Friday, July 24, 2015

Buddhist diet for a clear mind: nuns preserve art of Korean temple food

By Ari Shapiro
Sun Woo directs the visitor program at Jinkwansa, a Buddhist temple outside Seoul famous for preserving the art of Korean temple food. Behind her are giant jars filled with fermented soybeans. Ari Shapiro/NPR
SOUTH KOREA---Detox diets come and go, like any other fad. In South Korea, one popular diet has staying power. It has been around for at least 1,600 years, ever since the founding of the Jinkwansa temple in the mountains outside of Seoul. "You can't understand monastic culture without understanding monastic food," says Gye Ho, the Overt Nun who runs this temple. She has been a practicing nun for more than 50 years. Like all of the nuns here, Gye Ho has a shaved head and wears traditional gray robes. "The food creates the entire human being," she says. "It shapes our mind and body." [link]