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Buddhism in the Year 2013: Swastikas, Spirituality, and Smartphones

(Gyeonggi-do, South Korea) In Bubryunsa, a beautiful temple set in the mountains about two hours from Seoul, I was happy to participate in a temple stay with fellow artists. I was struck at seeing this swastika, used without the Nazi connotations, but to represent what it originally supposed to—auspiciousness, eternity, and Buddhism.

Beautiful!

Beautiful!

Tae Min, the monk who guided us through a tea ceremony, meditation, and a tour of the temple grounds, made me smile when I saw that she has a smartphone. It’s the same one I have: a Samsung Galaxy S3.

Hello, fellow Android user!

Hello, fellow Android user!

Her phone’s cleaner had a Buddha on it.

Buddha!

Buddha!

We saw a lot of buddhas.

Each statue is carved out of one rock. They were made first and then the structure was built around them.

Each statue is carved out of one rock. They were made first and then the structure was built around them.

And I mean, a lot of buddhas.

Whoa, buddha, whoa.

Whoa, buddha, whoa.

But I think the statue I liked best was this one. He looks badass, and probably does martial arts.

A sword!

A sword!

I leave you with this lovely rock balancing we came across. Peace, love, and get your Zen on.

Rock balancing!

Rock balancing!

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