Ryoan-ji Temple | Rock Garden | Zen Meditation

Ryoanji Temple originally a country house of the Tokudaiji Clan.
It was qacquired in year 1450 by Hosokawa Katsumoto for use as a Zen training temple.
It was destroyed by fire during the Onin war and was rebuilt in year 1499.
during year 1994, it was registered as World Heritage Site.

Rock Garden.
The simple and remarkable garden measures only twenty-five meters from east to west and 
ten meters from south to north.
The rectangular Zen garden is completely different from the gorgeous garden of court nobles constructed in the Middle Ages.
No trees are to be seen. only 15 rocks and white gravel are used in the garden.
(15 means completeness in Buddhist world.)

The walls are made of clay boiled in oil.
As time went by the peculiar design was made of itself by the oil that seeped out.
This internationally famous rock garden was said to be created at the end of Muromachi Period by Zen monk, Tokuho Zenketsu.

A unique wash-basin of stone
with insciption
( I learn only to be contended)
He who learns only to be contended is spiritually rich, 
while the one who does not learn to be contended is spiritually poor even if he is materially wealthy. This concept is important in the Zen spirit.

The stone wash basin was built for the tea room which favoured the Kishuza style, 
a tea master of the Early 17century.
Zoruku means to contain or hide "six".
The "six" stands for the head, tail and four legs.
Consequently Zoroku maens a tortoise which is the symbol of Genbu, The guardian god of the north.

The journey within the temple is attractive especially 
the Kyoyochi pond which was made in the late 12th century.
The water wells out from around the two rocks in south. On the islet named Bentejima is a hall,
in which an image of Sarasvati has been housed.
It is a whole and meaningful experience during the visits to this
ancient temple and yet, 
it seem to be impossible in the conditions of today's world.