Korean Zen training follows the ancient agricultural and seasonal patterns that shaped the development of early Buddhism. Each summer and winter, monks and nuns throughout the peninsula settle into 90-day retreats, periods of intense sitting practice broken with rare moments for ceremonies and celebrations.
I've been fortunate to participate in portions of these retreats in the past and anyone can join in these retreats by going to Mu Sang Sa, a temple that hosts Western students near Daejeon.
Today's video shows the life of a group of Korean nuns on the winter retreat. In order to make the movie interesting, it focuses on the more social aspects of the retreat - hikes, ceremonies and festivals. But, from my experience, 98% of the retreat consists of silent meditation, with every day being exactly like every other day (except of course for the mind-movies).
Even though this video is long, you might enjoy watching extensive portions of it. It may give new insight into traditional Asian Zen training.
Thank you for reading Ox Herding. May your quiet sitting bring you great joy!
I'll return to "regular" posting the week of October 31.