From Kyoto to Ohara, to the afterlife. The journey called life continues.

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From Kyoto to Ohara, to the afterlife. The journey called life continues.

Life is ever changing. We are not only visited by prosperity, success, and marriage, but also by failure, divorce, and grief in the same way.

In Buddhism, they teach the principles of “Mujō” or that things are always changing. You can’t run away from this fact. The teachings also state that if you understand this concept, you can accept the changes that come up in your life, and that with this acceptance living actually becomes a very simple thing.

All this being said, it is hard to consistently combat an ever changing environment. This is why people move and choose to adapt, once again, to new environments with new people. Our ancestors were born in Africa and as they moved across the world they adjusted and changed to their environments. When you think of this, you could actually say that our current way of living in one fixed space is the one that is unnatural.

Just as we have learned from our ancestors, we also learn from history and people, maintaining a cycle of migration to areas which provide an easier life. Many people who live in the Ohara area, where Sanzen-in is located, have moved here from other areas. And Sanzen-in, like its inhabitants, has traveled many places.

Ōjō Goraku-in, one of the halls in Sanzen-in, is said to have deep ties to the Sukhavati pure land. The pure land is a “paradise without suffering or worries,” and for the people of Ohara, Ōjō Goraku-in was a welcome reprieve. We will explain why as we go along, but first, we will explore just what kind of place Ohara is. This is where our guide will begin.

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