JAPAN DAY 11
Temple 23, 28km
Total km’s walked in Japan 190
Accumulative total km’s walked 1697
After an amazing night sleep in the Hawasa Train Station, this morning I popped over to the 7/11 to grab breakfast. Although I slept well, my body still hadn’t recovered from the two previous days, so it was a slow start. Last night we decided to take the scenic route today even though it meant a few extra kilometres (about 4km). This would have been a great decision if the weather had been fine, unfortunately, the weather didn’t come to the party It poured down all day, so the beautiful coastal views we would have had all day were shrouded in rain clouds. To make matters worst, the coastal road turned out to be nearly 10 km longer . At 4.55pm (temples close at 5pm sharp) three drowned rats crawled into Saba Daishi (a Shinto shrine not one of the 88 official temples) and humbly asked did they have somewhere we could sleep. Wet through and very cold, we gratefully followed the monk to a small shipping container which was dry and toasty warm. We only had one temple to visit today, so prayers were a little light on, but we had decided todays prayers would be for harmony. I looked up the definition of harmony just to be sure we where using it in the correct context. “Harmony is by definition“ a pleasant musical sound made by different notes being played or sung at the same time.” Apply this to humans.....we all dance to a beat of a different drum at the same time, but if done with love and understanding each of our drums add to the rhythm of life. I think harmony came up today because The Spunky Rooster and I seem to be out of sync at the moment, which is hard when your on the road and together 24/7. The Rooster and I have very different ways of seeing the world and everyday situations, this can cause a lot of friction. Usually when we are on the road this different perspective serves us well, ensuring that all bases are covered. Over the last few days the different viewpoints seem to be putting us at loggerheads. So to be praying for harmony will help us focus internally on what angst we are each bring to the table.
HIGHLIGHT: The scenery it was really pretty and it was also a mental signal that we were nearing the end of the first part of our journey spiritual awakening. So what does this mean? Are we closer to Buddha? Do we acknowledge the divine being within? Or is it just mental discipline to create a practice to daily acknowledge your spirituality. Tomorrow we move into the Kochi Prefecture and into Ascetic training.........have no idea what that means.
LOWLIGHT: The bloody rain, it rain so hard it has seeped through my pack cover, my pack and my pack liner, luckily I have everything in organisation cubes that are water resistant.
Today I am grateful for the temple lodgings being totally dry and warm. I am grateful of my growing awareness of my mood swings. Next step is to alleviate them. Grateful for the progress we are making on the road. We are sticking to our plan and budget.
At each of the temples we have a book that we take to the office temple and the monk will write the name of the temple and the main deity in Japanese calligraphy. Then stamp with 3 official stamps. These stamp books are proof that you have indeed completed and prayed at each of the 88 temples. The completed book is considered quiet valuable and a very strong talisman.
Each O Henro carries with them “name slips” which form part of the ceremony. On the name slips you have to write: