Japan Trip- Week 1
For the last week I have been staying at Shōganji Zen Temple the home of Zen Monk Jiho Kongo and his Mother in the beautiful coastal village of Ojuki about a half hour from the city of Oita.
The day begin at 5.30 with a half hour of chanting before an hour of Zazen meditation. At 8 some tea and from 9 till 10 with Pierre who is currently living there for a half year. Lunch is at half 11 and was consistency amazing. The range is food is just wonderful. It was great to have a week of such tasty and heathy food. The rest of the day differs. There is some chores and small jobs around the temple and garden. A few days we went off as a group and the rest of the afternoons I spent mostly on my own, walking through the local villages, forests and along the coast.
The meditation I found quite difficult in the beginning but the second day was already easier. However the ease or not of it, it still is a great way to start your day. I found going early and listening to some of the chanting to be quite helpful. Pierre made the point though that the quality of meditation is not as important as just doing it. I found myself starting to fell asleep, just waking up as I leaned forward enough to disturb my balance. I asked Jiho about this and he said its fine just go with it. Which is quite reassuring. This is definitely a practice I will continue with.
My stay here has been a wonderful experience. A quiet and relaxed time, exactly what I needed.