During a recent trip to South Korea, Conan O’Brien visited the Bokwangsa Buddhist temple in search of enlightenment. Unfortunately, the comedian's dreams were dashed by some noisy wind chimes -- not to mention the inconvenient fact that it can take a lifetime to master the art of meditation.
O'Brien was accompanied by Korean American actor Steven Yeun, and one of the temple's monks mentored both men in meditation, fish-drum playing and snow shoveling.
Roughly 23 percent of the population in South Korea is Buddhist, and most practice in the Seon lineage, closely related to Zen Buddhism. The fish drum, which O'Brien had some difficulty mastering, is a tool commonly used in Zen Buddhism. According to Buddha Weekly, the drum is used to keep meditators "wakeful, mindful, alert."
"The stimulating sound, entirely unique in percussion, has a trance-like effect, allowing something of an altered state of meditation," the publication says.
O'Brien battled some distractions at the temple, though, that prevented him from achieving that altered state. In addition to the wind chimes, which the Catholic comedian found surprisingly loud in the midst of such a peaceful place, O'Brien was also amazed to learn that the monk owned not one but two cell phones. And when the monk started throwing snowballs, all bets were off.
Check out the clip above.