Woke up in a Temple

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The Dragon Temple
Woke up in a Temple
The Dragon Temple

A temple, a home, a place to align chakras, leave stress or worries at the front door.

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Great Feeling of Gratitude
Woke up in a Temple
Great Feeling of Gratitude

In the 'tower' of Dairyuji Temple is the bell that rings not for time, but for ceremonies and us guests only.

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Autumn in Japan
Woke up in a Temple
Autumn in Japan

Our view from the tea room onto this spectacular natural confetti.

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Morning Meditation
Woke up in a Temple
Morning Meditation

Sleepy but happy. Morning zazen meditation. How could you not drift with this gorgeous Japanese garden in front of you?

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Temple Yoga
Woke up in a Temple
Temple Yoga

Taking in the vibes. Temple Yoga, surrounded by 400 family altars. Respect is what comes to my mind.

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Exploring the Temple
Woke up in a Temple
Exploring the Temple

Can you imagine the kid played hide and seek in this temple? Home away from home.

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Foraging for Dinner
Woke up in a Temple
Foraging for Dinner

Our with the Chef to collect bamboo leafs to make detox tea. It's so easy and natural.

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Cooking with Yoshie
Woke up in a Temple
Cooking with Yoshie

Cooking with Yoshie means using only local, seasonal, organic produce. Just like it should be.

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View from the Tub
Woke up in a Temple
View from the Tub

Can I say that this is my view while soaking in steaming water in the hot spring? Pure bliss!

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Taking in the Beauty
Woke up in a Temple
Taking in the Beauty

Kids would stay into their comfort zone for ever, if possible. Taking them out of it can be tiring but as a Mother, I feel it's one of my tasks. Seeing my girl here, so relaxed, so aligned, happy, makes it all very much worthwhile.

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The Gozilla Rock
Woke up in a Temple
The Gozilla Rock

Not a fan of Gozilla, but this detour was fun! Kids and adults were climbing rocks. These things happiness does to you...

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A Room with a View
Woke up in a Temple
A Room with a View

Open sky, ocean view, rooftops of a small town that now has become more than just another place.

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Crowns of Red
Woke up in a Temple
Crowns of Red

In the North of Japan, the maple leafs are already on fire. A delicate leaf that warms us despite the cold breeze.

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Ever dreamt of waking up in a castle? How about waking up in a temple?

After this weekend I can truthfully say, been there, done that. Both, the first in France and the second in Japan. With a friend married to a Buddhist priest, this dream came true. A weekend out of the city, practicing mindfulness. A true bliss!

Gretchen Miura, is from New Jersey. She came to Japan to teach English for a year, met a monk and married him. Seriously true! Gretchen and Keno are one of the sweetest couples I have met, looking out for each other, completing tasks. Parents to four kids, they live in the family temple up North in an area called Akita and it’s the temple of dragons, Dairyu-ji.

If you know Japan a little, you may have heard about the Akita area for it’s tradition of the Namahage. A story of demons that were destroying villages, stealing crop and kidnapping innocent girls. It’s all quite gruesome but now it’s a tradition during the end of the Winter, a bit like Mardi Gras in France or Fasnacht in Switzerland. The masks are scary though I do confirm, after an evening at a taiko – Namahage festival, even my hair stood up.

Apart of this, the area is gorgeous and wild. The ocean views are gobsmacking and the forest range is a spectacle of colours during Autumn and my friends temple is perched on top of a hill overlooking it all.

Everything was set up to disconnect from the outside world.

I brought my kids along to this weekend retreat of Zazen meditation, yoga and cooking. In Zen Buddhism, zazen is a meditative discipline that is typically the primary practice. The precise meaning and method of zazen varies from school to school, but in general it can be regarded as a means of insight into the nature of existence. I have done mediation before but never in such a magnificent setting as this temple.

We woke up at six for morning yoga, folded our beds away off the handwoven tatami mats, had home made organic meals we helped prepare, practiced daily meditation led by the master himself and visited the area including a hot spring.

Everything was set up to disconnect from the outside world. It was soothing for the mind, body and soul. Practicing mindfulness, gratitude, remembering open mindedness and respect. These are things that are precious to me, and to my role as a Mother of two kids.

We all helped prepare the food together with the Chef Yoshie, fitting in the theme of slow-living and consciousness. When you know how to prepare some of these Japanese dishes, you will notice how easy they are to make on your own.

Here is one recipe for you: The pickles are made one day ahead, by cutting the vegetables in half and pressing them into a dish filled with white miso sauce (is a traditional Japanese seasoning produced by fermenting soybeans with salt and koji). The next day the vegetables are rinsed and cut into edible pieces and the miso is used for the same purpose three to four times.

There is no waste. Rests either go into the compost or they are reused.

This is our weekend out of town, unlike others, waking up in a temple. Feeling grateful and happy.

Next workshop will be held sometime in May 2018. For dates, follow Dairyuji Temple here.

 

Abi

Abi

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