A few weeks ago we took a drive into Palgongsan, a sacred mountain that divides the northern edges of Daegu and Gyeongsan, the small county we live in. I was hoping to find an old temple I'd once spent the night at with a monk friend a few years ago but wasn't sure which of the small side roads I should turn down. The GPS showed two or three temples on every side-road going up the mountain, so I turned down the first one, figuring even if we don't find the temple I had in mind, at least we were guaranteed to find a temple.
When we reached the end of the narrow, winding road, that turned out to be exactly the case, not the temple I had in mind, but a pleasant little Dharma Hall none the less. The most outstanding feature of the temple was a 6 meter or so standing Buddha, painted white white a bright red dot on his forehead that pulled your eye to it. My art school trained eye usually finds something a little, if not very, tacky about many Buddha statues I come across, and this one had a slight degree of that, but I almost always have an affectionate feeling towards/from them, perhaps as the results of another sort of training.
The grounds felt very warm, with the vegetables set out in baskets to dry, and chillies coated in rice flour, and a dog at the entrance that didn't bark. I climbed up to the hall, intending to do three bows, but found the door was locked, so I put my palms together and bowed in front. Around the outside of the hall was another set of ox herding paintings, which to me is sort of like finding the prize in a Cracker Jack box. The the details and colours of the artist's style looked familiar but it was still unique. I liked the forth image, where the little man is lifted off his feet and it appears as though the ox is about to sling his over the gorges, across to the farthest peak. Anyone who's engaged their inner bull knows it sure as well could!