ZAZEN (Sitting Meditation) Experience in English at Kenchoji Temple

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[Date & Time] Wednesday, September 7, 12:30–17:00
[Spots] Kenchoji Temple Hojo (Ryūō-den)
[Visitors] 4 foreign exchange students: 3 students from Tokyo Institute of Technology (a Taiwanese woman, a Senegalese woman, and a Thai man), and a Chinese man from Graduate School of Engineering, Yokohama National University
[Attendants] 3 KSGG members
[Language] English
We guided four visitors to ZAZEN (Sitting Meditation) Experience in English at Kenchoji Temple. Because of the rain on the previous day, the garden behind the zazen room called Hojo, which was constructed by monk Daikaku, looked more beautiful. The number of the participants to the zazen session was less than 30 people including our group members. More than 60 % of them were foreigners. Three priests taught us how to pose in zazen in English and we posed in the style of the Kekka-fuza (folded legs, putting two feet on both thighs) or the Hanka-fuza (folded legs, putting one foot on another thigh) following their explanation. Most of the participants experienced being hit by kyosaku (a bar to hit zazen participants whose posture goes out of order). During the zazen sessions, we also experienced the walking Zen, and all of us walked around a corridor. After that, we moved to a room for a tea ceremony and enjoyed talking in English over the green tea. When it came to the spiritual topics of Zen, it was a little hard for me to communicate with them in English. However, we had an amicable talk during the tour. The visitors were delighted to have their experience of zazen and the tea ceremony at the historic building in Kenchoji Temple.