Zen temple experience I.

After spending time in ashram in Madurai (India) and buddhist temple near Pai (Thailand), it was only obvious that we experience a zen temple. Our friend Natali told us about a zen temple in Kyoto called Fumonken.

“You have to stay more than 2 days and I don’t accept couples.”

“But if you’re going to respect the temple rules, you can come” said Osho-san, the monk of Fumonken. Phew, sounds strict! Nervously we entered the wooden door which revealed mossy ground and neatly arranged flowers, when Fumonken monk emerged. Shaved head and a big smile on his face, we greeted and he introduced his lovely French wife, Clara-san. I let out a little sigh of relief 🙂

Osho-san immediately took us to the garden – it was work o’clock! I helped water the garden and Mic chopped wood. Dinner time came fast and it was finished fast as well. Zen buddhists follow a very strict protocol (which I will describe in the next post) and don’t loose time by tasting things. Let me just tell you it was the fastest eaten meal in my life! And then came the most rewarding moment in all of our temple experiences.

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“Tell me about Slovenia. Tell me about Yugoslavia!”

Tea time chat. Osho-san, his wife and the two of his students, Sho-san and Es-san, and the two of us sat around in a circle, drinking roasted tea and talking away. I don’t think I’ve ever talked so much about Slovenia’s history (except school) 😀 I Must say it was quite refreshing to talk about our cute country in such details. Osho-san did a lot of traveling when he was younger and for a monk (stereotype of a monk, I mean) he is very open minded and curious. We could finally ask all of our questions about Japan’s culture, history, habits and food.

A quick shower and we were off to the first of our three 24-min Zazen meditations.

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