Genjo-ji Zen/Kyudo…day 4 – Fog on the Mountain

3 06 2009

Another day I slept well for the most part. We had another foggy morning so up the top of the mountain where the Redwoods and the Zendo are there was rain. Still a weird effect to have it in just one spot…totally weird, like Sci Fi. Walk under the trees and it is raining…


This morning’s Zazen was pretty calm and once again the rain beat on the roof. Last night must have been something special because other than the regular stuff, we had bells, horns, gongs and a Taiko drum along with some chants I had not heard before and all that was being filmed. Something was up.

This morning’s breakfast was French Toast, fruit and Oatmeal. I passed on the Oatmeal, yuk! I sat across from someone who smacks when they eat. I really find that annoying, not sure why. My own hangup I need to work out.


Work practice, we are back to weeding.  We, I believe are now taking pride in how the space looks, it is our space now after three days of cleaning. We needed to do some adjustments to the shade structure due to the high winds of the night before. So we pitched in and pulled ropes and reset things.


I got into the yard work  today, I got the good shovel again and had at it. After awhile I tried to make the Zen Rock garden water patterns, but that did not work out to well, the rocks were not small enough. I gave it a good try though. I also found a thick rake/pitchfork with no handle that may have worked, but by the time I got worked up about it, work time was over and it was time for practice. I considered going back later and giving it a try but, I let it go.


Today is the last full day of practice. On Sunday we have 1 hours of practice then there is a closing ceremony for the residents to view.

I found practice today extra special with the feel of the fog around , yet hearing the birds, watching the wind blow the reeds, trees and bamboo.


Quiet of the morning Fog

filtering through the trees

Birds breaking the silence

As the arrow flys.

fog n traget

I felt really connected. I even shot one bulls eye. Which was really luck because I could not do it again. However it was still very cool for that one moment!


During our break I went for a walk into the woods. I went over to the cemetery where there are shrines for the founders of the Zen center.


I had been there years before but did not know what they were.


One had very very strong vibes, the main one. I think that must have been the one for Suzuki-sama.


I received more corrections today. Don’t lean ( I’m standing on a hillside), Bring to the Bow to you, raise my elbow more, do not open all my fingers on the right hand when I  release. Still thinking to much, let your body tell you when to let go once you hit your balance spot. Twist the Tiger’s mouth when you pre-load on the Yumi. It took me a few tries with the finger not open thing, but once I found the focus I could hear the sound change when the arrow hit the target, more power went with the Ya. Towards the end of the session I could feel it coming together better, and a couple of the Onii-san also noticed and remarked om my progress.

Lunch was excellent as usual.


I had acquired somewhat of a follower. There was a young lady there as a resident studying Buddhism. She was soon to go back to Poland to be part of a Zen Center there. at the table she asked me what was my spiritual practice. I told her Shaolin Chan. I was surprised she knew what it was. She wanted to know more about it.


As I explained about using Chi in our meditation, she because more interested and had many questions. I was glad there was a mandatory quiet period during meals, so I could eat in peace, at least partial. She was satisfied when I reached a point when I said, I do not know, I have not advance that far to have all the answers. Strangely enough that pleased her.


It was hard to believe that it was already Sat and the next day it would be over. So much a difference from last year when I was counting the time to leave the oven. I was baked well done. This time my sense of connecting was great and profound whilst on the platform shooting.


Almost surreal watching the wind move the grass and wild flowers, while the birds talked to each other, in the partial fog. It was almost like a movie. Sunday is the final chapter.




5 responses

3 06 2009
David Royall

Have followed the four days, so far. This sounds like a wonderful experience.

3 06 2009
Rick Matz

Thanks for the posts. You’ve been taking some outstanding pictures too.

3 06 2009

Thanks Rick, I think the pictures really make it this time.
I’ll let you know when the group site is setup with all the photos.

9 01 2010

in the book, dog man, there is a character named uesugi who is buried here…….can you help me to find more info in this person……thanks, so much, for your help……dg

10 01 2010

That is in Japan. not Sonoma, CA!

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