Lazy Sunday AM and Antique-ing in Insadong


After a lazy Sunday morning spent grazing on healthy snacks….
…drinking some of my first batch of kombucha tea (woohoo for good bacteria)…
…finally leaving the apartment at 2, taking a stroll through the ‘hood…
…stoppin by Family Mart to fill up my T-Money (bus and tube card)…
and picking up a bottle of wine for later on the way back…
I hurt my foot last week and spent Friday night and all day Saturday in “forced relaxation”.  I was stir crazy and I finally left my hood of Haebangchon for the first time all weekend on Sunday afternoon. I hobbled out of my apartment, determined to get my walking and exploring on.  Inspired by my Dad the sequel’s (Stepdad Clem for you who don’t know him) fascination with Asian antiques like swords and other fun stuff, and his excitement over the antique table I found randomly in the dumpster a few months ago (will send home to California after Korea is over), I decided to head to Insadong to rummage for antiques to send home to Oxnard Shores.
The little table that started it all.
mother of pearl inlay, Chinese characters.
sundial with Chinese, Korean, and Japanese characters…~50,000 won
beautiful turtle compass with Chinese and Korean characters as well as Chinese astrological signs. very cool ~50,000 won
Compasses with Chinese, Korean, and Japanese characters, ~20,000 won
ceramics
not antiques, but very pretty boxes. I like the wooden one, with the birds that signify longevity. I said “gakka juseo” (deal please) and the woman said she would sell for 20,000 won!
Antique wooden box, not sure of the price.
antique model cars and airplanes (D2…)
Spent the rest of the day wandering around…took a slow stroll along the Cheongycheon, randomly stumbled on a “Green Korea” exhibit and a Korean Healthy Foods Fair, (which I’ll write about later!)…
I also made a couple videos while I strolled through the downtown area. It was the first day I’ve spent completely alone in a long time. It was great to have some time for myself to just go where I wanted to go, be quiet for a bit. All in all it was such a great Sunday~though by the end I think  hobbled a bit too much on the bum foot~think I’ll have take to take it easy in forced relaxation again and allow myself to heal for a day or two.  Sunday antiqueing and exploring was worth it~

Jogyesa Temple services


Today I felt drawn towards making another visit to Jogyesa Temple in Insadong. And I arrived just in time for the Sunday night service! The service was led by a monk who sang and played music…it was deeply moving.

I took a cue from my fellow temple go-ers and grabbed a couple of kneeling mats and made myself at home. I watched the other people~some were singing along with the monk, others were doing the 108 kneeling bows, so I did that, too. I felt very “at home” as the kneeling was very similar to yoga salutations (mountain through to child pose basically). It was actually really cool, almost bone chilling, to link the familiar yoga poses with the actual spiritual part, inside a temple, during a service. The experience, the group singing in a beautiful language, reminded me of my childhood spent at Jewish temple, and tears and emotions flooded my eyes as I kneeled and prayed (to Buddha, to God…to the Universe…to. something bigger than us humans).
At the end of the service, an old ajjima (old lady) came up and started talking to me in Korean and smiling reallllly big…I think she was saying something about the 108 bows. anyways, I thought that was kinda cute. I just replied with a big smile, too and said something along the lines of, “yes, bows! it’s great!”.
I am compelled to learn more about Buddhism…and am planning a templestay next paycheck. Stayed tuned!

Lotus Lantern Festival, Seoul, South Korea

Okay, I officially am having a wonderful time here in Seoul!

The weather is now sundress worthy, I’ve met some amazing people, and am happy as a clam.

This past Sunday was the Lotus Lantern Festival in Insadong. Insadong and the surrounding area of Jongno is what I’d call the cultural mecca of Seoul. Alongside skyscrapers are beautiful old Buddhist temples and shrines, which were decorated with beautiful lanterns during the weeks leading to the festival. The festival is held in honor of Buddha’s Birthday every year.

Seeking shade underneath countless paper lanterns. If you look closely enough, you can see the paper prayers hung from the bottom for the worshipper’s ancestors and family.

photos courtesy:B O’rourke

Us girls posing for a pic with the lanterns we made ourselves–gotta love crafting!

Temple. Yes, we actually went in and sat in awe. I plan to go visit for Sunday services simply for the peace I felt here.

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The sheer bliss of joining in the Lotus Lantern Parade~TK and I danced to the amazing music alongside the parade-ers. It was pure bliss.

Lantern collecting and dancing to the beats of Korean marching bands.

photos courtesy: B. O’Rourke andΒ A. Brady (Thanks!)

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Lotus Lantern Festival!


Lantern collecting and dancing to the beats of Korean marching bands.
photos courtesy: B. O’Rourke (Thanks Brendan!) πŸ™‚

Okay, I officially am having a wonderful time here in Seoul!
The weather is now sundress worthy, I’ve met some amazing people, and am happy as a clam.
This past Sunday was the Lotus Lantern Festival in Insadong. Insadong and the surrounding area of Jongno is what I’d call the cultural mecca of Seoul. Alongside skyscrapers are beautiful old Buddhist temples and shrines, which were decorated with beautiful lanterns during the weeks leading to the festival. The festival is held in honor of Buddha’s Birthday every year.




Seeking shade underneath countless paper lanterns. If you look closely enough, you can see the paper prayers hung from the bottom for the worshipper’s ancestors and family.
photos courtesy:B O’rourke

Us girls posing for a pic with the lanterns we made ourselves. I love crafts.

Temple. Yes, we actually went in and sat in awe. I plan to go visit for Sunday services simply for the peace I felt here.

The sheer bliss of joining in the Lotus Lantern Parade~we danced to the amazing music alongside the parade-ers. It was pure bliss.
photos courtesy:A. Brady (Thanks Amanda!)