Happy Birthday Buddha

Last Wednesday I went out with Daniel, a Korean friend, who took me to a beautiful Samgyeopsal place in Seomyeon. This was by far the most delicious pork BBQ I’ve had in Korea and the best bit was that it was cooked for us at the table.

Happy Birthday Buddha by @owlslovepears

Happy Birthday Buddha by @owlslovepears

We followed this up with a quick cab ride out to Samgwansa and a hike up THE STEEPEST HILL I HAVE SEEN IN BUSAN… to go to the Buddhist temple at the top and be floored by the amazing lantern display in honour of one, Mr Buddha… {HBTY HBTY HBDB HBTY – hip hip hooray!}

When you get to the top of the hill, by climbing the giant staircase* (I’m sorry I didn’t get a picture) you are greeted by these guys who are there to ward off the evils of this world including wayward pedestrians who ignore the bus shepherds bellows.

Happy Birthday Buddha by @owlslovepears

And this guy who apparently helped the first warriors above get to Earth.

Happy Birthday Buddha by @owlslovepears

2016-05-12 04.49.44

… and this guy who filmed me being appropriately amazed and saying things in English for a Korean television show on KBS.

Happy Birthday Buddha by @owlslovepears

That staircase needs to be walked thoughtfully apparently: if you go up the right hand side you are thinking of the future and the now and if you go up the left hand side you are asking for forgiveness and kindness for past deeds.

Now it was really dark, which is the point when you are visiting a temple but makes it difficult to get snaps of the actual architecture, so please forgive my lack of structure shots [might have to go back and get daytime photos].

We walked to the top of the site and saw the carved temple spire thingy [technical name for it] where you can make a wish with a candle and send it out into the universe after walking around this spire thingy 3 times.

Happy Birthday Buddha by @owlslovepears

I made a wish after doing the laps and placed my candle among others from many people who had done the same thing. Now because it wasn’t my birthday but Buddhas… I don’t think my wish will fail if I tell you… only Buddha has to keep his secret… got it mate?

My wish was for: enlightened engagement for everyone with empathetic endeavour to end enslavement to ego… wordy but direct.

Happy Birthday Buddha by @owlslovepears

We wandered through the lanterns where people had attached their prayers and the coloured lanterns were for the wishes and dreams and hopes people had for the future of those who are living and the white ones are prayers and thoughts of those who have passed. I lingered in the white lantern zone for a moment to send a thought to a sisters friend who passed just a week before.

Happy Birthday Buddha by @owlslovepears

We saw the winding staircase lined with lanterns and the statues guarding the corners of the grounds and the massive display of lanterns.. though you’re completely right [snapchat friend person]… they should try harder next time *winks sarcastically*

Happy Birthday Buddha by @owlslovepears

Happy Birthday Buddha by @owlslovepears

Happy Birthday Buddha by @owlslovepears

We stumbled upon the Chinese horoscope cast of characters and some other symbolic paper statues and they were fantastic… the detail is magnificent.

I have never seen anything like this in Australia before and that may speak to my ignorance in this regard but it was a magical display and a lovely night of walking that ended with a walk-and-talk through Citizens Park and a super friendly *no sarcasm at all* cab ride back to dorms. [seriously – best taxi driver yet, Korea…] Thanks Daniel.

Happy Birthday Buddha by @owlslovepears

Happy Birthday Buddha by @owlslovepears-Cate

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