SpotEpisodes of Shukubo

"Daishin-in has run shukubo temple lodgings for a long time and over that time has had many foreign guests. Unfortunately, some have had some difficulties as they don't know or are unsure of how to follow Japanese customs.

""Some foreigners don't know where they should take off their shoes. At the entrance, duckboards are laid out in the front of shoe cupboards. Usually we take off our shoes in front of the duckboards and stand directly on top of them - without our feet touching the ground. However, some foreigners stand on the ground when they take off their shoes and as a result, their feet become dirty and then they track dirt inside when they enter. They know they should take off their shoes but don't understand why they should take them off there,"" Osho (a bonze) at Daishin-in said humorously.

There are other humorous episodes involving guests from afar. ""One night, I found a French guest reading a book by candlelight in the room. It was a very romantic atmosphere, and I was impressed that French people obviously liked such an atmosphere. However, when questioned, the French guest said that as the fluorescent lighting was too bright he had gone out and removed a candle from the main hall of the temple. (A prohibited action!)""

Another example - ""Someone drained water from the communal bathtub after finishing their soak - just as you would in a western style bath. This and a number of other types of trouble, some beyond my own imagination, have occurred,"" he added, laughing.

Eating shojin-ryori (vegetarian dishes served in temples) and experiencing a session of zazen (seated meditation) in quiet temples are attractive and interesting ways to experience Japanese culture. However, and moreover, it is the openhearted character and hospitality of Osho that serves as one of Myoshin-ji's prime attractions whenever you may visit."

Episodes of Shukubo



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