Friday, July 25, 2008

Seeking out some Zen

My flight from Dubai to Osaka was a nightmare, since I was in close proximity to a very hateful person. That’s the thing about aeroplanes: you can’t go anywhere and you can’t choose who you’re in there with.

Hence I decide to spend my morning in Kyoto exploring the Zen gardens and temples in Northern Higashiya. Fresh air has the ability to put me on a high, probably since I am spending so much time in planes.

After sorting out my shoe problem, I head for the old railway tracks outside Keage train station. The maple trees are a shiny green and provide some shelter from the sun.

From here I follow a windy path past the peaceful rock garden at Konchi-in temple (founded around 1400). The garden was created by master landscape designer Kobori Enshu and features a lotus pond with colourful carp that is highlighted by the clear light of this day. I follow the path to the main road and enter Nanzen-ji, an old retirement villa which Emperor Kameyama dedicated as a Zen temple in 1291.

Nanzen-ji covers a huge piece of land with all its gardens, sub-temples and shrines. I have an inside tip from one of the nicer people on the plane to follow a walking trail into the mountain beyond the Sosui aqueduct. So I leave the tourists behind and head into the woods. Ah, nature seems to absorb negativity and fill me with positive energy the same way it turns carbon dioxide into oxygen.

I reach a shrine built around a waterfall, which is what my source recommended as a magical site. Indeed the cherry red bridge, the praying Buddhists and the powerful waterfall weaves a spell that removes the dark cloud from over my head.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Wish you'd told us about the hateful person... love a good bitching... ;-P