KOREAN TEMPLE, HAEINSA

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Words can mirror the mind, but sometimes they are unable to express concepts and feelings. Some states of the mind are even inexpressible. The inability to convey my feelings through words happened to me today while visiting Haeinsa in Korea. I cannot describe the magic of that place through words. The temple stands in the mountain.

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Haeinsa is one of the biggest temples in Korea. Besides the main temple, there are many small temples. One of these is Baekryunam where Sungchul, a monk got enlightenment. This is his famous saying: Mountain is mountain, water is water. It means that reality is as it is not as we want it to be. Are we able to see things as they are? If yes, we are enlightened.

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As for the temple and its surroundings, the photos I have taken today can show the beauties of this unique place better than my words.WP_20181023_015

Ettore Grillo, author of these books:
– A Hidden Sicilian History
– The Vibrations of Words
– Travels of the Mind
http://www.ettoregrillocom.wordpress.com
http://www.ettoregrillo.wordpress.com
http://www.amazon.com/author/ettoregrillo

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THANKSGIVING DAY IN A CANADIAN MONASTERY

WP_20181009_003Today, October 8 is Thanksgiving Day in Canada. In the monastery where I am staying until Thursday, the Sisters decorated the chapel with the fruits of the Earth: pumpkins, squashes, ears of corn, onions, and so on.

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Our chef roasted two turkeys and baked a delicious pumpkin pie. As an exception, we had a glass of wine at lunch.
The whole weekend is Thanksgiving Day. One of the workers in the kitchen said that she celebrated Thanksgiving yesterday, with thirty-five people in her small house!

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Some Canadians prefer to go for a hike and enjoy the special colors of the trees in this season.
In Canada, Thanksgiving Day is related to the traditional harvest festival. In a sense, it is different from that in The United States. The dates of the two celebrations don’t coincide, as well as their symbolic meanings.

In my hometown Enna, we have a few celebrations related to the harvest. Some of them date back to the time of Demeter, the goddess of agriculture.

One day, I asked a friend of mine, “Can you imagine a world without celebrations and rites? Being outside rites means to be outside life.”

“I don’t think so. For me all days are the same,” he answered.
“How can you say that! Without rites there is no human life, indeed. Everyone conforms to festivity, celebrations and rites.”
“I am different from others. Getting over rites and rituals is my aim.”
“So, you don’t celebrate anything!”
“No, I don’t. Everyday I have a celebration in my heart. I am beyond rites and rituals,” he said.

On Thursday, I am leaving for Korea. There, I’ll find different traditions, but people’s heart doesn’t differ.

Ettore Grillo, author of
– A Hidden Sicilian History
– The Vibrations of Words
– Travels of the Mind
http://www.ettoregrillocom.wordpress.com
http://www.ettoregrillo.wordpress.com
http://www.amazon.com/author/ettoregrillo

LABYRINTH – TRAVEL – MEDITATION

st-francis-labyrinth-closeup-20075673[2]The symbol of the labyrinth dates back over 4,000 years. It is widespread all over planet Earth. Symbols are the work of a secret geometry and predate human mind. This symbol is related to the idea of travel.
Since ancient times, people used to go on a pilgrimage. In Greece, that to Delphi was renowned.
In the Christian era the pilgrimage par excellence was that to the Holy Sepulcher of Jerusalem. But, in the middle ages it was quite dangerous to go there. So, above all in northern Europe, the real journey to Jerusalem was replaced with a symbolic pilgrimage to a cathedral labyrinth. Pilgrims walked on the labyrinth following a sinuous path up to the center which symbolized Jerusalem. At that time, most cathedrals had a labyrinth inside. Later, they were effaced, because people made fun of them. Nowadays, the only cathedral labyrinth left is that of Chartress Cathedral, in France. But, above all in North America, there are many new labyrinths reproducing that of Chartress Cathedral. We can find them in churches, parks, hospitals, prisons, and schools. There are even labyrinths printed on canvas.
How to walk the labyrinth? Just follow the path. While walking you may focus your attention on your breathing or on your steps. When you arrive at the center, rest there for some minutes and watch yourself. Life is like a labyrinth. It is not straight, but full of twists leading to the center.
A doctor, after creating a labyrinth in a hospital, said that the term disease is a compound word: (dis) (ease). We get sick when we are not at ease. Walking the labyrinth calms our minds and helps get over the dis-ease we are suffering from. It is also a kind of meditation. It cleanses both mind and body to live a different life.
Ettore Grillo, author of
– A Hidden Sicilian History
– The Vibrations of Words
– Travels of the Mind
http://www.ettoregrillocom.wordpress.com
http://www.ettoregrillo.wordpress.com
http://www.amazon.com/author/ettoregrillo