Yoga & Culture in Japan with Michele Klink
About This Event
No matter how contemporary its culture, advanced its technologies, or towering its skyscrapers, the soul of Japan is eternally rooted in the soil of nature and Spirit. Together we will experience the soul of Japan as it has grown out of its indigenous nature-based religion of Shinto and spiritual tradition of Zen Buddhism, from the sacred sites of Kyoto to the modern metropolis of Tokyo.
Each day we will witness the Japanese reverence for nature and spirit — through its architecture, gardens, cuisine, religious sites, and especially, its arts. Japanese traditional arts — called do, or “the way” — bring nature and Zen Buddhism together in practices that cultivate spiritual contemplation through poetry, calligraphy, flower arranging, music and more. We will experience “the way” for ourselves in the ritualized Japanese tea ceremony and a private Noh theater workshop. We’ll see “the way” interpreted by cutting-edge artists at a contemporary Tokyo art gallery and by traditional artists in the artist colony of Kanazawa. We will learn “the way” as practiced by the Samurai, and receive private instruction from a monk in a small Kyoto temple in the way of Zen meditation.
This will be an intimate encounter with Japan. We will draw it close and take it in through all the senses. The majestic sight of Mt. Fuji from the bullet train as we traverse the country. The sound of Buddhist monks chanting at dawn. The sweet sensation of slipping into the hot mineral waters of a rural Onsen. We will savor the world-renowned tastes of Japan, from dining on the elegant, haute cuisine of a formal kaiseki meal to crouching over a bowl of homemade noodles sitting at the counter alongside locals at a ramen house.
Most of all, we will experience the soul of Japan through its people. Its artists and monks, geisha and salarymen, children and elders. Yoga and meditation will keep us grounded and open so that we may be present to all the depth this country and its people have to offer. More than sightseeing, this Inspiration Retreat will return us home having had a soul connection with the Land of the Rising Sun.