Into the world of Zen

By Yili Wong (from : Malaysia) on 11月. 2, 2016

By Yili Wong (from : Malaysia) on 11月. 2, 2016

"Thung~~~" The sound from the large bell broke the silence in the hall of Jizouin temple.

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On our cushion, get set, GO! Our Zazen meditation began.

We sat on the center of the cushion or zabuton, legs crossed either in full- or half-lotus position (those who lack some flexibility like me, can opt for half-lotus position), sat upright, back straight, shoulder relaxed, hands in Cosmic Mudra or hokkai-join (palms faced upwards, with the left palm on top of the right palm, and thumbs touching each other), eyes at 45 degree angle downward to the floor, and FINALLY breathe slowly......

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At that moment of peacefulness, calmness, serenity and tranquility, you can concentrate very easily, and it's the best time for self-reflection. Mirrored yourself, what you saw from the past and what you are expecting in the future, meditation might be helping you to seek for your true self and the meanings of life, and settle down anxiety. Attention wandered? No worry. Tap! The trainer will remind you with a stick tapped on your shoulder.

"Thung~Thung~~Thung~~~" Three times from the bell, marked the end of the meditation.

My feet were numb (obviously I'm a beginner!). But overall, it was a nice experience. It's a good way to release stress and shake-off negative emotions. Refreshing mind returned!

Around the Jizouin temple, you couldn't miss out the Jizou statues. They are believed to be guardians of children who passed away in young age or miscarriages. The pebbles or stones are for the lost souls to find their way to paradise.

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There are also other statues (besides the Jizou statues) which are believed to be the 'jury' to determine if your soul will go to heaven or to hell. Believe it or not, one of the jury accepts bribes so that the soul can 'buy' his way to heaven. It's such a realistic world over there!

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Our day in Jizouin temple ended with 'shojin' vegetarian lunch, a common cuisine for Buddhist monks in Japan. It was simple yet nutritious and healthy meal. Yummylicious!!!

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【色不异空,空不异色;色即是空,空即是色】这道理,你悟了吗?

“咚~~~” 一回的钟响,打破了原有的静寂。禅坐开始!闭目盘膝而坐,缓缓地一吸一呼。此时此刻,心情是如此的平复。有些人会在这个时候放空,让脑子休息;有些人会在这个时候沉淀自己的思绪,自我反省。在这宁静的氛围里闭目养神中,有些人若真不小心浅眠了的话,放心,师傅在肩上一啪!马上清醒!

“咚~咚~~咚~~~”三回的钟响,再次打破了静寂。禅坐结束!初学者难免会双脚发麻,但这一切都是值得的!禅坐后,整个人非常地有精神,相信是冥想带来的影响,负面情绪都被抛到九霄云外了!气息的调节也让人感到格外的轻松,少了烦躁,多了内心的平静。这时的你是否已领悟到“色即是空,空即是色”了呢?多多少少能理解一点吧~

既然来到了日本僧侣的庙,当然得尝一尝“精进料理”,也就是僧侣的素食餐。别以为吃素是件很辛苦的事,菜色也会让人吊胃口。这里提供的午餐绝对会让你改观,对和尚的素食刮目相看!简单、健康,也不失均衡的营养,非常非常地好吃!强推!!酥脆的蔬菜天妇罗、冰冷的芝麻豆腐、热腾腾的自家酿的味噌汤,美味极了!

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What might seem like common practice and everyday values to local Japanese people can be new and attractive treasures through the eyes of people from different countries and cultures! There are so many unknown and enticing treasures just waiting to be discovered in Tohoku – come and find them!