February 7th, 2007
|01:41 pm - Piety on the pilgrimage|
"A mountain temple, Senyuji stands out for having had its main image carved by a woman. The figure of the thousand-armed Kannon was carved in the seventh century by a young woman, who is supposed to have prostrated herself after every cut of the knife. Several of the temples where the main image was carved by the Daishi also claim this kind of reverence during the making of the image. The next level of holiness in carving requires prostrating and reciting a prayer before each cut, as well as the post-cut recitation."This particular quote is one I stumbled across while bringing mazisexton a copy of the book it's found in. There's something about this sort of action that speaks to me deeply.
-Temple 58, Senyuji1
The Shikoku pilgrimage interests me quite a bit: architecturally, spiritually, and academically. To say nothing of the fact that I promised mazisexton that I'd make it happen sometime with her.
But today, I ran across the paper I'd written that quote down on, and I remembered how much I just wanted to share it, to mention it, particularly to ADF Dedicants working on their understanding of piety. And I remembered how good that felt. And I certainly remembered the fact that that's really all I want to do on so many days. And that felt good to remember.
1 - p. 195: Readicker-Henderson, Ed. The Traveler's Guide to Japanese Pilgrimages. Weatherhill:New York, NY. 1995
Current Location: Southeast of Disorder
Current Mood: quixotic
Current Music: "Little Miss Magic", -JB
I still cannot believe how much that book (the Readicker-Henderson) sucked in regards to the 88 temple pilgrimage (I did manage to find my own copy too), his observations were often typically "gajin" (re: stereotypical Marco Polo syndrome that many European and North American people have when visiting or living in Japan).
By the way, it is not the only pilgrimage in Shikoku (duh), when you come we'll have to overlap the 88 with one to Fudo just because I believe Fudo can be traced to Agni and I think it would be interesting to see.
I look forward to walking through the first ten temples in a few days to begin the second official trek on the pilgrimage (with the Japanese way of doing it I actually just "completed" it for a fourth time yesterday with my Shingon Buddist teacher, a Revered who lives in Tokyo).
I am praying for a farm house. Moving back to Japan, to be on Shikoku (and thus closer to the pilgrimage and Kobo Daishi) is an act of piety for me.