When luck isn’t a good thing

On a scale of 1 to 100, how lucky would you say you were?

Yesterday when we were talking to the Buddhist monk, he told us about the invention of Mikuji, which are pieces of paper your reach into a box for with your fortune on them. Originally, there used to be 100 pieces of paper numbered 1 to 100, 1 being the luckiest, 100 the unluckiest. These were then rolled up, and placed in a box for people to draw out. After that, the monk would look at the piece of paper and read out the fortune.

Then the monk said something that took me by surprise.

The luckiest number, 1, is not the best number. If you are the luckiest, it means things only get worse from there. On the contrary, being the unluckiest means things can only get better.

When you climb Mt. Haguro, oddly the climb starts with a descent. You first start climbing the mountain by climbing down. This is by design. This descent represents going down into the depths of hell, because once you're there, the only way to go is up.

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MOUNTAINS OF WISDOM

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Tim Bunting Kiwi Yamabushi

Tim Bunting Kiwi Yamabushi

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Sakata City, Yamagata, Japan 

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