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Hyunsa and Susa Training Essay – Christopher Oh


As we began the hike up the mountain, I had envisioned it to be a leisurely walk through a forest. However, my expectations were soon crushed as we began to scale near vertical rocks and slopes. Struggling to keep up with the first group, I began to ponder if i should stay behind with the other group. Soon, I had decided against it and kept pushing myself to stay with the group, and immediately after, I began to feel energized rather than tired out.

Every view that we came across struck me with wonder, and the size of the mountain astounded me. As we climbed higher and higher, the pain in my legs was dull compared to my determination to continue. I was able to catch up to the group and stay with them easily.

Once we made it to 75% of the mountain, I had believed that it was over, but when Master Yoo began climbing once more, I finally felt out of breathe from the previous hiking. The second group had barely gotten to where we were. We hiked up the mountain, feeling dead tired but strangely alive as well. For some strange reason, i felt like I had to keep pushing and continue on.

Eventually, we reached the top. The feeling of satisfaction and relief swept over me as we sat down to take a decently long break. We began to meditate, and, feeling the wind sweep over me, I relaxed my aching muscles to calm down. It was all downhill from there. As we walked down the trail, the steep slopes of the mountains turned into a rocky trail through the woods. Moving through quietly through the forest we came a river. Assuming we simply had to cross over it our group began to hop over the rocks across the tiny stream.

Suddenly, Master Yoo told us to wash ourselves in the water. As we saw Master Yoo begin to splash his face and arms with water, we turned and looked a each other. After all, washing yourself in a river was not done often where we are. Once I felt the water, though, the cool feeling instantly convinced me to splash my face with it. The feeling of cold water felt incredible on my hot face. Following the river, we took a picture on a tiny bridge that felt very sturdy despite its size. I looked back a the second group who had caught up, and the others there had become tired, but they looked determined to finish this hike.

We finally came across a paved trail, and even then, after around 3 hours, we were still high above the highway we had entered from. However, we soon began to slowly descend from the mountain, and by the end of the trail, we were tired but happy that we had been able to accomplish this feat.

– Written by Susa Mentor Christopher Oh