Author Archives: Gillian Jones

Japan autumn tour Shinto fire ceremony

A torii stands at the entrance to Shinto Shrines throughout Japan demarcating the boundary between the non-sacred and the sacred. This one is at the original site of Kirishima Jingu where every year on November 10th a fire ceremony is … Continue reading

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Japanese castles

Only 12 “original castles”, i.e. castles with a main keep that dates from the feudal era (before 1868), still stand in Japan today. We will visit 3 of these on the Artsinspire ( spring tour, March 31 – April 12, … Continue reading

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Treasures found on Japan Spring Tour

On the Japan spring tour from which I have just returned, we had one of those serendipitous events which so often occur on my tours. Looking for a coffee, we stumbled upon an antique shop which had a sign suggesting … Continue reading

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An Aesthetic of Acceptance

In my daily life I am able to identify a particular aesthetic understanding which had developed in me during several years living in Japan. This way of interacting with the world is closely aligned to Zen and Wabi-Sabi both of … Continue reading

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Embracing opposites

I am very drawn to the idea of what is ‘enough’ in the following quote by the Zen teacher Taisen Deshimaru. ‘Zen is not a particular state but the normal state: silent, peaceful, unagitated. In Zazen, neither intention, analysis, specific … Continue reading

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