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Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Tendouji Temple(天童寺)| Buddhist Meditation, Vegetarian Dish, and Shakyo (Copying of a Sutra) | Sapporo

If you want to experience the Buddhist world in Sapporo, I recommend "Tendouji (天童寺)", whose Buddhist priest can speak English, and provides us several Buddhist experience courses such as zazen (meditation), vegetarian dishes, and shakyo (making a handwritten copy of a sutra).

This temple belongs to Soto School of Zen Buddhism.

Their typical practice is Shikantaza (只管打坐)the stage of meditation in the school. It means that when we sit down to meditation, we wholeheartedly sit down to meditate and should not work our our problems. Therefore, the simplified translation of Shikantaza is "merely sitting".  It also means that if the aim of meditation is to empty the mind of thoughts, then that is exactly what we should do. Emptying the mind is the most difficult thing to achieve in meditation because the function of the mind is to think.

First, the priest introduced the main hall to us.

 Then we moved to the zazen room.

I've experienced zazen several times, but it was the first time for my tour guests to experience it.

He kindly explained what zazen is, and how to do it.

This small tatami space is for one person.

Of course it is very difficult or impossible for laymen like us to empty the mind, but zazen made our mind stand still and peaceful!

After zazen, we enjoyed Buddhist vegetarian dishes↓ 

Would you like to experience shakyo (making a handwritten copy of a sutra), too? Please contact the temple!

■Where is "Tendouji (天童寺)"?

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■Tour guide information■
Do you need a nationally-licensed English-speaking tour guide when you travel to Hokkaido?
I'll guide you! Plz click here!


Tony said...

so far I havn't try any japanese buddhist vegetarian meal b4 ^^

K.K. said...

The vegetarian meal was partly cooked by this priest! Interesting, isn't it?
It was very delicious after experiencing zazen!
If you have a chance, why don't you try it?

Lise said...

Hey, Thanks for this post!
I will be visiting Hokkaido in august, and I have very limited japanese knowledge (even i I am not afraid of learning and speaking with my hands!). I would love to find a temple that would accept me to stay a few days/a week, meditate everyday, and participate to the temple's life. If you know any place in hokkaido that do that king of thing, I would be really grateful!!

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