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Temple Etiquette

Inside the temple

Surrounding temples there are often a variety of cultural artifacts and
natural features that one should avoid damaging.
This applies not only to legally established cultural relics, historic artifacts, and the like ,
but also to those that have not been legally recognized.
It is also important not to disturb monks or other believers engaged in prayer or meditation.
Other than that, visitors should observe the following guidelines:

a) Do not drive vehicles into the temple grounds.( Instead, park in designated spaces.)
b) Do not wear extremely revealing or loud clothing.
c) Do not stare at or take pictures of ceremonies in progress or those engaged in worship or meditation.
d) Do not speak loudly or make excessive noise.
e) No running or horseplay within temple grounds.
f) When meeting a monk, offer a greeting with hapjang (joining hands), banbae(bow).
g) One should not ask monks age nor about prior life.
h) When conversing with monks, do not face them too directly or stand above them.
i) Do not act in such a way as to disturb temple ceremonies or other events.
j) Do not spit.
k) Do not eat food brought along within temple precincts. A temple is not a picnic ground.
l) Do not sit on the steps of temple buildings or upon a pagoda, etc.
m) Toilet facilities are usually far from the main temple grounds, so it is
     recommended that one make use of them before entering.
n) Do not open doors that are left closed.
o) Do not enter prohibited areas.
p) Do not drink liquor or chew gum within temple grounds.
q) It is customary to offer a hapjang greeting along with a single small bow
    in the direction of the main temple buildings when first entering.
r) When one first arrives at the main temple complex, unless one has
   urgent business to do, one should first enter the temple hall and pay reverence to Buddha.
s) Usually there are several staircases up to a temple building and three
   entrances into the hall. One should use the stairs and entrances on
   either side. In case there is only one central staircase exists, one
   should avoid using the central part of the staircase.

Inside the temple hall

a) Always remove shoes when entering a temple building
b) Do not wear slippers.
c) Do not walk around with barefoot.
d) Do not take pictures inside the hall.
e) When first entering the hall, show respect to Buddha with hapjang
    banbae and offer sambae(three prostrations) from the proper place.
f) Do not use the central door nor stay on the central path.
g) Do not step on a cushion.
h) Take off hats and button up.
i) Sit with a straight posture and hands crossed.
j) Walk with tip toed.