Dong-ahn-guh (동안거, Winter Vassa Meditation Retreat)


What is Dong-Ahn-Guh?


Dong-ahn-guh means a Winter Meditation Retreat. It’s similar to Vassa in Buddhism (wiki: Vassa) Traditionally, the people who practice spirituality in Korea embark on the meditation retreat during the winter.

The retreat starts on the tenth full-moon day and ends on the first full-moon day next year on the lunar calendar. Dong-ahn-guh 2018 started on Thanksgiving Day (Nov. 22nd) It will continue for 3 months and end on February 18th, 2019.

After that, for 10 days we wrap up the retreat and prepare to return to our everyday life. So, March 1st will be the official last day.

During the dong-ahn-guh, we still live our everyday life. But we reduce the working hour by 30% than that of our summer days. Then, we reflect and meditate upon correcting wrong habits and building good characters within us during the extra hours. Regularly, we meet with other fellow students and share the awakening and insights we obtained.


Setting the Intention


Dong-ahn-guh begins with setting the intention. What to correct, what to change, or which characters to build.

Here are my intentions for Dong-ahn-guh 2018. I may add more intentions later during the meditation retreat.



My Plan for the Winter Meditation Retreat 2018


Period: 11/22/2018 – 3/1/2019 (100 days)

My Intention:

  1. As I run my business this year, I have experienced abusement and accusation for what I didn’t do. They had authority in that area and misused the power to me. I hated them and couldn’t control my anger. At those times, I also put the wall around them and treated those people in the same manner as they treated me. Now I understand that I couldn’t help choosing that attitude because I was weak at the time. During this Dong-ahn-guh, I want to change my pattern. Now as I reflect and study myself, I want to build my inner strength and grow my wisdom. Understand why I attracted those unfair situations in my life. I don’t want to repeat the same pattern from now on, and prevent them from happening in my life again.
  2. When I face a situation which I’m not satisfied with, I will not react habitually anymore. Instead, I ask myself three questions: (1) why did (does) this situation happen in my life? (2) what can I learn from this situation? (3) how can I improve it, or prevent from repeating it next time?
    I don’t need to seek immediate answers to those questions because sometimes it comes as a part of a bigger curriculum for my growth. As contemplating on the questions, I will develop my introspection and discernment.(*added on 11/24/2018)
  3. I will not disrespect or judge any businesses negatively. Focus on studying how those businesses are contributing to our community/society.
  4. Don’t be attached to the previous organization which I had worked for for 20 years. I admit that that organization is also doing its role in this world. I learn life lessons from my experiences. And I will move one and be free from the memories.
  5. I’m preparing my next three-year business with humility and Hongik (benefitting all) attitude.



2018년 동안거 계획


기간: 11/22/2018 – 3/1/2019 (100일)


    1. 올해 비즈니스를 하는 동안, 사람들이 나를 무시하거나 내가 하지 않은 일들에 대해 억울하게 누명을 씌울 때가 몇 번 있었습니다. 그들은 자기 분야에서 권위를 가진 사람들이었고, 나에게 그 힘을 함부러 사용하였습니다. 그럴 때마다, 나를 더이상 업신여기지 못하도록, 나도 그들에게 벽을 치고, 그 사람들을 똑같은 태도로 대하면서 똑같은 저급기운을 보냈습니다. 내 속에 그런 성질이 있습니다. 이제는 그런 패턴을 바꾸고자 합니다. 내가 약해서 그렇게 밖에 대하지 못했던 것입니다. 그런 상황들이 왜 내 삶에 일어났는지 돌아보고 공부하면서 힘을 키우고 지혜를 기르고자 합니다. 앞으로 똑같은 일이 되풀이되지 않도록 노력하겠습니다.
    2. 만족스럽지 않은 상황이 발생했을 때, 더 이상 습관적으로 반응하지 않겠습니다. 대신, 저 스스로에게 다음 세가지 질문을 묻겠습니다: (1) 왜 이 상황이 내 삶에 일어났는가? (2) 이 상황을 통해 나는 무엇을 배울 수 있는가? (3) 이것을 어떻게 개선할 수 있으며, 어떻게 추후 재발하는 것을 막을 수 있을까?
      때로는 이런 것이 더 큰 성장과정의 일부로 일어날 수도 있기 때문에, 이 세가지 질문에 바로 답할 필요는 없습니다. 다만, 질문의 답을 고민하면서, 제 성찰과 분별력을 키우겠습니다. (*2018년 11월 24일 추가됨)
    3. 어떤 비즈니스나 자영업도 가볍게 평가하지 않으며, 이 사회를 위해 어떤 역할을 하고 있는지를 공부하겠습니다.
    4. 과거 조직에 더 이상 매이지 않으며, 그 비즈니스도 이 세상에서 자기의 역할을 하고 있음을 인정하고 내 인생의 공부재료로 삼겠습니다. 이제 완전히 자유로워지겠습니다.
    5. 겸손한 마음으로 앞으로 3년 사업을 준비하겠습니다. (2019 – 2021)

Aloha, My name is Shawn S Lee. I’m a life coach, a meditation teacher, and a Jungbub student. Please feel free to read my blog. If you like to receive my newsletter -just about once a month-, leave your name and email.

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