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What you need to bring
- 日本語 (Fluent)
- English (Fluent)
I am the deputy head priest at the temple and am also teaching the class about Zen Buddhism and meditation. The class focuses on the way to incorporate Zen Buddhism into your lifestyle. I am also a member of the U.S.-Japan Leadership Program by the U.S.-Japan Foundation and an human rights activist supporting LGBT rights in Japan. I serve as a bridge between the Eastern and Western cultures.
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Unpretentious and thought provoking introduction to meditation
Rev. Taka begins by (trying) to divorce you of the preconceptions of mediation. His message is simple: meditation enhances your life and should be practiced daily. He delivers this message in a compelling way, stripping down the act of meditating away from the preconceived notions (not needed: half-lotus position, zen accouterment, a temple, hours and hours of time, etc.) and boils it down to three basic elements (needed: calm/non-distracting atmosphere, good (and comfortable) posture, and (most importantly) breathing.
In addition it is clear that Rev. Taka is a scholar of the world around him and has a refreshing perspective on a great many things.
If you want to do something useful and meaningful during your vacation, I would select this experience, however, keep in mind the experience is always what your bring to it.
I was so lucky that two other really amazing Japanese people joined me on the Zen Meditation and made the experience much better. The Zen Meditation was really interesting and the Reverend obviously had lots of knowledge from different fields and really gave a good introduction to the world of Zen meditation. The temple was one of the temples in a bigger complex of temples and the area was just filled with lots of beautiful temples.
Meditation on a lovely location
I really enjoyed the meditation class, even if I was not very good at it. Reverend Taka was great and had a really nice way of explaining things. He started with removing any pre-conceived ideas one might have on mediation and then led us through the experience.
The setting is really lovely. Set in a monastery that you would not be able to get into if you did not do this class, the setting was worth the price of admission. A beautiful old building and a lovely garden.
After the class you get to tour the monastery and then have tea.
One bit of advice: if you find sitting on the floor difficult, try get in as early as you can and get one of the seats.
Up to 1 Week Prior