Tried again for Ise today....didn't realize the train I wanted from Namba only runs once an hour, and would have gotten out there too late. So went out to Nara instead. Detoured to see Yakushi-ji - bit of a disappointment, crammed with school tours, the statues were nice but not that exciting. There was a nice little temple to Fudo-Myoo off in one corner, though.
I definitely prefer Shin-Yakushi-ji for your Medicine Buddha needs. Went back there today, got some omiyage for Barbra-san, for the Well, and more for me.
Those wrathful generals, and Fudo-myo (bought a little statue of him in Nara today)...got me thinking about anger. Pete Seeger wrote
If you're gonna have great love, you're gonna have great anger
When I see innocent folks shot down
Should I just turn my head and frown?
But if you want to hit the target square, you'd better not have blind anger
Or else it'll be just one more time
The correction creates another crime
The Korean Zen Master Seung Sahn wrote that there are four types of anger. The first is the troublesome one, attachment anger; it arises from our carrying the past or our fears into the present moment, and so our reaction isn't appropriate to the circumstance. The second is reflection anger: anger comes because anger is a reflection of this moment.
The third type is internal-only anger: here you are angry on the inside, but don't appear angry on the outside. This doesn't mean repressing, that leads to attachment-anger; it's just knowing, "ok, I'm angry right now, but my function in this moment is not to act on that." The fourth type is external-only anger: there is no anger in your heart, but your function in this moment is to act with anger. Sometime as a karate instructor I've used this one: I'm not angry at all but my students need a bit of fire to be tempered. This is the anger of wrathful deities.
Anyway. After Shin Yakushi-ji, I went back to the shrine where I first met Kaz, wanted a closer look at that "Tao" stone. Turns out the were other characters on it, it was probably just a path marker. Had planned on hanging around there a bit just to sit for a bit, but there was a chatty young couple already there. so I sat just long enough to rest my legs. Bought some more omiyage over by Todai-ji - found a shop that had t-shirts and stuff with the kanji for "sincere", "sei", as in "seido", so there's little gifts for Kyoshi Kate and Sensei Sandy and Senpai David. Found some tiny, tiny Darumas for 100 JPY each, so there's a little something for the students.
Yesterday after Mino-o (which was lovely), I stopped in Umeda, hit the bookstore and found the Shinto book that Kaz had recommended (as well as a few other books, of course). Looks like a good one.