Wake (if you can) to the old Korea

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Wake (if you can) to the old Korea

When my colleague Park Soo-mee told me that she was going to a Buddhist temple in South Jeolla province last weekend, I was envious. Soo-mee traveled to Seonamsa Temple and returned with a report on the temple’s growing and roasting of a green tea that looks, smells and tastes different from Japanese green teas.
Too bad she couldn’t bring samples for everyone in the office, but the process wasn’t completed when she left.
Soo-mee, one of the few morning people I know, says she awoke at 6:30 a.m. at the temple.
Vampires like me have a tough time staying overnight at Buddhist temples. Last year, I visited Jikjisa Temple in North Gyeongsang province, one of the most beautiful, historically rich sites in Korea.
I woke at 4 a.m. to pray and sweep the yard. After that, I got so dizzy that instead of meditating, I took a nap. When I awoke, everything was beautiful and memorable: unbelievably delicious vegetarian meals, a tea ceremony, paper lantern making and just being surrounded by ancient Korea.

by Ines Cho
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