One foot in front of the other: The Yamabushi Way of Living

Follow the natural progression to live well.

In Yamabushi thought there is an infatuating obsession with being in the moment.

I believe this is fully justified. Without living in the now, we aren’t truly living. We are living in our idealised version of the past, or an imagined version of the future. Neither is conducive to experiencing the current moment, the only thing that exists besides here and self.

However, coming from traditional western thought, where setting long and short term goals is the norm, these thoughts are at odds. I do believe that we should focus almost entirely in the now. At the same time, I do see the benefit in having long term goals.

The way to reconcile these thoughts is essentially the long term linking of extremely short-term goals.

Master Hoshino says that he got to where he got to simply by doing what felt right in the moment. Only, he also did that hundreds and hundreds of times over. There was no aim to become a master Yamabushi with thousands of followers. There was no aim to write a book (a very un-Yamabushi thing). It was all just a natural progression he followed for years and years.

What this long-term linking of short-term goals highlights is the need for good habits. The need for consistency and constantly putting one foot in front of the other. It requires discipline, as well as the ability to get back on the bandwagon if you fall off.

It also requires faith in the unknown, and faith in our own ability to get through. We’ve made it this far, though, right?

This is how we live our best lives. A combination of living in the now, but with an eye on the near future.

And above all, acceptance.

Acceptance of the now. Acceptance of the past. Acceptance of the future.

One foot in front of the other.

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Sakata City, Yamagata, Japan 

tim@timbunting.com

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