Mu Sang Sa

Mu Sang Sa (or Gyeryong San International Zen Center) is an international Zen temple where anyone from around the world who is interested in meditation can easily learn about and practice Zen in Korea.

Established in March 2000,  Mu Sang Sa supports a community of foreign monks, nuns, and laypeople who want to practice Zen following the teachings of Korean Zen Master Seung Sahn. Many students come to practice or train here and later return to help the Zen Centers in their own countries.

<< Sakyamuni Buddha inside the Main Buddha Hall, Mu Sang Sa

Like many Korean Zen temples, Mu Sang Sa hosts two three-month intensive meditation retreats (Kyol Che) a year, in summer and winter. Koyl Che is a time when one can completely devote oneself to meditation practice away from worldly distractions. At other times of the year, it organizes short weekend retreats and hold weekly Zen Meditation Classes on every Sunday.

Mu Sang Sa is located on Kye Ryong Sahn, a mountain famed for its strong mystical energy in Korea. It sits directly beneath Kuk Sa Bong (National Teacher's Peak), where long ago an eminent master predicted that 800 Great Dharma Teachers would appear to help this world. Other great temples are also located on this mountain, such as Dong Hak Sa, Kap Sa and Shin Won Sa.

Many great Korean Zen Masters, such as Kyong Ho Sunim and Man Gong Sunim have also practiced on Kye Ryong Sahn. Zen Master Seung Sahn carefully viewed many sites over a period of five years before finally choosing the present location at the end of 1998.

What to see

The temple consists of three buildings, the Main Buddha Hall, a Zen Hall and the Residence building. The Zen building has two floors, the first containing eight residential rooms, and the second a large Zen room in which everyone practices together. The Dormitory building has three stories, the first housing a kitchen and dining room, and the other floors, residents' rooms.

In 2004, the 60 pyeong wooden Buddha Hall was completed, with six carved wooden dragonheads on the front, forming an impressive sight.

The Main Buddha Hall, or Dae Ung Jon in Korean, sits on a small rise above the Zen building. It is has an inspiring view of the valley of rice fields below and the mountains in the far distance. The Buddha Hall is clearly visible from the valley and bids an impressive welcome to visitors as they approach Mu Sang Sa.

Inside the Buddha Hall, Sakyamuni Buddha is enshrined in the center, with the Samantabhadra Bodhisattva (Bohyeon Bosal) and the Manjushri Bodhisattva (Munsu Bosal) on each side, forming a triad representing great enlightenment, great action, and great wisdom respectively. On the left wall, there is a painting showing the Amitabha Buddha (Amitabul) and the Western Pure Land on the altar for spirits of the deceased, and just next to this is a memorial altar for Seon Master Seungsahn.

American Zen Master Dae-Bong Sunim, who has stayed at Mu Sang is one of the founding pioneer of Mu Sang Sa. He has been staying at the temple since the very beginning of the construction, practicing and teaching in a run-down prefab house in order to uphold his teacher's wishes

Another American abbot Mu Shim Sunim, who made the most of his more than twenty year's experience living in Korea, constructed the Main Buddha Hall and meticulously carries out various projects around the temple. These two monks received Dharma transmission from their teacher, Zen Master Seung Sahn.

They are well sought after by students who visit Mu Sang Sa.


Mu Sang Sa, Kye Ryong San International Zen Center
452-13, Hyanghan-ri, Eomsa-myeon, Gyeryong-si, Chungnam Prov., 320-917, South Korea.
Tel: 82-42-841-6084 | Fax: 82-42-841-1202 | E-mail:

By Train
This is probably the most convenient way to get here. The nearest train station is Du-gye (on the Ho-Nam line), about 2 and half hours from Yongsan Station (subway/rail interchange no.135 on the dark blue no.1 line) Costs between 10,000 - 12,000 Won. The trains run every hour.

Another alternatives is to take the KTX (Korean Train Express) leaving from Yongsan Station at 08:25 and arriving at Du-gye Station at 09:25. And another at 09:20 and arriving at Dugye Station at 10:37. This hour long journey costs between 21,000 - 23,000 Won.

From Du-gye it is a short taxi ride of about 20 minutes to Mu Sang Sa and the cost should be between 7,000 to 8,000 Won. If you plan to come by train, please note that the weekends and national holidays are very busy travel times so you should book or buy your tickets well in advance.

By Car
From the Kyong Bu Expressway No.1, join the Daejeon Nam Bu Son Hwan Go Sok Guk Do (Daejeon Nam Bu Son Hwan Expressway No.300). Then, take the Ho-nam Go Sok Guk Do Ji Son (Ho-Nam Expressway No.251) and exit at the Sodaejon I/C (West Daejeon interchange). Drive towards Nonsan on National Road No.4. Drive for about 9.5 km from the I/C and you will get to Yang-jong 3-way junction (Yang-jong Sam-go-ri). Just before you get to the junction, you will see a road sign saying “Jeonju 75 km, Nonsan 21 km.” About 200m later, you should see a set of traffic lights on a bridge - go straight through this.

At the next set of traffic lights which is about 50m further, you will see an S-Oil gas station in front of the lights on the right hand side, and a small convenience store on the right-hand corner (Yang-jong Super). You should see a small blue sign for Mu Sang Sa on the wall above the blue phone boxes. Turn right before the traffic lights into the small lane that is next to this store. You will pass the Agricultural Co-op Bank (Nong-hyub) on the right and go under a road bridge. Continue along this small road (which is usually wide enough for one car) for about 2.2 km until you reach a T-junction with the Hyang-jok San Muk Jip restaurant in front of you and a sign for Mu Sang Sa. Turn right and drive for about 1.6 km past a small pond and you should arrive.

By Bus
There is an express bus service from Seoul Nambu terminal that goes to the Shindo-an bus stop near Omsa-ri. It takes about 3 hours. The buses run eight times a day at approximately one and a half hourly intervals. From there, it is about 20 minutes by taxi to Mu Sang Sa, costing around 7,000 Won.

From Overseas
All international flights to Seoul arrive at Incheon International Airport. It is about an hour from downtown Seoul.

There is an express airport bus service direct to the city of Daejeon. The buses leave every hour from 6 a.m. to 10 p.m. and the journey takes about 3 hours. You should get off in front of the city hall (Shi-chong) in Dunsan-dong which is the second stop after you leave the expressway. From there you can take a taxi to Omsa-ri in Shindo-an which takes about 40 minutes and costs around 25,000 Won.

For (Incheon Int'l Airport - Daejeon Express Bus Service Time Table),

If your flight is arriving late at night, you may want to spend the night at a hotel near the airport and take the bus the next morning. Sky Hotel is a small budget hotel about ten minutes from the airport. They have a free shuttle and charge about U$ 80 per night for a single/twin room.

If you need more travel details, please contact us.