A while back, Barry at Ox Herding had a great cartoon about spiritual swag that reminded me of an amazing street in Seoul. It’s the street in front of the main Buddhist temple in Seoul, Jogye Temple.
What I love is the variety of stuff that’s available. When I was practicing in the US (twenty years ago), if one wanted a mala, incense, or a Buddha statue, you had to look through a catalogue, (Shasta Abbey and Dharma Crafts were the best), and then mail in your order. Four or five weeks later, it would arrive, and you’d hope it was what you wanted. You had to order from a catalogue description or tiny picture, so you could never be quite sure.
Of course, none of this makes practice any easier, and we shouldn’t mistake this stuff for the essence that we have to uncover, but, sometimes, it is kind of fun to wander through here and see what’s new and check out the different varieties of incense. And when you get tired, there’s always a very nice tea shop nearby.
1 thought on “Buddhist Swag”
I’ve spent many happy hours wandering through all these shops, looking for something truly “special” among all the mass-produced stuff. And I’ve met some nice shop owners who were grateful for my interest. And I also remember two or three nice tea shops and restaurants within a block or two. It’s a special area!