Kurama-dera & Shoren-in

Frans Stiene Articles, English, Video Leave a Comment

It is said that Mikao Usui sat on Mt Kurama for 21 days to have a direct experience of his true self.

When we look at Mt Kurama in Mikao Usui’s time, we see some interesting elements.

In Mikao Usui’s time Kurama-dera belonged to the Tendai sect; it changed hands to a different sect in 1949.

However in Mikao Usui’s time, Kurama-dera was the subordinate of the Tendai Shoren-in temple in Kyoto. But what is also interesting to note is that this Tendai temple is also a sacred temple to the Jodo Shinshu Sect. In the Uegami-do hall of this temple you will find a child image and the hair of Shinran, the founder of Jodo Shinshu. Also Honen, the founder of Jodo shu (Pure Land) sect, lived for a while in this Tendai temple.

So the Shoren-in temple is not only a Tendai temple but also is important for the Jodo Shinshu sect and the Jodo shu sect.

When I first visited the Shoren-in temple in 2001, I instantly fell in love with it. Each time I am in Kyoto I go back there to meditate and sit, as it is one of the quieter temples in Kyoto.

Below are two wonderful videos of the Shoren-in:

As you watch these videos, imagine that you too are visiting the Shoren-in temple. Imagine that you are slowly walking the gardens or sitting in meditation, drinking in its peace and quiet beauty. Feel the depth of its beauty, and connect to your own inner beauty, your own true self.

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