Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Kristen and Shawn Visit: Part 3: Temple Stay and Nara aka a deer bit my butt

So our last morning in Kyoto, we woke up super early for a meditation class at the temple where we would be spending our last night.

The room in which we meditated

It was a really good class, and I felt like I might have actually properly meditated for the first time in my life. He talked about how forcing yourself to clear your head is actually associated with ego, because it's forcing. Thoughts just come normally, and you just have to let them come and go naturally - it's normal, he said, to have thoughts pass through your head while meditating - that's just how the brain is.

After, we got a little tour of the temple, and it was super beautiful (though I had totally been before with Rachel and Josh and just forgotten all about it).

The top picture is the view from the meditation room and the bottom picture is the temple rock garden.

When we were done meditating and temple touring, we had green tea with Manju which, because we were at a Buddhist temple, was vegan, so I could eat it. So I forced myself to drink the tea with it, and it actually wasn't that bad.

And then we hopped on a train for what was probably my 8th time in Nara (I've really stopped keeping count.
We wanted to eat at the delicious falafel restaurant I ate at last time I was there, but unfortunately - it closed down in the interim. :-( Sadness! In the end, we got Indian food.
Kristen and Shawn had some naan left over in a bag, so when we first walked into a section with deers, they were seriously all over us. They kept chasing Kristen around to try to get her naan while she was trying to feed them deer biscuits.
So then I took the bag, and they were chasing me around, and one definitely bit my butt. Apparently, Kristen's butt also got bitten.

Welcome to Nara!

Later, I decided to get deliciously yummy mitarashi dango, and the deer were super into that, too. I don't understand how some of the other people seemed to be eating in peace. One of the deer literally bowed at me trying to get some. In the end, I had to hold it in the air to eat it.

After numerous attacks by deer, we managed to make it to the 大仏間 (daibutsukan), with the HUGE Buddha in it. Kristen and Shawn were duly impressed.
Shawn was wearing his samurai shirt, and people kept commenting on it all day. Finally, a Japanese high school boy asked if they could take a picture together. It was so cute - they pretended to be samurai.

This is apparently the biggest wooden building in the world.

On the train ride on the way back, there were some junior high school boys sitting by us all trying to show off with their English. Shawn was thinking about the Kyari Pamyu Pamyu video that I had showed him for Ponponpon.

At 1:29, a rainbow comes out of her but, so Shawn wanted me to teach him how to say "I made a rainbow fart." What was amazing was that the junior high school boys actually got it and spent the rest of the train right singing Kyari Pamyu Pamyu and dancing. SO CUTE!

That night we spent in the temple, and it was lovely. 以上です。 (For a less wordy version of our time in Japan, check out Kristen's blog that she makes for her kindergartners! She wrote all about it!)

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