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  • In the Footsteps of Wonhyo

    Last September we travelled in the footsteps of Wonhyo, a beloved and eccentric 7th Century Korean monk who had an awakening after traversing the peninsula. The journey took us 500 kilometers on tracks and unknown by-ways, while leading us to mountain monasteries. We spent many hours with the monks who inhabit the monasteries, talking to them about their experiences, enlightenment and true happiness.

    Their experiences and insights formed a big part of the documentary film “In the Footsteps of Wonhyo”, which we will release in Seoul in September 2014.

    The pilgrimage was the first real attempt to emulate Wonhyo’s journey in 1,300 years. Our hope is that the trail will develop and grow into a Korean version of Spain’s famous Camino de Santiago, offering pilgrims an opportunity to explore themselves as they traverse by foot across the Korean peninsula.

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Documentary Film: In The Footsteps of Wonhyo

The documentary film “In the Footsteps of Wonhyo” has been completed. The film is one facet of the program to establish a permanent Wonhyo pilgrimage trail across the Korean Peninsula. Next steps involve releasing the film in Seoul in September, conducting another pilgrimage to delineate the trail, and writing a book about the Wonhyo Trail. … Continue reading

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Update from the trail: Pilgrimage closing ceremony

Blog Sept. 25 Pilgrimage closing ceremony By Tony MacGregor We walked up the mountain again today –six of us – to visit Wonhyo’s cave and listen to the words of Master Kim, a Taoist teacher, who is also a follower of Wonhyo. Wonhyo (617 – 686), one of Korea’s most beloved and unconventional monks, reached … Continue reading

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Update from the trail: Wonhyo’s Cave

Blog Sept. 24, 2012 Wonhyo’s Cave By Tony MacGregor In a last burst of energy we pushed on through the rugged and spectacular landscape surrounding Wonhyo Bong (peak) and arrived at Wonhyo’s cave near Dangjin, on the west coast of South Chungcheong Province, just south of Incheon. We have been emulating the journey of Wonhyo, … Continue reading

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Update from the trail: The Smile of the Buddha

Blog Sept 23, 2012 The smile of the Buddha Today I realized again what attracted me to Buddhism as I gazed upon a 7th century carving of the historic Buddha and stared deeply at his face. It was his smile. No written treatise could express as well the reality of the Buddha’s experience as well … Continue reading

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Update from the trail: Top-of-mountain Zen

Sept. 22, 2012 Top-of-mountain conversation with Zen master By Tony MacGregor We did a hair-raising climb to the top of a mountain today to see one of South Korea’s greatest monks and learned that he is a huge supporter of Wonhyo, the subject of our pilgrimage. We had a long talk with Seol Jeong Sunim, … Continue reading

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Update from the trail: Zen and the art of film making

Blog Sept. 21 Sudoeksa Zen and the art of film making Kak Seong sunim, the friendly middle aged monk at Magoksa Temple said something that struck a chord with me as we talked to him before we left the temple. When I asked him about learning from nature, he said anything can be your teacher. … Continue reading

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Update from the trail: The Buddha and Nature

Blog Sept. 20, 2012 The Buddha and Nature We finished off our day (Sept. 20) with tea and a long chat with Hoseon sunim, a middle-aged man who had been a monk for 12 years. I asked him about nature and what it can teach us. I had been inspired by the day’s filming near … Continue reading

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Update from the trail: Dragon Gate Gorge

Sept 19, 2012 Traditions Expert Reveals Korean Buddhist Links to Mountain-spirits at Gap-sa Temple by Tony MacGregor Today we were visited by a leading expert on Korea’s religious traditions, mountain temples and folk-shamanism. David A. Mason arrived on Tuesday night at Gyeryong-san Gap-sa Temple where we were staying as we make our way across the … Continue reading

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Second trailer of the Wonhyo pilgrimage

We have made our way across Korea, and have travelled almost 250 kilometers, and it has been an epic journey so far. In this, our second trailer for the coming documentary, we have captured the serenity of the ricepaddies, the clear mind and face of a female Zen-monastic (whom is also a master of the Zen … Continue reading

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In the Footsteps of Wonhyo [Trailer]

We have been on the Wonhyo Pilgrimage now for three days, making our way from Gyeongju to Pyeongtaek in honor of the 7th century monk Wonhyo, who found enlightenment at the end of his journey. 25 days of September have been dedicated to a quest of selfdiscovery, and so far we have visited three temples … Continue reading

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