Gokurakuji Temple 極楽寺
A healthy mind in a healthy body
Kinosaki is an ancient water town that was already active during the Edo period. Among its prestigious onsen are ancient streets and temples, including Gokurakuji temple.
Gokurakuji temple lies somewhat outside of the center of Kinosaki and its river, near the mountains and near the Mandarayu bathhouse, part of the 7 Kinosaki onsen.
A zen refuge
Located in a more removed area, backed by mountains, gives Gokuraji temple a peaceful, green and serene atmosphere, like a Zen temple of the Shingon sect should be.
The main purpose of Gokurakuji temple is to bring the Satori through meditation.
Far from being a closed temple, Gokurakuji organizes zazen meditation sessions for many visitors willing to give it a try.
Learn to meditate
The priests of the temple will teach you hoe to sit and breathe in a manner as to open yourself and be in tune with your surroundings.
Meditation is done by contemplating the dry garden of the temple, symbolizing the duality of the living and the inert. We come to perceive what our urban ears had forgotten: the sound of wind blowing on the nearby forest, the chirping of birds, and so forth.
After having relieved your body in the hot waters of the onsen, relieved your mind through meditation and restored your calm and balance, you will come out of this experience refreshed and free from fatigue, ready to return to modern life.
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