You may have read in the news that there was a serious train crash in Japan in which 50 people died. Thankfully Iain and I arrived back safely to be met at the station by Edera who had come in the car to pick us up. While we were traveling these past 9 days Edera has been invaluable, if not essential, to the smooth flowing of our travels. Many thanks Edera, we could not have done it without you.
It is good to be back to daily life in the Robinson household where Edera teaches English to school children in the living room, which is converted to a school room when the youngsters are here. Tonight three teenage boys were sharpening their English skills on me, “where do you come from?”, “who do you most admire?”, “what is your favourate food”? etc. Ordinary life in this home is a good counterpoint to the encounters of the past days where we have been sitting drinking tea and eating cake in awe inspiring circumstances. Not in my wildest imaginings did I think there would be such a wonderful welcome given in temples and by senior monks in the Soto Zen School. Not to mention the individuals, lay and monastic, who showed such kindness in so many practical ways.
I will not write much more now as it is time to take a bath and get a good nights sleep.
During the day as I get on and off buses, walk round temples, eat meals etc. small events catch my attention and I think ‘now that would be good to write about’, however now faced with the blank screen…my mind goes blank!
Being in the presence of 1001 statues of Kanzeon and about that many school children was interesting and memorable. The power of that many images of Kanzeon completely over-took everything else going on in the hall. It was deeply moving.
Sitting gazing out across raked gravel and rocks at Ryoanji’s famous zen rock garden was equally moving. There is no explaining it, I could have sat there all day even with the crowds rising and falling around me.