Once a month I sit with a Zen group @ Zigenin Temple here in Osaka. My friend Yoh Aoki a sailor, and Zen master runs the session once a month. It is where I get my group Zen fix. Sharing space with others of the same mind and spirit. It is also nice sitting on real Zen Temple grounds, feeling the vibes. Once it gets warmer I will take a day bike trip to the temple and do a photo shoot. I have been there before doing that, it was quite awhile ago now. I would like to grab some newer shots. It is too dark these days when I go as can been seen by this shot. This is the Bell ‘tower”
Yoh Sensei and I sitting at the Bell in 2010.
The day was fairly warm so I thought the temple maybe be as well, wrong! When we opened the door, brrr it was cold cold cold. I am so glad I dressed warm planning for it to be cold, just in case. When we sit the door is open, and the lights are off as is the space heater. I guess that is part of the training, just going within. I understand the lights and the door, fresh air, heater hmm not so much but it saves fuel and when you dress warm it is ok. In My early Kung Fu days we had a saying, go beyond the pain. I guess this is the same idea, go beyond the cold, which is pain to me.
Nothing eventful about the session, the paddles wacks still startle me a bit. Some sound more painful than others. I still pass on volunteering to get whacked. Not my style. The only thing of note was as cold as it was, someone was sleeping whilst sitting. I could tell from their breath and sometimes the slight snoring. Without looking around I could not tell just where in the room, even though there was only a small group tonight. Funny thing was it sounded like Sensei! I found that humorous. I am pretty sure that I was wrong, but still it was a funny thought. Him or the woman behind and next to me.
I brought along my iPad tonight because afterward the head monk always comes into the tea room and says a few things. Then everyone chats. It is in Japanese so I have not a clue what is up. Tonight I figured I would tape it then have LZ tell me what he said. Reason being at my chan meeting after the meditation there is some topic covered. Here it did not seem like it. One time they were talking about the weather i was was told. Another times mostly it was me and others talking about me. Another time I did not get what the general topic was as another two guys and myself were talking about English class and martial arts. Ok, so tonight I figure I would tape. Wrong, the Head Sensei did not even come to the room until after we were getting ready to leave. I am guessing he was busy. The general topic of tonight’s discussion was sailing and boats! ! Ehhhhh, shocking!
I did find out that another guy there who studies to be an acupuncturist also practices Tai Chi, Chen 36. I learned that once upon a time, mostly these days the Chen I practice is 24. anywho, it is a good bit of info for mind storage, perhaps a later reference. At the least he maybe my acupuncturist practitioner to visit later once he gets his license. So far in the group there is one person who practices Tai chi, one who does Karate and one who does Judo, three including me sailors. Interesting ne!…to me anyway.
This session’s flower arrangement, ikebana, was I thought extra nice. I forgot to ask who does it. I am wondering if the head monk is the arranger.