The pilgrimage season to Hoshin- ji has started from January until early February when the weather is severely cold. All the monks leave the monastery in group of 10 to 15 and go to different parts of town for about 4 hours in the morning.
Monks generally wear traditional clothes. The hat is worn by the zen monk whenever he leaves the monastery. It is designed to block his view of the outer world and to concentrate his consciousness within his own being as he walks through the city.
They do not stand in front of each door but walk along the road, uttering in a friendly manner, “Ho….” Which means
The Rain of Dharma.
Hearing the sound from a distance, people emerge from their homes and donate small amount of money or rice. As Buddha teach monks not to attend in any activity concerning production, pilgrimage season is a traditional practice of begging that follows the teachings of Buddha. Every house must be visited no matter rich or poor. The monks must not anticipate for alms.
When the monks receive, they bow deeply. To bow, especially to a small child, is good discipline for breaking down one’s ego. Moreover, to receive this sincere donation from common people encourages the monk to train himself for the benefit of all sentient beings. All donations are collected into one box and used for the monks’ daily maintenance.
Bun kosalwat Producer of Tripitaka
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