Friday, July 25, 2008

Finding stillness of heart


My morning amble takes me from Nanjen-ji to Tetsugaku-no-michi (the Path of Philosophy).

I sidestep into a small craft shop and marvel at some handmade tops and jewellery while having a glass of cold water with the jovial craftsgirl herself. Many of the houses along the tourist trail sell handmade products from their doorstep. The fact that these souvenirs are unique, make them precious.

Tetsugaku-no-michi is a walking trail that follows a tree-lined canal. Along the way Japanese artists are painting the dragonflies, drooping leaves and tiled rooftops in the distance. Moms stroll here with their prams, while lovers make romantic memories which would probably be even more so in Spring, under the cherry blossoms.

Eventually I reach the sign for Honen-in temple (established in 1680) and walk through the bamboo groves to the thatched gate - which is supposed to be especially beautiful in autumn, when the maple leaves start glowing. I’m not really sure whether it’s the amount of steep stairs or the sight that took my breath away.

Just around the corner from Honen-in is Gingaku-ji Zen temple (established in 1482), one of Kyoto's 17 UNESCO World Heritage sites and a perfect crescendo to my stroll.

Shogun Ashikaga Yoshimasa spent his whole life building Ginkaku-ji, formally known as Higashiyama den. It is designed to capture the beauty in each season. The path through the raked and shaped sand, bonsai, ponds and villas is draped in crisp green today.

This is a place of peace and balance. I stay for a while and try to absorb as much of it as possible, until my heart becomes very still.

3 comments:

Anonymous said...

Today I feel like I have taken a moment out of my life and jumped into yours. Beautiful place- thanks for sharing the stillness.... Mich

Anonymous said...

Wow! What a beautiful pic...

Miss you Lize!

xL

Mona Lize said...

Miss you too