Saturday, April 27, 2019

Speaking of the Henro.....

It's been a long time since i have taken the time to write anything. A very long time. I thought i was going to write about my walk of the Camino de Santiago, but as it progressed i found that i didn't really have anything to say. Seems that i have that problem a lot lately.

But, i recently realized that i have a hole in my Shikoku website and it's glaring enough that i think it needs filling. That hole is in my comments on the Heart Sutra. Near the end of my comments i mention walking the Heart Sutra trail, as opposed to walking the physical henro trail. But i never tell anyone what that actually means to me.

All those years ago, when i first wrote those words, i kinda, sorta, just assumed that it was clear what i was thinking. Without putting much thought into it, i guess i assumed that if you had read all the way to the end without falling asleep or completely losing interest in what i was saying, that you would be on the same page as me and know what i was trying to get across. Now i'm not so sure.

Or, maybe what i'm really wondering, am i sure that i know what i wanted to say? I have this amorphous feeling that i know what i meant, but if someone approached me and asked me to give them the "elevator speech" version of what a Heart Sutra pilgrimage would entail.....i know i couldn't do it. Of course a lot of words could be poured out and spread around, but a short, concise, "here's what i mean" type of explanation would most likely not be seen.

Since i have to add something to the web site to fill this gap, i think i'm going to try and flesh out my ideas here on the blog over the next few weeks or months and then, once i'm convinced i have something that i can live with, cut, copy, paste, and edit what i need over to the site with a link from the bottom of the Heart Sutra comments.

Admittedly i have no idea how i want to approach this. So, i think what i will do is to walk the trail with you repeatedly, around and around, prefecture-by-prefecture, adding and subtracting with each successive passage through each prefecture until i get some semblance of clarity.

Of course the first passage will simply be a reiteration of the standard names of the prefectures: Hosshin no Dōjō, The Dōjō of Awakening Faith; Shūgyō no Dōjō, The Dōjō of Practice; etc.

Then i know that i need to add the Kongōkai Mandala and how i see the pilgrimage as a physical manifestation of its teachings. Which, by necessity brings in the Five Buddhas and the Five Wisdoms.

And, again of course, the Six Paramitas also have to be included as they are just as much a part of this as anything above. Anything else? At this point i don't know. I'd like to keep it to no more than that because i'm not trying to write anything that someone could point to and say he's trying to be serious.

I want to keep this relatively simple — here's what it means to walk the pilgrimage with your day-to-day life focused on the Heart Sutra. Here's what you should do, here's what you should keep in mind, here's what you should work on, and there's your goal.

Wish me luck.