Sunday, September 15, 2019

Carpe Diem #1746 Shikoku Island ... the Path of Enlightenment

Dear Haijin, visitors and travelers,

I hope you all have had a wonderful weekend full of inspiration ... and peace of the soul and heart. I hope you are all okay and into a new week of CDHK. This month we are pilgrims, our theme "an act of devotion" describes what pilgrims feel when they are on a pilgrimage.

A few days ago I told you a little bit about the "Hajj", the once in a lifetime pilgrimage to Mecca for our muslim neighbors. A same once in a lifetime pilgrimage is the Shikoku pilgrimage, a pilgrimage on the Island Shikoku along 88 temples. This is a once in a lifetime pilgrimage for Buddhists.

Maybe you can remember that we walked this pilgrimage together back in February and March 2014 and it was really a wonderful (digital) pilgrimage.

Logo Shikoku Pilgrimage 2014

The Shikoku Pilgrimage or Shikoku Junrei is a multi-site pilgrimage of 88 temples associated with the Buddhist monk Kūkai (Kōbō Daishi) on the island of Shikoku, Japan. A popular and distinctive feature of the island's cultural landscape, and with a long history, large numbers of pilgrims (known as henro still undertake the journey for a variety of ascetic, pious, and tourism-related purposes.
In addition to the 88 "official" temples of the pilgrimage, there are over 200 bangai — temples not considered part of the official 88. To complete the pilgrimage, it is not necessary to visit the temples in order; in some cases it is even considered lucky to travel in reverse order. The pilgrimage is traditionally completed on foot, but modern pilgrims use cars, taxis, buses, bicycles, or motorcycles. The walking course is approximately 1,200 km long and can take anywhere from 30 to 60 days to complete. "Henro" is the Japanese word for pilgrim, and the inhabitants of Shikoku call the pilgrims o-henro-san, the o being an honorific and the san a title similar to "Mr." or "Mrs.". They are often recognizable by their white clothing, sedge hats, and kongō-tsue or walking sticks. Alms or osettai are frequently given. Many pilgrims begin and complete the journey by visiting Mount Kōya in Wakayama Prefecture, which was settled by Kūkai and remains the headquarters of the Shingon sect of Buddhism. The 21 km walking trail up to Koya-san still exists, but most pilgrims use the train.

pilgrims chanting
the Heart Sutra to honor Kukai -
cry of a Vulture
breaks through the serene temple -
pilgrims chanting

© Chèvrefeuille

mysterious Island
dedicated to the Path of Enlightenment
four countries as one

© Chèvrefeuille

(note: Shikoku means "four countries")

This episode is NOW OPEN for your submissions and will remain open until September 22nd at noon (CEST). I will try to publish our new episode later on. For now ... have fun!

No comments:

Post a Comment