The meditation hall
at Korean temples
The meditation hall at Korean temples is simple in decor. The floor is 'ondol'(heated floor) so that the monks are not numbed by the winter cold. The meditation garb hangs on the rear wall. The center brown cushion is reserved for the meditation leader. The meditation leader holds the bamboo stick seen on the floor to the right. This bamboo stick (Chukbi) is used to signal the beginning and the ending of meditation by striking three times. Also it is used to stroke the monk's shoulder so as to release the body stiffness caused by sitting straight for long periods of time.
Meditation is one of the three major components of Buddhism and is ultimately prefected as a result of enlightenment. It helps one to subdue discursive thoughts and unwholesome ideas. Meditation can be accomplished in any location, whether in the rugged mountains or the meditation halls of the temples. Korean Buddhism strongly emphasizes meditation.
Maditation is always taught by the leader without textbooks and has become a highly developed process and complicated discipline.