Get Japanese Experience! Summer Zen Retreat in Soto Zen Buddhism Sojiji Head Monastery ! Part 2

So, now, let’s write what I did in the summer zen retreat!!

Shijo 止静(しじょう)/Chukai 抽解(ちゅうかい)/Kinhin 経行(きんひん)

Zazendo (座禅堂) for Zazen<br> The inside is not so bright as this photo. I took it with a wrong camera setting...
Zazendo (座禅堂) for Zazen
The inside is not so bright as this photo. I took it with a wrong camera setting…

All of them indicate “Practicing Zen”.  Well, it is very natural to practice Zen in the retreat.  You can practice Zen, sitting on a seat if you want.

Shijo is starting Zazen (Sitting meditation). Chukai is finishing Zazen.  Keihin is walking meditation.

The participants practiced  Zazen  totally 5 times in the retreat.  Every morning and evening, we practice 40 min Zazen except the day 1.  On the day 1, we practiced 40 min Zazen twice with Kinhin in the middle.

The wonderful thing for me was that I could concentrate  40 min Zazen!!  It was a great progress as I couldn’t handle it last time. I was very moved by how I feel during Zazen. It was true I felt sleepy!! (NOTE: DO NOT sleep during Zazen. Ask a patrolling monk to hit your shoulder by a stick called Kyosaku if you feel sleepy.) 

When you concentrate “sitting and breathing” only, 40 min is quite short. You wouldn’t feel even sore on your legs. However, if you don’t concentrate,  only suffering would occupy in your mind. “Ahhh, this room is too hot and humid, and I feel pain on my legs… I wanna stop it ASAP!!” You would also feel that 5 min is as if 20 min.   I need training more… Sigh….

Classroom Lectures (Lecture and Teisho 提唱)

Handouts for a lecture
Handouts for a lecture

The Summer Zen Retreat contains classroom lectures. That is why, I applied for it. Each lecture is 90 min.  Totally, 4 lectures were contained.

Lecture

Recent theme of Sojiji temple is “Sojo (相承)”.  Monks taught what is “Sojo” for  Sojiji temple and Soto.  How historical background did make “Sojo” important? Why “Sojo” is important in the present and future?

In Japan, we learn Dougen opened Soto Buddhism in 12 century in a junior high school (if my memory is correct). So, I knew the 1st monk is Dougen. But the lecture taught me a surprising thing that the religion have been continuing until today.  I haven’t recognized the fact until the lecture. Just surprised.  

According to the monk, respecting each other regardless of the position is one of  the factor to continue Soto until today and is important in the future too.

Teisho

 We learned Zen words and poems.  They are simple but deep. In other words, it is difficult!! How? Practicing by myself is difficult even if you understand the meaning.  Easier said than done.

Very deep 90 min x 4… I can’t understand from only them, what Zen is .

I should read books… In Zen, everyday is training.

*All lectures are in Japanese.

Still the article of Summer Zen retreat is continued !

I wrote the things which you can imagine “Maybe, they offer in the retreat”. I will write others tomorrow! 

So, see you tomorrow!!

Related Post

Summer Zen Retreat in Soto Zen Buddhism Sojiji Head Monastery ! Part 1
Summer Zen Retreat in Soto Zen Buddhism Sojiji Head Monastery ! Part 3
Zen Workshop (Zen Experience) in Soto Zen Buddism Sojiji Head Monastery

Reference WEB sites

Click following link if you need further Information for Sojiji Temple
Soto Zen Buddism Sojiji Head Monastery (English)

Click following link if you need to know Zen terms in English
Glossary of Zen Terms

Click folloing link if you are looking for accommodation near from Sojiji Temple
Hotels.com

Click the follwoing link if you are looking for your flight from overseas to Japan
TripAdvisor 




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