山伏

キウイ

Yamabushi and The Hero’s Journey

Yamabushi training very closely follows The Hero’s Journey. In The Hero’s Journey, there is a call to adventure, a reason to head out on an intrepid journey. There is an initiation, or an ordeal to overcome. There is the transformation. Finally, there is the hero’s return.

The call to adventure could be construed as any number of things, but I think these days people feel some sort of want for recognition from a higher being, or maybe just to feel content with themselves. This I think depends on the person, but there is a certain ordeal or initiation we go through on the mountains, this could be symbolise by any number of the rituals we undertake on the mountains. And then the transformation comes.

Yamabushi training is all about the transformation. You go into the mountains, which we regard as the mother’s womb, and you train your soul while out there. The journey starts in the present, represented by Mt. Haguro, and then we go back in time, to the time before we existed, or we were just a twinkle in our father’s eye. That is Mt. Gassan, the mountain that represents the afterlife, where our ancestors reside, the past (which always reminds me of Dad whenever I’m there). And then, when we’re ready, we emerge ‘reborn’ once we make it to Mt. Yudono. This is where symbolically our souls are said to reconnect with our bodies.

Then, once we leave the mountains, we jump over fire which represents christening water. This is when we are officially reborn, a sort of homecoming. And so the cycle begins again, just like on The Hero’s Journey.

All the while we embody a philosophy that has profound implications for life. Sort of like ‘May the force be with you’, ‘Hakuna Matata’, we have Uketamo.

Tim Bunting Kiwi Yamabushi

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.


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.


Tim.

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CONTACT ME

Get In Touch

Sakata City, Yamagata, Japan 

timb008@gmail.com

All photos my own. Contact for more. 

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