Tokushima Start!

After finding the Mad Henro! video, which is still so charming and fun, I found another made by the same producer, “Tokushima-ken CHANNEL”. This is also very fun. I think that the producers have a great sense of humour, and have a passion and sense of “mission” to promote the Ohenro experience. I love it.

The feeling of rushing from one place to another is a common unhappiness with many pilgrims on the trail. Our pressurized lives force us to hurry up our respective enlightenments so that we can hurry back to our pressurized lives from which we felt a need to seek spiritual calm in the first place. That is the very definition of a “vicious circle”.

While it may not be practical to take all the time we would like to enjoy each and every element of the pilgrimage, sometimes it is a good idea to just stop, breathe, and take in the moment.

Great video here. Check it out.

Mark

Mad Henro!

Ok, now this is by far, the COOLEST thing I have seen this month.

 

You are beholden to check it out. It is just awesome.

It just goes to show that there is more than just one way to “ohenro”.

Hey, I just made a rhyme!

Happy travels and keep between the ditches.

Mark

Land of Oblivion

After checking out Sherry in Ehime’s great hiking and exploration YouTube videos I found this gem:

 

I figured out that it is in Spanish and that the title, “La tierra del Olvido” means, “The Land of Oblivion”. Very catchy song, beautiful lyrics and these two guys are super cool for putting this together.  Well done, gentlemen! And thank you very much for this!!

Como la luna que alumbra
por la noche los caminos
como las hojas al viento
como el sol espanta al frío
como la tierra a la lluvia
como el mar espera al río
asi espero tu regreso
a la tierra del olvido

Como naufragan mis miedos
si navego tu mirada
como alertas mis sentidos
con tu voz enamorada
con tu sonrisa de niña
como me mueves el alma
como me quitas el sueño
como me robas la calma

Tu tienes la llave de mi corazon
yo te quiero
mas que mi vida porque sin tu amor
yo me muero [bis]

Como la luna alumbra
por la noche los caminos
como las hojas al viento
como el sol que espanta el frio
como la tierra a la lluvia
como el mar que espera al rio
asi espero tu regreso
a la tierra del olvido

Tu tienes la llave de mi corazon
yo te quiero
mas que a mi vida porque sin tu amor
yo me muero
Yo me muero

And in English:

Like the moon that shines
night roads
like leaves in the wind
as the sun frightens cold
as the land to rain
as the sea awaits the river
so I hope you return
to the land of forgetfulness

As wrecked my fears
if I navigate your eyes
as alerts my senses
love your voice
with your smiling little girl
like me you move the soul
as you take away the dream
as I steal calm

You have the key to my heart
I love you
more than my life because without your love
I die 

As the moon shines
night roads
like leaves in the wind
like the sun that frightens the cold
as the land to rain
as the sea waiting for the river
so I hope you return
to the land of forgetfulness

You have the key to my heart
I love you
more than my life because without your love
I die 
I die 

Sherry in Yashima

Sherry has struck again with a very nice video of Yashima and the Shikoku Mura. We may be in some kind of “synchronicity” having both been to both places very recently.

Check it out!

 

Mark

KYOTO!

The last few days have been a bit busy. I have been hosting friends who are visiting from America. It is great to see them. My friend, Elmar, and I have been friends via a shared passion for karate for coming on about 15 years. We have known each other by long distance, and a couple of years ago we had the chance to finally meet in Georgia State in the U.S. That was really great. Our friendship deepened and Elmar and his lovely wife, Jean, came to visit us here in Japan.

After a whirlwind tour of Kyoto, making sure to hit the big sites, (you may know some of them), we came back to Kagawa and visited a few things here. They really loved all the sites in Kyoto, naturally, but were also very taken with the Shikoku Mura, an historical park that rambles through the forests near Temple 84 (Yashimaji). That was great.

One very important place we stopped at in Kyoto was Touji. Touji, in case you do not recall the name, is the “East Temple” in Kyoto, and is closely associated with Koubou Daishi. In the year 823, Emperor Saga gave the temple to Koubou Daishi and Touji became the central seminary for Shinbone (Esoteric) Buddhism. Several buildings, as well as the spectacular pagoda, were added. When you come to Touji you can see a huge hall with statues of Yakushi Nyorai, the Medicine Buddha.

If you are familiar with Kyoto, or seen advertisements for it, you may have see the huge pagoda of Touji already. It is often used as as symbol for the city.

Kyoto is great, but I am glad to be home here in Shikoku. The next round for the pilgrimage is coming soon, so I am looking forward to that as always.

Hope my note finds you well, fellow travelers. Thanks again for coming by!

 

Mark

Brisk Paces

IMG_5649The other day I got to get out on the tour bus again and be whisked around the next 7 temples on the pilgrimage. It is a bit of a busy pace, and I lament that the group is pretty gung-ho to move through the temples quickly. I do my best to capture what I can with my cameras, and to gather the information I can. It is like assembling a massive jigsaw puzzle, and I think that when I get it done it will be the sum total of only what I, as a single solitary observer, has experienced.

But perhaps that is okay in itself. That is all we truly have, our own particular experiences, and perhaps knowing that from the outset has some value, keeps us humble, and makes us closer to our fellow human.

This week has also been very good to have some more people on our Ohenro Ambassadors page. There is really some awesome stuff there for you to check out!: https://yourpilgrimageinjapan.com/ohenro-ambassadors/

A great karate teacher told me that perfecting something is like carving a cube into a sphere. Each time you learn something you can cut or shave or polish a corner or edge. Little by little the sphere take shape. I believe that this is what we are doing with our collective voices and experiences. Together we are making the cube into a sphere.

I also met another foreign ohenro on the road. His name is Manfred Attner and he is here from Germany. I met him way out in Kochi-ken and he is traveling by foot, without Japanese language skills, and by himself. I thought that was just marvelous. We had a very all-too-quick meeting, exchanged contact information and promised to meet when he comes up through Kagawa. I hope he gives me a ring. Will keep you all posted if he shows up! In the meantime, come on Manfred! You can do it! Ganbatte kudasai!! (You can do it! Fight!)

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Step by Step

So, the last day has been pretty interesting. I put the word out a little about the existence of this site and got a whack of new visitors. That is really nice. Thanks all for coming by! I want to remind new visitors that checking out the lists of temples right now will lead to some disappointment. I am currently working through the pilgrimage in reverse order from Temple 88 down to 1. The reason for that is that this is a “gyaku-uchi” which means to “visit in reverse”. The “gyaku-uchi” is done every fourth year, and it is in remembrance of Emon Saborou, a wealthy farmer who turned away Kukai from his door. From that time forth, his sons died one by one. In order to beg forgiveness he traveled out on pilgrimage to catch up to Kukai but never could quite do it. In the year of the Monkey, he went in reverse direction and finally met Kukai where he was granted the forgiveness he sought.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

So, I must ask your forgiveness as well as many pages here are not yet finished, and I am putting them together as quickly as I can. If you would like to see what pages are finished, start from Temple 88 on this site and go in reverse order. I have managed to clean things up a bit to Temple 74. There are photos of temples down to 35, and I will keep adding the text as I go along.

In addition I am adding an “Ohenro Guidebook” page that should have some practical information and terminology, and I am finding more wonderful Ohenro Ambassadors along the way. I am currently reviewing one very cool site in particular and hope to have that linked up later on.

Will check in a bit later. I am off to one of our schools this morning to clean up the garbage and some other maintenance. In the meantime, feel free to drop me a line at: englishbiztakamatsu@gmail if you have some information, suggestions, or just want to say Hi.

Have a great day!

Mark

Shyness is nice …

Shyness is nice, but shyness will stop you from doing all the things in life that you’d like to., croons my 1980’s  rose-bouquet-twirling hero, Morissey.

I have been a little slow to “put the word out about this blog and site”. I have felt, and still do, that it is so much unfinished, and that it really needs much much more work, and thought, and someone smarter than me to put it together.

But somehow, through a twist of fate, or a strange divine joke, here I am, working on this crazy project that I am most certainly falling in love with. I test out the photos I am uploading with my Facebook friends and they all say, “Wow. I want to come.” Then they tell me how lucky I am and that I don’t deserve it. Then they remind me about the 20 bucks I borrowed back in high school and kind of forgot about. Then I show them the next set of photos and they forget all about that 20 bucks….

morissey01

I think a reason for the shyness is that I worried about what you guys thought about the work in progress. Maybe I thought too much about the folks out there who have all the “answers” about the Ohenro experience, and I just didn’t want to give them any rope with which to tie me up, or make me look inexperienced or foolish.

Perhaps the best thing to do in response to these unfounded (I hope) reservations is to simply state that I am indeed highly inexperienced, and basically an idiot. That is not too much of a revelation. But this project somehow needs me to work on it, and I have people who have expectations of me to get it done. So onwards I will push.

I am delighted, however, to make contact with people who have been on the trail and who have so kindly allowed me to link to their websites and videos so that we can all share in those experiences, and cheer on their great accomplishments.

If this project could be more collaborative, and have space for people to send up a flare of where they have been and what they have seen that would be great. In the meantime, I will keep at updating the temple pages I have seen and clean them up, as well as keep reaching out to blog writers and pilgrims on the way and see if they would mind having their stuff show up here for you guys to enjoy and get inspiration from.

Travel safe. Be well.

Mark

morrisey02