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Thread: KYONIN (and Jundo's) TRAVEL DIARY in JAPAN

  1. #101
    Deep bows and thanks for sharing this Kyonin.

    Gassho
    Sat Today (for a mere 25 minutes)
    lah
    James

  2. #102
    Wow. Just wow!

    Gassho

    Nenka

    ST

  3. #103
    Just a word on our visits today as Kyonin recovers from Antaiji ...

    Our first pilgrimage was to a hall that is the most moving place l have ever visited in Japan, a world treasure I believe. 1001 life-size statues of Kannon Bodhisattva fill a single hall, each statue the same yet, on close examination, each with its slightly different facial features and personality. The oldest are from the Kamakura period, and the main image happens to have been created in the same year of Dogen's death (although it is not a Zen temple, but Tendai). It is called the Sanjusangendo ...

    Kyoto's spectacular Sanjusangendo Temple, established in the twelfth century, houses 1001 carved wooden statues of Kannon set in ranks in the main hall: 500, in ten rows of 50, on each side of the seated figure of Senju Kannon. Sanjusangendo is the only such Sentai Kannon-do (one thousand-Kannon hall) left in existence. The 1001 images are around 167cm tall and were made using a technique called yosegi, which allowed a number of craftsmen to work on one statue

    It is meant to express the power and presence of Kannon. And in a like fashion, Kyonin and l then paid our visit to a modern effort to do the same, the Android Kannon. Some people have difficulty to relate to this Kannon of metal and silicone, but Kyonin and i both agreed that it is much more impressive in person, and succeeeds in conveying a powerful message one the meaning of "non-self" (the topic of the Dharma talk that it offered ...


    A robot modeled after Kannon Bodhisattva and designed to explain the teachings of Buddha in plain terms was unveiled to the media at Kodaiji Temple in the city of Kyoto on Saturday.

    In a dimly lit hall of the temple, the robot — named Mindar — gave a speech on the Heart Sutra and humanity with English and Chinese subtitles projected on the wall as music played in the background.

    “If an image of Buddha speaks, teachings of Buddhism will probably be easier to understand,” said Tensho Goto, the chief steward of the temple in Kyoto’s Higashiyama Ward, during a news conference. “We want many people to come to see (the robot) to think about the essence of Buddhism.”

    Another official linked to the temple expressed hope that the robot will “help people who usually have little connection with Buddhism to take an interest” in the religion.
    More tomorrow ...

    Gassho, J

    STLah
    Last edited by Jundo; Yesterday at 12:33 AM.
    ALL OF LIFE IS OUR TEMPLE

  4. #104
    Member Seishin's Avatar
    Join Date
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    La Croix-Avranchin, Basse Normandie, France
    Deep bows Kyonin. Thank for the update, photos and your practice.

    Sat


    Seishin

    Sei - Meticulous
    Shin - Heart

  5. #105
    Thank you, Kyonin and Jundo, for sharing the events of Kyonin's trip and the photos. I look forward to the coming updates.

    Gassho,
    Onkai
    Sat/LAH

  6. #106
    What a privilege it has been to follow your journey through this pilgrimage, Kyonin.

    Gassho,
    Nengei
    Sat. LAH.

  7. #107
    Member Anna's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2019
    Location
    Rural Queensland, Australia
    Quote Originally Posted by Kevin M View Post
    Cool.

    Also
    http://www.budismosotozen.org

    There's a Chocobuda link on the header menu to Kyonin's blog as well.

    Gassho
    Kevin
    Sat
    Thanks for the link Kevin. It's a terrific site to check out thanks to the Google gods of translation.
    I'm no longer on any social media but thanks for the Twitter link Jakuden.

    What a magnificent experience for us all that our beloved comrade Kyonin was able to practice at Antai ji before Muho retires.

    Gassho
    Anna

    stlah

    Sent from my Lenovo TB-8304F1 using Tapatalk
    Life's too serious to be taken seriously.
    No Gods No Masters.

  8. #108
    Member Anna's Avatar
    Join Date
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    Rural Queensland, Australia
    Quote Originally Posted by Jundo View Post
    Just a word on our visits today as Kyonin recovers from Antaiji ...

    Our first pilgrimage was to a hall that is the most moving place l have ever visited in Japan, a world treasure I believe. 1001 statues of Kannon Bodhisattva fill a single hall, each statue the same yet, on close examination, each with its slightly different facial features and personality. The oldest are from the Kamakura period, and the main image happens to have been created in the same year of Dogen's death (although it is not a Zen temple, but Tendai). It is called the Sanjusangendo ...




    It is meant to express the power and presence of Kannon. And in a like fashion, Kyonin and l then paid our visit to a modern effort to do the same, the Android Kannon. Some people have difficulty to relate to this Kannon of metal and silicone, but Kyonin and i both agreed that it is much more impressive in person, and succeeeds in conveying a powerful message one the meaning of "non-self" (the topic of the Dharma talk that it offered ...




    More tomorrow ...

    Gassho, J

    STLah
    I'd get sensory overload looking at all those Bodhisattvas. I went to the Keukenhof gardens in Holland and experienced sensory overload after looking at all the tulip fields. I had to sit down and close my eyes for a bit to feel ok again.
    https://www.holland.com/global/touri.../keukenhof.htm
    Gassho
    Anna

    stlah

    Sent from my Lenovo TB-8304F1 using Tapatalk
    Life's too serious to be taken seriously.
    No Gods No Masters.

  9. #109
    Hi All,

    A photo from yesterday of Kyonin with Android Kannon. Kyonin is the one on the right.

    robotkyonin.jpg

    Today began with a visit to Kenninji, a most important temple in the history of Zen in Japan, including Soto Zen. Although a Tendai Buddhist temple, it was one of the first temples in Japan to introduce serious Zen Rinzai training as part of their practices. Also, Master Dogen lived and practiced at Kenninji for many years in their Rinzai ways before heading to China, and introducing the Soto Zen ways to Japan.

    Here is a little peek at the beautiful gardens of Kenninji ...



    While at Kenninji, Kyonin and i were able to pursue the wonderful practice of Shakyo, or Sutra Copying. Here is a picture showing how it is done. Basically, tracing paper is placed over a copy of the Heart Sutra so that even someone who cannot write Japanese can trace the beautiful Chinese characters closely. Kyonin, it turns out, has studied western calligraphy, so even though he does not read Japanese, his Kanji were truly elegant. He just has a natural feel for the brush. it took us about 2 hours to copy the characters of the Heart Sutra.



    After that, we moved on to the famous sand garden of Ryoanji, which is a Rinzai monastery. However, as beautiful as is Ryoanji and its gardens, i must confess that the sand gardens of Kenninji and some other temples may be even more captivating. You can see Kenninji's sand gardens in the above video and judge for yourself.



    After that, we walked for about an hour to the famous Rinzai university, Hanazono, which holds a weekly Zazenkai in their Zendo on campus. Alas, the priest there told me that almost none of the 1000 students in the university come to Zazen, and that most of the participants are middle aged and older Japanese folks from the university and surrounding community. They have an amazing hall that can sit a couple of hundred people (although Zazen was lightly attended), and the priest carries to long Rinzai style "keisaku" wake up stick. He used it on Kyonin and me at our request, but lightly. (Kyonin told me that Muho, at the Antaiji session, carries a Rinzai style stick and uses it much harder).



    Finally, here is a picture of the "rooms" where Kyonin and I stayed. Actually, not "rooms," bacause I found us two "boxes" (that is the only way to describe them ... wooden boxes with a curtain on one side), barely big enough to stretch out and sit up. However at the equivalent of U.S. $18 a night, a bargain. Showers and toilet down the hall, our boxes were clean and cozy. I would not say that they were the same as a modern Japanese "capsule," because they were actual boxes or crates (coffins?) in a 200 year old Japanese inn that looks like it could be the location for a samurai movie. Here are Kyonin's toes in his box.

    boxkyoto.JPEG

    And that's the news.

    Gassho, J

    SatodayLah
    Last edited by Jundo; 10-07-2019 at 02:43 PM.
    ALL OF LIFE IS OUR TEMPLE

  10. #110
    Kyonin, I am so glad you had this experience and, in my opinion, you are even more hardcore than Metallica!

    Thanks to you and Jundo for all these writing and pictures, it's wonderful to be following your footsteps.

    Gassho
    Ishin
    Sat/lah
    Grateful for your practice

  11. #111
    Thank you for sharing so much of the experience. It all looks amazing!

    Gassho, Shinshi

    SaT-LaH
    空道 心志 Kudo Shinshi
    I am just a priest-in-training, any resemblance between what I post and actual teachings is purely coincidental.

  12. #112
    Wonderful! Thank you for all of the updates!

    The Sanjusangendo is incredible.

    I have been sitting with the online broadcast from Sokukoji in Michigan some days and they are doing sutra copying after their morning service and sit. The teacher, Sokuzan, was taught by Chogyam Trungpa as well as a Soto teacher so I wasn't sure which it came from.

    Gassho
    Kokuu
    -sattoday/lah-
    ------------------------------------
    Feel free to message me if you wish to talk about issues around practicing with physical limitations. This is something I have been sitting with for a fair while and am happy to help with suggestions or just offer a listening ear.

  13. #113
    Treeleaf Unsui Geika's Avatar
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    Jan 2010
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    San Diego County, California
    I am so happy for you, Kyonin. Congratulations on sitting at Antaiji! I have heard that it is one of the more rigorous sesshins! I am so happy that you are both having a great time, and getting so much in! Kyonin will probably sleep for three days when he gets home...

    Gassho

    Sat today, lah
    求道芸化 Kyudo Geika
    I am just a priest-in-training, please do not take anything I say as a teaching.

  14. #114


    Happy for You

    Doshin
    St

  15. #115
    Member Seishin's Avatar
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    La Croix-Avranchin, Basse Normandie, France
    Kenninji looks so peaceful, thank you for sharing.

    Sat


    Seishin

    Sei - Meticulous
    Shin - Heart

  16. #116
    Quote Originally Posted by Seishin View Post
    Kenninji looks so peaceful, thank you for sharing.

    Sat
    Well, frankly, it was a little less peaceful outwardly (inward is always the same) because of the bus loads of tourists, mostly from China but really all languages heard. I must say that, compared to my last visit quite a few years ago, Kyoto is rather overrun with tourists. Some places of quiet reflection and elegance are starting to look like New York's Times Square.

    https://asia.nikkei.com/Spotlight/Co...h-tourist-boom

    TOKYO/KYOTO -- Yuko Kato, a 50-year-old housewife, was raised in Kyoto and has lived there all her life. Going to the 1,300-year-old Nishiki Market, known as "Kyoto's Kitchen," to buy fish, pickles and seasonings used to be a weekly habit for her, but that has changed over the past five years.

    These days, the traditional retail market, which covers five blocks of narrow laneways lined with shops, is overrun by foreign tourists, many of them eating skewered shrimp and other local delicacies as they stroll, making it difficult for daily shoppers to go about their business. Posters saying "No Eating While Walking" are pasted everywhere, but are largely ignored. ... The surge in foreign visitors to Japan reflects a gradual easing of travel visa requirements since 2013 for countries including Thailand, the Philippines and China; growth in the number of budget airlines in Asia; and a depreciation in the yen, all of which have made Japan one of the most popular destinations in the region. According to a survey by the city, 7.4 million foreign guests traveled to Kyoto in 2017, a more than fivefold increase from 2012. Including domestic tourists, the city hosted 53.6 million visitors in 2017, dwarfing its population of 1.5 million. ... Joanna, a 29-year-old tourist from the U.K., was astonished when she visited the Fushimi Inari shrine with her boyfriend and saw it packed with tourists taking selfies in front of its thousands of statuesque vermilion gates. "Although we wanted to go see the forest at the end of the gates, we decided not to go. We just couldn't walk because of the crowds," she says.
    However, the heart can remain quiet, empty and elegant.

    Gassho, J STLah
    ALL OF LIFE IS OUR TEMPLE

  17. #117
    Member Anna's Avatar
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    These updates injected with a Dad joke or two are terrific.
    Thank you Jundo and Kyonin for sharing.
    Gassho
    Anna

    ST

    Sent from my Lenovo TB-8304F1 using Tapatalk
    Life's too serious to be taken seriously.
    No Gods No Masters.

  18. #118
    Well, a killer typhoon is heading to Japan this weekend. It should not stop Kyonin's plans to sit for a day at Eiheiji, but travel might get a little dicey comimg back from there to Tsukuba ...



    For today, a little rain. We first visited the Shogun's castle in Kyoto for a little history lesson for Kyonin. Here is a recreation of an audience of lords with the great Shogen in the actual chambers.



    Then, off to the Byodoin, one of the very early Buddhist temples in Japan. It is a world heritage site, so beautiful that it is featured on the Japanese 10 Yen coin. The structure is one of the few surviving from Japan's Heian period, around the year 1000.



    Even more than the famous hall, were the Buddha and Bodhisattva statues, some over 1000 years old, in the temple museum. A small sample ...



    However, the main reason for our visit to the area is a temple nearby that is the continuation of Master Dogen's first temple which he founded in Japan after returning from China (although it is really the child of that temple, as the location was moved some centuries after Dogen's time). The name is Koshoji ...

    In 1233, after his return from his study mission to China, Dogen Zenji founded the Koshoji, the first Sōtō temple in Fukakusa, just south of the ancient capital Kyoto. During medieval warring, fire destroyed the compound and many priceless scriptures. In 1648, the local ruler Nagai Naomasa rebuilt it at Uji, its present location.

    After Dogen Zenji’s death, the Koshoji ceased to exist. But the abbot Banan Eishu revived it to serve as a center for the severe and simple style of Zen inherited from Dogen Zenji. During the Edo period (1603-1867), novices from all over Japan came to train at the Koshoji, which, together with the Eiheiji and the Sojiji, cultivated many outstanding monks.
    Most fortunate for us, an English speaking monk born in India has recently begun training there and was able to guide us around to many often closed parts of the temple. Most touching, of course, was the Zazen Hall (Sodo) where Zazen is sat daily from 4am. Here is a picture of us together in front of the central Altar, and another of the grounds ...

    koshoji one.jpg

    koshoji two.jpg

    It was an honor to visit this place and to pay respects to the founder, Master Dogen.

    Tomorrow, a precious chance for lunch with Taigu, who will meet us in Kyoto.

    Gassho, Jundo
    Last edited by Jundo; 10-08-2019 at 04:35 PM.
    ALL OF LIFE IS OUR TEMPLE

  19. #119
    Lovely updates, beautiful places!
    Thank you for sharing them, Jundo and Kyonin.

    Gassho
    Washin
    sat/lah
    Kaido (有道) Every Way
    Washin (和信) Harmony Trust
    ----
    I am a novice priest-in-training. Anything what I say must not be considered as teaching
    and should be taken with a 'grain of salt'.

  20. #120
    Thank you for the infos and pictures.
    Hoping for safe travels and a bit of maple fall colours in those beautiful gardens.

    Gassho,
    Kotei sat/lah today.
    古庭 KoTei / Ralf

  21. #121
    Quote Originally Posted by Kevin M View Post
    Cool.

    Also
    http://www.budismosotozen.org

    There's a Chocobuda link on the header menu to Kyonin's blog as well.

    Gassho
    Kevin
    Sat
    Thanks for this Kevin, absolutely lovely websites. Wonderful to see Kyonin on these pages.
    I'm loving every minute of your journey Kyonin, the photos are beautiful and I'm in awe of the sesshin requirements, I wouldn't have lasted the day, not even half a day! Still saying Metta for the speedy recovery of your knees
    I couldn't be happier to see what a great time you're having, Jundo's reports have really brightened my days.
    What joy!
    Gassho
    Meitou
    sattodaylah
    命 Mei - life
    島 Tou - island

  22. #122
    Member Anna's Avatar
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    Koshoji looks magnificent.
    Gassho
    Anna
    Sat

    Sent from my Lenovo TB-8304F1 using Tapatalk
    Life's too serious to be taken seriously.
    No Gods No Masters.

  23. #123
    Awesome pictures!

    Please say hi to Taigu for us tomorrow!

    Gassho

    Nenka

    ST

  24. #124
    Awesome.
    So nice that you both take us on the journey with you. Thank you for sharing these moments with us.

    Gassho

    Ben

    Stlah

    Gesendet von meinem PLK-L01 mit Tapatalk

  25. #125
    WOW! I have been a little busy lately, and am just catching up on some threads today. Thank you Jundo and Kyonin for sharing all of the stories and pictures! They are very inspiring!

    Gassho,

    Junkyo
    SAT

  26. #126
    Hi guys,

    Sorry for not posting often but as you can imagine, this trip is taking a lot of energy from both Jundo and me.

    When night comes I can barely stand and all I want is to sleep!! But Jundo has super powers and the man is so full of energy!

    I was saying to him yesterday that I have seen so many things and I have learned so much that at this point things are starting to become a blur. I have taken hundreds of pictures because when I'm back home I'll need to go through them to begin sorting out everything! Yes, I am not so bright.

    I am grateful for this thread in the forums because it will help me sort out everything I have seen.

    Kyoto is a wonderful city. It's full of tourists because everything is so beautiful and full of history that you need days to begin adapting to the beauty.

    Yesterday we went to Kōshō-ji, Dogen's first temple in Kyoto. We were lucky to find a gentleman called Kumar, who is training to be a Soto Shu monk. Not only that, but he had a great sense of humor. He gave us a nice tour of the place.

    We got to see how a traditional and functional temple works, how their zendo and kitchen are layed out and how some of their ceremonies are held.

    My only complain is that we got there at sun set so the light was not good for nice pictures. Anyway, here I share some.

    Look at the size of that mokugyo!

    EDIT****

    I haven't seen that Jundo had already posted some of the pictures!

    Enjoy!


    Enviado desde mi SNE-LX3 mediante Tapatalk
    Last edited by Kyonin; 10-08-2019 at 11:28 PM.
    Hondō Kyōnin
    奔道 協忍

  27. #127
    A few more pictures of Koshoji ... the Zendo (Sodo) for Zazen and, in the old days (not today, as they have their own rooms now) where the monks would sleep and eat in the space of one tatami mat ...



    This shows the "Gaitan" outside platform, and the inner "Naitan" platform. The outside is generally for visitors and late commers to a sitting. The board hanging on the door reads "ZAZEN" and is hung out when sitting begins so that folks outside will know to be quiet.



    An altar to Dogen Zenji (center) surrounded by the important founders and abbots of this temple ...



    One of the wooden fish drum used to signal meals at Koshoji, this one worn away from years of use ... The old "kuin" kitchen for the "Tenzo" cook is seen in the back ....



    If you would like to see how such a "Ho" fish drum is played, look from 6:00 here. This is also a film about Head Temple Eiheiji, which Kyonin will be visiting from Friday ...



    Gassho, J

    STLah
    Last edited by Jundo; 10-08-2019 at 11:47 PM.
    ALL OF LIFE IS OUR TEMPLE

  28. #128
    Member Anna's Avatar
    Join Date
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    Rural Queensland, Australia
    Both yours AND Jundo's energy is amazing.
    Thankyou for letting us share this opportunity and experience with you.
    Gassho
    Anna

    stlah

    Sent from my Lenovo TB-8304F1 using Tapatalk
    Last edited by Jundo; 10-09-2019 at 01:12 PM.
    Life's too serious to be taken seriously.
    No Gods No Masters.

  29. #129
    Thank you, very much, Kyonin and Jundo, for sharing this experiences with us.

    Mateus
    Sat today/LAH

  30. #130

    That’s nine bows. Loving it all!

    Gassho
    Jakuden
    SatToday/LAH


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk Pro
    清 道 寂田
    SEIDO JAKUDEN
    I am a novice priest. Any resemblance my posts may have to actual teachings about the Dharma, living or dead, is purely coincidental (and just my attempt to be helpful).

  31. #131
    Wow, thanks guys for the wonderful updates and photos. Amazing.

    Quote Originally Posted by Jundo View Post
    Tomorrow, a precious chance for lunch with Taigu, who will meet us in Kyoto.

    Gassho, Jundo
    Oh, awesome! Give him our love!

    Gassho
    Byōkan
    sat + lah
    Please take my words with a big grain of salt. I know nothing. Wisdom is only found in our whole-hearted practice together.

  32. #132
    Well, I am about to get on the overnight bus back to Tsukuba, leaving Kyonin on his own in Kyoto tomorrow, and then he heads to Eiheiji on Friday. He will be fine traveling there.

    However, the problem is that ONE OF THE LARGEST TYPHOONS on RECORD ever to hit Japan is heading right toward us, and his travel route on Saturday, when he is supposed to make his way from Eiheiji to Tsukuba! I have told him that the railroad company will make sure that he gets to us ... eventually ... even if they need to suspend service for a day. He is not to worry, although where he will stay if he runs into trouble on the way is a question (e.g., possibly needing to wait in the station).



    'Explosive' Typhoon Hagibis has Tokyo area in its sights after rapidly gathering strength in Pacific

    OCT 9, 2019
    Typhoon Hagibis, which the U.S. military’s forecasting agency has put on par with a Category 5 hurricane, is approaching Japan’s main island of Honshu after a rapid intensification in the Pacific and could make a direct pass over the Kanto [Tokyo/Tsukuba] region this weekend.

    The storm, which tracked near the Ogasawara islands through Wednesday, is forecast to continue moving toward Honshu, weakening only slightly before a possible landfall on Saturday night or early Sunday morning.

    More precise forecasts for its path are still difficult, and a turn to the west toward central Japan or the east toward the sea remain among the possibilities.

    However, its large size means that areas not facing a direct hit could still be significantly impacted. Speaking during a news conference Wednesday, a Meteorological Agency official urged caution against heavy rain, strong winds, high waves and storm surge. East Japan Railway Co. President Yuji Fukasawa said Tuesday that the firm would consider suspending train operations in advance if the forecast path doesn’t change.

    Hagibis has drawn the attention of experts from around the world for its rapid intensification. Meteorologist Robert Speta, an expert on typhoons who now works for the U.S. Navy in Florida, said the storm had gone through an “explosive intensification.”

    “The storm went from a tropical storm to a violent typhoon in the matter of hours. In fact it was an historic amount of intensification in such a short time,” he said. “This only happens when all the right ingredients are in place. Like if you had a fire and instead of throwing gasoline on it to make it bigger you also grabbed some lighter fluid, a bit of oil and a couple of aerosol cans for good measure.” ...

    As of Wednesday afternoon, the Meteorological Agency described the storm as “violent” — its highest classification — adding that the storm had sustained winds of 198 kph [122 mph]. The U.S. military’s Joint Typhoon Warning Center, observing higher sustained winds of 259 kph [161 mph], classified Hagibis as a Category 5-equivalent super typhoon.
    https://www.japantimes.co.jp/news/20.../#.XZxuQUb7TIU
    I hope it is not necessary, but Kyonin may discover the kindness of Japanese in an emergency, especially to foreigners. In fact, it is a matter of national pride with the upcoming Olympics, so I know that he will receive the best of care, and I am not worried for his safety at all. He will get to us in Tsukuba, even if a little later than planned.

    In happier news, Kyonin and I met Taigu today, who treated us to an exquisite lunch at a very cuisine conscious Japanese soba noodle and tempura house. It was lovely to see him and rebond. He looks youthful and healthy, and (as many of you know) is a newlywed who is obviously very happy. Here we are ...

    https://photos.google.com/share/AF1Q...1aT3BwNkFxeFZR



    We promised that we will do a better job in the future of exchanging news and supporting each other at Treeleaf and Taigu's Blue Mountain White Cloud Sangha.

    https://www.facebook.com/bluemountainhermitage/

    Naturally, much of his teaching and book writing activity is centered in France, and he now has several excellent priests with him there.

    After the lovely lunch, Taigu was kind enough to introduce Kyonin to a rather exclusive Buddhist tailor shop (a shop specializing in robes and items for Soto priests), as Kyonin wished to acquire a kind of formal Rakusu in Soto style for ceremonies and such which they create.

    http://www.taniguchi-houi.com/seihin_1.html

    After that, we briefly stopped in a Japanese anime and gamers store, and I must compliment Kyonin. It turns out that Kyonin was once a serious anime and game fanatic who spent a fortune on such pursuits, and knows all the ins and outs about collectors items and such. However, he has completely broken the habit, left those days behind him. He described it to me as much like breaking any addiction. I am proud to say that Kyonin walked out of that store without spending one penny. I could tell he was battling the temptations when he saw some of the rare items that the store had, right from Japan. He just walked right through the place with a smile on his face, recalling his old self. Here we are, with me playing the devil of temptation ...



    to be continued ...
    Last edited by Jundo; 10-09-2019 at 09:56 PM.
    ALL OF LIFE IS OUR TEMPLE

  33. #133
    After that, we visited the famous Kiyonomizu temple, a place famous for its clean air and quite solitude ... although now flooded with bus loads and bus loads of tourists and kids on school trips. I am surprised that the famous wooden balcony of the temple could hold them all. We just had to make do with the clarity and quiet in our own hearts to pass through the sea of noise, bus fumes and people. It is fine, and all the refuge needed. The balcony looks like just a few folks here, but it sure was not when we visited! I did worry for the strength of the thing, which represents 1000 year old engineering!



    I hope that Kyonin does not mind me saying that he broke down in tears of joy before one particular Buddha statue there, an Amida surrounded by a halo of Amidas ....



    I hope that Amida helps keep Kyonin safe on his travels back to Tsukuba ...

    Gassho, J

    STLah

    PS - Let me not forget to mention the Kyonin and I spent last night at a capsule hotel that resembled a star ship ... down to the uniforms. Not bad for $25 a night too!

    https://photos.google.com/share/AF1Q...1aT3BwNkFxeFZR
    Last edited by Jundo; 10-10-2019 at 08:59 AM.
    ALL OF LIFE IS OUR TEMPLE

  34. #134
    Quote Originally Posted by Jundo View Post

    We promised that we will do a better job in the future of exchanging news and supporting each other at Treeleaf and Taigu's Blue Mountain White Cloud Sangha.
    Now there's some good news!

    Gassho

    Nenka

    ST

    P.S. That last picture makes me want to send poor Kyonin some metta . . .

  35. #135
    Oh my gosh. Just, so much joy. Deep bows and thanks for the lift up.

    Gassho,
    Jakuden
    SatToday/LAH
    清 道 寂田
    SEIDO JAKUDEN
    I am a novice priest. Any resemblance my posts may have to actual teachings about the Dharma, living or dead, is purely coincidental (and just my attempt to be helpful).

  36. #136
    This is all just so cool, interesting and fun to follow along with. Thanks for all the updates and pictures. Thanks to Taigu too as I'm still viewing his sewing videos. That drum fish with the hole in it reminds me of Willie Nelson's guitar.

    Gassho
    STlah
    James

  37. #137
    Member Seishin's Avatar
    Join Date
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    La Croix-Avranchin, Basse Normandie, France
    Many thanks to you both. Be safe in your travels Kyonin.

    sat


    Seishin

    Sei - Meticulous
    Shin - Heart

  38. #138
    That's awesome! Good to see Taigu! Wish he'd drop a line once in a while.

    Gassho

    Risho
    -stlah

  39. #139
    Hi guys,

    Before my day walking around Kyoto begins, I wanted to add some notes to Jundo's last post.

    It was a very moving and emotional day for me. At long last I got to sit with my two teachers, Jundo and Taigu. After quite a while secretly wishing a day like this could be possible, it finally was.

    Sitting at the table, listening to both talk and exchange laughs was humbling. Gave me hope for a lot of possibilities for our sanghas. All this while I stuffed myself with tempura and ice cream.

    Then at Kiyonomizu temple I must admit that it was a little discouraging seeing so many people. It was too crowded and sometimes you could barely walk or stop to admire the beauty.

    However, the most important things were being almost ignored by people, like Jizo or Kannon.

    But then we got to the big golden Amida Buddha and words fail to describe what I felt. All this trip, my practice, all my past... Everything made sense in a nano second.

    I simply couldn't hold back my tears. All I could say was a very faint "This is it, Jundo".

    If it wasn't for the amount people, I would've cried a lot more.

    Have you ever had a feeling like that?

    After that we went to have dinner, and we said our goodbyes.

    And now on to Eiheiji and to experience a super typhoon.

    I might not update in a bit because I'm not sure if I'll have internet or power. But I'll be in touch with Jundo.

    Gassho,

    Kyonin

    Enviado desde mi SNE-LX3 mediante Tapatalk
    Hondō Kyōnin
    奔道 協忍

  40. #140
    'Have you ever had a feeling like that?'

    Yes, just now reading your updates! What an amazing trip. I also laughed when I read that Jundo introduced you to a tailor - I thought you were going to get measured for one of those very special Zen shirts that he and Taigu are wearing
    You guys stay safe please, Metta to everyone in the path of the typhoon.
    Gassho
    Meitou
    Satwithyoualltoday
    命 Mei - life
    島 Tou - island

  41. #141
    A couple of more photos of the capsule hotel we stayed ... an excellent example of Japanese use of small spaces. When they saw how tall Kyonin is, they upgraded us to the high ceiling version for the same $25 too!



    l recommend to all Japan travelers ... provided no claustrophobia, of course.

    Kyonin slept like a baby, except when the starship transitioned to warp speed.
    Last edited by Jundo; 10-10-2019 at 09:12 AM.
    ALL OF LIFE IS OUR TEMPLE

  42. #142
    Thank you for the updates. I am enjoying this thread immensely. I am very happy for you Kyonin.


    Tairin
    Sat today and lah

  43. #143
    Thank you so much for sharing this with us, Kyonin and Jundo!
    And great to see a happy Taigu!

    Gassho,

    Daitetsu

    #sat2day
    no thing needs to be added

  44. #144
    Just heard from Kyonin, who has enjoyed his day in Kyoto on his own. He wrote, "I decided to take it easy today and just walk around with no expectations or a plan."

    First, he visited a garden at the Shinsen-en, which happens to be located near the "Starship Enterprise" capsule where l left him ...

    Shinsenen (神泉苑) is a Shingon Japanese Buddhist temple located south of Nijō Castle in the approximate center of the modern city of Kyoto, Honshu, Japan. It was founded by Kūkai in 824 and predominantly consists of a large water garden centering about a pond. It is said to be the oldest existing garden in Kyoto. ...


    He then says, "Then in the middle of office buildings there's Rokkakudo mini - temple. There were 2 monks and some people chanting Hannya Haramita Shingyo and I joined them. "

    The Rokkaku-dō (六角堂 Rokkaku-dō), official name Chōhō-ji (頂法寺 Chōhō-ji), is a Buddhist temple in Kyoto, Japan, said to have been established by Prince Shōtoku [the famous leader and sponsor of Buddhism who lived in the 6th Century]. The name [6 Corner Hall] comes from its main hall's hexagonal shape. This temple is part of the Saigoku Kannon Pilgrimage. ... Rokkaku-dō is believed to have been established in the early Heian period. The origins of traditional Japanese flower arrangement through the Ikenobō school are linked to Rokkaku-dō in the medieval Muromachi period. Rokkaku-dō was instrumental in the development of Jōdo Shinshū [Shin Pure Land School]. ... In 1204, when he was 29 years old, Shinran Shonin (1173 - 1263) decided to spend 100 days in seclusion or privacy at Rokkakudo Temple. On the 95th day, Kannon appeared to Shinran in a dream and told him to forgo his vow of celibacy and marry. She told him that she would appear to him in the form of a woman and they would become lovers and enter into Amida’s Paradise. She then told him that he should ... found a new order of Buddhism that encouraged clerical marriage and family life. A small hexagonal hall at Rokkakudo features two statues of Shinran – one seated in a dream trance and one standing with walking staff and beads.
    And, so, Japanese Buddhist Priests began marrying and having families, a momentous development in the history of traditional Buddhism. Here's the Rokkakudo today ...



    An old painting of Shinran's dream there



    Then, "Lastly I got to wonderful Bukkoji, and sat zazen under the main altar, which was open to the public."

    Bukkō-ji (佛光寺 Bukkō-ji), also known as the "Temple of the Buddha's Light", was originally named Kosho-ji, a Jōdo Shinshū temple in the Yamashina ward of Kyoto, which later moved to the heart of Kyoto. The temple was founded and officially opened by a disciple named Ryōgen in 1324.
    Although Kyonin sat Zazen there, it is not a temple of Zazen, for the Jodo Shinshu folks believe that nothing more is needed but faith in Amida Buddha's light ...

    Shinran, like his mentor Hōnen, saw the age he was living in as being a degenerate one [[Mappo] where beings cannot hope to be able to extricate themselves from the cycle of birth and death through their own power, or jiriki (自力) [such as Zazen]. For both Hōnen and Shinran, all conscious efforts towards achieving enlightenment and realizing the Bodhisattva ideal were contrived and rooted in selfish ignorance; for humans of this age are so deeply rooted in karmic evil as to be incapable of developing the truly altruistic compassion that is requisite to becoming a Bodhisattva.

    Due to his awareness of human limitations, Shinran advocates reliance on tariki, or other power (他力)—the power of Amitābha (Japanese Amida) made manifest in his Primal Vow—in order to attain liberation. Shin Buddhism can therefore be understood as a "practiceless practice", for there are no specific acts to be performed such as there are in the "Path of Sages". In Shinran's own words, Shin Buddhism is considered the "Easy Path" because one is not compelled to perform many difficult, and often esoteric, practices in order to attain higher and higher mental states.

    As in other Pure Land Buddhist schools, Amitābha is a central focus of the Buddhist practice, and Jōdo Shinshū expresses this devotion through a chanting practice called nembutsu, or "Mindfulness of the Buddha [Amida]". The nembutsu is simply reciting the phrase Namu Amida Butsu ("I take refuge in Amitābha Buddha"). Jōdo Shinshū is not the first school of Buddhism to practice the nembutsu but it is interpreted in a new way according to Shinran. The nembutsu becomes understood as an act that expresses gratitude to Amitābha; furthermore, it is evoked in the practitioner through the power of Amida's unobstructed compassion. Therefore, in Shin Buddhism, the nembutsu is not considered a practice, nor does it generate karmic merit. It is simply an affirmation of one's gratitude. Indeed, given that the nembutsu is the Name, when one utters the Name, that is Amitābha calling to the devotee. This is the essence of the Name-that-calls.

    Note that this is in contrast to the related Jōdo-shū, which promoted a combination of repetition of the nembutsu and devotion to Amitābha as a means to birth in his pure land of Sukhavati. It also contrasts with other Buddhist schools in China and Japan, where nembutsu recitation was part of a more elaborate ritual.

    In another departure from more traditional Pure Land schools, Shinran advocated that birth in the Pure Land was settled in the midst of life. At the moment one entrusts oneself to Amitābha, one becomes "established in the stage of the truly settled". This is equivalent to the stage of non-retrogression along the bodhisattva path.
    Many Pure Land Buddhist schools in the time of Shinran felt that birth in the Pure Land was a literal rebirth that occurred only upon death, and only after certain preliminary rituals. ... For Shinran Shonin, who closely followed the thought of the Chinese monk Tan-luan, the Pure Land is synonymous with nirvana.
    At the end of the day, Kyonin was successful in finding a raincoat such as here (and one that fits his big size!), and says "I am a little bit scared of the typhoon, but I am sure Japan has great knowledge how to manage the situation and gaijin [foreign folks] like me."



    He is all set to leave for Eiheiji tomorrow, but coming out of Eiheiji is still the question. The national railroad says ...

    JR East considers halting Tokyo train services this weekend as violent Typhoon Hagibis approaches

    East Japan Railway Co. said Thursday that it is considering whether to suspend many train services in the Tokyo metropolitan area this weekend as a powerful typhoon is expected to hit the country. The company, widely known as JR East, is expected to announce the decision later Thursday and make it available in English, Chinese and Korean on its website and its Twitter account. ... There is a possibility that operations of the conventional lines and Shinkansen will be suspended on October 12th and 13th due to Typhoon No.19. For future information, please pay attention to the weather information and train status information
    l wrote him, "l assure you that, compared to about maybe any other country, the Japanese will take care of you now if you get caught in transit." However, let us all sit and hold Kyonin in heart for the coming days. l believe that Zazen and Amida will keep him safe and warm.

    Gassho, J

    STLah
    Last edited by Jundo; 10-10-2019 at 01:44 PM.
    ALL OF LIFE IS OUR TEMPLE

  45. #145
    Thanks for the sharing and updates. It’s interesting and moving to read.
    Gassho
    Ishin
    Sat/lah
    Grateful for your practice

  46. #146
    Member Hoseki's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2015
    Location
    St. John's Newfoundland, Canada.
    Hi guys,

    Just wanted to say I'm enjoying the travel diary. Safe travels Kyonin!

    gassho
    Hoseki
    Sattoday/lah

  47. #147
    Thank you Kyonin and Jundo, it is a joy to follow this thread.

    Gassho,
    Jack
    Sattoday/lah

  48. #148
    I love those capsule hotels, so perfectly complete and so cheap!
    THinking of Kyonin, as you say Jundo, I'm sure that Amida Buddha will hold him safe in his/her heart but a little extra from around the world won't do any harm.


    Gassho
    Meitou
    sattoodaylah
    命 Mei - life
    島 Tou - island

  49. #149


    Following this thread is one of my favorite things the last several days.

    Metta for everyone in Japan during this trying storm. Please keep letting us know you are safe.

    Gassho,
    Nengei
    Sat. LAH.

  50. #150
    The title for a young trainee monk is "Unsui" ... clouds and waters ... meaning that one must flow around circumstances like clouds and waters ... sometimes flowing, sometimes changing course according to circumstances, sometimes blocked and arrested by tall mountains or other barriers in one's path. Kyonin a full priest, but he will need to be clouds and waters tomorrow in the face of clouds, winds and waters.

    Kyonin has arrived at Eiheiji town, and is now proceeding to the monastery itself. I encourage everyone to watch the little movie I posted about about life at Eiheiji, and you will see a little about what he will see during his short visit there.



    However, the problem will be tomorrow, when he leaves there to try to return to Tsukuba. The Japanese railroad just released their predicted stoppages and, it is still too early to tell, but I think his odds are less than 50% of making it all the way through to Tsukuba without being stopped along the way. Hopefully, that stop will only be for a day until the storm passes (the railroad is usually very good about getting the trains running again, and will even bus people if tracks are blocked or the like). So, I am guessing that he will be caught somewhere in route, need to pass the night at least. I have told him to ask to be taken to a local emergency shelter (the Japanese have a pretty good system), or he may have to pass the night in a station. Maybe Eiheiji will tell him to stay, or maybe he will make it through. We don't know.

    Here is the present position of the storm, Japan is 9 hours after UTC (e.g. 00 UTC is 9am Japan time, 06 UTC is 3pm Japan time same day). The storm has weakened slightly, but I believe is still a category 4.



    Powerful Typhoon Hagibis could be the first to make landfall on Japan's main island of Honshu while still categorized as "very strong," the Japan Meteorological Agency has warned. The agency is predicting fierce winds, rough seas and torrential rain over a wide area, as the typhoon, this year's 19th, continues on its path to approach and possibly make landfall on Japan's main island on the weekend. Transportation operators are already planning to cut services as the country braces ....

    Typhoon Hagibis is currently categorized as "very strong." This refers to a typhoon having a maximum wind speed near its center ranging from 44 to less than 54 meters per second, or from 158.4 to less than 194.4 kilometers per hour. According to the agency, only three typhoons of that strength have made landfall in Japan since 1991, and all of those cases were in western Japan's Shikoku and southwestern Japan's Kyushu. If Typhoon Hagibis makes landfall on Japan's main island of Honshu while maintaining its strength, it would mark the first time for such a powerful storm to do so.
    I have told him that "the real Zen lesson of this trip may come tomorrow, not in any monastery or Sesshin, as you just allow life, weather, roads and obstacles to carry you where they will. Just staying dry and warm will be enough. It is more training perhaps in this "Typhoon Zen Hall" ... accepting circumstances ... and you will learn the real meaning of "unsui" as "clouds and water." "

    Kyonin writes, "I keep on hoping Amida Butsu and Jizo will take good care of all travelers."

    Gassho, J

    STLah
    Last edited by Jundo; 10-11-2019 at 05:14 AM.
    ALL OF LIFE IS OUR TEMPLE

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