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Sogenji monastery

Dokusesshins

A Pagoda was built as a place where the relics of the Buddha were originally kept, a stupa, or a reminding symbol of the Buddha - now a sign on the mountain where a temple can be found. Sogenji is a royal temple and when the feudal lords would return by ship, the Pagoda could be seen from far away and thus the way was known.

Nowadays the Pagoda is being used for Dokusesshins, sesshins done alone. Sangha members get the chance to sit alone for a week at a time in the pagoda, receiving food in containers from the Tenzo, so that they can stay with the practice of zazen day and night while also coming down the mountain for sanzen with the Roshi. The Pagoda is pretty much booked out all year round - on freedays sangha members split up for someone in the morning or afternoon, to be able to continue their zazen.

Below you can see an architectural drawing of the Sogenji Pagoda, of how the roof is “hanging” and thus able to move during storms and earthquakes.



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