This day we had a pretty good idea of what we were going to do, we didn’t know it was going to be as challenging and difficult as it was.
We got to the temple and there was a Monk waiting for us to teach us Zen, as soon as we got there, we went to the tatami room where the altar was with the statue of Buddha. Everything was prepared for us to be there. The Monk then started with his explanation about the Meditation Technique.
Some of us knew what to expect but the majority of us were just nervous to do something wrong in such a perfect environment, you could hear a needle drop.
There we were at the temple with a Monk with a wooden stick on his hand standing in front of us waiting for one of us to move so he could punish ourselves hitting us with the stick on our back. The sound of the “punishment” was very loud and truly scary. My jaw dropped when i saw him do it to the person next to me.
Zen… meditation technique that taught us to listen to our hearts and thoughts through concentration.
Two sessions of 15 minutes of immobility for us was a life time and a nightmare for a few nor for the 28 year old monk who was teaching us about Zen, his longest period of meditation is 8 days and a few hours.
After a long day of activities from rainy visit to temples to Big Buddha, from seeing a sword maker to listening to a banjo player, it was a day full of new experiences for the participants of World Campus – Japan.
To end our day we had a pretty big dinner party with all the host families, LOC members and World Campus – Japan Participants at a temple which was also one of our host families’ house, there was so much food, from things we never tasted to things we were already used to eating. Everything from eggs to beef, from sushi to nato (fermented beans), from sashimi to fruits, from beer to sake, from green tea to juice and water, from chicken to guacamole (Mexican avocado deep)… all on one long table.
Once again we had the opportunity to use our senses in Japan, a country with unlimited choices when it comes to food. WCJ enjoyed trying new things and seeing familiar things on the table.
After dinner we danced to the rhythm of the banjo played by one of our host dads, a true sign of cultural globalization!