Golgulsa opened its gates to its first foreigner in the 1980s, and since then, it has been home to a number of foreigners who have found themselves drawn to learn Sunmduo, the special Buddhist martial art that is unique to Korea. It all started with templestay program which was based on the monks daily activities. As the monks life in our temple is very demanding over the years we adapted the program. We made it a little bit lighter so our guests are able to keep track with it and take part in all the activities. This year we are adding a new types of programs so you will be able to choose what kind of experience you would like to share with us. In recent years, Golgulsa has welcomed thousands of templestay participants, and offers templestay programming 365 days a year.
As with all other tempestay programmes, Golgulsa offers visitors a glimpse into temple life: early morning chanting, sitting and walking meditation, bowing, tea time, temple food, and community work. What sets Golgulsa apart from other templestay experiences is the art of Sunmudo.
At Golgulsa, we spend a good part of our morning practicing Zen yoga and Qi Gong , honing in on our own internal energies while opening up to the energy that flows around us. We calm our minds and refresh our bodies as we breath into stretches; we feel the lightness of being limber. After training, you can sip on tea with the master and talk about what you’ve learned, about what you would like to learn.
In the evenings, we practice the more dynamic elements of Zen martial arts. We strengthen our bodies and our minds as we kick, punch, jump, and spin our way through the sufferings of our daily lives. We condition our bodies, and we restore our mental focus and ability to concentrate.
After training, it’s quick to bed, so that we can rise early the next morning and chant with the rising of the sun.