Advice needed on visiting Eiheiji

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  • DaveR

    Advice needed on visiting Eiheiji

    I will be visiting Japan in October and want to visit Eiheiji.

    Unfortunately, my body is past the point where I can sit seiza (let alone half lotus...). So, I sit in a chair.

    Can anyone advise me as to the setup at Eiheiji? I seriously doubt that they would have chairs available for westerners like myself in the zendo but I would like to try and experience as much of the flavor of the daily schedule there. I don't know if it's possible to sit in my room. I've checked the website but couldn't find anything that would address my situation.

    Many thanks,

  • Jundo
    Treeleaf Founder and Priest
    • Apr 2006
    • 39392

    Re: Advice needed on visiting Eiheiji

    Hi Dave,

    First, please pm or email me with your itinerary. There are several very fine alternatives to making the trip way out to Eiheiji, which is quite on the far side of Japan (e.g., Sojiji, the other "Head Temple" of Soto-shu, which is next to Tokyo). Also, Eiheiji is surprisingly like staying in a hotel when you come as visitor (although a very nice Japanese style hotel) and, unless one is ordained and with special invitation, visitors do not sit in the main Sodo (monks hall), but a little guest Zen hall. Also, unless it is a special event, it is just a brief sitting, before you get a little tour and they send you back on the bus or train home.

    I do not recall if there are any chairs available, but usually one sits on a Zafu facing the wall. Sojiji has chairs.

    Anyway, please write me, and I will help you with any ideas I can.

    Gassho, Jundo