Some people feel worried when they want to start practicing Zazen because of the image of Zazen, which requires your body to stay still for a long. Now here is for beginners, we are introducing “Bishamon-do Shorinji” which gives you an opportunity of 1-hour Zazen trial including sermons and instruction. Bishamon-do Shorinji is easy to access. Would you like to make your debut on Zazen practice at a historical temple as known as the famous sub temple of Tofukuji?
No worry even if you are a beginner
You don’t need to worry about questions like “would it be ok that I have no idea about the manner of Zazen?” or “Can I do it?” The chief priest (Jushoku) will explain to you thoroughly.
The introduction starts with the history of Shorinji, spirituality of Zen and a posture of Zazen. All information from his speech is explained in a peaceful and smooth way with which you can feel calm. It is the story which explains our heart is also used to be the pure “Buddha” remains in our heart the most. Gautama Buddha seated under the Bodhi tree. After meditating for 7 days and 7 nights, Gautama Buddha reached the enlightenment. Zazen is to make you look into yourself again. Do you want to escape from the hustle and bustle of your life and take a look into yourself again?
Now Zazen trial
After the instruction, you will practice Zazen twice with a 5 minutes break in between. Please wear comfortable clothes as you have to seat with your legs crossed.
For purpose of discipling inattentive Zazen sitters and relaxing them from the tense, the priest hits their shoulder or back with the Zen stick, which is called “Keizaku”, in order to encourage them to concentrate on the practice. The Zen stick is called “Keisaku” in Rinzai sect and “Kyosaku” in Sodo sect. The length of the stick and the way to hold it are different among the sects. In this Zazen trial, if you wish, the priest will stop for a second and give you Keizaku, which is the abbreviation of “Keikakusakurei”, after joining your palms together in prayer.
Just a short practice at start
Normally Zazen practice takes 40 to 50 minutes until an incense stick is burned out. If you think it sounds hard for the first time, this Zazen practice with 15 minutes interval will suit you better. Moreover, there are a lot of inspirational words in a sermon and you will be rewarded with a cup of tea served after Zazen practice.
Japanese green tea and sweets are served for an extra charge by booking in advance.
Shorinji is an ancient temple built in 1550
Shorinji is one of sub temples at Tofukuji. It was built in Tenmei 19 nen (1550) as Shorinan by Zen Master Kogakureisho who was the 205th chief priest of Tofukuji. Shorinji is also called “Tofukuji’s Bishamonten” because it is located in the “demon’s gate” (north direction) and responsible for protecting the Buddhism and the north direction.
Tachu (sub temples) is basically a Zen temple. It is also a small house that was built for the purpose of dedicating to the master (the chief priest) after he died inside the temples near the grave stones of the founder of a sect. It is said that there is the seat of honour in Tachu and Tachu is named from that. Shiin is located inside the temple, which the chief priest lived after his retirement, is also called “Tachu”.
Blessing for a good match and a beautiful mind
The garden attracts visitors with fantastic scenery such as a cheery blossom and autumn leaves. Especially it is believed that the buddhist goddess lives in the autumn leaves and because of its beauty. Maiko often come to visit here from Gion to bless for a good match and a beautiful mind.
- "Maiko" is an apprentice geisha in western Japan, especially Kyoto. Their jobs consist of performing songs, dances, and playing the shamisen.
Upgrade from an ordinary trip!
In Shorinji, Shakyo (hand copying of a sutra), Shabustu (tracing a picture of a Buddhist image) and a seasonal limited trial will take place. Why don’t you book a trial among these choices with the time of year when you come and upgrade your trip!
Zazen Practice Trial (individual) Duration: about 60 minutes Shino Fee: 1,000 yen per person Please see more information about reservation on the website.
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