This morning, we departed by bullet train to Daegu, a city populated since pre-historic times. After centuries of transformation, between 1960 and 1980 Daegu developed into a burgeoning electronics industry, and today it's a hot spot for fashion and technology. After stopping for lunch at a local restaurant, our adventure took us to Donghwasa Temple where we met with a resident Buddhist monk who will give us an orientation tour of the temple. We participated in a special Buddhist dining ceremony and observed a temple service.
Our overnight stay was in the communal Buddhist living quarters. We were told we'd be sleeping on thin, futon-like floor mats, but fortunately OAT had purchased air mattresses which made our night considerably more comfortable. These clean but minimalist accommodations are much simpler than those we're enjoy elsewhere on the trip, but in return we were repaid with a truly unique experience—- the chance to observe and take part in the Korean Buddhist way of life.
Several of us rose early and to participate in a mediation. Some of us slept in until 5 AM! (Don't let anyone tell you being a monk is easy.)
After breakfast we drove to Gyeongju where we encountered cherry blossoms in full bloom. More about that tomorrow.
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