June 13, 2010

Zen-monks in Jochi-ji temple

I encountered the group of trainee monks who were walking about briskly for religious mendicancy or "Takuhatsu" in the clear sunlight of June.

Every year, around this time, a group of trainee monks of Engaku-ji visit each of the houses of Kita-kamakura for the spiritual practice of begging as an essential part of the Zen Buddhist training of Rinzai-sect.

They walk around yelling out the word of "Hou-se" which means "we shall preach you the Buddha's teachings" and sincerely chant a sutra in front of a house to pray for the merciful protection of Buddha.

The loud yells of "Hou-se" and the beautiful sutra chants that those monks are uttering can be heard across the hills and valleys of Kita-kamakura like the sound of the enchanting and charitable chorus dedicated to all living things in this universe.

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