Zen Fridge (Day 1 – 26. March)

Old Japanese houses look so lovely on a picture. What one usually does not see is how cold they are in winter! Getting off the train at Kameoka station, my first thought was „it is cold here“. In Tokyo I enjoyed walking in Ueno park late evening, but at the Tekishinjuku they even had snow this morning.

3°C at 8:17

3°C at 8:17

After arriving, I first did some basic cleaning of my room in the Temple’s guest house. The house has been deserted since May last year, and was covered everywhere inside by a layer of dust and occasionally dead insects. Then I went down to the Temple for evening Sutra chanting, dinner and two rounds Zazen and final Sutra, all in the unheated Dojo.

The icy feeling while sitting on my pillow already warned me to put on all the cloth I brought with me for sleeping, including two pullovers, two samue and my winter coat, and I wrapped myself into three futon, but still shivered all night through. The thermometer was below zero when half frozen I went down to the Temple again at 4:45 the next morning, for Sutra chanting and Zazen. I very much enjoyed seeing the morning sun coming slowly through the fog!

When I came back to the house after Zazen and Nittensoji (morning cleaning) a quarter past eight, it already “warmed up” to 3 degrees … and I borrowed two more pullovers, jogging pants and a pair of warm socks from the Dojo for the nights to come. Living in an old Japanese house near Kyoto end of March is very much like winter camping …

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