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- Asankhata (asamskrita: unmade)
- Awakened Way (Buddhism)
- Bodhisattva way
- Buddha heart
- Buddha Mind Seal: Zazen
- Buddha mind/heart
- Buddha: Shakya-muni/Sakiya-muni
- Camino Primitivo
- Climate Change
- Cultivation: culture
- cultivation: verification (修：証）
- Dependent Origination (縁起: causality)
- dharma dhatu
- Dharma of Dependant Origination
- Equanimity: equipoise: upekhâ (sha: 捨: renunciation of karmas)
- Flower Festival
- Flowers (Cherry
- Flowers Flourish
- from artificial pyramidal civilization to natural cyclical (Indranet) culture
- Function free and full
- Function free and full
- Global ethic
- Global problems
- Global warming
- Great Person
- Holy: wholly wholesome: undefiled (vs. sinful: separated: selfish
- Home coming
- Jihi: 慈悲: friendship-compassion
- Karma World
- Light of purity/peace/prognosis
- Manaslu & Tsum Valley
- Mind: World
- Moon (Full = Buddha heart
- Nirvana (windless: asankhata
- Nuclear bombs
- nuclear disaster
- Nuclear plants
- One world
- Paradigm shift
- Paramount Truth (paramattha sacca/paramarth satya)
- Samadhi (concentration)
- Shikan-taza (只管打坐)
- Shikoku (Four States or Provinces)
- Sitting/samu: two wings/wheels
- Store-consciousness (ālaya-vijñāna)
- Substancelessness (shûnyatâ)
- Supramundane (loka-uttara)
- Transmigrating (Six Worlds/Ways)
- Triple Learnings
- Triple Poisons
- Triple Treasures (Buddha/Dharma/Sangha)
- True treasure
- Vesak Day
- Voluntary simplicity
- Wholly Wholesome Way/World
- World Without War
Here are films our members created:
Produced by Cole Hieronymus:
1. Colorado | True Nature – Hier Films
2. “Life is a Pattern.” – Alan Watts | Who are we?
(scenes from St. Louis region)
Preview YouTube video Colorado | True Nature – Hier Films
Colorado | True Nature – Hier Films
Produced by Dan Sadicario:
3. Meet Your Farmer: Blue Heron Orchard
We have now beautiful magnolias, daffodils, forsythia, plums, and pears blooming according to the universal natural law. However, humans are now blasting the holy harmony of the natural world due to their individual karma idiosyncrasies. Only humans create wars, weapons, nukes, global warming, mass extinction, etc., causing suffering not only among themselves, but for all others, leading to the destruction of the world.
The Four Sufferings are birth, sickness, aging, and death, and the Eight Sufferings are these four plus not acquiring the desired, parting with the beloved, meeting the hated, and, in short, the rampant raging of the Five Aggregates. The Two Roots or Sources of sufferings are craving and nescience (delusion of a separated self, identification, lit. no witness, of the selfless nature of all), which are the prime movers (karma) of suffering and samsara.
The Triple Poisons of delusion, divisiveness, and desire poison all to perish. Karma (cognate of ceremony, formations) creates psycho-physical systems (Five Aggregates and their worlds), their actions, habits, and heredities, recreating these cycles. Karma (forms and formations as the Five Aggregates and the Triple Poisons in the Twelvefold Dependent Co-origination) is the fundamental problem to be recognized and resolved. Karma solutions is in stilling karma.
Zazen stills karmas (old and new physical, verbal, and mental actions, habits, etc.), leading to nirvana (no wind, of karma) and awakening (witness, prognosis) in it, which he attained and actualized. In Dogen’s Universal Recommendation of Right Zazen we read, “Learn the right form and never doubt the true dragon…The treasure house will open by itself, and you will appreciate and use it at will (nyoi).” Those who have the nyoi-shu, wish-fulfilling gem are dragons.
Closing the Circle (temples 1,2,3 and Koyasan)
It took me two days to return to the first three temples (45km). On the second day
it was raining so hard, that I was totally wet when I arrived in Gokurakuji (temple 2).
In Gokurakuji, the temple of Pure Land, I stayed overnight.
Colorful schoolchildren walking in the rain
A temple I passed on the way
Coming back to the first three temples was a great experience. I remembered the
stress I felt in the beginning of the pilgrimage and could enjoy the atmosphere now
Pagoda of Ryōzenji
Main hall of Ryōzenji (temple 1)
Two story pagoda of Konsenji (temple 3) surrounded by lush, green trees
It was sucha contrast to the wintry scenes weeks before!
Gokurakuji has a nice garden with a Cedar tree over a thousand years old. It is said
that Kōbō Daishi planted it himself. The tree is known as “Chomeisugi, Long Life
Ceder,” and pilgrims pray for long life. In Gokurakuji, I stayed overnight in the
shukubō. To my surprise, I met Ella again. It was great!
The temple had also a rock with the footprints of Buddha.
Picture of Buddha’s footprints expressing Buddha’s life, practice and teachings as a
wanderer. The marks were most probably added gradually starting with the Dharma
wheel. The seven auspicious marks as shown here seems to start from the heel – the
dawning (awakening) over the mountains, forming the Triple Treasures, spreading
the Dharma, sharing and enjoying limitless light, life, liberation and love.
I related to the feet of Buddha very much. I thanked my own feet for their support,
for each step bringing me forward and closing the circle. I thought about Daikai-
san’s words in the Zen monastery saying, that in the Zen way, it is the body that
teaches the mind. My feet, on this 800 miles long pilgrimage, were my teachers.
After leaving Shikoku, I stayed for three nights in Koyasan. I was lucky that
Hongakuin, the temple I stayed in at the beginning of my pilgrimage, had a place
for me. In Hongakuin, I also left my staff. This was hard.
The entrance gate to Hongakuin
One of the corridors of Hongakuin
View from my tatami room out into the garden
Soji, a student helper, serving food
In this temple, the food is brought to your own room. It was delicious!
I spent my three days in Koyasan visiting the many temples. In the Okunoin
(cemetery), I met a nice group of Japanese women.
Okunoin with moss covered grave markers
The huge, ancient Cedar trees were most impressive.
Konpon Daitō (Original Great Pagoda)
Kōbō Daishi originally designed this pagoda, built in 816. The area where the pagoda
stands is called Danjo Garan (Temple on Platform, lit. Platformed Monastery).
Shingon priests perform many rituals and ceremonies in front of the buildings being
erected on this sacred ground.
Danjo Garan bell tower
Shingon priests reciting Sutras in front of one of the buildings of the Danjo Garan
At the end of my pilgrimage, I visited again the Okunoin (Mausoleum, lit. the Hall of
Depth) of Kūkai. I thanked him for my safe travel, for the beauty I could experience,
for the wonderful people I met and for everything that happened on the Ohenro-no-
michi (Pilgrim’s Path).
I want to also thank you for walking with me as a reader and I hope that you enjoyed
it as much as I did. In deep gassho, Garyo
We with all readers wish to express our great appreciation for Garyo’s travelogue
with intimate and intriguing pictures of her long wonderful walk and work.
Ōkuboji, temple 88
Just opposite of Nagaoji (temple 87), I stayed overnight in the Ryokan Azumaya
The lady of the house was extremely nice and served for breakfast an egg with two
yolks. “Dōgyō-ninin” she said, meaning “ same practice, two people”. The second
yolk was for our protector, Kōbō Daishi.
The egg yolk with the lightly beaten egg white mixed with rice tastes really good.
Lady owning the Ryokan Azuyama
Temple 88 is located on Mt. Nyotai (800m). On the way up, I passed the Maeyama
Dam and some beautiful rice fields.
The last part of the hike to the top of the mountain was very steep and wild. I thought
that I had lost my way. The only signs were in Japanese so I could not read them.
To my surprise, in the middle of the forest, a monk was sweeping the forest path and
ensured me that I walked in the right direction.
Some parts near the summit required climbing up metal rungs
Temple 88 is located passed the summit.
Ōkuboji, the temple of the big cave, is the last temple of the Shikoku pilgrimage.
At the entrance gate, I met a pilgrim with a red name slip, indicating that he did the
whole pilgrimage between 8 – 24 times. During my pilgrimage, I got from different
pilgrims two brocade name slips (indicating they had done the pilgrimage over 100
times), several golden name slips (between 50 – 99 times) and one silver one (25-
49). These name slips are supposed to have special powers.
Ohenro with a red name slip
Beside the calligraphy written in the pilgrim’s book (nōkyōchō) and the leaf I got in
each temple, the monk in the last temple was writing a certificate that I finished the
Shikoku pilgrimage by visiting all 88 temples.
Many pilgrims leave their staff (kongōzue) in this place. It is said that Kūkai left his
own Shakujo (monk’s sounding staff, lit. tin stick) staff in this place after returning
Place where the Ohenros leave their staff after finishing the pilgrimage
The fee is 1000 yen (about $ 10). I continued my pilgrimage back to temple 1 –
3, closing the circle. Therefore, I did not leave it in Ōkuboji.
It was a very nice surprise to meet Ella again. We celebrated the finishing of the
pilgrimage together. Overall, I was grateful that I was able to walk it but sad at the
same time that this wonderful time was nearly over. I expressed my gratefulness
by lightening candles and incense.
From Karma to Nirvana
1:30 – 1:35 Introduction: Leonora Kham
1:35 – 3:30 From Karma-delusion to Nirvana-awakenin
Dr. Rosan Yoshida: Director, Missouri Zen Center
From Ego-global warming to Eco-life healing
Dr. Benjamin de Foy: Professor , St. Louis University
From Nuke Winter to Nukeless Spring
MT, MPH. Steven Starr: Professor, University of Missouri, Columbia
From National System Ethic to Global System Ethic
Dr. David Oughton: Professor, St. Louis University
3:30-4:00 Panel discussion, Q&A, conclusion
SATURDAY, MARCH 11, 2017
1:30 p.m. – 4:00 pm
Fo Guang Shan St. Louis Buddhist Center
3109 Smiley Road, Bridgeton, MO 63044
For more information, call (314) 517-0468
OPEN TO PUBLIC
FREE OF CHARGE
A Sense of Time (temples 85 and 86)
When walking out of Takamatsu City, one of the reliefs on a bridge showed an
ancient warrior fighting on a horse, telling the story of the defeat of the Taira clan
in a naval battle in 1185. I was surprised that in Japan, the memory of battles is still
alive after nearly 1000 years.
The scene above depicts the famous samurai Nasuno Yoichi (1169 – 1232) in the
battle of Yashima (1185, when Heishi, Taira clan, was defeated and Genji, Minamoto
clan, established Kamakura Shogunate). He became particularly famous for one
action: Sitting on a horse in the wavy waters, he aimed at a fan atop a pole on a ship.
(It was placed there by the Taira clan to challenge the Minamoto clan, the enemy).
With a single shot, he hit the target. Later on, Nasu became a Buddhist monk and
founded a temple. For hundreds of years, this temple was handed down to the
next generation, until the temple was destroyed during World War II.
Legend says that the pond at Yashimaji turned red after the warriors, who fought at
this battle, washed their swords in this pond. Relics of the battle can be seen in the
Treasure house of Yashimaji.
Rurihō-no ike, Pond of Emerald Jem or Pond of Blood in Yashimaji
Shishi-odoshi (scaredeer), an art object by the artist Jin Hasegawa, was exhibited
after the entrance gate of Yashimaji. It looked a bit lost and scared itself.
The temple grounds also show two large, stone images of Minoyama Daimyojin, a
tanuki (raccoon dog) that is able to change shape and assume other forms. Legend
says that a tanuki changed into the form of an old man meeting Kōbō Daishi.
Tanuki are also said to have taken part in the Sino-Japanese war (1894-1895).
The main hall nearby is a 15th century construction and a cultural Treasure.
In Yashimaji, I also met Marylin, a Canadian woman who did the whole pilgrimage
by camping and sleeping in the rest huts provided for the Ohenros. We immediately
bonded. It would have been great having met her earlier on the trek.
On the way to Yakuriji (temple 85), I visited the Isamu Noguchi museum. Noguchi
was an American/Japanese artist. In a book called “The voice of Isamu Noguchi”,
he stated that Japan needs to teach the world a sense of time, a time which goes in
Changes in a garden’s trees and rocks take place with the flow of time, he says. They
change as humans change. The purpose of a sculpture is to teach human beings
nature. I love his philosophy.
Yakuriji nestled against powerful cliffs
Two story pagoda in Yakuriji
It was already late in the afternoon when I arrived at Shidoji (temple 86).
Untrimmed trees and shrubs and many flowers were surrounding the temple halls
where the little son of the priest was chasing butterflies. I immediately felt connected.
Five story Pagoda at Shidoji
Alert and with big eyes, the son of the priest was looking at me.
Setouchi Triennale 2016
On my 88-temple pilgrimage, I kept walking nearly every day. There were two
exceptions, however -one was the 8 days long stay in the Zen temple Zuioji and the
other one was in Takamatsu City, where I wanted to visit the Setouchi Triennale.
This International art festival is held every three years on 12 islands around
Takamatsu. It was created to bring vitality and life back to an area, which lost
importance in the time of globalization.
Unfortunately, I arrived on the last day of the festival. I did not see most of the art
objects. However, what I saw was stunning, inspiring and beautiful.
Beyond the Borders – the Ocean by Lin Shuen Long from Taiwan
The art object depicts a floating seed and is placed near the harbor of Takamatsu.
Image of the root of the floating seed with a golden statue in the center
I spent a whole day with Ella, my French pilgrimage friend, exploring the islands of
Naoshima and Teshima. In Naoshima, we saw the Red Pumkin and the Naoshima
Red Pumkin by Yayoi Kusama
Light play inside the Red Pumkin
Naoshima Pavilion by Sou Fujimoto at the Marine Station
Teshima Art Museum by the architect Ryue Nishizawa and the artist Rei Naito
This building is a fusion of architecture, art and nature. It offers an amazing space
inside with totally white walls and floors and the sky and tree tops coming into the
building through the huge, round opening at the ceiling. The building could only be
entered barefoot. Silence was required. The Teshima Art Museum symbolizes the
flow of seasons and the passage of time. I was not allowed to make a photo, but the
visitor center nearby could be photographed.
Visitor center of Teshima Art Museum overlooking the Seto Inland Sea
The artist Mariko Mori created a fascinating art project. The path to the object was
leading through a jungle like forest area. The monument, called Tom Na H-iu
symbolized life and death and was placed in the middle of a pond. It was connected
to an observatory recording supernovas. Every time a star exploded (death of a star),
the monument glowed.
Tom Na H-iu by Mariko Mori, the artistic recorder of supernovas
The Archive du Coeur by Christian Boltanski was a similar project recording the
heart beats of humans and connecting them to a light bulb in a huge, dark room.
With every heartbeat, the light went on. I recorded my own heartbeat and it was
fun to see the rhythm and the power of the heartbeat in a visual form.
Tamura Jinja and the Ritsurin Garden (temple 84)
It is estimated that there are around 100, 000 Jinjas (Shinto Shrines) in Japan.
Shinto means “way of the Gods.” Originally, the sun, the moon, mountains, trees
rocks, waterfalls, etc. were worshiped as gods or spiritual beings – spirits living
in them. Kamis were worshiped to ensure good harvests, prosperous life, etc.
One of the most fascinating Jinja’s I visited on my pilgrimage was the Tamura Jinja,
Ichinomiya (temple 83), the First Shrine in Sanuki Province now Takamatsu City.
A huge Torii (gate) at the entrance of the shrine symbolizes the transition from
profane to sacred ground. Torii means literally bird’s abode. In Japan, birds are
thought to have connections to the dead.
Hotei, god of contentment and happiness, is one of seven Gods of Good Fortune
(sometimes, identified as Miroku Bosatsu, Maitreya Bodhisattva, Future Buddha,
Bodhisattva of Friendship) at the entrance of the shrine.
Many Torii’ are indicating the sacredness of the place (sometimes donated with
The building, called Haiden (lit. player building, for the visitors to pray to the
the enshrined kami of the shrine. Behind this building stands Honden (lit. main
building), which is not accessible to the public. The ritual in front of the Honden,
after cleaning hands and mouth, includes bowing, donating money, bowing twice,
clapping the hands twice, and bowing once (called ni-rei, ni-hakushu ichi-rei).
The Ox is dedicated to students. If a student wants to pass an exam, the student first
has to turn the golden ball in the mouth of the ox, then crawl underneath a hole
under the sculpture and finally pray at a specific spot.
Many sculptures of dragons can be seen in Tamura Jinja. Dragons are large,
wingless (unlike Western counterparts) and serpentine mythological creatures
associated with rainfall and bodies of water. Unfortunately, I did not know much
about them, except that I loved these creatures (Eastern dragons may be more
benevolent than Western ones in relation to humans).
Dragon with Nyoi-shu, Wishi-fulfilling Gem
Torii with dragon and Shimenawa
Besides celebrating Matsuri (big public festivals), purification rituals for different
stages of life (birth, wedding…..) are performed. The photo below shows a ritual for
a new car to ensure safety and good luck.
The city of Takamatsu is also famous for the Ritsurin Garden, one of the most famous
historical gardens in Japan. Typical for Japanese gardens, every step I took provided
another beautiful view of the scenery. The Garden is located near the Shikoku-no-
michi, the Ohenro walking route.
Lake surrounded by black pines in the Ritsurin garden
Hako-matsu Pine trees (translated as box shaped pine). The formation is achieved
by meticulous pruning methods. The scenery created by these pines is unique in the
This black pine tree is one of the most beautiful pine trees in the garden. It
symbolizes a white crane spreading its wings on an enormous tortoise back (rock
symbolizes the tortoise). The Tsuru-Kame-Matsu (Crane-Tortoise-Pine Tree) stands
for longivity. It is said that cranes live for one thousand years and tortoise for ten
thousand years. This tortoise composed of some one hundred rocks.
White Wisteria in full bloom
Lady in Kimono in the Ritsurin garden
Waraji, the traditional shoes of pilgrims and travelers (temples 81,82,83)
The walk up to the Shiromineji (temple 81), called also the temple of the white peak,
was very beautiful. The temple is located on a mountain plateau called Goshiki-dai
(five-colored-grounds). Shiromine (white peak), Kimine(yellow peak), Akamine
(red peak), Aomine (blue peak) and Kuromini (black peak).
Ishi-dōrō (stone lantern) on the way to Shiromineji
Like many other temples of the Shikoku-no-michi, Path of Shikoku, Kūkai originally
founded temple 81. One of the emperors of the Chrysanthemum throne, Emperor
Sutoku (12th century), has a mausoleum and memorial here. The memorial is called
Many temples and shrines have donation stones with the inscription of the donor’s
name – like the line of stone tablets along the stairs in the photo above.
The stone is a typical path marker. In this case, the hand pointing to the left says
Negoroji (temple 82). The hand pointing the right points in the direction of
Shiromineji (temple 81)
On the walk to Negoroji (temple 82), I met Ella, a French pilgrim. We got along well
and spent the next couple of days together.
Ella admiring the spring blossoms
The middle of April was a great time to hike. Spring was everywhere. Wisterias, a
protected plant in the Kagawa prefecture, were starting to bloom. Every year from
April 26 – May 5, the Wisteria Festival is celebrated in Kagawa.
Six feet tall Kujaku-Fuji (Peacock wisteria) with a small Shinto shrine
Negoroji (temple 82) is also located on the same mountain plateau, but on the blue
peak mountain Aomine.
At the entrance, two enormous straw sandals called Waraji are exhibited in front of
the temple gate. This is not unusual. The huge sandals are there to trick evil spirits
into staying out of the temple ground by making them believe that the shoes belong
to giant guardians of the temple. Little sandals are often attached to the wooden
fences of the gate. In the old days, these Waraji were the traditional shoes Japanese
pilgrims wore on their pilgrimage. They only lasted for 24 hours. Foot problems are
the most common problems on a walking pilgrimage.
Huge Waraji with little straw sandals attached
Vegetation in Negoroji
Ichinomiyaji (temple 83), called the temple of the First Shrine, had two interesting
Two Ohenros reading the tablet inside the sculpture of a lotus bud –
the Heart Sutra, Ohenros chant at each temple
There was also a shrine dedicated to Yakushi Nyorai, the Healing Buddha. During
Taiho Period (701-704 C.E.), Ichinomiya-ji (temple 83) was built connected with the
Tamura-jinja or Sanuki Ichinomiya (1st Shrine), and separated later, like many other
temples and shrines. The stone is probably a left over from this connection. It is told
that Kōbō Daishi built this shrine to warn people of the boiling sounds of the Hell
Kettle to wake up. If wrong-doing people put their heads in, the door shuts up and
catches them. Legend tells that one time an old woman with the name O-tane, Seed,
did not believe in it and tried to put her head in and was caught by her head hearing
the boiling sounds. She repented the wrong doings, the door opened and let her
free. She awakened. The story of the roaring sounds of fire might be rooted in the
volcanic activities in Japan.
Kannon and the beauty of detail (temples 76 – 79)
The soil in the Kagawa prefecture contains a lot of clay and is not good for growing
rice. However, the soil is very suited for growing wheat. Therefore, wheat noodles
(udon) are the most famous dish in this area.
All over Shikoku, I saw people working in their gardens. They always focused on tiny
areas, weeding with utter carefulness, even when the surrounding area was ugly. I
loved their love for detail! Also, people working outside always wore hats and gloves.
They do not like the skin becoming brown.
The love for detail I especially could see in temples and shrines. The sense for beauty
and aesthetics was stunning. Gōshōji (temple 78) was one of the temples I especially
Walkway to the Daishi hall with gorgeous floral ceiling reliefs
Beside the Daishi hall in Gōshōji, a stairway leads to the entrance of an underground
hall (Mantai Kannon Dō, Ten-thousand Kannon Hall) dedicated to Kannon, the
Bosatsu of Compassion. Kannon is the translationof Avalokita-svara, Observing-
sounds (of cries), or Avolokita-īśvara, Observing-omnipotent (in responding).
Thousands of little Kannon statues are lined up all along the wall. I was told that the
temple was dedicated to dead children.
In addition to the statues, many little toys were given as offerings to Kannon.
Garden of Gōshōji
Kokubunji (temple 80) is the fourth temple on the 88 temple pilgrimage carrying the
same name.Kokubunji means province temple, which was built in each province
according to the decree of Emperor Shomu in 741 C.E. . In each of the four provinces
of Shikoku, there exists a temple called Kokubunji.
The temple contains a jōroku,16 feet tall, Senju-kannon, One-thousand-handed
Kannon, the tallest one of the Shikoku pilgrimage. It is kept out of sight from the
public and is considered a Hibutsu, a secret or hidden Buddha.
Fudōmyō-ō, the Unmovable (Acala) with the pagoda in the background