Friday, December 4, 2009

Journey : Ise ~ Kumano to Tenkawa 2&3

After arriving to Ise, I went straight to Gegū. It was a nice sunny day. The sando path way was well swept which made me feel even better. I went to the honden main shrine and requested a mikakiuchi-sannpai (御垣内参拝). This type of visit allows you to go inside the fence with a priest leading you to the front of the honden. I like this walk. As I walk on the pebbles, every step I feel cleansed. The donation for this visit can be from 1000 yen and up. I think it’s reasonably priced and worth the experience. Spiritually, this is priceless. The pebbles on this sacred ground is an iwakura*(磐座) and it is like an electric field of god’s energy. To apply for this type of visit, you can go to the shrine office. You should wear formal. Men should wear a suit with tie. Women should wear a simple modest outfit either all black or all white.

As always, our family applied for the seishiki-sannpai (正式参拝) , the formal visit, at both Gegū and Naigū. At both shrines, a young priest attended the ritual, but both of them were very impressive with their performances. I can see how hard they have trained. If you are working in the guest service field, I highly recommend you to see how they attend and move. It is not easy to train the young people these days to this high level. It was interesting to see the difference in feature of the priest of Gegū and Naigū. It must be the god’s will, to whom is chosen to be at the particular shrine. The priests at Gegū looks gallant and clean-cut, where as the priests at Naigū looks more friendly and warm. Their features reflect the god worshipped at each shrine.

At Gegū, I applied for the shinon-kansha (gratitude sending to the god) as a representative of Ise-Hakusun-Do. As we went inside the ceremonial hall, the first thing I recognized was the sakaki branches offered on the big altar. It was about two meters high beautifully growing to all directions. I heard there is a sakaki forest within the sacred ground of Ise specially grown for the rituals held at the shrines. This time, I was happy to see the sakaki leaves looking much healthier than last time.
The priest who chanted the Ooharae-no-kotoba showed dignity in his attitude. The priest of last time had a softer image and his voice was soft as well. The chant was chanted as if he was speaking gently. This was very unusual.

During the ritual, the movement of this priest gave me a vision of a rooster. It was the white rooster with a long tail, which resides at this sacred ground of Ise. When we were here last time, I didn’t see it on the other priest. He looked human until the end of the ritual. However, the priest of this time was different. I recognized that he had become one with the god. As I continue to use my psychic vision to look at the musicians in the back, four of them were regular human figure and the two in the back lane were sparrows.

The other figure of the priest being the white long tailed rooster signifies that he has attended the path in a serious and sincere manner for many years. He has become a true high priest.

A thought came into my mind, if I was able to view the Emperor in this way, I am sure that he will be more than a white long tailed rooster, but a phoenix.

In Shinto, birds have always been the messenger of the gods from the ancient times. The mythology tells about a three legged crow and at The Grand Shrine of Ise, the white long tailed rooster greets the sun. Even the costume of the priests l think originates from the rooster. (see photo of rooster at Naigū). 

Next place to visit will be the forest of Ise.
To be continued..

(the other photo is at the new Uji Bridge at Naigū. I felt strong energy in my gut.)

Ikashite-itadaite arigato-gozaimasu
Thank you for letting us live

*Iwakura – to see a giant rock as a form of god

Monday, November 30, 2009

Ise ~ Kumano to Tenkawa - Preface

Something came into my mind around October 26th. It was the time of one ending of the first Bardo/spiritual purification period (see previous articles for Bardo) of this year for the earth.

It was a sense of dark clouds coming from foreign countries to our Japanese society. The dark clouds will affect those who still cling to old values such as status and opulent outlook. If you already see good and healthy values in your heart, you don't have to worry. Yet, the first phase that brought big financial downfall and contagious diseases are definitely creating an emotional turbulence in many of us. I was concerned about the vulnerable children who are most effected by their parents.

The shift is starting from the material civilization to the spiritual civilization. And we cannot avoid the friction caused in the early stage. When you look at the creatures casting off its skin, it doesn’t look like a pleasant experience. It must be uneasy. This is a similar situation. You need to let go of the old values in order to outgrow.

I strongly want to make this shift a smooth and easy one for everybody. Starting from Japan and to the world, as easy as the Othello pieces flipping one after another. As I thought of this, along with my innate god, I decided to go around to important key sacred places to offer my gratitude towards the ancient spirits who reside on the land of Japan.

In order to calm the dark clouds from a foreign land, I thought it is important to go to Tamaoki-jinjya(玉置神社). This shrine was well known to clear off evil spirits from the ancient days. Tamaoki is located in the deep forest between the three mountains of Kumano. Like the saying, an eye for an eye, to clear off evil spirits we need a spirit that can be powerful like a kishin(鬼神) demonic god to work on it. I had to go there to find out for myself if the shrine still had that kind of power.

Another thing is that the location of the three key places, Tenkawa-jinjya(天河神社), Tamaoki-jinjya and the Nachi Waterfall(那智の滝) in Nara positions in a straight line on a map. Visiting these three places has been an important path for the shugendo(修験道), the mountaineering asceticism.

In the past, I had received a revelation about this line. When you extend this line straight into the Pacific Ocean, it is pointing to the location where there was once a giant continent. This floating giant island was made by extinct giant seaweeds that were about 1meter wide. The birds’ droppings piled over the seaweeds for ages and created this island. The land was very rich and human civilization progressed immensely at this period.

Eons ago, these three places were connected to this floating island on the Pacific Ocean by a spiritual pipeline. I wanted to go and check the condition of the spiritual energy of these places.

I reverently gazed at Haku-san shinning by the rising of the sun. And imagined carrying the god of Haku-san on my back, I left to first greet the Sun Goddess in Ise.

The story begins of my five day journey.
(this photo is the sun that welcomed me in the beginning of my trip at Gekū.)

Ikashite-itadaite arigato-gozaimasu

Thank you for letting us live