Kyoto – Daitokuji Monastery 3

Daisen Temple

untitled-29 untitled-28The temple was founded in 1509 by Kogaku Soko. A single autumn coloured tree stood at the entrance. The temple has one of the best Zen gardens in Japan. Large rock had been arranged to represent mountains and rivers in a very confined space. It is torrent and passage- way narrow. Eventually, the river of sand opened out into “middle sea” where the sea is calm but with a few obstacles. As we continued the walk round the “Hojo”, the ‘river’ widened and emptied into the ‘Ocean’. Here, two cone-shaped hills of gravel, suggesting mountains hinder the final path and eventually lead to enlightenment. A lone Bodhi trees lay at the end of the ‘Ocean’. This design is a metaphor on the journey of life and the rocks – trials and tribulation in life. Like paintings, the scripture is depicted in abstract form in a myriad of rocks, stones and gravel. It is somber with no immediate awakenings but thought provoking. Paintings and rustic architecture further enhanced the wonder of Zen – Buddhism. A time here is a time well spent. Unfortunately, no photography was allowed inside.

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