I was happy to discover a collection of huge wooden swords (suburito) behind the Temple. So I could do a few suburi or Aikiken (Aikido sword style) every day, and sometimes all of us practised together.
It is a big relief for stiff shoulders and neck to exercise with the wooden sword, and personally I like some Budo spirit at a Zen Dojo. Working with the sword is an excellent Zen-practise for a variety of reasons, therefore I also plan to teach seminars on Zazen, Hitsuzdendo and Aikiken in 2013.
On the last day we were half through with our exercise while it was a bit raining, when suddenly K-san called us across the garden wall “Roshi said we maybe can do Zazen now!” I was a bit shocked, because I did not realise the Roshi was around in the garden. So I feared he might be upset because we practised sword outside on the parking-lot, while inside the Temple he held a memorial service with some local guests who came an hour ago in very formal black suits. When I heard him say “very good” while we passed by to put back the swords, I felt much relieved. He just wanted to make us come inside because of the rain…
P.S.: Back home, I found this picture on the web, indicating that the Roshi likes practising with a sword himself. To my surprise he is standing in a typical “hanmi” (half body) posture, more common in some branches of Aikiken than any other more traditional schools of sword fighting.