1. Kyoto: Practice a Guided Meditation with a Zen Monk
Visit the serene Jōju-ji temple in Kyoto with an expert guide and gain first-hand insight into Buddhism and meditation. In this off-the-beaten-track location, take part in an authentic Zen meditation session with the resident monk, and enjoy a light lunch of typical Buddhist Shojin cuisine. Meet your expert guide at the entrance to the Jōju-ji temple. Take a short tour of a tranquil temple away from the crowds of the main tourist area. Learn about Buddhism using all 5 senses, and find out about the importance of meditation for its adherents. Then, meet the resident monk, who will guide you through a Zen meditation session incorporating meditative chanting. Practice essential Zen techniques and feel your tension and stress melt away in the tranquil surroundings. Afterward, enjoy exclusive access to the living quarters of the temple for a Q&A-style chat with the monk. Learn about the core concepts and beliefs of Buddhism with your guide acting as your interpreter, and get a rare opportunity to gain a first-hand insight into the lifestyle of a Buddhist monk. Your experience will conclude with a light lunch of traditional Buddhist lunch of Shojin food and tea. In accordance with religious custom, the lunch is free from meat or fish, primarily consisting of seasonal vegetables and mountain plants. After your experience, you can incorporate your newly-learned meditation techniques into your lifestyle. Rest assured in the knowledge that this experience serves to support the temple so that it may serve the surrounding community for generations to come.