Sometimes small things make life difficult. Kamemushi for example. I wondered about the awful smell in my room after getting all dead insects out on the first day, and the smell was not completely gone a week later when I left.

As soon as we opened a window or sliding door to the veranda, the Kamemushi came in. Little bugs, who usually play dead, but become awfully stinky when being touched.


Sometimes I saw them wandering around in the Zendo during the Morning Service or Zazen, and K-san told me he accidentally once crashed a Kamemushi which sat on the Mokugyo, the big wooden drum-fish, during Sutra chanting.

It is not always romantic harmony, human beings and nature living closely together, and a Japanese house on countryside can be a good training ground in case you feel a bit uncomfortable with insects crawling around. The impact of small things on your Zen practise should never be underestimated…

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