Our last night in Koyasan, I couldn’t help but to think about all the thoughts and details that are centered around such a small yet powerful and intimate space. We got to learn about Kongōbu-ji Temple and learn about Kobo Daishi spreading his learning and teachings of Shingoin Buddhism to Japan and being granted the opportunity to build a space that is on the mountain, Mt. Koya, that is sacred and essential to the peace and upbringings of various modes of support and faith in religious and spiritual paths among the community members. Imagery seems to be a powerful message in the stories to tell, and nature has been a powerful tool in conveying the essence and symbolism of Mt. Koya. Being able to reflect on how much I appreciate the space, my peers and I were granted the opportunity, on the first night, to witness monks passionately chanting the sutras on their last day of their ceremony. We were also given the space and opportunity to practice Shingon meditation as we learned from Professor Glassman’s colleague, who is a monk, that meditation is all about acceptance. Being able to realize the thoughts running through one’s mind and capturing one of these thoughts and observing that thought for what it is and not judging it. As beautifully mentioned, we learn more about ourselves and we deal with things much better when we learn not to suppress it, but to acknowledge and accept it, that is when we can overcome it.
Selfie with Jenny after Shingon meditation
One of the monks who practices Koyasan’s Shingon Buddhism