Perception … and Japanese zen gardens

What do I think of this temple?

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What do I see? What do I sense? What do I hear? What do I smell? What do I taste?

I am a tourist who wants to be termed ‘curious’.

I came because it is the oldest zen temple Kyoto. As  a result, this temple was on my list of  ‘must dos’ (‘must’ being defined by me, with reference to what others would think of me if I did not make this visit)

I stayed because I was tired of walking. I paid the entry fee for the same reason.

I remain here, and I write here, because I want to better understand my sense of connection to this location.

I am writing overlooking a zen garden; a square, circle and triangle; the three shapes the offer the foundation for every other shape on earth … according to the garden’s creator.

It is not ‘pretty’… it soothes the ‘self’.

Why this sense of calm?

Is there an element that is actually calm-inducing – or is there a perception that a zen-temple will be calm-inducing – the perception being all that is necessary for the realisation of calm?

Is perception as important as reality? Does perception create reality?


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