Espen doing Shakyo at Ryusenji temple in Tama

Karate kids in Ryusenji temple

Origami spinning tops made together with the children of the Kindergarten

Today we spent the day at Ryusenji temple, a temple with a 1500-year history. The temple also runs a kindergarten inside the grounds, and we spent the morning making origami with the children.

In the afternoon, we had two cultural experiences. First we did shakyo, a variant of Zen meditation based on copying Buddhist sutra. The idea is that by focusing only on writing, one can eliminate unnecessary thoughts. Also, it is common to offer the finished copy at the temple altar. Afterwards we got an introduction to the basics of karate and learned a simple form.

World Campus – Japan has been coming to this temple for a few years now, and the children were looking forward to seeing us. Personally, I always find interactions with children rewarding. If we can give them a good impression, they might want to go out into the world themselves when they get older. I think this is the best contribution we can give to the communities we visit.

Espen Nielsen, Norway

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