Laying the Groundwork

Mt. Chokai behind a shrine in Sakata City, Japan

Even though I’m big on focusing on the now, at the same time I believe that having something in the future to look forward to helps us live in the moment. We can dream about the future, and if we work back from that dream, we can find out what we should be doing at the current moment to make that dream a reality. Where I think I may differ from other people is that this future goal doesn’t have to be crystal clear. Like the 道, ‘do’ or ‘michi’ (think Kendo, Judo, Aikido, Sado, Kyudo) I think as long as we’re heading in a general positive direction towards something designed to make things better, then that’s enough.

Which is to say, I have a few exciting things lined up over the next few months. Some of these things I never could have imagined, but I definitely would not have been able to imagine them if I hadn’t been laying the groundwork over the past few years, such as in building the profile of Yamabushi or The Dewa Sanzan, or any of the other numerous projects I have been working on. I didn’t have a clear image in mind of what I thought success would look like, as I don’t think it’s a goal in and of itself, and more of a moving target that should be embraced as so. Part of this stems from worrying what would happen if I were to reach that goal, and knowing equally that this goal is not the be all and end all, and nor should it be.

So, in other words, you could say that you are perpetually laying the groundwork. Sure you may have milestones, but these milestones should only be thought of as milestones, and part of the journey that continues as you go along the 道 ‘do’ or ‘michi.



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Sakata City, Yamagata, Japan

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