New Day Herald

Zen of Spirit Japan Trip in Southern Rural Japan — Day 10

Article imageOn our last retreat day of the Zen of Spirit journey, my heart is happy as we meet Maeda Sensei who practices a discipline called Wa Ra Ku. He demonstrates his practice, making spiral movements that signify the sounds of creation in order to become centered in himself.

We have fun doing his spiral movements with him, even using wooden swords. Wa Ra Ku means peace for the highest good of all concerned, eternally. He fits with us like old family and a long lost friend.

Maeda Sensei demonstrates the sword with David Funk. He has fun with Yorel Porcile as he throws Yorel off center.

He tries to push Paul Kaye off center but cannot budge him “because Paul has such great balance, he is very centered.” Maeda Sensei shows us an energy method to bring ourselves into our center. He demonstrates on me and I feel the difference immediately. My energy level picks up tremendously.

Most of all, Maeda Sensei touches our hearts. His smile is so warm, his energy so steady yet inviting. We enjoy our morning practice with him and present him with gifts as we show our appreciation.

Maeda Sensei waves goodbye to us as we walk off to the train station.

We pass mothers with their children along our way. And, now, we board the train for our journey to Osaka.

We arrive at the Osaka Hilton. We are in a big city now. We encounter a busyness that is not present in the southern rural areas. Some of us choose to go shopping, others go in search of a place to eat our final dinner in Japan. The stores are quite crowded, and quite beautiful. We see murals and stained glass windows in the mall. Friendly store assistants greet us and guide us. We find a store named after Paul Kaye, well, close enough.

On the next morning, Steve Beimel takes us on a walking tour of Osaka. We visit the entertainment district, wild in its own way, close streets, electric billboards everywhere, and interesting architecture.

We take the subway to a downtown business area with large buildings and busy traffic.

We see schoolchildren doing an art project and, as always, they stop to pose for the camera with sweet smiles and laughing eyes.

Back on the subway towards our hotel. We gather in the hotel lobby to board our double-decker bus to Osaka airport. We win the award for the tour group with the most luggage the bus driver has ever seen. We manage to fit it all on board and we’re off.

Once at the airport, we do our last minute shopping and eating. We board the plane for our long journey home. For me, it is like leaving home, Japan captures my heart. I say my last “arigato gozaimas” (thank you very much) as we take off in flight.

A final “Haiku of the Day” from Linda St. John:
Goodbye worldly things
the Christed Light transports me
I am one with God

My wish is that this travelogue opens your eyes and your heart to your precious presence, brings you present in the Spirit of the moment, of the Now, and that the Zen of Spirit in southern rural Japan touches to you. My thanks to John & Kelly who created the web pages from my articles and photos. Sayonara.

Click here to follow the journey on Day 9

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