Guinsa (Temple of Salvation and Kindness), in the Yeonhwa area of the Sobaek Mountains located near Danyang in Chungcheongbuk-do, South Korea, is the headquarters of the Cheontae school of Korean Buddhism. Guinsa is the administrative center of over 140 sub-temples and hermitages of the Cheontae sect.
Although the architecture of Guinsa follows that of many other Buddhist temples in Korea, it is also markedly different in that the structures are several stories tall, instead of the typical one or two stories that structures in many other Korean temples have. This may be due to the restraints of the valley in which it is located and to modern construction techniques, but it creates a visual experience that is both beautiful and unique from what one sees at other temples.
Up to 10,000 monks can live here at any one point while the kitchen can serve food for twice that number when needed. The temple maintains and operates a large farm system covering over 60,000 pyeong/0.198 km/0.0765 sq MI and provides much of the food prepared and consumed at the temple. As with many Korean temples, free simple vegetarian meals are served for all visitors in Guinsa at setting time (about 6:30-7:00 for breakfast, 11:30-13:30 for lunch, 18:30 for dinner), no matter your race or religion. But as Buddhism believing everything people enjoy now comes from karma of their past acts and thoughts, they have to finish their meals, whatever they have taken.
The ubiquitous black slate roof tiles found commonly on Korean temples is occasionally replaced by orange glazed tiles reminding one of those seen on the roofs of Beijing's Forbidden City. Some buildings resemble the Potala Palace in Lhasa with their use of height and vertical lines.
Guinsa operates Geumgang University between Nonsan and Daejeon.
The 2 days Temple Stay Program, twice a month, includes getting up at 3am for the morning ceremony, can be booked via internet or phone.