Thousands sleep in peace
while one meditates, waiting
for all our futures.
Oku-no-in is a temple complex surrounded by a huge cemetery; the resting place of choice for a Japanese Buddhist. It’s also one of the most atmospheric and authentic places we have visited. Mile upon mile of cedar forest, packed tight with memorials, sculptures, statues, tombs and legends about the spirits.
But one important Buddhist is not dead; only meditating. Kobo Daisha Kukai is believed to have been meditating for over a thousand years, awaiting the arrival of the future Buddha to translate his message to the rest of humanity.
We pay our respects to the meditating Kukai in his mausoleum behind a temple with lights that are said to have been lit for 900 years. And then we return through his dark, dark wood, while he continues to dream and his fellow Buddhists sleep for ever, waiting for a message that some suspect we badly need.