Monthly Zen – Feb

It was so cold, Sensei and I did not expect any others to attend last Friday, however we were wrong. There were 6 of us total. 
Nothing out of the usual other than the cold. It was pretty routine. There was one new guy, and the usual woman did not attend. The second part where the whipping stick is applied, startled me so much I shook with the sound it was so sharp. Even though expected.
I had two discoveries about the temple that day/night. I alway wondered who did the flower arrangment. I find out it is the head monk’s wife. She does it once a month for our visit.
I had been wondering what the monk was talking about when we go into the tea room. I asked Yoh Sensei before hand, as I had a meeting with him at his office before leaving for Zen. He wants me to do some video editing for the upcoming boat show in Tokyo. Cool, a fun job and I can use the funds. So what found out is that as I thought he is not talking about Zazen. He is just chatting. Reason being he does not know or do Zen. I thought this was a Zen temple but no. It is a Jodoshinshu Buddhist temple.
There is an ancient Zen “shrine” or tea house, I am not sure which it is called, on the grounds, but this is not a Zen sect temple we have the meetings in. It seems that the Abbot felt the temple was always a part of the community so he welcome Yoh Sensei to use it for his Zen meetings. Most kind ne! It seems that when Yoh Sensei first became a Master he went to some local Zen temple but they did not have open meetings or the like. 
On another note I took a bike ride up there to the temple last week to do some photo shoots. It was a pleasant day, the last of the warm days spell we had. I got some fair shots, but the heritage grounds were closed so I could not get on to see the old temple, I could only see it from a distance.
DSC_0926 was still worth the trip.
Oh another discovery I made on the bike trip to the temple is the Jehovah Witness are in Japan . That was a surprise. As i was going home i came across them getting out of their service. I stopped to take a picture of their temple for FB. I did not want to seem weird by just stopping to take a picture. So i was trying to do it on the sly, since they were coming out of church. So i parked in front and was just looking around at stuff, the field, etc. one guy thought i was lost and asked if o needed help. I said no just taking pictures. He spoke in English, which was a surprise. I answered in Japanese I was just doing shashin, which he thought was me saying I was sight seeing. Oh , says he, just sight seeing. Where are you from. Sennan I said , everyone chuckled as I am not far away. They were expecting to hear the states or something. Once they left I got the shot.

I wonder if they knock on doors at o-way to early Sat mornings here also…or is that Mormans?

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