To be honest, I’m not a person who likes to do yoga or meditation, but I tried to relax by joining the meditation program at Godowon Healing Center.
I took the ‘Ongdalsaem Stay’ package (자연명상 스테이) which is a 2 day, 1-night stay package at Godowon Healing Center. The packages include room and sauna facilities, 3 meditation programs, and 3 meals for 2 people. There are 2 types of rooms offered, rooms with mattresses and rooms with ondol (sleeping with a mat directly on the floor). I don’t use to use ‘ondol’, which is an underfloor heating technic in Korea. So, I choose a room with mattresses, which has twin beds. And with that, I was ready to join all programs in the package!
About Godowon Healing Center
This meditation place is ‘Godowon Healing Center’ in English, while in Korean it is ‘Gipeunsanseok Ongdalsaem’ (깊은산속 옹달샘). Actually, the meaning is very different between languages.
The name in Korean is a children’s song. It means ‘pool with natural springs in the mountains’. Then why is it translated into Godowon Healing Center? The founder of this foundation is called Godowon, so in English, it is called Godowon Healing Center. That’s why we can find his name written all over the place, as well as books by him that can be enjoyed in every room.
Godowon Healing Center is in a mountainous area and has a large area. It is perfect for self-relaxation and meditation. Arriving at the location, we were directed to the Welcoming Center for check-in and a short briefing. We got a location plan, information on facility operating times, name tags, clothing sets, and face masks. After that, we were escorted by the officers to the building rooms.
Godowon Healing Center is famous for its healing program, which is meditation. If you take the ‘Ongdalsaem Stay’ package like me, there are three meditation programs that you can follow:
1) meditation with wooden tools
2) breathing meditation
3) yoga meditation
The three meditation programs provided are a package, but it is not a must to participate. However, all three meditation programs are scheduled, so feel free to arrange your schedule by yourself.
I only took part in 2 meditation programs; the rest of the time was used exploring the facilities.
Before meditating, I thought that this activity would be boring because of the meditation. I know it is about sitting quietly, controlling breathing, and listening to the sounds of nature. However, it turned out that my thoughts were wrong. During this meditation, I moved my whole body from a sitting position, standing, lying down, to a position that is quite difficult. In my opinion, meditating at the Godowon Healing Center is fun, challenging, and relaxing.
Facilities at Godowon Healing Center
During a 2 day stay at Godowon Healing Center, I experienced almost all the facilities that they have. There is a cafeteria, cafe, souvenir shop, library, sauna, and of course enjoying nature. Please note that all facilities have operating hours.
Included in the program are healthy meals at the cafeteria which are included in the package. For 2 days and 1 night here, we get dinner, breakfast, and lunch which are available in the cafeteria. Food is available at the buffet, so we can take it according to each portion. I didn’t expect that they would provide meat. I thought I would only eat vegetables and fruits. But, wow, it tasted great!! Don’t miss the mealtime!
During my stay, I also explored the Godowon Healing Center area and tried all the facilities provided. Being in the mountains, this place has relaxing trekking routes to enjoy nature. On the first day after check-in, I looked around the area, walking on the mountain road and taking pictures. I came to know that there were several lodging buildings here, some were reserved for participants who come on a tour. Incidentally, during my two-day stay, I saw a group of students who were following the program here.
Another facility that you can try is the sauna facility. The sauna is on the 1st floor of the inn building, separated into men and women. Only guests staying in can access this sauna.
I personally recommend trying the sauna, especially before going to bed. Maybe for foreigners living in Korea, experiencing a sauna is still uncomfortable because it is a naked experience. But here it is normal. Try it once in a while, because after a hot bath, your body will feel light. I personally enjoy it!
In my opinion, trying something new is challenging. Meditation is one of the new things I did in Korea. I didn’t expect that the meditation would be so much fun and give me some time to relax.
Godowon Healing Center (깊은산속 옹달샘) Address: 201-61, Useong 1-gil, Noeun-myeon, Chungju-si, Chungcheongbuk-do Korean Address: 충북 충주시 노은면 우성1길 201-61 Operating Hours: 09:00 AM – 6:00 PM
Want to try more meditative experiences in Korea? Click Here to read about temple stay at Beobjusa Temple.