DAY PROGRAMS Horakuan now offers ZENLIFE Challenge, a unique online program on how to use Zen teachings in our everyday life and put them into practice. The ZENLIFE Challenge can be done individually from home, but it also includes a personal talk over Skype to ask any questions and to give advice on the program. Please see details here: Zen Life Challenge PDF Horakuan hosts a variety of events during our open season (April-December). Our regular events include various forms of meditation inside and outdoors , spiritual study groups, Buddhist image tracing, pilgrimage walks and more. We also hold creative workshops and events, which will be announced on the calendar. We offer the opportunity to experience the quiet and peace of temple life in the mountains through various retreats, private/group stays. In addition, confidential counseling sessions are available for those who wish to discuss their spiritual path or a life challenge. Please click the links below for specific details about our programs and events. To confirm exact dates, please refer to the calendar. Feel free to contact us for any individual arrangements. Zazen Meditation with Sound Meditation in Nature Meditative Walking Sutra Tracing, Buddhist Image Tracing Zen & Creative Arts Japanese Tea Ceremony Yoga Workshop Pilgrimage Walks Guidance and Counseling Zazen Zazen (seated meditation) is the core of Zen Buddhist practice. Horakuan holds regular open zazen sessions. No experience is necessary. (A small donation is appreciated.) First time zazen participants, please come 20 minutes early for meditation instruction. Instruction is available in English, Japanese, and German. To learn more about zazen, please click here. Evening Zazen Every 1st and 3rd Wednesday April – August. 19:00 – 21:00, Sept. – March 18:30 – 20:30 Two 30-minute meditation sessions (with a brief break in between), followed by sutra chanting, tea, and an informal chat. Meditation with Sound Sound can have a profound and immediate effect on your subconscious. When combined with mediation, they can help you to achieve a deeper meditative state than when you are in silence. This program is sometimes run together with the Meditation Walking. The program can be run inside or outside and will use Tibetan bells or others to aid with the Meditation. Meditation In Nature, Silent Nature Walks This program can be arranged from two participants. Normally meeting at Horakuan, we will either set out hiking from the temple or drive to another location before hiking in silence away from built up areas. We will stop in various tranquil locations to carry out breathing exercises, meditations or creative activities – such as mandala drawing – allowing our minds to be influenced by the natural world around us. Good, comfortable walking shoes are recommended. Meditative Walking Behind Horakuan is a purpose built meditation path in our garden. This meditative exercise focuses on aligning our breathing with our steps as we reconnect with the natural world. This program is carried out barefoot to allow us to become grounded and connected with the earth and is often combined with other programs – such as Meditation with sound. It is advised that you bring a small foot towel with you. “Meditative walking is an integral part of meditative practice that supports a spiritual journey. When we walk with no aim to get somewhere, we are available to enjoy the walk itself, the pace, fresh air and open space. We focus on our breath and bring our attention to the body, the movement and the way it affects us. Steady tempo can allow us to withdraw from the habitual thought process and help us attune to ourselves inside and to the nature around. Regular practice can facilitate to maintain a healthy balanced life. Meditative walking can also help us avoid accumulating tension that is due to unresolved difficulties and therefore promote a peaceful state of mind.” (Text by: Mochita Har-Lev. Thank you!) Sutra Tracing 3rd Tuesday of the Month 9:00 – 10:00 Please bring your own brush-pen (fudepen). A small donation is appreciated. Copying sutra (the teachings of Buddha) is a form of meditation, done in the same mind as zazen. This activity harmonizes body and mind, facilitates the flow of creative energy, increases familiarity with sutra, and fosters a deeper contemplation of sutra. Participants may copy sutra text (written in Japanese kanji) or trace images of various Buddhist figures (Shabutsu). Text, images, and materials are provided. For more information please email horakuan(at)gmail.com. Zen & Creative Arts Workshop dates 2021 Horakuan/Tekisui Dojo, 9:30 – 12:00, 500 Yen + costs for material (if heating is needed + 100 Yen) Please apply two days in advance (email@example.com) April 4, Sunday: Spiritual Photography Mai 16, Sunday: Flower Pounding June 27, Sunday: Stencil prints July 25, Sunday: Natural inks August 22, Sunday: Paint with natural brushes September 26, Sunday: Organic dying October 10, Sunday: Marbling Paper (suminagashi) November 7, Sunday: Bookbinding using marbling paper December 5, Sunday: Lamp making (Ball shape) In many traditions art has always been an integral part of spiritual practice. Creativity is simply to allow the spirit to fly free where it wants to go, give it life, let it play and direct you back towards remembering your sacred self – it is the vehicle and the essential language of giving meaning to that which connects us all. The Zen arts are examples of meditation in action, and they are practiced to bring about the same kind of results as zazen or sitting meditation. The total attention, precision, and discipline required for true creativity to blossom though one’s own craft requires fully inhabiting the present moment, free of self and other, past and future, in a non-conceptual state of wakefulness. Letting go of old expectations and conditioning as well as loosening our attachments towards personal creativity is an essential part needed in order to create from a meditative state of mind.” (Quoted text by: Mochita Har-Lev.) Japanese Tea Ceremony Experience the Zen concept of living fully in the present moment through the enjoyment of a Japanese tea ceremony. The ceremonial preparation and presentation of matcha (powdered green tea) interweaves the principles of harmony with people and nature, respect, purity of heart and mind, and tranquility. Quiet your mind while appreciating the grace, peacefulness, and hospitality of a Japanese tea ceremony. Can be arranged for 2 – 4 participants. Fee 1000 Yen per person. To join, please contact us: email horakuan(at)gmail.com. Yoga Workshop This program is not run very often, as the yoga instructor has to be booked especially for the program. Please keep an eye on the website where we will announce the next Yoga Workshop. (Tekisui Dojo can also be rented out as a venue for a Yoga workshop.) But Yoga practice is normally organized to run with a weekend or overnight program as a part of the morning’s programs. Guidance and Counseling If you have questions about Zen Buddhism, your spiritual path, or a life challenge you are facing, please feel free to contact us at horakuan(at)gmail.com to schedule an individual meeting. All conversations are confidential. Contact for Appointment Pilgrimage Walks Spring Cherry Blossom Pilgrimage Walk • April Spend the day visiting various Buddhist shrines and temples, while enjoying Japan’s beautiful cherry blossoms. The exact route and date will be announced. Autumn Foliage Pilgrimage Walk • October Spend the day visiting various Buddhist shrines and temples, while enjoying Japan’s beautiful Autumn foliage. The exact route and date will be announced.