Mountains of Inspiration
Seeing a 15m tall Torii gate covered in snow, and then having freshly-cooked soup and a hearty lunch underneath it is just plain fun, and a great way to get into the great outdoors, and to really get refreshed. But there’s a bit more to it than that.
The past couple of days and weeks even have been a bit tough on me. Just life catching up on me I guess. The reason I know is because I get panic attacks, and find it hard to breathe sometimes. There’s no real trigger for it, it just happens, the realities of losing your parents, among other things I guess. I also know because I wasn’t feeling very motivated to do much. Usually I wake up really early and want to sit down and get some writing done or maybe edit a video or two. I wasn’t really feeling that much recently. Until I went to the mountains, that is.
This morning I was invited to join an ancient tradition that a friend of mine recently restarted. You may have seen it in the video where I stay in Gassan Tsutaya Ochimizu-no-yu, a yamabushi-run Ryokan (traditional Japanese inn) in Shizu Onsen, Nishikawa Town, Yamagata Prefecture. The proprietor of the Ryokan, Shida-san, led a group of us on a snowshoe hike to Mt. Yudono Shrine, which is about 90 minutes from where the roads end in winter. Well, in the past devoted people would pay a visit to Mt. Yudono Shrine at the lunar new year, a custom that ended during the Meiji Restoration. And that’s just what we did.
I think the important part of going to the mountains that leads to inspiration is appreciation. When you go to a place like that, you are just in awe at its beauty, and it makes you want to stop and just say thank you to nature. That’s why I think Master Hoshino pushes the importance of prayer while out in nature, without appreciation, there really isn’t much point in being out there.
Which is to say, I feel so much better after having been to Mt. Yudono. Now to make a video of it.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
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.
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