#46 Julia


Temple: Ryukoin – another bangai temple looking over the city of Uwajima, with a rare original castle that you can just see over my mosquito bitten shoulder

Dedication: Julia was my tutor on my counseling course. She was a great teacher but also very good to learn from by just observing how she dealt with some situations. She took quite a lot of abuse when running our group sessions and was strong enough to take it and reflect on what she thought might be true in comments about her character. She really inspired me to look into gestalt techniques and I’m grateful for the year of teaching I had from her.

I’m taking my time and having plenty of breaks but making progress. Uwajima is pretty but I wasn’t feeling up to climbing the hill to the castle, or the statue behind the temple.

My face, neck and arms have been bitten and bitten by mosquitos, they seem to be everywhere at night. I’m getting more relaxed about finding places to sleep. When I started I thought you could sleep on temple grounds but apparently that hasn’t been true for a long time. I used to have a 3pm panic about where I would sleep but now that I’ve slept in a field and a doorway I figure I’ll find somewhere. Japanese people are too polite to tell you to shove off, which has worked in my favour. The only days I’m anxious are rainy ones as a shelter to dry off in makes a massive difference.

A few temples provide free enclosed huts, mainly the ones in cities, these are a real boon. I can really tell the difference the next day after I’ve had a good sleep. Compared to a drunken, mosquito-filled, road-noise heavy one like last night. Serves me right for breaking the precept about not having intoxicating substances.