A few weeks ago I spent two pleasant days exploring the Zen temple complex of Myoshin-ji in north-western Kyoto. The results are now up on Chris Rowthorn’s Inside Kyoto website. This is my last article of 2015.
Myoshin-ji, or “Sublime Heart Temple,” is a massive Zen temple complex in the north west of Kyoto. In addition to its main buildings the grounds contain 46 sub-temples, all connected by beautifully preserved stroll paths. The grounds of the compound are so extensive that walking them you feel very much like you have entered another world, a kind of Buddhist village. In fact, most of the sub-temples are family homes as well as places of worship, and are not open to the public. Nevertheless, one can still enjoy the unique atmosphere here, walking the lanes between the temples, and peeking into the gates. LINK
Special thanks are due to Reverend Takafumi Kawakami for the wonderful meditation and tour he hosted at his Shunko-in Temple. You can read the full article here: http://www.insidekyoto.com/finding-zen-in-myoshin-ji
“The happiness of life is made up of minute fractions – the little, soon forgotten charities of a kiss or a smile, a kind look or heartfelt compliment.”
― Samuel Taylor Coleridge
Many thanks to Peter Cheyne for sending me the following information on an upcoming conference on contemplation at Kyoto Notre Dame University.
While the title is ‘Coleridge and Contemplation’, not all talks are specifically about Coleridge, although all will discuss aspects of meditation and contemplation.
Each of the three days is loosely themed as follows:
Friday 27th: Literary/ Philosophical
Saturday: Philosophy, and some Religious perspectives
Sunday: Walking, Mystery, Nature, Environment, and some Buddhism
There will be free tea, coffee, juice, drinking water and light snacks during the breaks.
Summaries of each talk can be found on the webpage for each speaker: http://kyotocontemplation.org/plenary-speakers/
Guest Chairs from around Japan will help with some of the sessions, including Kyoto’s own John Dougill (Ryukoku), David Chandler (Doshisha), Rob Kritzer (Kyoto Notre Dame), and Elizabeth Kenney (Kansai Gaidai): http://kyotocontemplation.org/guest-chairs/
Though this is an academic conference, it is open to the public and free of charge.
Please visit the official website to learn more about the schedule and speakers: http://kyotocontemplation.org/
Karen McAllister says…
Achariya Doug Duncan Sensei
Awaken to more! Awaken to so much more! I came to meditation to calm my mind. And yes, I did become more calm. But the practice also brought along with it so much more energy, investigation, joy, concentration, awareness and equanimity into my life. Come and join us. Classes are starting again for the next 3 months with Doug Sensei in North East Kyoto this Saturday at 4pm, Sunday at 10pm and Monday at 7.30pm 4pm Saturday, 10am Sunday, and 7.30pm Monday.See our website for directions.
And from the website itself:
Under the guidance of our teacher Achariya Doug Duncan Sensei, we practice meditation in both Eastern and Western traditions, focusing chiefly on Tibetan and Theravadin Buddhist practices and the Western mystical teachings. In addition, we balance the inner exploration of meditation and contemplation with the outer exploration of Dharma trips, travel with the teacher to points of wonder and interest around the globe. This balanced approach is aimed at a single goal: working for the liberation and inner peace of all beings through the personal realization of wisdom and compassion in oneself.
Picture courtesy of Yoshida Koichi http://www.myspace.com/tongpoo
Our old friend, shakuhachi player Yoshida Koichi, has written to tell me of an event he has lined up for the 4th of July! On this occasion Koichi is planning to hold a mixed event of zazen and musical appreciation with classical cellist William Prunkl accompanying Koichi’s shakuhachi. William Prunkl has practiced meditation in America under a Tibetan teacher, and is now practising Japanese style zazen in Kyoto. I’m under the impression that his current teacher will be leading the zazen part of the event. Regardless, Koichi assures me that zen-beginners are most welcome! Continue reading
Deep Kyoto friend and contributor Ted Taylor recently completed a two and a half month hike along the Kumano Kodo and the Shikoku 88 temple pilgrimage. Returning briefly to Kyoto before continuing his travels he stopped for ten days at the Kyoto Vipassana meditation center. Today he sent me a report on his experiences there. Ted writes:
I found myself sharing dormitory space with six other men, none of whom would talk to me. Which is no surprise really as we`d taken a vow not to speak during the 10 days which make up the Vipassana meditation course. The Center is about 90 minutes north of Kyoto, at the end of a lovely drive into a remote valley. Continue reading