Today the Roshi asked us to come to his temple once more. When we arrived, he was just about cleaning the rock garden (karesansui) in front of the main entrance. We helped to pick up the fallen leafs for half an hour, then he started raking a wave-pattern into the gravel.
Afterwards it was K-san’s turn with the rake, and the Roshi corrected his action with much enthusiasm and accompanying sounds. From watching K-san, I figured that raking a proper pattern into the gravel is much more difficult and physically demanding than I ever thought. Then the Roshi called me to give it a try, and I had to produce a curved line around some rocks, carefully, not to damage any of the moss.
I really liked it! Raking a Zen garden is much like Hitsuzendo, drawing a line with all your energy, concentration and breath.