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Zen meditation(Zazen)


Meditate with Zen Buddhism monks at a local temple

About your guide, Masahiro

I was born in Kyoto and have lived here more than 30 years. As a local, I am familiar with Zazen here. In Kyoto, there are several temples where Zen meditation is possible, but they are too touristy because all the participants are foreign visitors. I will take you to a local Zazen place, which is not held regularly. You'll experience a true Zen meditation with the local people in Kyoto.

What we will do

We will go to a local temple to meditate with real Zen Buddhism monks.In Kyoto, we locals have each family related temple to meditate with monks. It is a part of our culture and custom but not everywhere in Kyoto. And never advertised in English unlike other touristic meditation events for foreign travelers. During meditation, the real Zen monks will tap your shoulders with a stick(In Japanese, called Keisaku or Kyosaku). This is to help concentFees the spirit, but it is not mandatory because it is a self-declaration system. Sitting cross-legged on a seat is a basic posture—like the picture of this listing—but this might lead to numbness of the legs for foreigners. Don't worry because it happens to me as well. If you cannot sit on the seat like that, it's no problem to sit however you feel comfortable. Then you'll keep breathing quietly and try not to think about anything. Clearing your mind is the goal. Zen meditation in a spirited space with beautiful air will give us a fresh feeling.Let me give you additional instruction on basic principle,rules and how to do when we meet up.Clear your mind in Solemn atomosphere close to Budda.

Where we'll meet

I'll inform you of the exact meeting point after you've booked your reservation. We will meet up at the nearest train station.

Where we'll be

The meditation I'll take you to is not like those generally published in a magazine or guidebook. This is a holy silent space where the local residents participate. Therefore, there is only an announcement in a paper on when the next Zazen is actually going to be held. It's totally different from a Zazen for tourists and you'll feel the magnificence of Japanese Zen Buddhism in a very quiet and beautifully spacious place.

Guest requirements

Minimum age is 7.

What you should know

We'll start on time, please be careful not to be late. Note we shouldn't chat while we're meditating. Guests must be quiet while meditating.

Maximum group size


Price per guest


At what time will we typically host your experience

We have to make an indivisual confirmation in advance.The local meditation is not held every week at a certain date. We check each calendar and call the temple to make sure the session. Contact us to make a reservation for your most convenient date.

When do we need to know your booking request

1 days before




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Mantra used in Zazen session

※you don't have to remember the lyric to join, just for reference



Hakuin Zenji's - Zazen Wasan (白隠禅師 - 坐禅和讃)

The Song of Zazen by Hakuin Zenji

Shu-jo hon-rai hoto-ke nari
Sentient-beings are primarily Buddhas.

Mizu to ko-ri no goto-ku nite
It is like water and ice:

Mizu wo hanarete ko-ri naku
Apart from water, no ice can exist

Shu-jo no hoka ni hotoke nashi
Outside sentient-beings, there are no Buddhas.


Shu-jo chikaki wo shirazu shite


Sentient-beings, not knowing how close [to Bodhi] they are,


toku motomeru hakanasa yo


seek it far away, what a pity!


Tatoeba mizu no naka ni ite


It's like being in the midst of water,


katsu wo sakebu ga gotoku nari


[yet] crying out with [great] thirst.


Cho-ja no ie no ko to narite


[Or,] like the [rich] chief's son,


hinri ni mayoni kotonarazu


[who,] from his parents home, goes astray [amongst] the common [people].


Rokushu rinne no innen wa


[We] transmigrate through the six [realms] as a consequence


onore ga guchi no yami-ji nari


of our foolish-ignorance in [choosing] dark ways.


Yami-ji ni yami-ji wo fumi-soete


Walking on dark-ways within dark-ways,


itsuka sho-ji wo hanaru beki


shall [we] ever free [ourselves] from Birth-Death?


Sore Makaen no zen-jo wa


As for Zen [Dhyana] practice of the Mahayana,


sho-tan suru ni amari ari


exhaustive-praise [would] not surpass [it's merits].


Fuse ya ji-kai no sho-haramitsu


The several [six] paramitas [beyond-perfections]; giving alms, observing the precepts, [patience, vigorous effort, dhyana and prajna],


nen-butsu sange shu-gyo to


calling on Nen-butsu [invocation], repentance, ascetic practices,


sono shina oki sho-zen-gyo


and the many other virtuous deeds of that kind,


mina kono naka ni kisuru nari


all these are [found] within, or arrived [at through] Zazen.


Ichi-za no ko wo nasu-hito mo


[Those] persons accomplishing the merit of [just] one sitting,


tsumi shi muryo no tsumi horo-bu


[begin to] annihilate the infinite accumulation of past misconduct.


aku-shu izuku ni arinu beki


Where then [will the basis for] evil-tendencies be found?


Jo-do suna-wachi to-kara-zu


The Pure Land [will] very soon [be reached].


Kata-jikena-kumo kono nori-wo


Graciously [accepting] this Dharma,


hito-tabi mimi ni furu-ru toki


[after] once hearing it proclaimed,


san-tan zui-ki suru hito wa


persons who praise it with heartfelt gratitude,


fuku o uru koto kagiri-nashi


[will] gain blessings of unlimited benefit.


Iwan-ya mizu-kara e-ko shite


Moreover, [if by] then turning around and confronting oneself,


jiki ni jisho o sho-sureba


witnessing instantly [the truth of] self-nature


jisho o suna-wachi musho nite


that self-nature is no-nature,


sude-ni ker-ron o hanareta-ri


[we will] already [have] finished with [intellectual]-argument.


Inga ichi nyo no mon hirake


As the gate of oneness of cause and effect is opened;


mu-ni mu-san no michi naoshi


the straight Way of non-duality and non-trinity [manifests],


mu-so no so o so toshite


the form of no-form appears as [characteristic]-form.


yuku mo kaeru mo yoso narazu


[both] going and returning occur in the same place,


mu-nen no nen o nen toshite


the thought of no-[self]-thought is [our Samadhi]-thought,


utau mo mau mo nori no-koe


[our] singing and dancing are the voice of the Dharma,


zan-mai mu-ge no sora hiroku


the unhindered sky of Samadhi is boundless


shi-chi en myo no tsuki saen


how clear-bright is the moon of the four-fold wisdom!


kono toki nani o ka motomu beki


This being so, what [more] could [we] want


Jaku-metsu gen-zen suru yue-ni


[As] Nirvana [presents itself] before ones eyes, therefore


to-sho suna wachi renge koku


this place [here now] is namely the Land of the Lotus,


kono mi sunawachi hotoke nari


[and] this [your] person, is namely the body of Buddha.

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