Life in a Zen Buddhist monastry in Japan in 1959 禅

It is 1959 when in Yokohama novices wake up early in the Soto zen sect Sojiji temple for their zazen and other practices. Production: Michael Rogge. See my other 230 video clips here: DVD’s available:
Video Rating: 4 / 5

A compilation of photos featuring the Zen Buddhist belief of our first and second nature

36 thoughts on “Life in a Zen Buddhist monastry in Japan in 1959 禅


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  2. I cant believe the monks were smoking! You would never find that now days at a Zen Monastry.Very strange,lol:) Love these videos,thanks for posting.

  3. @14Srb88 Im unpleasantly surprised you should concern yourself with that
    What is – what was – what will be is to no concern Only the inner peace You seem to lack that It will come in time 🙂

  4. @Tsumanne Thanks for your comments. I have always wondered whether anyone in the Sojiji temple ever saw my clips. The image of one of the novices adorns the jacket of JanWillemvan de Wetering’s books ‘The empty mirror’and so one (although his experiences were at the Rinzai temple in Kyoto.) Does anyone recognize the people in my movie? At the time the ill effects of smoking were hardly known. They also drank beer at the departure of a sensei to Soto Zen communities abroad.

  5. I actually study at this temple every once in a while so it’s really interesting to see what Soji-ji was like 50 years ago. I’ve never seen anyone smoke there before so I’m going to pester the priest next time I’m there and see what he says lol.

  6. @spiralcosmosart . Soto Zen Buddhism is far less strict than Rinzai. I have seen Zen masters drink beer.

  7. I would’ve never thought they smoked. Then again 1959 wasn’t long after Japan got nuked, Americans based there were probaly importing lots of cigarettes. I imagine cigarettes were a little too popular then.

  8. Hahaha he’s smoking reefer. Well peraps it comes from the Hindu practices of the Sadhus who smoke Charas (balled hashish) in their chillums before meditating.

  9. @doodovf Some Zen Monks still do smoke. We allow it here at Great Vow Zen Monastery But It is discouraged. But the again we’re in Oregon not in Japan.

  10. gracias for the moment of enlightenment.

    do you have more african chants like that in your file-age?

  11. I almost cried when I saw this. Their is a way out of a troubled mind, thank God for Buddhism.
    Om Shanti

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