Life at the temple
Sawada serves in the True Pure Land Buddhism, one of the mainstream Buddhism sects in Japan. She was taking me to the head temple to get some Buddhist training. She told me the training was to “increase my good karma” and “to send good energy to it from the head temple so it could go to heaven sooner”.
The head temple was on top of a deep mountain. I heard the whole mountain was a holy ground for the religion, and a sacred place where monks from all over Japan come for intensive spiritual training.
We were welcomed by a young monk at the temple.
He was extremely polite and he expressed how honored he was to see Sawada.
We were soon taken to the main hall and met with the chief monks in the temple.
Even those high-ranking monks were talking to Sawada like they were her disciples.
I later learnt that Sawada in fact could be in one of the highest positions in the sect had she not have refused. Her abilities as a nun was one of the best in the temple.
Thanks to Sawada’s well-respected position, people at the temple treated me really kindly.
Once my training had started, I got to meet other people who had come to the temple for similar reasons as me.
I met a woman who ended up in the temple because she had been haunted by a vengeful spirit of a snake and been suffering from a never-ending misfortune for 40 years.
I met the last descendant from an honorable Samurai bloodline, who had lost all of his family fortunes, as well as his family and relatives due to a generation curse from the victims who his ancestor had mercilessly killed.
I never knew there were tons of people suffering from these things like me.
Some of their stories were so painful to hear, I even started considering myself a lucky one..
Life in the temple reduced my fear a lot.
There were times that I felt like “it” was still near me and got really scared.
But my training helped me get my mind straight and stay strong.
1 month later, Sawada came to visit me.
Sawada: “Hey there, you look so much better now.”
Me: “Thanks to you, Ms. Sawada.”
Sawada: “Have you seen it again?”
Me: “Never… I think it either crossed over by now or.. it can’t get in here, you know, it’s a head temple.”
Sawada: “Oh it can get in”
My face froze.
Sawada: “Oh I’m sorry. I don’t mean to scare you”
Sawada: “Kota, there are so many people suffering. My job is to help as many of them as I can”
I had a feeling that Sawada was referring to “it” as one of those suffering people..
Sawada: “Kota, I think you should stay here longer. Learn more. It’s a good chance for you”
I decided to follow Sawada’s advice.
My mind wasn’t thoroughly over what had happened yet, so I figured I could use more training.
Also, I liked how time flowed slowly at the temple. I liked the life that I had there.
I had spent 2 more months at the temple before I started missing my old life.
I informed Sawada and the monks at the temple that I was leaving.
Sawada came on the day that I was supposed to leave.
I had packed my stuff and thanked each monk that took care of me for 3 months.
When I was about to leave the temple, I noticed Sawada standing behind me.
She was looking at me with a gentle smile, the one she always showed, and said in a quiet voice,
Sawada: “Kota, why don’t you stay longer? Why don’t you be a full-time monk?”
At first I thought she was complimenting me. The monks here must have put some good words to her about my attitude at the temple. I was blushing and said,
Me: “I’m flattered but I don’t think I can live like them forever. They are amazing.”
Sawada: “That’s not what I mean. It seems like you can’t leave yet.”
Sawada: “It’s still here”
I gulped for air. I couldn’t believe it.
I ended up spending 2 more months at the temple. 5 months in total.
Sawada came to the temple at the end said;
I think you’re fine to go home now. But promise me to come back every month and check in at the temple for a while. I can’t tell if it’s gone or just hiding yet.
Continue on Real part 8