The village Head Man had arranged for nine of the congregation and the local Tendai priest to meet us at the temple. It was quite a shock to walk in and find them all sitting in a row waiting in anticipation. We talked for a while then it was clear we were expected to do a ceremony so we sang The Scripture of Great Wisdom in English followed by an offertory. In the end, the priest gave me a small fan to extinguish the candles which seemed to be some kind of honour being proffered. Afterwards, we all had tea and cakes. The conversation was not easy however the general impression we got was of being very welcome. One member had brought a bound copy of the village record book which had a photograph of Rev. Master in it.
For me, this was the most moving visit made on this tour as it brought me close to knowing how it was for Rev. Master to function as a parish priest in Japan.
There is a saying in Zen Buddhism which goes “Every day is a good day”. Ms. Yoko, who we met for lunch yesterday in Nagoya, remembered her teacher Yogo Roshi saying “Every day is every day”!
The late Yogo Roshi was one of Rev. Master’s Jiyu Kennett’s Dharma teachers when she was in Japan.