rt2k6 - Korea to Britain the hard way

2006-02-19 16:58

Da Mo

Well, the journey has begun. Our mates Stu and Toni are here from NZ, and we start things off with a trip to Busan, which we'd somehow managed to avoid for three years.

It's now 2300 and Deb is having a shower, after which we will go in search of grilled fishies. Never know how much you miss the sea until you live in the mountains for a year.

The point of today's trip was Hae-In Sa - arguably South Korea's most auspicious buddhist temple, home to the Tripitaka Koreana - the oldest wooden printing blocks in the world, 80-some thousand of them - and a place of remarkable tranquility. We've been there three times.

Sitting on the Dragon Steps around dusk, we were shown by various monks into their dining room, and given a meal, more or less just because we were there at dinner time. No soup, they apologised, because we were the last to arrive. Simple food.

As we were leaving, one of the monks gave me a picture of Da Mo (Bodhidharma), the founder of Chan (Zen), to bring us good luck. The monk had no idea, of course, that we were about to leave on a journey which would take us back to where Da Mo was from, India - he just said that whether we believed or not, it would bring us good luck.

According to wikipedia Da Mo is "depicted as a rather ill-tempered, profusely bearded and wide-eyed barbarian. He is described as "The Blue-Eyed Barbarian" in Chinese texts."

Some would say that's not altogether too different from me.