Zazen is the central practice of Zen Buddhism. It consists of sitting on a cushion and quietly observing the activity of your mind.
In this activity, you visit Chōshō-in Temple early in the morning. The English-speaking priest, Tezuka Kiyo, provides a simple explanation of what to do, and the zazen starts.
This activity is for everyone, from beginners who don’t really know what zazen is, to veterans who have been sitting for years. Of course, we show beginners what to do, step by step. Usually, Zen practitioners sit for the length of time it takes for a single incense stick to burn out, about 40 minutes. At Chōshō-in, we sit for about 25 to 30 minutes. You may also try walking meditation. The time can be changed for your convenience, so please call us.
Work performed in a state of mindfulness is an important part of Zen practice. It’s also necessary for the upkeep of the temple. After the work, you’ll be shown how to perform a task such as wiping down the tatami mats.
After the work is over, it’s time for tea. It’s a rare opportunity to talk about Buddhism and Zen over a cup of tea. It may be the start of a new relationship with the Buddha.
Chōshō-in was intimately connected with the history of the Ii clan and the Hikone Domain. Zen Buddhism was patronised by high-ranking samurai for its links with China, still a source of cultural prestige, and for the benefits Zen meditation offered in psychological preparedness. At Chōshō-in, you can see many artifacts associated with the Ii family and enjoy chatting in English with the priest facing a dramatic painted scroll showing Ii Naomasa on horseback as he would have appeared at the Battle of Sekigahara.
Price: JPY 2,500 (includes tax)
Time: 6:30 to 8:00. About 1 hours
Place: Chōshō-in, 4-29 Chūōchō, Hikone
Participants: From 4 people
Booking: Ōmi DMO tel. 0749-22-5580
Note: Please book at least 2 days in advance