Merciful Eye Institute Zen Temple – Dec

So yeah, more than just Kyudo, standing Zen, this Sat. past was pure Sitting Zen practice at the Merciful Eye Institute Zen Temple. It was not as cold I thought so that was nice. I thought there was no heater at all, last night someone dropped off an oil heater. It was not used but now I know that there is one available. I was ready though for the evening without it. Layers and my hoodie.

 
That night there were nine people including Yoh Sensei. I was surprised at the turn out. It is easier after the first night to sit when one know the drill, so to speak. So as for my sitting, it was not so much a big deal,no mosquitoes. My issue for the night was my leg kept falling asleep after the first round of three. I have not had that happen before so it was a distraction and bummer. The third round time was not so much a concern, because after that one it is tea time. But after the second set, we walk. That was my concern trying to stand with a dead leg. Not good. I was able to ease into it and wake the leg up enough to get the blood/feeling back before walking even if I did let a few others start before me.
 
The shoulder whacking seems to be on the second round of sitting as well. Even though was expecting to hear it, when it happened it startled me, with how loud it sounded. I passed on volunteering for the treatment, but several others I guess requested it, as I heard it several places around me. I do warmups before sitting so tension is not an issue right now.
 
 
After the sitting we went to the tea room as usual. Tonight it was full. The head monk came out and spoke some, none of which i got , but in time. Again we introduced ourselves. Tonight I did my whole intro in Japanese even though it was brief. Sensei said I was much better. I did not think I was improved , just more relaxed enough to speak. I just laughed and said sou na! Little by little! 
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There was a guy there who I bumped into sort of outside the toilet on break. He sat next to me at tea. He said. I am glad to see you. I thought we had met before at the marina. He said no. He had seen my picture on Yoh Sensei website. We spoke a little in Japalish. As it turns out he studied Karate and his friend, who was also there and last time studied Judo. We three had some common ground. The Judo guy is interested in studying some English he wants to do conversation in 6 months. i said ehhhh. How long have you been studying… Two months he said. Again I said Eehhhh. Sugoi musugashi. Anyway maybe i will get a couple of students for something out of this at some point.i need to put more effort into my language study here. Yosh!
 
On the Chan side. I spoke with an elder sister in the States about my plan to start a class here. It was suggested that I contact the head of the US branch in Tawain and tell him of my plan. 
 
 
Then Shifu and he could bless the effort and class and help if I wanted. I was going to wait until it started, but decided to go ahead away. I sent him a email and the next day he answered. We had spoke briefly in Santa Cruz at a retreat when he visited, so we were already familiar with each others background. He also started Chan via Marital Art and came into Chan from that path. Anyway he offered me a list of assistance if I wanted it and approved my idea. So I have the blessings from the top to start a Heart Chan chapter here in Japan. I am not sure how/if it will work, but I will put it out there and see. Perhaps it will be of more interest to English speaking expats here who are not up to the rigors of Japanese temple Zen or do not “feel” it. Ether way, any students who want to study Martial Art with me, must learn the basics of Heart Chan as part of their Martial Training. There is no duality.
On a side note. Today is the one year anniversary of leaving Alameda, CA. heading for Japan. So Yin, so Yang.
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