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Mt. Chokai behind a shrine in Sakata City, Japan


Laying the Groundwork

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.

Tim Bunting Kiwi Yamabushi


Hi, I’m Tim Bunting AKA the Kiwi Yamabushi, a New Zealander who became a Yamabushi Ascetic in the Dewa Sanzan mountains of north Japan. I’m part of the Yamabushido team, and we host life-altering Yamabushi training on the Dewa Sanzan (website link). People come to us for the ultimate mindfulness experience, to reach the next level, or simply connect with nature and themselves.

I’m on a mission to summit all 100 Famous Mountains of Yamagata Prefecture to spread the splendour of this fabulous location, and in dedication to all those who lost their lives out in nature, including my father.

On my daily blog I post thoughts of a practicing Yamabushi that I hope people can use to better themselves and live as fulfilling a life as possible.

Sign up to the weekly Mountains of Wisdom newsletter, follow me on social (Instagram, Facebook, YouTube, Twitter, TikTok, Clubhouse, all @kiwiyamabushi), or send me an email via the link below to stay in touch.



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Sakata City, Yamagata, Japan 


All photos my own. Contact for more. 

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