You focus on you

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One time during yamabushi training I saw what looked like a participant struggling to remember The Heart Sutra. I thought they had forgotten their prayer sheet and tried to hand them mine. Next second, they brushed it away, and their focus intensified.

It turns out they had memorised it quite well indeed, but just had a few gaps in their knowledge.

Which is to say, you focus on you.

One of the most important lessons from my time on the mountains during yamabushi training is to focus on yourself first and foremost. So much so, that you all but ignore the others. If you get caught up in the way others are going about their training, it affects how you do your training.

And it's completely unnecessary.

On the surface this may sound selfish, but in fact the opposite is true. While seemingly admirable, reaching out a helping hand to others takes away their opportunity to learn for themselves. Of course if someone is in a crisis you should help out, but you must give them the opportunity to try for themselves first.

You focus on you, and they focus on themselves.

That's all there is to it.

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Tim Bunting Kiwi Yamabushi

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Sakata City, Yamagata, Japan 

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