JAPAN DAY 6
Temple 11 & 12 15km
Total km’s walked in Japan 54
Accumulative total of km’s walked 1507
OMG Kobo Daishi you are not making my journey to Nirvana easy!!!Today marks the third day of walking and due to the all-day uphill climb I decide to carry my staff in my backpack and use my walking sticks. I am so glad I did. My good old stick pulled me up the hill, over ancient steps and through the gorgeous bamboo forrest. However having my staff in back pack gave me a very different perspective on the bells and their role in our journey. On everyone’s staff is a bell, which is suppose to scare of the vipers (snakes) on the trails. When carrying your stick the bells tend to only ring if you hit the ground with stick deliberately, so its intermittent. Today because my staff was rested in my backpack it rang constantly which got me thinking.... Are the bells suppose to scare of the physical vipers that slither on the ground or is their purpose more elaborate. Are they suppose to make you conscious of negative thoughts (Or mental vipers) that scare you so you can address them as they arise. Think about how many negative thoughts you have during the day...thoughts of not being good enough, of not be able to do something, regretful thoughts, worrying thoughts about the future. All stopping you from fulfilling your potential and not allowing you to live in the Now. What if every time you had one of these thoughts a little bell went off....a little ring to bring your conscious thoughts to the negative thought so you can replace it with a positive one. How much stronger would you be?
Tonight we are staying at a minshuku which is basically someone’s home. The great thing about this is everything from the accomodation to the food is authentic. This minshuku is a roadside shop and dinner was basically served road side. The meal was gorgeous and consisted of 5 little dishes. Tofu. edame, sliced cucumber, ginger & sesame seeds, miso and rice, A salad plate with marinated octopi, lettuce and tomato
HIGHTLIGHT: Has to be sitting down to dinner and sampling all of the little dishes
LOWLIGHT: Had to be that we peaked to early when climbing up the hill. We had climbed to the highest point on the map, so we sat down and had something to eat as we only had 3km to go to temple 12. When we started up again the trail went down hill and then up hill again sharply......this wasn’t on the map.
Today I am truely grateful for awareness. The awareness that comes from trying to squeeze every day to the max. Today I walked out of the beautiful forest and into warm sunlight. The path in front of me was lined with beautiful white flowers and straight pine trees and tall elegant bamboo. The sky was blue and at that moment tears of gratitude rolled down my cheek. I looked up into the sky and thanked god for my amazing life and then I turned to Kobo Daishi and said “thank you for creating this path so many years ago, it is not an easy path but one I walk with love in my heart and wonder in my eyes. I take you on this journey with me with honour.” I am grateful for other henro’s as their stories and journey become interwoven with mine. And last but not least I’m grateful for talking to Sam and hearing her voice happy.
As part of our attire as a pilgrim is the Sedge hat. (Sugesasa) written on the hat is 5 things in Sanskrit characters. One is Kobo Daishi (or as he is affectionately know Kukai). The next 4 are the 4 phases of enlightenment
Mayou ga yue ni sangria no shiro