May 28 to June 12, 2020 – Pilgrimage to Won Kwang Sa

Pilgrimage to Won Kwang Sa Temple in the Pilis Mountains near Budapest, Hungary – May 28-June 12, 2020

Even though there will be plenty of exciting things to do (including a road trip to Austria), this trip is not designed as a “guided tour.” Rather, it is meant to be a pilgrimage. If you have no interest in Won Kwang Sa Temple, then this trip is not for you. There will be ample opportunity to do things on your own, however, for everyone’s benefit, you will be expected to stick to the planned schedule. Space is limited to 9 people. Please fill out this form to be put on the OZS Pilgrimage list and more information will be sent to you. We would like to get a head count by January 12, 2020.

We will leave Florida on May 28th and arrive in Budapest on May 29th. Arrangements will have already been made for someone from the Temple to pick us up. After getting settled in at the Temple, we will have the option to take day trips to Budapest and the surrounding area for the first several days. The overhead cost for staying at the temple is $35.00 a day, which includes room and board and a three-day retreat. In addition, you should budget at least $100.00 a day for the 4 days we will be traveling to Austria. We will give a donation to support the Temple from the OZS participants. $100.00 donation from each member of our group is the suggested amount.  To affirm your commitment, the donation will be required when your registration has been processed and your participation confirmed. With deep gratitude, we will present our donation to the temple at the end of our stay.

Do not purchase any tickets for your travel to the Temple before you have received confirmation of your participation.

Here are some FAQs about our Pilgrimage:

What are the sleeping accommodations at the temple ? Dormitory, private rooms, beds, floor only with sleeping bags, shared  bathrooms ?

There are Yurts that are gender separated, dormitory style. There is a shared Men’s Bath and a shared Women’s Bath a few minutes walking distance from the Yurts. No sleeping bags are needed, bedding is provided. There is also a Hotel a few minutes away by car, Hotel Bellevue Esztergom. (It is usually booked months in advance. So if you want this option, arrangements would need to be made soon!)

Will all arrangements for lodging and travel (other than air travel to & from Tampa) be made by you or whomever is organizing this for you? 

Yes, Chong An Sunim has graciously offered to make arrangements for lodging and provide transportation for our road trip. At this time it looks like he will also be joining us on our road trip. For Day trips, there is a convenient train station about half an hour from the Temple. Day trips are not organized in advance and you are free to create your own itinerary. 

What is the expected total cost for the trip including the side trips? Would we book flights together so we all leave and arrive together & is there a cost savings to doing that?

This is not a tour, so you will need to budget for meals and lodging (other than at the temple), as well as other expenses for the road trip to Austria (which might be optional). That is where the guesstimated $100.00 a day comes in. The temple stay, as I have said, will be $35.00 a day and includes meals. You may hang out at the temple, work in the garden, go hiking in the near by Pilis mountains or just chill.  It will be up to you to cover the cost for any day trips that you may want to take.

Everyone will book their own flights, just as long as we all arrive in Budapest on May 29th. We can share what we find out about tickets and pricing and see if we can leave and arrive around the same time or possibly take the same flight. From what I have seen, prices are between $700.00 to $1200.00 at this time with one stop.

OR ….are we all on our own once there? 🙃

There will be both together action and opportunity to be on your own.

The Schedule:

Arrive May 29 –

Meet with other members of group at a specified location and settle in at Won Kwang Sa Temple in Pilis Mountains.


May 30 – June 3 — DAY TRIPS

Enjoy day trips to Budapest and the surrounding area. Recommended Activity: “The sunset cruise on the Danube in Budapest is one of the prettiest experiences that I know of in Europe. Get one that departs right at sunset and then enjoy the lights coming up on the main attractions. It’s absolutely gorgeous.” -James Derheim,

Won Kwang Sa Temple Facebook page:

Three days in Budapest –


June 4-7 — ZEN WEEKEND

Zen Weekend, led by Chong An Sunim, will commence at 7pm on June 4th and end at 4pm on June 7th. Please read the Temple Rules.

Vegetarian meals (or vegan, if needed) will be provided three times a day.

In addition to your personal accouterments, bring a sleeping bag, a flashlight, slippers and an alarm clock. Laundry facility will be available for your use.

Please always wear socks when you enter the Dharma Room. Please do not to wear the following: athletic shirt or other sleeveless shirt; low-cut shirt/blouse; ponchos or other loosely hanging dress; trousers not reaching below the knees; skirts; tight clinging stretch fabric pants and/or shirts; anything with pictures or ads; overly bright colors. Thank you for your cooperation.

Zen Weekend Daily Schedule:
4:40 Wake up
5:00 Morning chants
6:00 40-minute sitting meditation
7:00 Breakfast
7:40 Work
10:00 40-minute sitting meditation
11:00 Meal offering ceremony
12:00 Lunch
1:00-5:00 Afternoon program
5:30 Dinner
7:00 Evening chants
7:30 40-minute sitting meditation x 2
9:00 Four Great Bodhisattva Vows
10:00 Lights out



Explore Hungary, Vienna Austria, Tarvisio Italy, and other beautiful sites along the way. We will stay in affordable inns for 3 nights–one night in the Sopron Area (Hungary), one night in the Balaton area (Hungary), and one night in Villach (Austria). Recommended budget is $100.00 per day.

Vienna on a budget –

Things to do in Vienna –

Villach Austria –

Another Villach road trip –

An  option for staying in Vienna – Starlight Suites Vienna

“The location is superb, just a 10 minute easy walk to the St. Stephens Cathedral and another five minutes to the Hofburg and everything else. A very good local’s beer and grub joint on the Judenplatz nearby, with one of the world’s friendliest waiters (Niki). The Starlight Suites is recommendable, but only if you can get one that is not facing the street, because that street is loud until the wee hours and then again early in the morning and the air-con is very poor. So, you pretty much have to have the windows open at night. They have apartments/rooms at the back, I’d get one of those. Roomy and with reliable WiFi and with CNN to keep up on the horror show at home. Breakfast is excellent. Staff is really nice too. Fair price, considering you are in the inner ring of Vienna. There are cheaper options once you get out of Vienna 1.” – James Derheim,


June 12th — Flight Home or Other Destination

Please fill out this form to be put on the OZS Pilgrimage list so we can get a head count and more information will be sent to you.

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