Friday, April 07, 2006

Begging bowl


Everyday I go to sit with a Shingon priest and friend in a remote very old Soto Zen temple that was built on top of a small mountain 1000 years ago, An Yo ji. An is peace, Yo, nourishment. Hakuin visited it as it was once a Rinzai temple. Huge trees surround the site, a clear stream, a joyous waterfall and countless ageless statues give the visitor a warm and mossy welcome.
Once you go through the gate, you face a big Hondo and on both sides, old wooden buildings.

The abbot is about my age and he sits diligently following the tradition of Sawaki Kodo. He is a very shy but warm person. He even offered to lend me a hat and the proper garb for takuhatsu. He also gave me the address of a temple near Eiheiji that keeps nyohoe sewing going.
The Sodo is very peaceful and yet vibrant, alive. A dream of a place. More beautiful and touching than many temples I have seen. Very unpretentious.
I ll be soon in Kyoto being thrown bad words, bucks, buckets of water and rubbish ( apparently some people take advantage of the fact that monks have to practice equanimity and express a lot of anger). Anyway, takuhatsu for an guy like me is the best thing to do. I don t know why though. A friend was asking what I was expecting to get/learn from takuhatsu practice. The only answer that came to me was "nothing". It is just something calling me.
Walking slowly in straw sandals singing "hoooooo" gives plenty of time to practice just being ( expert at calculating or looking at the past, I want to soak my kin and bones in a bit of rough-open-busy street and taste every minute of it for I have then nothing else to do).
Broken bowl I am and hold another one with three stretched fingers, three jewels holding Buddha's skull. Empty head. And when allowed to be empty, filled with the most radiant light, distant and yet so close in the darkness that shines.
Mount Fuji walks motionless with his snowy takuhatsu hat.

4 Comments:

Blogger Michael Tait said...

A Westerner doing takuhatsu in modern Kyoto.
A mutation upon an anachronism? An emblem of postmodernism?

Just the beautiful evolution of an ageless tradition. One moment ceasing to be, over and over outside Mitsukoshi.

Thinking of you as I take my zafu with the crab apple straining to blossom and the coal tits fluttering in the wysteria.

Sake and sakura-mochi to you Tetsuten.

2:34 AM  
Blogger anu said...

I feel a wave of calm and joy as i see the mountain top and read your writings Pierre.

Thank you for sharing a peice of your soul and i enjoyed dancing in it :)

9:50 AM  
Blogger Pierre Turlur said...

Thank you for your appreciation, Anu.

Love.

4:03 PM  
Blogger Nicole said...

"empty, yet filled with the most radiant light"

: )

6:35 PM  

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