May 2011 Archive

14May2011: Mrs. Aumaporn Futrakul

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(1)  ยกเท้าขวา          ก้าวเท้าซ้าย          ย้ายไปข้างหน้า

          ส่งสายตา            ยังที่หมาย             ด้วยใจหาญ

          อยู่กับกาย            อยู่กับใจ         มิเว้นวาง

           หนึ่งสองสาม      ซ้ายขวาซ้าย         กายกับใจ

           ********************************

(2)  ถึงวัดแรก            มีชื่อว่า                   ไดโคจิ

           จึงตั้งจิต              กราบพระพุทธ       ที่โบสถ์ใหญ่

           จากนั้นไป            นมัสการ        พระคูไค

           ประดิษฐาน อยู่ไม่ไกล      ในศาลา

            ********************************

(3)   ท่านเป็นดั่ง องค์ต้นแบบ           ของเฮนโระ

            ผู้กำเนิด              แนวทางนี้               ดีหนักหนา

            เดินจาริก             แปดสิบแปดวัด วิปัสนา

            ด้วยหวังว่า          จะบรรลุ             ถึงนิพพาน

            *******************************

(4)  ใจอิ่มบุญ          กายอิ่มท้อง          พร้อมเดินต่อ

          ตามรอยพ่อ ท่านคูไค          ใจมิหวั่น

          หวังสักวัน            ได้เข้าถึง          ซึ่งพระธรรม

          ใช้กายนำ            เร่งฝีเท้า           ก้าวต่อไป

       ********************************

(5)   ผ่านแมกไม้ ท้องทุ่งนา        อร่ามจิต

            ทุกชีวิต               ต่างวิถี                       ดีหนักหนา

            เริ่มเข้าเมือง เห็นตึกราม             กระจ่างตา

           ใกล้เข้ามา             ไกลเป็นใกล้           รู้ใจกาย

        *********************************
   
(6)    ถึงจุดหมาย วัดสุดท้าย               ด้วยใจหวัง

              เคาะระฆัง           ดังสนั่น                 ไม่หวั่นไหว

              กราบพระพุทธ    ไหว้พระธาตุ          ออกจากใจ

              รู้กายใจ              เป็นหนทาง           เข้าสู่ธรรม

                ******************************


(7)     ลงก้มกราบ ซาบซึ้งใจ               ในตถาคต

              แม้ประสบ           ความทุกข์ยาก        ลำบากหนา

              ยังโชคดี             ในชาตินี้          ได้เกิดมา

              ภายใต้ร่ม            ศาสนา                   พระโคตมี

            *******************************

(8)      จึงตั้งจิต             คิดอธิษฐาน          ขอพรพระ

              ขออำนาจ           สิ่งศักดิ์สิทธิ์           ทั่วทุกสถาน

               แม้ต้องเกิด         แล้วต้องตาย         วายชีวาร

               ขอพบพาน         พุทธศาสนา           ทุกชาติไป

           *******************************











Message from His Excellency Virasakdi Futrakul, Ambassador to Japan of the Kingdom of Thailand


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My wife and I as well as a Minister Counsellor of the Royal Thai Embassy in Tokyo were invited by the Kagawa Prefecture to participate in the 7th Shikoku 88-Temple Circuit Experience during 13-14 May 2011. We were greeted with warm hospitality and accorded excellent arrangements. All the officials of the Kagawa Prefecture from Governor Hamada down were friendly and gracious. I am sure all visitors to the Prefecture will feel, as I did, that they are genuinely welcome by the officials and the people of Kagawa. The visit to the Ritsurin Park deeply impressed me about the hard work and patience involved in cultivating this Park for more than three hundred years until it is today an emerald oasis in the midst of the capital of Kagawa. The natural yet disciplined beauty of the Ritsurin Park reflects in my mind the classical Japanese culture. The view from the three-hundred-year-old tea house of the little islands floating on the shimmering water in the pond brings to mind the words of the British poet, Wordsworth, that one can see the whole world in a grain of sand. Here in the Ritsurin Park, one can see the universe by contemplating the microcosm in the pond, where as the legend goes, one can scoop the moon in one's hands from the water reflecting the full moon. The next day, we joined a group of English-language teachers trekking on foot to visit the Daikoji, Jinein and Kanonji Temples dressing in white as befits the henros, or pilgrims, walking meditatively to seek enlightenment. The journey also reflects the nature of a modern pilgrimage, taking us from the rural scenes through a modern city, reminding us that even though we live in the twenty-first century, our hunger and search for the meaning of our existence do not differ significantly from those of our forebears.  The words of Kukai, the native son of Kagawa who became a famous monk and today is hailed as "a universal man," come to mind, "do not just follow the footsteps of the men of old but seek what they sought."  Each person in his or her generation must seek the meaning of his or her life by himself or herself. As The Buddha in his Kalama Sutra advises, "do not believe because I or your parents or your teachers said so. Find out for yourself."  Thanks to The 88-Temple Circuit, its experience will facilitate one's search for the meaning of one's life. Perhaps, as T.S. Eliot points out, you may emerge from this pilgrimage with a new understanding that the answer is already there where you started your search.. The 88-Temple Circuit, in providing us with natural beauty, the tranquil environment of the Temples as well as the challenge of spiritual disciplines in our search for contemporary meaning , therefore deserves to be recognized as a World Heritage for mankind.

 

Virasakdi and Aumaporn Futrakul


14May2011: David Moreton

The Shikoku Pilgrimage Route - Changing with the Times
David C. Moreton

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The "6th Shikoku 88-temple Circuit Experience" program was so enjoyable and memorable that when I heard about the 7th pilgrimage walk being planned, I quickly and anxiously applied. I was pleased to see that this time there would not be any arduous mountain climbing, but it is always refreshing to walk through forests on dirt paths. During this walk I spent a lot of time with the person leading the group and really enjoyed his commentary about the pilgrimage path and various sites as we walked through the tranquil countryside. In fact, several times he took us off the regularly traveled route - the one that modern-day pilgrims take and the one that is marked in guidebooks. He said, "Let me show you the original path" or, "See that path over there, that is the original path", and he explained path markers, pilgrim tombstones, statues, and other historical facts along the way. It was thanks to him that I was able to learn a lot about the history of the pilgrimage, but it made me wonder what will happen to the old and original route. Will it and the facts that he told be slowly lost with time? I was sad to see him leave a short while before our final destination - a stretch of about two kilometers leading into the city of Kanon-ji that was the least interesting and most difficult part of the day. It was not appealing because he was not around to provide conversation and commentary, and difficult in the sense that walking on a narrow asphalt sidewalk with cars zooming by, with the sun blaring down and no sign of greenery was, to be honest, not enjoyable. What was this section of the pilgrimage like before the city was built? It is unfortunate that there was not another way into the city.

I really take pleasure in these pilgrimage events because the participants are able to hear talks from temple staff and perhaps see temple treasures that are not usually open to the public. I would like to thank the organizers for their extensive planning and preparation and I look forward to participating in the next event. To further promote the Shikoku pilgrimage I think it would be wonderful to have events like this held in each of the four prefectures in Shikoku.


14May2011: Chris Gaskett

Comments from Chris Gaskett

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The explanations and organisation were consistently good and
everything went smoothly.

As well as having an opportunity to talk to many friends I was very
happy to meet well known author on the Henro, David Moreton, along the
way. Diplomatic staff from Thailand also participated. It is good to
see some promotion of the Henro pilgrimage to other countries. There
are many Buddhists, as well as others that have spent many years
studying Buddhism as part of comparative religion or asian studies,
that would be interested in participating in this pilgrimage. A movie
or documentary, preferably distributed free online, would be an
excellent way for people to learn about it.

The priest's explanation of some Shingon Buddhist ideas was
interesting. I was hoping it would go into more depth, but I
understand that not everyone is interested in these ideas. I was
surprised that the priest also opened the treasure room and showed us
relics and artworks. This was a rare opportunity that is unavailable
to most visitors.

I encourage anyone that has the opportunity to visit some or all of
the 88 temples. Although they are rarely available at the temples or
from shops in Japan, there are excellent guide books available in
English that provide a lot of worthwhile background information. I am
personally hoping to walk the entire circuit when I can.



14May2011: Julia Mace

Henro Experience 2011
By Julia Mace

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When I signed up for the Henro experience I didn't really know what to expect save for a lot of walking.  I know that the point of Henro is to contemplate the life and teachings of Kukai as we visit the 88 Temples that make up the Henro Circuit, but I've never studied Kukai, so I felt a little lost at the beginning.

At first I was only enjoying the beautiful weather, country views and talking with my friends.  But the importance of Henro became clearer to me as I watched our guests from Thailand.  I could tell that they were taking this experience seriously and I felt a little silly in juxtaposition to them.

It wasn't until we reached out final destination and received a lecture form the assistant to the head monk that I started to understand Henro's true purpose.  He said that Henro was about unifying our minds and bodies and walking down our life-paths with our whole hearts.  Again, it was interesting to see the reactions of our friends from Thailand.  The spiritual significance of the Henro journey that they came here to experience seemed to unify the cultures of Japan and Thailand before my very eyes.  The teaching of Buddhism reached across cultural and geographical barriers in a beautiful display of reverence when our Thai guests bowed before the remains of the Buddha in Kanon-ji's treasure house while the other participants took photos and chatted.

It was then that I got that feeling that Henro is about much more than moving from one Temple to the next.  Henro is achieved by soberly moving forward, heart and body calm, pure and empty.  It can be achieved with any step we take, not just those leading around Shikoku.  Because every step we take is a step in life and life is the true journey.

I really enjoyed Henro: friends, fresh air, international exchange and especially the lesson that I took from the experience.  I hope that it's one that I will continue to explore.


Eight-eight Temples
Who knows the number of roads
Our minds will travel?


What's that on the road?
Let's go and investigate
Oh crap!  Mukade!


Statues with red bibs
Mark the path of O-Henro
One-oh-nine to go.


14May2011: Irina Kaitar

A Reflection by Irina Maria Kaitar

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"...walking walking... further and further... thinking, wondering...reflecting

grass and concrete, tractors and birds, water lilies and escaping snakes...

inside and outside, tradition and modernity...

noise and silence, us and everyone else...

 

everything coexists and we are the link between everything...

we just need to stop and observe, contemplate and feel the beautiful world around us!"

 

All that and much more is what this Henro experience has offered me!

Thank you for such an opportunity! Looking forward for the next one!

14May2011: Justin Bussies

A Photographic Account of the Experience by Justin Bussies

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14May2011: Danny Blackwell

A Haiku Poem about the 88 Temple Experience

By Danny Blackwell

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When the practice of donating coins was explained I mentioned that coins with holes were lucky, and when someone said a ten yen coin would do, I overheard the Thai Ambassador say "chimpunkanpun" in Thai and then capped his sentence off with the phrase Ten Times Lucky , in English. I caught it and we laughed, that big grin of his burned the phrase into my mind and I immediately wrote this.

"Ten Times Lucky"と
笑ってタイの
百円だ


14May2011: Chris McCabe

The Priceless Treasure of Walking the Henro Path
By Chris McCabe

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Spring and autumn are lovely seasons in Japan, and during each of these extremely beautiful times of the year the Kagawa International Affairs Division holds its Shikokku 88 Temple Pilgrimage Experience for International Residents and Visitors.  Twice each year, we venture out to some of Kagawa's superb Buddhist Temples, learning about Kobodaishi Kukai (the legendary monk who inspired the creation of the pilgrimage circuit), the pilgrimage's history, and the living pilgrimage culture that thrives to this day.

This spring, on Saturday May 14th, we took a trip far out to the western reaches of the prefecture and visited three temples in Mitoyo City and Kanonji City: Daikoji, Kannonji, and Jinnein.  The walk was as beautiful as ever, and rather pleasant and easy-going, as it was a rather flat course.

What made this experience particularly interesting were the guests in attendance.  We were very lucky to have the Ambassador of Thailand, His Excellency Virasakdi Futrakul, Mrs. Futrakul, and Minister Counselor Waravudh Pouapinya of the Thai Embassy in attendance.  In addition, we were happy to be joined by David Moreton, an expert on the Shikoku's 88 Sacred Temples who currently teaches at Tokushima Bunri University, and many local international residents of Kagawa.

One of the things that I really enjoyed on this trip was learning from our guests from Thailand about their take on Buddhism.  Some of their delegation are extremely devout Buddhists, and it was truly inspiring to see the awe and reverence which they directed at not only the temples, but the whole walking experience.

The temples of Kannonji and Jinnein actually share a single site very near the sea in Kanonji City, and it was there that we received another very interesting surprise.  The assistant head priest of the temples, after giving us a very moving speech about the necessity of approaching the pilgrimage (as well as life in general) with a healthy sense of balance, treated us to the rare sight of the temples' treasure room, where we found ancient drawings, statues, and Buddhist implements.  I will always remember how one of the members of the Thai delegation took the time in that room to bow so deeply before these priceless Buddhist treasures that his head just about touched the floor.  

Something else that I will always remember is the wonderful feeling of being closer to nature and closer to the companions surrounding me as we ticked off the kilometers on our trek.  I am fortunate that I will continue to experience such valuable memories when we set off again in the autumn!


국제교류원 - 한국어 강좌

한국어 강좌 -「I♥한국어」 

  안녕하세요. 한국 국제교류원 김 세현입니다.

 저는 작년부터 '가가와 현 국제 교류 회관'에서 한국어 수업을 하고 있습니다. 이 곳에는 영어, 한국어를 비롯한 8개 국어를 네이티브 강사가 진행하는 좋은 수업들이 많이 있습니다!

 나에게 있어 한국어 수업이란~

 제 전공은 국어국문학 즉, '한국어'입니다. 그런데 아이러니하게도 사실 이 전공은 일본어에 대한 관심에서 비롯된 것입니다. 일본어가 너무 좋았던 저는 '앞으로 외국어와 관련한 언어의 전문가가 되기 위해서는 우선 모국어인 한국어부터 제대로 배워야한다'고 생각했던 것입다. 이렇듯 늘 한국과 일본을 염두에 두고 있었던 저였기에 한국어 수업 시간은 실로 즐겁고도 소중한 시간이 아닐 수 없습니다. 저는 '한국어 네이티브'의 강점을 최대 살리면서도 '외국어로서의 한국어'에 대한 지식까지 겸비한 '좋은 한국어 교육자'가 되고 싶습니다.

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 수업 모습

 수업은~

 한국어 공부는 물론, 거기에 한국 문화를 비롯한 다양한 콘텐츠도 접목하는 방식으로 해가고 있습니다. 한국어에 흥미를 갖는 분들은 한국에 또한 관심이 많기 때문입니다. 이것의 일환으로 최근 한국에서 이슈가 되고 있는 신문기사를 함께 읽어 보거나 일본에서도 굉장한 인기를 모으고 있는 '소녀시대' 노래를 함께 불러보는 시간도 가졌습니다.

 '이건 한국어로 뭐라 그래요? 이건요? 저건요?'하며 모든 것 하나하나에 관심을 보이는 모습, 아까까지만 해도 일본어로 굉장히 유창하게 얘기하다가 한국어로 얘기할 때면 갑자기 더듬거리며 애를 쓰는 학생들의 모습은 정말 너무나 귀엽습니다. 꼭 일본어를 공부하고 있는 저를 보는 거 같은 생각이 들 때도 있고요.

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수업에 임하는 학생들

 

 한국어를 그리고 한국을 사랑해 주셔서 정말 감사합니다! 앞으로도 더 즐겁고 유익한 수업이 될 수 있도록 함께 힘을 모아 나가요~

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학기를 마친 후, 즐거웠던 식사회

초등학교 방문
- 일본 어린이들에게 알려주고 싶어요, 한국 -

국제 교류원 김 세현

 

 저는 '초등학교 방문'을 참 좋아합니다. 생동감 넘치는 아이들과 함께 있다보면 저도 모르는 새 아이들로부터 그 활력을 받게 되기 때문입니다. 순수하고 귀여운 일본 아이들에게 한국을 알리는 일을 할 수 있게 된 것을 진심으로 감사하게 생각하고 있습니다.

 

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수업 후, 다 함께~

 

 '초등학교 방문'은 국제 교류원이 학교를 방문해 어린이들에게 자신의 모국을 알리는 일입니다. 제가 한복을 입고 등장을 하면 아이들 사이에서는 '와아~'하는 함성이 퍼져 나옵니다. 그렇게 관심을 한 몸에 받은 후에 저는 한국에 관한 이야기를 해 나갑니다. 한국의 의식주를 비롯해 생활모습, 관광명소, 같은 또래의 한국 초등학생들의 모습 등을 전합니다. 굉장히 맛있어 보이는 음식을 보여주면 '아, 나도 한국 사람으로 태어났으면 좋았을걸'이라고 하다가 학원 등 매우 열심히 학업에 치중하는 모습을 보고 나서는 '아, 다시 생각해야겠다'라고 하는 아이도 있었습니다. 참 귀엽죠?

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한국 이야기를 들어요
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○×퀴즈 '자, 손을 들어주세요'~
 

 '한국이라고 하는 다른 나라를 접해보다'라고 하는 것이 이 활동의 가장 중요한 점이 아닐까 생각합니다. 실제 한국 사람을 만나도 보고, 한국에 대한 얘기도 들어보고 하면서 일본이 아닌 다른 나라에 눈을 떠 보는 것. 그것은 즐겁고도 신선한 충격을 주는 색다른 일이지요. 또한 모두들 한 명의 한국사람인 저에게 너무나도 큰 관심을 보이고 진심으로 마음을 담아 대해주어서 눈물을 흘릴 정도로 감동을 받은 적이 많습니다. 정말로 고마워요! ♡

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일본 어린이가 그려준 '한•일' 그림
 
 최근에는 한국에 대한 관심이 높아져 초등학교 방문 의뢰수가 더 많아지고 있습니다. 이러한 관심에 감사하며 또한 기대에 부응할 수 있도로 더 열심히 해 나가겠습니다!