumgi)
Tongs 집게 (jipge)
Meat Tenderizer 연육제 (yeonyukje)
Fork 포크 (pokeu)
Spoon 숟가락 (sutgarak),
스푼 (seupun)
Chopsticks 젓가락 (jeotgarak)

Kitchen Appliances in Korean

The term for “kitchen appliances” in Korean is 주방용품 (jubangyongpum).

Words for Korean Kitchen Appliances

These cooking appliances are most relevant to the actual cooking process.

Rice Cooker 밥솥 (bapsot)
Microwave 전자레인지 (jeonjareinji)
Blender 분쇄기 (bunswaegi),
믹서기 (mikseogi)
Oven 오븐 (obeun)
Stove 레인지 (reinji)
Toaster 토스터 (toseuteo)
Coffeemaker 커피메이커 (keopimeikeo)
Fridge 냉장고 (naengjanggo)
Freezer 냉동고 (naengdonggo)
Electric Whisk 전기 거품기 (jeongi geopumgi)
Grill 그릴 (geuril),
석쇠 (seoksoe)
Gas Burner 가스버너 (gaseubeoneo)
Food Processor 만능 조리 기구 (manneung jori gigu)
Slow Cooker 전기 찜솥 (jeongi jjimsot)

Did we miss any essential cooking tools? Please let us know so we can add it to the list and teach you even more! Which tools and appliances are your personal favorites to use when cooking? And have you already searched with people you know from Korea how many of the same items you have in your respective kitchens? Let us know your answers and examination results in the comments!

The post Cook in Korean – Useful words and vocabulary for the kitchen appeared first on 90 Day Korean®.

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Social Distancing Level in Busan Area: Level 1.5 (from June 14 until July 4)


Social Distancing Level in Busan Area: Level 1.5 (with some adjusted quarantine measures) 

(Effective Monday, June 14 until Sunday, July 4, 2021)


Quarantine Measures for Prevention and Control (Common):

Required quarantine rules:

① Wear a mask, ② Keep a visitor log (except shops·marts·department stores),

③ Ventilate and disinfect regularly,

④ Prohibit eating outside in food service areas, excluding water and non-alcoholic beverages,

⑤ Restrict entry of those with symptoms, ⑥ Appoint a disease control and prevention supervisor, ⑦ Public notice of quarantine measures for prevention and control, and facility capacity


1. Gatherings/Events

Private gatherings:

Private gatherings of 5 or more persons are prohibited

*Except when immediate family are gathering (gatherings of up to 8 persons to be allowed); when the families of the bride and the bridegroom have a meeting (gatherings of up to 8 persons to be allowed); when the private gatherings are accompanied with infants aged under 6 (gatherings of up to 8 persons to be allowed, only gatherings of up to 4 persons except infants aged under 6); when it is required for the care of children, the elderly, or the disabled; when a person is about to pass away requiring the family to gather; when people gather for sports games at sports facilities with their facility’s manager (hosting sports games at indoor and outdoor futsal fields, soccer fields and baseball fields); when people gather for traditional first-birthday parties for babies, celebrations known as doljanchi, at specialized venues with disinfection protocols.

*Those who are vaccinated against COVID-19 won’t be included in the count for family gatherings of up to 8 people, meaning it is possible to exceed gatherings of 8 family members.

*People who are vaccinated against COVID-19 include those who have received two vaccine doses (or completed applicable single-dose vaccination); those who have passed 14 days after getting their first dose of the vaccine.


– Reservations or entrance of 5 or more persons to multi-purpose facilities, including restaurants are prohibited


Other gatherings & events

- Gatherings or events with over 500 participants need to be reported and discussed with local governments. Mandatory compliance with quarantine measures

- Ban on rallies, festivals, large scale concerts and academic events with over 100 participants

- Wear a mask indoors, keep a visitor log, ventilate and disinfect regularly

Maintain 2-meter (at least 1-meter) distancing in the facilities


2. Multi-use Facilities

Comply with mandatory quarantine measures (wear a mask, keep visitor log (excluding department stores, marts, shops), ventilate and disinfect regularly, appoint a disease control and prevention supervisor)

▷ Priority facilities:

5 types of entertainment facilities (bars, including night clubs and room salons, colatecs (Korean-style cabaret), karaoke bars, pubs, hunting pochas), Hold’em pubs (card game pubs)): Suspension of operations after 12AM until 5AM the next day, Required use of electronic log systems (including staff), limit on the number of people (1 person/8㎡, including staff and dealer), required to wear gloves when using public goods such as dice, cards, etc., when singing wear a facemask (install partitions and only one person singing at a time is allowed), dancing is prohibited (no operation of dancing halls or dance floors), Prohibited for people to move from room/table to room/table.


Door-to-door sales and direct sales promotion halls: Suspension of operations after 10PM until 5AM the next day, no eating (water and non-alcoholic beverages allowed) and singing, limit on the number of people (1 person/4㎡)


Singing rooms (including coin singing rooms): Suspension of operations after 12AM until 5AM the next day, required use of an electronic log system, limit on the number of people (1 person/4㎡), No eating (water and non-alcoholic beverages allowed rooms must be immediately disinfected and ventilate for more than 10 minutes after use.


Indoor standing performance halls: No eating (water and non-alcoholic beverages allowed), limit on the number of people (1 person/4㎡)


Restaurants/cafes (including unmanned cafes):

-When more than two customers order only coffee, a beverage or dessert menu item, they will be strongly recommended to stay for up to an hour only.

-Take-out and delivery only past 12AM until 5AM the next day

-Facilities of 50㎡ or larger in size, comply with one of the following measures: ① Distance of 1 meter between tables; ② Empty seats/tables between seats/tables; ③ Install partitions between tables

-Buffets: Use of plastic gloves or hand sanitizers before and after use of tongs, plates, and utensils; keep distance between users in line for food.


▷ Regular facilities:

- Indoor sports facilities (including indoor winter sports facilities): Eating food is prohibited (water, non-alcohol beverage is permitted), limit on the number of people (1 person/4㎡)

- Private academies (excluding study rooms), job training centers: Limit on the number of people (1 person/4㎡) or keeping one empty seat between seats, No eating (water and non-alcoholic beverages allowed)

- Wedding halls, funeral halls: Limit on the number of people (1 person/4㎡).

- Bathhouses: Limit on the number of people (1 person/4㎡), eating food is prohibited (except water and non-alcohol beverage), no operations of saunas in bathhouses

- Movie theaters, Concert halls: Keep one seat empty between customers (sitting next to a companion is permitted); eating food is prohibited (except water and non-alcohol beverage)

- PC rooms: Keep one seat empty between customers; eating food is prohibited (except water and non-alcohol beverage)

- Multi-rooms/DVD rooms: Limit on the number of people (1 person/4㎡); No eating (eating in individual spaces divided with partitions is acceptable; water and non-alcoholic beverages allowed)

- Study rooms and cafes: Keep one seat empty between visitors (except with partitions), group rooms up to 50% capacity (up to 4 persons), No eating (eating in individual spaces divided with partitions or in food zone is acceptable; water and non-alcoholic beverages allowed)

- Amusement and water parks: Limit on number of users to 1/2 of capacity

- Barbershops/hair salons: Limit on the number of people (1 person/4㎡) or keep one seat empty between customers, eating food is prohibited (except water and non-alcohol beverage).

- Department stores·large supermarkets: Visitor temperature checks, mandatory to wear a face mask, ventilate and disinfect regularly

- Retail stores other than department stores and large supermarkets (larger than 300 ㎡): Mandatory to wear a face mask, ventilate and disinfect regularly

- Convenience stores are only permitted take-out and delivery past 12AM until 5AM the next day (eating food and providing an area to eat including outdoor tables are prohibited).

- Street vendors are only permitted take-out and delivery past 12AM. until 5AM the next day (eating food is prohibited).


3. Daily Life and Social & Economic Activities

▷ Mandatory to wear a face mask

All indoor facilities, outdoor locations where people cannot stay 2 meters apart; administrative fine to be imposed for violations

▷ Sports activities: Limited spectators (30%)

▷Use of public transportation: Mandatory to wear a face mask

▷School: 2/3 of student capacity recommended

▷Religious activities: In-person worship services (i.e. Christian, Catholic, Buddhist, Cheondoist) at less than 30 percent seat capacity, but prohibited from holding meetings, providing meals and accommodation. Especially, prohibited from holding meetings and events except regular religious activities at prayer houses, retreat and missionary centers.

▷Work Pattern:

Working from home recommended for a proportion of workers per organization/division (e.g: 1/3 of employees)

Mandatory wearing of face masks in businesses considered high-risk (distribution and logistics centers, call centers)


Other Activities

▷ Accommodations: prohibited from exceeding capacity of people in one room; a ban on gatherings for events and parties hosted at accommodation venues, public notice of hosting private parties, resulting in compulsory check-out

▷ Party rooms: Limit on the number of people (1 person/8㎡), comply with one of the following measures: ① Distance of 1 meter between tables; ② Empty seats/tables between seats/tables; ③ Install partitions between tables

▷ Sales businesses with experiential activities and briefing sessions (regardless of being registered or unregistered): Ban on briefing sessions; ban on close contact between salespeople and customers during experiential activities. (Clean or sanitize customers’ hands and equipment after experiential activities, keep two meters distance between customers)

▷ Exhibits and expos: Limit on the number of people (1 person/4㎡), no eating (water and non-alcoholic beverages allowed)

▷ International conferences: Limit on the number of people (1 person/4㎡)

▷ National and public facilities: Suspended operations of velodromes, regattas and race courses, Casinos limited to 20% of visitor capacity; Other facilities (including sports facilities) limited to 50% capacity

▷ Social welfare facilities: Operating under strict quarantine measures.

※ Facilities’ operations shall be partially suspended and only provide emergency care in consideration of increasing virus cases within a region or the risk/disinfection situation at facilities


The city government will impose a “one-strike-out” policy on rule violations. A violation of the quarantine rules even once will immediately result in operations being shut down.


Violations of the quarantine rules: Fines of up to 100,000 won for individual violators and up to 3 million won for facility managers, business owners and operators.



Date of Issue: 2020.10.27 질병관리청COVID-19-Correct methods of wearing a mask Wearing a mask can prevent infectious diseases. 1 Wash your hands thoroughly with soap and running water before putting on a mask2 Place the mask tightly on the face, fully covering your mouth and nose. 3 Do not put a towel, tissues, etc. in the mask.4 Do not touch the mask while wearing the mask.If you do, wash your hands thoroughly with soap and running water. 5 Wash your hands with soap and running water after removing the mask, and remove the mask by touching its straps only.A fold-type mask1 Unfold the mask and roung the side edges.2 Ensure its nose wire is facing upwards, ully covering your nose and mouth3 Put the ear loops around your ears.4 Use both hands to pinch the nose wire around your nose.5 Keep the mask fit tightly on your face, checking air leakage. A cup-type mask1 Gently hold the mask in your hand, letting the headbands hang downwards.2 Place the mask on your face, covering your nose and chin. 3 Pull the top strap over your head and secure it around the crown of your head. 4 Pull the bottom strap over your head and secure it on the back of your neck with a holding device. 5 Use both hands to pinch the nose wire around your nose.6 Keep the mask fit tightly on your face, checking air leakage.Source: Correct Methods of Wearing Hygiene Masks by the Ministry of Food and Drug Safety 


Ggotbi – Rain of Flowers: 꽃비

The Rain of Flowers, or “Ggotbi – 꽃비” at Magoksa Temple in Gongju, Chungcheongnam-do.


Whenever you enter a Korean Buddhist temple shrine hall, one of the very first things you’ll notice are the floral paintings adorning the ceiling of the structure. These floral patterns are known as “Ggotbi – 꽃비” in Korean, or “Rain of Flowers” in English. You might also see paper lanterns designed as pink or purple lotus flowers suspended from the ceiling, as well. So why exactly are these flowers painted or hanging from the ceiling? And what do they symbolize?

History of Flower Ceilings

The Introduction of the Lotus Sutra describes the sermon given by Seokgamoni-bul (The Historical Buddha) on Vulture Peak. As Seokgamoni-bul completed his sermon entitled “Immeasurable Meanings,” he “sat down cross-legged, undisturbed in body and mind among the great assembly and entered the samadhi [meditative consciousness] called the ‘abode of immeasurable meanings.'” It was while he did this that “…great manjusaka flowers [celestial flowers] fell like rain from the sky, scattering over the Buddha and all of his attendants.”

The Rain of Flowers from inside the Daeung-jeon Hall at Pyochungsa Temple in Miryang, Gyeongsangnam-do.
The “Ggotbi – 꽃비” from Tongdosa Temple in Yangsan, Gyeongsangnam-do.

There is another reference in the Lotus Sutra found in chapter seven entitled “The Parable of the Phantom City,” where thirty-three devas built a lion seat under a bodhi tree for the Buddha. “As soon as the Buddha sat on this seat, all the Brahmas rained down various heavenly flowers for a hundred yojanas [ancient Indian measurement] around; periodically a fragrant breeze would blow away the withered flowers and they would rain down fresh ones.” The devas created this lion seat so that the Buddha, Seokgamoni-bul, could sit on it and gain supreme and universal enlightenment. And after gaining enlightenment, to the time of his earthly death, flowers would rain down from heaven periodically on the Buddha, Seokgamoni-bul.


With these textual references in mind, a Korean Buddhist temple shrine hall’s ceiling is symbolically referring to the Lotus Sutra. The Korean temple shrine hall is meant to symbolize the site of the Vulture Peak Assembly, where the Buddha, Seokgamoni-bul, taught his community his teachings. And a second reason for these painted flowers and hanging paper lotus flowers is that the Buddha, Seokgamoni-bul, gained enlightenment under a sky of flowers. With all of this in mind, the ceiling of flowers is meant to remind monks, nuns, and devotees that they too can gain enlightenment.

The hanging paper lotus flowers at Wonhyoam Hermitage in Yangsan, Gyeongsangnam-do.


There are two typical ways in which these floral patterns make their presence known inside a Korean temple shrine hall. The first is that they are painted on the ceiling of the structure. They are typically divided into cross-hatched sections with a lotus flower painted in the centre. And while the lotus flower is the most common flower that you’ll find adorning the ceiling flowers, it isn’t exclusive. Sometimes you’ll find peonies, roses, and other colourful flowers, too. And the other way in which these celestial flowers can manifest themselves is as purple and pink paper lotus flowers that are suspended from the ceiling of the temple shrine hall. Typically they are suspended at head height or just above it.


So now that you know what all these flowers are meant to symbolize inside a Korean Buddhist temple shrine hall, you can now appreciate them that much more. While they are aesthetically pleasing to the eye, they are also packed with the symbolic meaning of the Buddha’s enlightenment. And they act as a reminder that enlightenment is also possible for anyone at any time, as well.

From Sinheungsa Temple in Yangsan, Gyeongsangnam-do.
And from Jogyesa Temple in Yangsan, Gyeongsangnam-do.

The Ultimate Guide to Jobs in Korea [2021]


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This post covers what you need to know about jobs in Korea for foreigners.


It includes:


  • How to find your first job
  • The pros and cons of working in Korea


I got my first job in South Korea in 2006 and worked at a variety of companies. Here's what I learned from my experience.


Let's dive right in!


How to Get your First Job in South Korea as an Expat


Step 1. Make sure you have the right qualifications


To qualify for a basic work visa, you need:


  • Passport
  • Bachelor's Degree
  • Clean criminal record
  • Health screening


Step 2. Find the right job online


Decide which city you want to live in and what kind of work you want to do.


Check the company's reputation online. You can check some private English academies through Dave's ESL Cafe.


Step 3. Apply


Send all required documents including:


  • Resume
  • Picture


Be prepared to do a phone or video interview.


If you get the job, ask to see pictures of your housing.


Step 4. Get packed


Make sure to bring:


  • Warm winter clothes
  • Prescription medication in bulk
  • Vitamins and pain relievers in bulk
  • Melanin for light sleepers
  • Unlocked phone
  • Your favorite spices
  • Power converter if you're not coming from the EU (they use 220 volt plug C and F)

My experience working in South Korea

I worked in Seoul and Gyeonggi-do for 10 years, and started a business I've been running since 2013. I only had to apply for one job during that period (I've spent more time helping others find work). It was actually a position I found on in 2006, before leaving the states. Even though I didn't have much work experience, there were many options.

I found the best opportunities through networking. 


While living in Korea, I found work as an actor, model, marketer, salesperson, translator, lecturer, and interviewer. I gave private English lessons to celebrities, CEOs, and high-ranking government officials. I even worked at a Stewardess Academy, a concept that doesn't exist in most countries.


Working in Korea provided me with a wealth of experience and a new perspective. I also learned the language and traveled all over the region.


It even helped me start a business, which I wouldn’t have done back home.


I highly recommend it for recent college graduates or anyone looking to make a change in their life.



What are the benefits of working in Korea?

There are many benefits to working in Korea. 


With its natural beauty, ultra-modern cities and vibrant expat community, Korea is a great place to relocate. 


There are many opportunities for English-speakers that you won't find at home.


It’s fun to live in Korea, especially in your twenties. There are enough neighborhoods with bars, clubs and restaurants to keep you busy for a decade. 


In Fact:


You can have a high-standard of living in South Korea. Even for entry-level private academy jobs, the base salary is around 2 million KRW ($1,800) along with housing and insurance. This is enough to live comfortably and enjoy a variety of activities.


Korea has fast and convenient online shopping.


You can even save money in the process and spend it on travel in between contracts.


South Korea has an excellent healthcare system that will cost you about 100 USD a month.


You get paid one month's salary for every year you work. This is known as 퇴직금 or severance pay.


Many jobs pay for your flight into the country and flight home after a year.


Korea has very effective disease control measures and takes pandemics seriously. Infection rates are relatively low given the dense population.


Korea has a rich and unique culture that’s fascinating to learn about.


The country has something for everyone. Whether you're into nature, history, food, or K-dramas and K-pop, you'll never get bored.


Korea has a relatively low crime rate for a developed country. It's not uncommon for people to forget their laptops or wallets at a café and come back to find them untouched.


Violent crime is also very low, even in a densely-packed city like Seoul.


Education has been a priority in Korea for hundreds of years. Families can send their children to a range of international schools.


Korea has top universities as well. There are also ways to get your master’s degree for free at universities like Yonsei.


Seoul attracts expats from all over the world, so you’ll interact with a diverse group of people.


You won’t need a car in Seoul and most parts of the country.


Korea has a network of buses and a modern subway that can be accessed with one transportation card.


Since a round trip on public transport costs around 2 dollars, your transportation budget can be $50-100 dollars a month.

Expats can start a business once they have the right visa.


What are the drawbacks to working in Korea?


Life in Korea comes with many emotional peaks and valleys. There are times when it's the best place in the world, and times when you wish you were elsewhere. It's definitely not for the faint of heart. But, you'll never know until you try.


Working hours can be long and you're somewhat expected to stay longer (You can get away not doing this, but Koreans are pressured to stay until the boss leaves and sometimes even attend after-work gatherings).

Harmony and relationships are often more important that merit and results. This is a positive for some.


Politics might be part of your job description whether you like it or not. (Having Noonchi or intuition helps!)


Traffic can be an issue during commuting times in Seoul and even Busan. It’s often quicker to take the subway. Make sure to check how far your place is from work.





Check out Lingua Asia for more helpful tips on living in Korea. Find out more below: 

Moving to Korea | Where to Live | Expat life in Korea | Haggling in Korea | Korean female models | Korean labor rights




Original Post: 

Grading your Korean – Making longer, complex sentences | Billy Go

I've received so many submissions from you asking me to grade your Korean in my series, and it's been great to see how many of you can speak Korean.

Please keep sending me your submissions! In the video description you'll find information with the criteria for how you can do that (click the video below to see it).

In this video I'll give tips for how you can make longer and more natural sounding sentences. We'll also talk a bit about Korean names, and more tips for intermediate learners.

The post Grading your Korean – Making longer, complex sentences | Billy Go appeared first on Learn Korean with GO! Billy Korean.

Seoknamsa Temple – 석남사 (Ulju-gun, Ulsan)

The Cascading Waters at Seoknamsa Temple in Ulju-gun, Ulsan.

Temple History

Seoknamsa Temple, which is pronounced Seongnamsa, means “South Rock Temple” in English. The name of the temple is in reference to its southern location on Mt. Gajisan (1,240 m). Seoknamsa Temple was first established in 824 A.D. by the highly influential monk Doui-guksa (?-825 A.D.). It was built to pray for the nation. The temple continued to be enlarged until it was eventually destroyed in 1592 during the Imjin War (1592-1598). During the Imjin War, the temple was used as a centre for the training of the Righteous Army to help defend the area from the invading Japanese.

Eventually, and in 1674, Seoknamsa Temple was rebuilt. And through the years it was enlarged both in 1803 and 1912. The temple would be completely destroyed during the Korean War (1950-1953). In 1959, the temple was rebuilt by Abbot Inhong-sunim, a Bhikkuni (Buddhist nun). It’s from this time that the temple would exclusively become a temple for Bhikkhuni and their training.

Seoknamsa Temple is home to a Korean Treasure. This is the Stupa of Seongnamsa Temple, which is Korean Treasure #369. Additionally, the three-story stone pagoda at Seoknamsa Temple is Ulsan Tangible Cultural Heritage #22.

Admission to the temple for adults is 1,700 won. And it’s 1,300 won for teenagers, and 1,000 won for elementary age children. However, the temple is free for non-student aged children.

Temple Layout

Seoknamsa Temple is situated under the towering Mt. Gajisan and alongside a cascading river valley. After passing under the colourful Iljumun Gate, you’ll make your way up to the temple courtyard, which is seven hundred metres away. This stretch is one of the most beautiful you’ll find at a Korean Buddhist temple. At the end of the trail, you’ll come to a clearing, where you’ll find a beautiful new bridge. Underneath this bridge flows crystal clear cascading water. There are rock stairs that lead down to the base of the valley where the cascading water flows. Finally crossing over the newly built bridge, and up around a bend in the road, you’ll find the elevated outskirts of the main courtyard at Seoknamsa Temple. Hanging a left past the twisted red pine, you’ll pass through another entry gate. This time, this entry gate is adorned with four Sanskrit letters and a central Manja (swastika) image. Each of the four Sanskrit letters are meant to rid yourself of bad karma, while the central image of the Manja is meant to be a sign for good luck and auspiciousness.

Up the stairs, you’ll first be greeted by the Silla-era three-story pagoda that’s also Ulsan Tangible Cultural Heritage #22. It’s believed that the pagoda was built by Doui-guksa, and it dates back to the founding of the temple in 824 A.D. The pagoda, like the temple, was built in hopes of protecting the nation from foreign invasion. Unfortunately, the intention of the pagoda didn’t quite come to fruition, as the pagoda and the temple were destroyed in 1592. In 1973, the pagoda was restored, like so much else at the temple, by the Abbot Inhong-sunim

Behind this ancient pagoda stands the Daeung-jeon Hall. The exterior walls to this main hall are adorned with a beautiful collection of Palsang-do (The Eight Scenes of the Historical Buddha’s Life). While these paintings are now cracking, they are still beautiful in their composition. There are also images of the Buddha up near the eaves of the Daeung-jeon with smoky emissions rising forth from their heads. Stepping inside the Daeung-jeon Hall, you’ll find three statues resting on the main altar. They are centred by an image of Seokgamoni-bul (The Historical Buddha). This central statue is joined on either side by Yeondeung-bul (The Past Buddha) and Mireuk-bul (The Future Buddha).

To the right of the Daeung-jeon Hall is an area that’s off-limits to the general public. It’s the living quarters for the nuns at Seoknamsa Temple. And to the left of the Daeung-jeon Hall is the Geukrak-jeon Hall. Inside this temple shrine hall, and resting on the main altar, is a diminutive triad centred by Amita-bul (The Buddha of the Western Paradise). This statue is joined on either side by Gwanseeum-bosal (The Bodhisattva of Compassion) and Daesaeji-bosal (The Bodhisattva of Wisdom and Power for Amita-bul). The exterior to this wall includes various Buddhist motif murals including a mural of monkeys playing. Also housed inside the Geukrak-jeon Hall are two beautiful shaman murals. One is dedicated to Sanshin (The Mountain Spirit), while the other is dedicated to Dokseong (The Lonely Saint). And on the far right wall is the Shinjung Taenghwa (Guardian Mural).

Directly behind the Geukrak-jeon Hall is the Josa-jeon Hall. At the centre of the collection of portraits of monks and nuns that once called Seoknamsa Temple home is a painting dedicated to the famed Doui-guksa.

To the right, and behind the Daeung-jeon Hall, are a couple flights of stairs and a well-manicured clearing that houses the Stupa of Seoknamsa Temple. This stupa was once called the Stupa of Doui; however, in 1962, when the stupa was taken apart, it was discovered that the sari reliquary was empty. The sari (crystallized remains) had either been stolen or gone missing. As for the design of the stupa, it’s a standard octagonal stone stupa. At the base of the stupa, you’ll find a lion and clouds prominently engraved on it. Also around the base of the stupa, on panels, you’ll find the symbolic images of elephant’s eyes. Within the panel design, you’ll find flower shapes in the centre with a belt connecting to them. As for the body that’s shaped like a pillar, there is a front and rear side that have doors on each side. However, there is only a lock on the front side of these two door designs. And there are guardians placed on either side of the door designs. As for the roof of the stupa, it’s rather short and narrow.

It’s from this historic stupa that you get a great view of the entire temple grounds. There are some beautiful views of the valley, the temple, and the mountains from this beautiful vantage point.

How To Get There

First, you’ll either have to get to Miryang, Ulsan or Eonyang to get a connecting bus to Seoknamsa Temple. From Miryang, you can take one of the numerous buses that travels throughout the day from the Miryang Bus Terminal. The cost of the bus ride is about 5,000 won. You can take Bus #807 or #1713 from near the Ulsan Intercity Bus Terminal. Also, you can take an Eonyang city bus that travels out to the temple eleven times during the day.

Overall Rating: 7.5/10

One of the main highlights to Seoknamsa Temple is its scenic location with the towering mountains overhead and the cascading waters down the rocky valley. Adding to the temple’s aesthetic beauty are its two historic stone artifacts. Both the Stupa of Seoknamsa Temple and the Silla-era three-story pagoda are something to enjoy while at this Buddhist temple. Also of interest are the beautiful paintings surrounding the shrine halls at Seoknamsa Temple.

The Iljumun Gate at the entry of Seoknamsa Temple.
A twisted red pine just outside the main temple courtyard.
The Silla-era three story stone pagoda with the Daeung-jeon Hall to the left.
The main altar inside the Daeung-jeon Hall with Seokgamoni-bul (The Historical Buddha) in the centre.
The Geukrak-jeon Hall at Seoknamsa Temple.
The main altar inside the Geukrak-jeon Hall with Amita-bul (The Buddha of the Western Paradise) in the centre.
To the right of the main altar inside the Geukrak-jeon Hall is this mural dedicated to Sanshin (The Mountain Spirit).
Between the Geukrak-jeon Hall (left) and the Daeung-jeon Hall (right) is the Josa-jeon Hall (Founders’ Hall).
A beautiful purple lotus at Seoknamsa Temple.
The Stupa of Seoknamsa, which is Korean Treasure #369.
A fuller look at the stupa that dates back to the 9th century.
And a close-up of one of the guardians and doors that adorn the body of the stupa.


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