If you want to read about the first half of our temple stay you can read it here.
So continuing on from where I left off…After dinner it was time to walk up to the main temple area to watch a drum ceremony. There was a raised platform with different instruments in it. We were told earlier in the day about them. The first instrument is a big drum. The second is an instrument shaped like a fish, a third shaped like a bird and finally there was a big bell. The ceremony happens three times a day. 3:30am, 6:30pm and 10:30am. The ceremony is performed to wake all of the spirits of the world. The drum is to wake all of the beings on land. The fish is to wake all of the beings under the water, the bird is for beings in the sky and the bell is played to wake all of the beings in hell.
It was a beautiful ceremony to watch.
I don’t have any photos from this time as it seemed very personal and I wanted to be involved in it myself. This was hands down my absolutely favorite part of the temple stay. The service started with the ringing of a bell and all of the monks began chanting and singing. It brought tears to my eyes. All of us temple stayers then just tried to follow the monks as best as we could. We bowed while they were chanting and it was just incredible.
We were each given strings and beads on a pillow in front of us. We would stand up, then kneel down and bow to the ground we would then place a bead on the string, kneel back up and then stand up. We completed this 108 times. It took a few days for my knees to recover from it and we were all dripping in sweat but it was such an accomplishment as the time went on to see how many beads were completed.
We then turned our strings in to necklaces. At the top of the necklace are four smaller beads dangling. When a monk sees a dead animal they take one of these smaller beads and places it with the animal. The monk told us that if we have a pet that dies we can place one of our beads with them.
Once our necklaces were completed it was nine o’clock and time for bed. We would have a 5a.m. wake up call to begin our second day in Beomeosa. I was so excited to get to bed (mats on the floor) unfortunately I was sleeping next to a really loud snorer so I only got about an hour sleep.
I’ll write about day two of our temple stay adventure in the next blog post.
How to book a temple stay at Beomeosa:
I booked through their website which has English. It was very simple and I just had to transfer the money to them once I had booked. You can find the website here.