重森三玲 Mirei Shigemori Residence and Rock Garden Kyoto

Rocks in Japan have long been seen as sacred, John Dougill of Green Shinto points out. In Shinto there are ‘spirit-bodies’ made of rock which form the object of worship, the idea being that ancestral spirits descend into them and are made manifest. These special rocks, known as iwakura, are hung with rice rope and treated … Continue reading 重森三玲 Mirei Shigemori Residence and Rock Garden Kyoto

New study page: Introduction to Dogen

When visiting Uji, Japan, I stumbled upon a Sōtō Buddhist Temple and learned about Dōgen. Uji 有時 means Being-Time, I was hooked.

The Dōgen Institute

We are pleased to introduce a new study page to our website, a series of videos by Hoko Karnegis, Vice Abbot of Sanshin Zen Community.

These videos provide a background for the study of Dogen Zenji.

If you have plans to study Dogen’s writings, or if you are planning to attend a genzo-e retreat, this material is recommended for your use.

Please visit our new study page:
https://dogeninstitute.wordpress.com/introduction-to-dogen/

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Tea tasting: Hand-rolled green tea

I love green tea and thought this post and photos were just so beautiful I had to share! Subarashi desu!

茶柱 The Floating Tea Stem

This is just a short post (and photo dump) for a delicious hand-rolled tea I received as a gift last week.

In Japan, there are farmers who produce hand-rolled tea, usually in small amounts and sold at premium pricing.

Also, as I have previously posted, some even offer the hands-on experience to visitors, at a fee.

However, in most tea regions there is a ‘cha temomi hozonkai’, or Tea Hand-rolling Preservation Society. This is usually a group of experienced tea masters who strive to preserve the traditional method of rolling tea, which is by hand instead of using machines.

On pricing, let me give you an example of what premium could be. In this year’s first new tea auction held in Shizuoka City last week, a kilo of hand-rolled green tea from Fujinomiya, made in collaboration with the Fujinomiya Tea Hand-rolling Preservation Society, fetched a whopping 1,968,000 yen.

That…

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My Me & Mu 無 Haibun Published in The Haibun Journal

I wrote the haibun Me & Mu 無 after visiting the Saihō-ji 西芳寺 Zen Temple in 2018. We were required to do sutra copying before viewing its famous moss gardens and landscape, which prepared our minds for the sublime event. I’m grateful and honored to announce that Me & Mu 無 is published in The Haibun Journal 4:1. I … Continue reading My Me & Mu 無 Haibun Published in The Haibun Journal

勿体無い Mottainai! As Supply Shortages Loom, Look to Traditional Japan and Thrive by Living With Less

The non-profit organization Mottainai Japan’s motto is, “In the spirit of mottainai, we continually give back to society,” The policy of selfishly wasting your enemies’ petroleum to keep up an alienated consumer lifestyle to profit global capital is over. Getting back to nature is in, and looking to Japan’s culture of Mottainai shows the way!

Photograph: Father & Daughter in Arms, Hanoi, Vietnam

At the Museum of Military History in Hanoi, Vietnam, I was struck by this image of a father and his daughter exploring the exhibition on women patriots during the Vietnam War. I loved the way the arms reflected each other. This photograph, taken in November 2019, is available at Estudio Sol on Society6! Along with … Continue reading Photograph: Father & Daughter in Arms, Hanoi, Vietnam