When I came to Korea 10 years ago I visited many cities around the country. Out of all the places I went to, the one I loved the most was Gongju. Located just west of the north end of the Gyeryong Mountain range, the city was one of the capitols of the Baekje kingdom, and has many historical sites from that time period.

     The Baekje kingdom was part of the Three Kingdoms period, when the Baekje, Shilla, and Goryo Kingdoms ruled the peninsula. Baekje was a kingdom of great culture and entertained emissaries from all over Asia, possibly as from as far away as Africa. Baekje also had close ties with Japan, and one of the royal family was a mother of an early Japanese emperor. 

     Anyway, I fell in love with the city and the Baekje culture, and always hoped that one day I would live in Gongju. Well, after 10 years I finally got my wish.

     Three weeks ago I moved into a new apartment located within the Gongju city limits. Near the Shinwonsa Temple complex, I am, technically, living in Gongju by about 200 meters! 

     I have a small apartment that is all I need with 2 rooms , a small kitchen and a bathroom. Total space is about 230 sq ft. It is in a house in a small community located at the base of Mt. Gyeryong near the entrance to Shinwonsa Temple. In front of the house is a little stream with an iron suspension bridge across it. I am the only foreigner living in this community and everyone has been so nice to me and check on me regularly.

     I also have some more news! As of March 15 I am officially a member of Saedongnae! This is the group in Maum Meditation that operates all the farms, concessions and services we have here at the main center. Technically I have always been a member of Saedongnae, but under the auspices of the publishing company. Since I live at the main center now it just makes sense that I move into the main body of the group. As a foreigner I have different needs from the natives, and there was always a lot of confusion as to who was responsible for some of them. With this move there will be a lot less confusion in those matters.

     As soon as I can get everything unpacked and set up I will post some pictures of the new place and my neighborhood. Right now we are still in the winter foliage (or lack thereof) and it's pretty drab around here. But soon the leaves and greenery will all be out and it will be so beautiful!
3/21/2013 10:08:29 pm

Oh, Joe. What exciting news!! I am so glad for you. Please send the photos asap. Are you talking about the temple that comes up on the right after you pass the entrance to the main center??? Hope to see you soon.


Joe Gattis
4/2/2013 02:11:31 pm

Hi Chin!! Good to hear from you. Yes, I am just a very short walk from that temple, Shinwansa. Hope you guys can make it back soon! Thanks again!


Your comment will be posted after it is approved.

Leave a Reply.