Grandmother recruiting fellow buddhists to worship in Ascot home temple
Published 27 Feb 2013 09:30 0 Comments
Erin Wild at home at the altar of her buddhist temple
A GRANDMOTHER who set up a Buddhist temple in her home has returned from a pilgrimage to Japan.
Erin Wild, 63, a Shingon Buddhist monk, who was ordained in June, spent six weeks in Kyushu, the most southerly of the islands that make up Japan, experiencing monastic life, which started at 4.15am every day.
The mum-of-one, who became interested in the religion through Reiki healing, has also returned with a name for the temple at the rear of her Asher Drive home, North Ascot - Daikokuji Ascot Betsuin - named after the head Temple in south Kyushu.
Erin, whose Japanese name is Seiten, which means 'compassionate star of heaven', plans to eventually running meditation classes, in the hopes of reaching like-minded people.
Meetings are currently being held in the conservatory of her home and as membership grows, will move to leased premises.
Mrs Wild said of her trip to Japan, which was funded by her husband: "It was a real experience of monastic life, which is amazing but very hard. No wafting around prayerfully in blissful meditation - rather tough physical practices which tested one's endurance.
"Temple life also included a lot of services and teaching, and of course the joyful company of the resident priests who were living examples of kindness and love - something to aspire to."
Mrs Wild also visited 88 temples during a five day pilgrimage on foot.
She added: "The terrain was mountainous and snowing a lot of the time - the highest temple being at 2,600 ft. It was an exercise in getting to know oneself and pushing oneself to boundries you never, ever thought you could reach. Seeing your weaknesses, and then overcoming them."
Mrs Wild says her next goal is to get the temple off the ground, offering meditation classes.
"I also invite any interested party to join me in a service, which I do every day," she added. "There is never any attempt at persuading or converting people to Buddhism. That is a very personal thing which comes from within."
This article appeared in Bracknell News 27 Feb 13