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3/3 – Experience of Zazen in Hiroo

Hello, again. I am Naoko who is the editor in chief of  "NAOKO AU JAPON ". This time, I inform you the experience of  " Zazen " at  the temple od Korinin  in Hiroo.

At this temple, we can experience Zazen(seated meditation) at 7 in the morning from Monday through Friday and at 5 in the evening of Sunday. Even though I am very interested in Zazen, I have not had any chance to do that so far. However, this time I got the information that I could do it in Tokyo, I decided to participate as my first experience. After passing through the busy shopping district, there is a gate of temple whose atomosphere is very grave. After going through it, there are some traditional temples in the large space with a lot of trees. This atomosphere is definitely not one in big city. In enterting the front door, we can see the explanation for Zazen on the cupboad and there are notes
how to do Zazen correctly in English and Japanese.

When I entered in it, there was a salon and approximate 20 persons had already been there. Each one looks warm-up mentally. We can sit wherever we like. In my case, I sat on the back space, since I wanted to imitate the way which veteran persons did. At exactly 5 o'clock, the chief priest appeard and rang the bell for start. There are two sitting of 25 minuites each with a 5 minutes break. In that space, the silent time passed with which incense stick made us calm. In my image of Zazen before I join, the chief priest walk around us with a long stick during Zazen,  he hit somebody whose concentration is lost strongly with his shout  "Kaaa tu!!(Get a life!)". So I was so nervous. But during the first sitting, the chief priest did Zazen with us. Then 10 minutes before the end of the second sitting, he standed up and he passed in front of us with a stick. If somebody wants to get hit, the person should raise his hand. The chief priest hitted his sholder twice lightly.

During the time of Zazen, we have to close our eyes and should not think about anything. When we notice we are thinking other things, we have to repeat to breath slowly, in counting from one to 10 in our mind.  However, I did know it after finishing my experience to read the note. During experiencing Zazen, I was thinking about my work and other things!! Oh my god! My experience failed completely. I should try again!

If you like, it is available to have a tea time with the chief priest. He speaks to us freindly for the beginners. It was 6 o'clock in the evening when Zazen finished. It was just time to be hungry. This time, I had dinner with my freind in Izakaya restaurant in Ebisu.
For next number, I inform you new theme. See you soon.