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A Month in South Korea

by Pandit Priyadarshan (Pierre Lefebvre)

During the years I spent close to Swami Veda throughout my time in India, I heard him on numerous occasions speak about how an extraordinarily beautiful country Korea is and how wonderful its people are.  This spring, we had the unique opportunity to experience Swamiji’s words about this very special culture for ourselves and to witness firsthand that everything he used to tell us about Korea is more than true.

A perfectly planned month long programme throughout the entire country was masterfully organized by Hansa ji (Helen Choe).  We were fortunate to spend time and share the teachings of the Himalayan Tradition in Wonju, Seoul, Seo-Myeon, Icheon, Pyeongchang and Goeje, visiting the most amazing places and meeting very interesting and warm hearted people.

We really felt at home, and the care we received was beyond anything we could have imagined.  In addition to the infinite gratitude felt towards Hansa ji and her husband Dr. Choe, we feel very much indebted to all who accompanied us, helped and supported this programme.  Heejung was literally our shadow, taking care of all the little details at every step along the way.  Miryang was a great host and guide in Seoul.  Borim took care in her always motherly way during our stay in Pyeongchang. Dr. Won, so kindly hosted us at her ashram.  Sun Kyu put together a marvelous retreat in Goeje, which gave the chance to many newcomers to be introduced to the Tradition.  Young Gi, Soon Young and so many others were always smiling and ready to help in any ways they could.

Along with the different components of integrated hatha yoga (joints & glands, asana, relaxation, pranayama and meditation), the sessions organized by Hansa ji had Sanskrit pronunciation as an important focus.  With the Korean TTP students, we even recited the entire text of the yoga sutras, word by word, during a weekend retreat at the Toji Cultural center near Wonju.  Although I cannot affirm this with certainty, I’m quite sure that this endeavour was never attempted or achieved within the world wide AHYMSIN family.  All thanks go to Hansa ji and all credit to the teachers in training who went through this exercise.

We also had wonderful sessions at Mr. Jung’s center and at Hansa Yoga, both in Seoul.  Both centers were very well organized and the classes were attended by a large number of very sincere students.

It is always so inspiring to see how the people whose lives were touched by Swamiji keep on working tirelessly to continue spreading the teachings of the Himalayan sages.

Knowing of my background and past studies in classical guitar, Dr. Choe, who is himself a classical guitarist, organized a concert with two very impressive and quite accomplished young performers.

We were also able to witness the wonderful cultural heritage, the traditional houses, temples, palaces as well as the incredible natural beauty of the land.  We had the great fortune to attend the celebrations of Buddha’s birthday at the exquisite site of the 1000 year old Yongmunsa temple in the mountains.

We were, as always, very much grateful for the opportunity to share and learn from each other, diving deeper in the wealth of wisdom that all students of the Himalayan Tradition carry with them.

Photos from all events

Click for full size image. Each photo is named.

Asana SessionSanskrit pronunciationYoga sutra recitation

Group photo of TTP studentsBuddha birthday at Yongmunsa templeClass at Goeje island

Group photo at Goeje islandClass at Healience resortGroup photo at Healience resort

Class at Mr Jung centerGroup photo at Mr Jung centerHansa Yoga Wonju

Contemplative walkingGuitar concert



The Himalayan Tradition of Yoga Meditation

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Breath Awareness     Qualified Preceptor
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