Praying, Sutras, Meditating For Japan

The ancient prayer here is the Heart Sutra, but there are many others. The Lotus Sutra (how we can all rise from the mud to become like an amazing lotus blossom) is another. You will hear them at funerals and at temple events, on a daily basis. There are lots of books with commentary even in ordinary bookshops. Many, many bloggers are adding personal stories and videos from such pilgrimage trips.

Since ancient times, sutras, praying and deep mediatation have helped. You can do it too, of course. Whatever your religion may be, or be it science-based, your feelings and deepest thoughts and practice can help immensely at a severe time like this.

Pilgrimages were always a part of how Japan slowly evolved, dealing with new ideas and concepts and medicine from abroad. The Chichibu fudasho here in Saitama is one such trail, with 34 temples that get increasingly difficult. Close enough to Tokyo, you can reach the first temples easily from Ikebukuro. All are worth visiting. You get to buy a beautiful book, and the priests will sign and stamp it. You can also get a scroll, to hang on your wall, or in your tokonoma. I know many of you are rather thinking of going to Shikoku, to do the famous henro trail, or leave Japan entirely, but this is near, if you feel you need to get out and clear your head.

Chichibu temples, from No 19-22. At the end, you will hear the famous sutra, the Heart Sutra, Hanya Shinkyo, that is often recited at special events and at funerals. Do listen. With all that is going on, there has never been a better time to pray and meditate for Japan. Kannon and Jizo (in Kamakura).


Anonymous said…
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