On my first trip to China, in October of 1990, I entered from Hong Kong by rail to Guangzhou Station, then bought a ticket on a flight to Kunming for the following morning. I was staying at the Camelia Hotel , then a backpacker’s paradise, with a huge co-ed dormitory and easy access to various transportation routes. At that time, the entire Hong Kong women’s volleyball team was staying there, after having competed in the 1990 Asian Games. What a deliriously stimulating dorm room that was!
Thinking about Master Sheng Yen prompted me to run back over my own history of attempts at meditation, which dates back to the early 1970s and takes a ragged course up to the present day. It occurs to me that even without touching on the teachings themselves, just a brief note on the course of events might be an amusing trip for those of us who took similar journeys, or who might not have been born yet.
Well I just returned from a terrific trip, including a visit to Osaka and Kyoto with my Dad. The Namba Dotonburi district is always fun, with its giant seafood sculpture signage. The Red Devil takoyaki grilled octopus ball shop is looking pretty fashionable, too! In Japan there is no shortage of robots, and the one in Namba that amused me was the fat automaton struggling and hobbling with two cases of Asahi beer in front of the liquor store. This strikes me as a really good use of a robot - to portray a sweaty human carrying cases of beer, and none too steady on his feet! After swilling beer and munching seafood, you may want to stop for a rest at one of the fanciful hotels nearby, like the “International Hotel” with it’s curious facade.