Architecture Kyoto Cultural Experiences Kyoto Gardens Kyoto Temples

Morning zazen at Kennin-ji temple.

June 21, 2015
Last Sunday, I had my first zazen experience in a temple. I’ve wanted to try it for a long time, and when I heard from a friend about the meditation sessions taking place every second Sunday of the month at Kennin-ji temple, I didn’t think twice.

Session started at 8 AM (not so early in fact) with 2 zazen sessions of 20 minutes, which were followed by the distribution of a small cup of tea with a biscuit, sutras chanting and a sermon. Everything ended before 10 AM (time of opening to public).IMG_20150614_095748 Kennin-ji is the oldest Zen temple in Kyoto, it was founded in 1202 by Myoan Eisai, one of the greatest figures in the history of Zen. The temple was also ranked third of the Kyoto five Gozan temples. The possibility of practicing zazen at such a place is too precious to be missed.

I decided to continue zazen from now on. It really helps to slow down the chaotic flow of thoughts and is perfect for the tranquillity of mind.

IMG_20150614_095642Zazen gatherings are hold at hojo (abbot’s quarters) surrounded by a karesansui garden. We were free to have a walk around the temple to admire the garden and fusuma paintings :

IMG_20150614_100039Dragon! This is my favourite character of the Buddhist art. I don’t know why I’m fascinated by dragons so much. They are just wonderful :
IMG_20150614_100146A replica of the famous screen depicting the gods of thunder and lightning by Tawaraya Sotatsu :


IMG_20150614_100645Information :

Address : 584 Komatsu-cho 4-chome, Yamato-oji Shijo sagaru, Higashiyama-ku, Kyoto
Attention, the zazen sessions of Kennin-ji are in Japanese. If you’re looking for a meditation experience with an explanation in English, you can try that of Shunkoin temple for example :