Just now I am sitting in the Tokyo airport on my way back to US after the very successful trip to Japan. Here I will share some pictures from the trip.
Maybe my favorite thing about visiting Japan is the food…and it started with a tremendous breakfast buffet the morning after I landed. scrambled eggs, boiled eggs, fried eggs, Spanish omelets, egg curry, Canadian bacon, ham, crispy bacon, soft bacon, sausage, chicken sausage, steamed veges, rice noodles, all kinds of fish, 4 different kinds of tofu, miso soup, various Japanese vegetables, chocolate Danish, apple Danish, strawberry Danish, bread, croissant, cereal, oatmeal, pancakes, French toast, hash browns, all the fruit you can imagine, and about 12 other kinds of bread/danishes, orange juice, acerola juice, apple juice, grapefruit juice, tea, coffee…and a bunch of stuff I don’t remember.
Then I could spend several days on the sacred mountain that is home to several of the Okamisama spirits that are enshrined in our Dojo Shrine and to whom we make offerings before Goma time. In Japan, mountains are considered the sacred abode of the spirits and this mountain is so incredibly powerful…it has the very profound spiritual history of the yamabushi (mountain ascetics) training. Mountains are addressed by the suffix San which is used when addressing a person. Essentially it means Mr. or Mrs. Each day twice I could walk to the onsen hot springs and enjoy the hot mineral spring bath in the cool mountain air. During the morning I was planning to hike up to the inner shrine which is deeper in the mountains, we had the really big rain but it cleared after noon and a bunch of synchronicities led to very profound experiences at the shrine.
And then it was off for the busy week in Tokyo area with Rev. Tanaka. It was the harvest Thanksgiving festival in Japan which is a national holiday similar to our thanksgiving. The temple had a really magnificent two day ceremony where many people could light candles and offer Thanksgiving to the spirits of their ancestors. I particularly enjoy this ceremony because of the thousands of candles that are lit and placed around the edges of the pagoda and in the water stream.
During the week, I could spend a lot of time with Sensei, study the goma, purchase new items for the Goma, and discuss with Sensei our progress. During this time, Sensei Tanaka presented me with a ceremonial kesa that was passed to him by Archbishop Seytsu Takahashi. Takahashi Sensei served as the Bishop of North America from 1931 until 1982 and later became the Hoin -archbishop of Koyasan the highest position in Shingon. I am so grateful to be able to wear such a powerful kesa.
Sensei is very happy with our goma and
Rev Tanaka has announced his visit to Fudosan Kongo-Ji Temple in September 2010.
Sensei will be visiting our CT Temple in September of 2010 and we will have the very special Goma. More information will be posted as it becomes available.
Sumimasen (excuse me), now my plane is leaving soon and I must go to boarding.
Please join us on November 28th.
Thank you everyone!