November 22, 2018 - February 19, 2019
Basic Requirements (minimum one week participation)The retreat is open to all who have had some experience of meditation in a Kwan Um School of Zen center and can sit for a minimum of one week. (Those who have no experience in Kwan Um School of Zen center may be accepted after the guiding teachers’ review of applications)
Monks and nuns are required to sit the full 90 days.
Applicants must be over 18 years old and are expected to stay for the complete period for which they have applied. Retreat accommodation is in simple, shared rooms, sleeping on the floor (heated in winter) with mattresses.
Entry DatesStart of Kyol Che - November 22, 2018
Nov 20 (For all participants entering retreat from Nov 22 please arrive at Musangsa on this day)
Dec 1, 15, 29
January 5(Entry for Intensive Week), 19
February 2, 9
Arrival & Registration-International participants entering at the start of the retreat on Thursday, November 22, 2018, must arrive at Musangsa no later than Tuesday, November 20, 2018 by 12pm.
-Local participants from Korea may enter on November 21, 2018 by 12pm.
-For each entry date, please arrive at Musangsa by 12pm promptly. Upon arrival, please register at the Musangsa office and then go to an important orientation at 1:30pm.
Exit from retreat are on Saturdays ONLY after lunch only unless otherwise announced.
Basic RulesParticipants who join the retreat should agree to the following:
• Follow the Retreat and Temple Rules of the Kwan Um School of Zen
• Observe silence from the start to the end of your retreat
• Participate fully in daily practice
• Not shave your head if you are a layperson – you should keep at least 1 cm of hair
• Take care that your actions do not disturb others and conform to the behavior and etiquette required at a Korean temple - participants will be instructed on this as part of their practice.
• Not to have any outside communications during the retreat
• Not to use mobile phones, personal computers, tablets, and any personal telecommunication or entertainment devices during the retreat. If you need to use those for emergency, Head Monk will help you.
TravelIf you are coming from overseas we can provide you with travel directions from Incheon Airport to Musangsa. If you are joining the retreat after the start, plan to arrive at least one day before your entry day to adjust to the local situation, especially if you are coming from abroad. You can stay in hotel/motel accommodation outside the temple until the entry day, in the town near Musangsa called Eomsari, or in Seoul.
Accommodation Before Entering the RetreatKyol Che participants who sit the full three months can stay at Musangsa without charge for two nights prior to the commencement of the retreat. If you are coming for a shorter retreat stay, you should organize your own accommodation before you get to Musangsa. You should plan to arrive at Musangsa before 12:00 pm. on the Saturday entry day. Prior to arriving in Korea, let us know your travel details early so that we can advise you of any local travel arrangements, by emailing to firstname.lastname@example.org. If you need help with booking accommodations, let us know early.
1) Please make sure you have a valid passport. Also, please check with the Korean embassy in your country whether the type of visa you will receive is of sufficient length for your stay at Musangsa. For more information, please check the following Korea Immigration website
2) It is very difficult to obtain a long-term visa for Korea and it is not permissible for any participant to overstay the allotted time on their visa.
3) If you plan to sit the full 90-day retreat, it will actually be necessary to stay longer than 90 days in Korea, including your arrival date, departure date, orientation, etc. Since most tourist visas are for 90 days or less, you should choose one of the following options:
I. Visa extension trip to Japan
It is possible to make a visa extension trip to Japan during the retreat, and receive another 90 days in Korea. The cost of the trip which is to be made by ship, should be met by the participant. If your country also requires a visa for Japan, you will need to obtain that before the retreat begins. Please check for visa requirements to enter Japan.
II. Those who do not wish to make a visa extension trip to Japan during the retreat and wish to sit for longest period of time may enter on December 1 , which will allow you to finish on the last day of the retreat (Tuesday, February 19, 2019) along with the rest of the group. In this case, the actual period of the retreat will be 81 days.
III. Musangsa DOES NOT service applications for visa extensions as current Korean Immigration law is stringent on short term extensions. Kyol Che participants are recommended to schedule their retreat participation dates to within their visa limit dates to avoid hassles or denial of future entry into Korea. Korea Immigration website
* Citizens of countries which automatically receive 6 month tourist visas to Korea (such as Canada) are able to sit the full 90 day retreat without a visa extension.
No Outside ContactsParticipants must remain inside the temple area for the entire duration of their retreat. Telephone calls, chats, e-mail, letters and contacts with visitors are not allowed, except in case of an emergency. If this occurs, the Director can be contacted by e-mail, fax, or telephone and you will be notified.
ClothingWhile participating in Kyol Che, all participants should wear the traditional meditation clothes. This means gray meditation pants, working jacket and bowing robe.
Meditation clothes can also be borrowed from the temple upon your arrival, but sizes and limited. Shirts with collars should not be worn. Round-neck shirts, T-shirts and sweaters are best. These should be white, gray or a dull color.
Personal clothing brought to the retreat, including socks, etc. should be of muted, dull colors such as gray, brown or white, to blend in well with the gray-colored robes. If you have taken five precepts or more in the Kwan Um School of Zen, please bring your small kasa or long robe (as appropriate) for chanting practice.
FoodIt is not possible to satisfy the special food requirements of all participants. All participants are requested to accept the simple, vegetarian diet provided. Supplementary foodstuffs are not permitted.
Personal Health and InsuranceYou are expected to take responsibility for your own health. We cannot assume responsibility for personal medicines, medical and dental expenses. It is not possible to visit a doctor during the retreat except in cases of serious emergency. If you have any existing illness or physical injury that requires ongoing medical treatment, please do not apply for this retreat.
Transportation CostsAll participants need to bear their own transportation costs. This includes:
• Round-trip airfare from your home country to Seoul,
• Round-trip fare by ship, between Busan and Japan if a visa renewal trip is needed (approx. US $300)
• Transportation costs to and from the airport
• Cost of overnight accommodation in a hotel or motel (yeo-gwan) if necessary, due to late flight arrival in Korea (approx. US $40 upwards).
How to ApplyIf you wish to join the Kyol Che Retreat please complete and return the Kyol Che Application form by downloading or by the online form with a recent photograph of yourself. All applications must be submitted a minimum of 1 week before your entry date. Seats are limited for the retreat and applications will be considered on a first come, first serve basis with the approval form guiding teachers, so apply early to avoid disappointment. Please ensure that you: • indicate the period that you wish to sit with exact entry and exit dates
• provide full information about your meditation experience
• attach a recent photograph
• fully complete the application form
All applications need to be reviewed and approved by the Musangsa Guiding Teachers. This also applies to former retreat participants. br
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For more information please contact the Musangsa Office.