Zen Group based in Shibaura Area in Tokyo organized by a lay-person, aiming to promote meditation that helps members to practice good and refrain from doing bad in everyday life.
GOLDEN WEEK 2017 - revisiting Zuigakuin with my wife and 2 kidsI met my wife 10 years ago, during Golden Week 2007, under the tuition and guidance of Moriyama Roshi of Zuigakuin - a man who lived alone, in a beautiful Zen temple that he created after his travels in South America. A temple he created to welcome Zen practitioners from Japan and around the world, and to teach them the simplicity and basic peace and happiness that can be found when living the Zen way; in nature, without any trace of modernity, besides an old mobile phone that he was sometimes forced to use.As pure as his Zen education had been, he was always open to jokes and laughter and even felt the occasional need to drink Brazilian coffee or eat meat and potatoes 'nikku-jagga', even though he was a vegetarian.I've spent several nights at the temple - twice in the company of Moriyama Roshi, whose infectious happiness and deep respect for everything living has had a profound influence on me; and twice on my own, meditating and paying my fees, knowing that the temple was always open to everyone at any time, because Moriyama Roshi wanted it so.He once asked me to use his temple to exhibit some of my paintings. The first painting I gave him directly, and he hung it in his meeting room. The second sketch was of the man himself, which I left at the temple after his disappearance - I don't know what has come of them now.Unfortunately, the people responsible for taking care of the temple have locked up the temple so that no one can enter (except for the meditation hall); they have installed electricity, the internet, completely remodeled the simplicity of the wood-fire heating system for his bath house with modern heaters, and added a modern bathroom wing with special Japanese toilets, which allow for excessive comfort and destroy the stoic image that Moriyama Roshi's temple used to emphasise. When I visited the temple yesterday, the kitchen light had been left ON, even though there was no one there - a sign of waste would have never been seen only 3 years ago.My feelings are that Moriyama Roshi's simple dream for Zuigakuin has not been respected, nor the way that he used to live - it is possible that none of his disciples or followers in Japan is now capable of living the way he did, nor wanted to put in the hard work to preserve the temple as it was. Even though that is what would attract so many people from all over the world.Even his meditation hall is now equipped with electrical lighting; although fortunately, the pure vibes that one feels during Zazen meditation in this unique environment still exist today!Due to my respect for Moriyama Roshi and what he created on Mount Takigo near Hatsukari station, I will continue to visit and meditate in his beautiful meditation hall in the mountains of Yamanashi prefecture, to thank him for my understanding of Zazen and for my beautiful family.But spending days and nights there no longer has any appeal for those searching for the purity of Zen. We used to cut wood to make fire and warm the water in the bath house, light lamps to lead the way to the 'Zendo' in the early morning, and enjoy the simplicity of life and nature in the company of a wise, simple and happy man.