Monday, March 31, 2014


.......and everything else for that matter.  Remember high school gym?  Not your favorite thing?  Well, one visit to a Japanese bath....after the initial shock ....will change your mind about the whole communal thing.
Here's the entrance....the red is for ladies....

....and the blue for the men.  However, they change 'areas' each day (A.M. & P.M.) so you have to be careful & pay attention......(Woops!)
Looks good so far, a regular locker room.....for your knickers.  These shelves are for your shoes.

And nice clean basins....with lovely soaps, combs and such.

Ready?  Open the sliding door........

First you scrub, scrub down, wash your hair, get all squeaky clean....don't forget to rinse off!  The areas to the left are individual hand held showers with all the lovely soaps & shampoo materials.

Here's one of them.

Then it's into the very clean, very warm/hot water with you for a nice long soak! If you sit on the ledge your legs will float.
.....and enjoy the view!  (Scenery that is....elevate please!)
Yes I did it and yes I loved it and big YES I picked a time when I could go solo!
Afterwards it was back to my spacious quarters to brew another pot of the best green tea on the planet!

Loved everything at the Ryuguden Ryokan Hakone!

1 comment:


There is no avoiding the pull of the internet, the blogs, the YouTube imaginings. It's as if we're all 'On the Road' with Jack Kerouac each in our own world of meanderings. When we tell someone to 'get a life' it might be a bit difficult when you're dragged into other people's 24/7.

I've come to realize two foundational principals, there are no accidents and everyone has a purpose. More and more I'm desiring everyone to come into a full realization of their purpose as we all find our way on this little jewel of a planet.

For me, as a professional 'Western style artist', I stumbled into Chinese Brush Painting after a trip in 1980 to Monet's home/garden. Seeing all of his collection of Japanese woodblock prints was an ahh haa moment for me and when I returned to the States I started painting in the Chinese manner and never looked back. The first year was extremely painful for me as I felt that I should be able to master the technique since I was a 'trained' artist. Not a chance ... that just gets in your way.

Now, after teaching close to 3,000 students and having my book 'The Ch'i of the Brush' published by Watson Guptill, I can say that every one of my students does better their first day than I did my first year! Why? Because I insist that they leave their critical parent outside and just enjoy the journey, respecting the work that they do. I never let anyone throw anything away because that just ingrains frustration and defeat.

We really only begin to learn when we stop and figure out how to 'save' a painting. It works every time.I am so proud of my students, their receptivity and eagerness to express themselves is a continuing blessing for me.So, back to finding your purpose. Perhaps it starts with realizing 'it's not about me'. It so easy to want our needs met and to filter everything thru this attitude. When we realize that we're here to be of benefit to every life that we touch the universe really provides the ways and means.

The best part is that it's really exciting to not have yourself on your mind all the time!I'm re-reading a wonderful book about authenticity and in my next meandering I'll tell you about it. In the meantime I'd love to hear about your journey and am here to answer any and all questions about Chinese Brush Painting.