In Kyoto.

Just landed in Kyoto and this computer is in the dining room of the Hostel where I have a room for four nights. Thankfully there is not a que behind me to use the computer so I have taken this opportunity to catch up with email and to check the Blogger. As it is late I’ll not attempt to write in detail but just give you the event that stands out in my mind for each day since last writing.

Raigakuji, Koho Zenji’s temple. Eating dinner informally in the temple kitchen with Misawa Roshi who revealed the year of his birth. Iain and I spent the next ten minutes doing silent mental arithmatic and both coming to the conclusion that he had to have made a mistake. He looked at least 20 years younger. We did a memorial for Koho Zenji at his grave marker both in Japanese and then in English.

Yokoji, the temple where Koho Zenji was ordained and at one time was Abbot, the 512th! For Iain seeing Keizans grave, yes Keizan died here at this temple. For me, gulp, it was celebrating morning service chanted in Japanese. That came about by my saying ‘yes’ to what I thought was an invitation to join the lone priest for morning service, only to find him advancing on me hold a lotus sceptre. A great big long red one and there was no turning back! Iain said afterwards ‘I’ll never forget that’, and nor will I. I can only say ‘I did my best’. We did a memorial for Koho Zenji here too.

Eiheiji, founded by Dogen Zenji and one of the two main training temples in the Soto Zen Sect. Let’s see…having tea with Matsunaga Roshi after evening meditation rounded off a day on trains, five of them. The joy and serenity that eminated from him was awesome. And for Iain? ‘The warmth of the welcome we discovered there’. Morning service, in the presence of 330 trainees was ‘big’ really big and then being led up to offer incense in memory of Dogen Zenji was beyond words.

And then there was the adventure into the mountains to visit Hokoji a temple established by a contemporary of Dogen Zenji. Poor yet happy monks, eleven of them. More on all of this another day.

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5 thoughts on “In Kyoto.”

  1. It was wonderful envisioning your Morning Service in Japanese! Thank you for your courage and Iain for his support that allows us all to get a feel of our tradition.

  2. Rev Mugo,

    Its wonderful to hear your stories and good to know things which seem separate are related

  3. Mugo-roshi! Genki des? Please wave hello to Nanzenji for me if you get anywhere close…Rev. Master Teigan seems to have settled in well – he had Bob over to fix the furnace :-^

    Many bows,
    Mike MacG

  4. And a big wave to you too from a free internet service in Kyoto. One hour to write up what we did to-day. Oh, so the furnace went out again eh? Of course there is not a problem with it is there?!! Thank you Susan for writing a note some time back. I am actually having a great time. We had the chance to make bows to the memory of Zen Master Dogen in the temple where he wrote quite a bit. Name escapes me right now, it was in Uji, tea capital of Japan. Oh, we had green tea ice cream again…it is growing on me, as it were. Better get on to my email.

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