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Zen: Buddhist Tradition in Ishikawa


Zen: Buddhist Tradition in Ishikawa

Zen museums

The D.T. Suzuki Museum is dedicated to the work of its namesake, a prominent Buddhist philosopher who spread Zen thought through his book “Introduction to Zen Buddhism” (1934) and frequent lectures in the West. The clean, minimalist building is an architectural representation of Suzuki's ideas, designed by architect Taniguchi Yoshio (1937–). The museum encourages mindfulness and self-reflection through its serene gardens and pond.

The Ishikawa Nishida Kitaro Museum of Philosophy highlights the work of Nishida Kitaro, founder of the Kyoto School of philosophy, which assimilated Western philosophical and religious ideas into Japanese thought. The museum was designed by Ando Tadao (1941–) and showcases Nishida's writings.

Zazen meditation experiences

Meditation called "zazen" is integral to Zen practice. Visitors to Ishikawa can try guided zazen sessions at working monasteries and temples. Sojiji Soin is a monastery of the Soto school of Zen located in Wajima. It stands on the former site of one of the two head Soto temples, Sojiji, established in 1312 by Zen master Keizan (1268–1325). Visitors can choose from a short guided Soto Zen meditation or an overnight stay. Those staying overnight can try longer meditation, experience daily monastery life, dine on authentic vegetarian cuisine, and participate in morning prayers with the monks in training. One of the priests is fluent in English and German.

Guided zazen meditation is also available at Daijoji, a monastery and temple in the hills to the south of central Kanazawa. Early morning sessions are conducted daily, with an additional afternoon session on Sundays. Opt for an overnight stay for a closer look into the life of a monk.

Visitors to Wakura Onsen can try zazen at Seirinji Temple. The serene meditation is a perfect compliment to the town's rejuvenating hot spring baths.