Monk playing a traditional drum in a Buddhist Monastery in South Korea
I did travel to Korea numerous times. My first visit was in 2002, and since then I have travelled tremendously inside Korea and have performed over 600 concerts there.
These were all sorts of concerts. With some rock band, with jazz Bands, with philharmonic Orchestras, at Yoga Studios, in big theatres, in cafes and clubs and in churches, and also, many in different Buddhist Monasteries.
Korean Buddhist Monasteries are some of the most serene and peaceful places I have ever visited. The monks are quite fond of my music. Some of them can speak fluent English too!
The typical day in a monastery begins at 4 am with the meditation, and goes on till 9 pm. On special days you have concerts and such. And then there are some special sessions of people with the Head Monks or senior monks.
I was lucky to get one such session one day with the senior most monk of a very big monastery. It was serene.
I went in and sat doing nothing.
After a while finally The Head Monk walked in and asked me
What are you Doing?
I said Nothing, Master
The monk simply left and returned after 4 hours, and asked me again
What are you doing?
Nothing, Master. I am not finished yet O' Master.
Apparently I did pass the test, and our session started.
After a while of teachings the Master said,
Do you understand that you don’t really exist?
Upon which I very politely replied
To whom are you telling that Master?
He seemed highly pleased with that reply.
The teachings went on for a while and then the Master ordered me
Do the opposite of what I tell you.
So I didn’t.
With this not doing successfully, He seemed quite happy !!!
Then he said I have never met someone so thoughtless in my life.
I bowed down and humbly said Thank you Master
He blessed me and said Keep up the good practice.
There ended our session.
I feel I am a blessed soul…