Saturday, 26 April 2014

Hosan today. After the discipline of sesshin yesterday, it felt very relaxed; everyone in an easygoing mood. Before a late breakfast at 7, Jinen arranged fresh flowers in vases. These flowers are for the altars in the hondo, the kitchen, the bathroom and the toilet. And there may be more altars that I haven't found yet.

This is the altar just outside the toilet door. As Falk is demonstrating, we gassho before entering the toilet and also on our way out.

Although it is a free day, there is still work that must be done. Here Tsukan is making tofu and Jisui is cooking lunch.

Sebastien and Sogaku sort out the bad rice from the good.

Lluis worked on his notebook. Here is a page from the notebook illustrating the residents of Antaiji eating a formal meal in the hiroma. You can see more of his work here: Two new arrivals came today and more will come next week. There must be over 20 of us by now.

The following 4 photos are of no particular significance. Just studies of light and shadow in the blue shed.




This afternoon I walked up to a ridge that overlooks Antaiji.

I walked along the ridge for a while to the highest point and then decided to turn back. There are lots of little paths up there that cross one another and disappear in the undergrowth, appearing again some way further along (if you are lucky enough to find them).  It was only when the ridge path began to look very different from the path I remembered that I realised I had gone too far - that I had missed the turn-off down the hill. Belatedly I recalled the first rule of bushwalking: always tell someone where you are going! What if I didn't make it back before dinner? What if I had to spend the night in the mountains! I might be lost for weeks and people at Antaiji would think I had run away!

Then, down a steep slope to my right, I saw a road. I thought it must be the road to Antaiji. Once down there I could easily walk back. But when I reached the road I didn't recognise it. For one thing it sloped downward instead of up. Nor did I recognise the interesting rock formation of the cliff face above me.

I walked along the road a bit, just to make sure it wasn't the right one. I came upon this Bodhisattva and I knew I had never seen him before. So I said hello to him, then thought about what I should do. I decided to backtrack until I returned to the place where I had last seen Antaiji. From that position I would then be able to navigate my way back home. And I did get back. And I feel I know this place better now, having got lost and then finding my way again! And I look forward to more explorations.

When I returned to Antaiji I showed Eko san the photo of the Bodhisattva. She said it was Jizo san. According to Wikipedia, Jizo san is the protector of children, particularly deceased children, and travellers.


  1. Hi Mushin, thank You for your fotos and sharing your experiences in antaiji. I was there years ago, so I know something of waht you talk about.

    1. Hello Shinryu. Yes, a beautiful place. Very friendly and challenging in unexpected ways.

  2. Love the textures and patterns in the shed photos

    1. Hi Greg. There are some great photo opportunities here. Wait til you see the chicken shed- maybe next free day.