Wednesday, July 8, 2015

A special time at a temple

A group of Henro Pilgrims in Shikoku at a temple.

Each of the 88 Temples is special and unique.  Some are tranquil and others busier.   Some are prosperous and some more humble.   There are several rituals to follow at each temple as part of the journey of exploration of the Shikoku pilgrimage.

The temple grounds are always imaculate and beautiful.    Many have ponds with koi fish and all have various statues of deities and Buddhas and others representing stages of life.
Each temple has a story and a primary deity but there is always Buddha present.   There is also a hall for Kobo Daishi who was the originator of Shingon or esoteric Buddhism in Japan.

The interior of temples vary from simple to extremely ornate.   Most are not open to go inside unless you are staying at the temple itself.

Given the length of the pilgrimage there is sometimes a temptation to rush to the next temple or to where your will be staying.   It is much nicer just to sit when you find a special place and just be.
It can be a little bit busy if a bus load of pilgrims arrives but every person does their own pilgrimage as they feel appropriate.

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