A film about those who are seeking peace in the mountain monasteries of Korea.

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- IN THE FOOTSTEPS OF WONHYO -

The mountains have always been a refuge and haven for the Korean people. Before the coming of Buddhism, the spirits of the mountains were worshiped. They still live on in tiny shrines on the mountains and in the native shamanism, which still flourishes in Korea. It was in the mountains that the Koreans built their monasteries and developed a unique Buddhist perspective and way of life that lives on today. In times of world turmoil and division, we believe these ancient teachings have a vitally relevant message.

In September we plan to explore the ancient mountain monastic way of life of Korea in a documentary film.

The film project evolved from a pilgrimage in 2011 to honor the 7th Century Buddhist monk Wonhyo, who found enlightenment under unusual circumstances in a cave near Pyeongteak after walking with a friend across the Korean Peninsula. The modern-day pilgrims, inspired by Wonhyo’s teachings on oneness and reconciliation, walked 500km across the Korea peninsula in an attempt to emulate his spiritual journey. During their trek, they stayed at mountain monasteries and talked with many monks. It was the answers the monks gave to their questions that inspired the pilgrims to document the perceptions and way of life of Korea’s mountain monks.

- SYNOPSIS -

The documentary is recorded through the eyes of a Western pilgrim, a retired Canadian writer and a Buddhist, who attempts to follow Wonhyo in his walk across the peninsula. He discusses with meditation masters in the monasteries Wonhyo’s teachings on oneness and reconciliation and asks two key questions: “How do you overcome suffering?” and “How do you practice to reach enlightenment?”

- THE WONHYO TRAIL -

The pilgrimage trail, mostly back roads and dirt tracks, meanders roughly 500km from Wonhyo’s birthplace near Gyeongju to Dangjin, located near the end of Wonhyo’s journey.

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