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Thread: Summer Mountain Training

  1. #1
    Mekugi Guest

    Default Summer Mountain Training

    I just came down off of Mount Ontake from Misogi.

    It was great fun.

    We trained under the waterfall to begin with, marched up Ontake samma at 10 pm at night to see the break of dawn, marched over to Marishitenzen to pay our respects, then marched back down the mountain. The following day we did waterfall training again, then visited a shrine and went home.

    I have some comments about me on the trip and I would like them reviewed.

    I guess my spirit is a little too "forged"- the thing was a breeze for me. I just enjoyed myself and revitalized my link with the outdoors as always. This type if thing is absolutely commonplace for guys like me and I take it in as usual.

    While everyone was huffing and puffing, I was striding uphill and essentially "running circles" around them in both directions. The waterfall was not intimidating, even though it was supposed to be at it's strongest for the last ten years and had warnings posted. I marched right in and took it with no problem. I have done the same thing at home in the woods, but I called it a high velocity shower.

    It was mentioned that I am not "spiritual enough". It was also mentioned I am into "outdoor sports" so it is not spiritual for me. I have no idea what they mean.

    I totally disagree with both of those comments...the fact is these people have never really dealt with a backwoods hick like myself and don't know what to make of me. I have never been into outdoor sports really- or never considered what I do "sports" and it's just the way I was raised. I mean I like to go out and play like everyone else, but I usually take my trekking very seriously and my hunting even more serious. Matter of fact, I think I got more out of it spiritually than anyone else as it was like going home for me, kind of nostalgic and homesick at the same time.

    I dunno what they mean by "not spiritual enough", but I really think it has to do with the fact I am not intimidated by rough terrain. I wasn't in any great pain after the long walk, and just slightly sun-burned. Maybe just jealousy on their part? I know it wasn't racism. I ended up pushing everyone up the mountain and basically carrying them back down. I did a great deal of caretaking for these folks up and down the mountain- I can't figure what is more spiritual than that. I could have just breezed by them and left them in my dust-however I took the option to stay and help them.

    Maybe they should come and try my version of "Misogi"- complete wilderness for a 15 days. No ryokan, no running water or toilets, no rest areas, no beds, no shelter from the rain or sun- nothing. Just you and the great outdoors and whatever you can pack in. I think they have become a little soft over here and lost sight of what this is really about. Maybe it is a cultural difference? I am, after all, just a gaijin.

    Have the Japanese truly lost sight of the Misogi and has it become a ritual more than anything else? Is it just me?

    -Russ

  2. #2
    Bryan Fishback Guest

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    I don't know much about Misogi but I would guess a lot of them are kind of conveniently easy. So the average person can go do it and feel good. I think your probably too used to it for their liking, maybe to eager? Sounds like good fun though, I've been meaning to do one like your personal version all summer but haven't had the chance

  3. #3
    Mekugi Guest

    Default

    No one get me wrong....

    It was gorgeous, the trip was fun, it was an introduction to koshinto, which is heavily steeped in tradition. It involved prayer, meditation and the whole bit. I got the hang of it and found it extremely interesting. However, I did everything required of me (more or less) and I bent over backwards! I do think I inspired some jealousy, which may or may not be true, but it certainly feels that way.

    This was not an easy trip for your average hiker. Ontake san is about 3,063 meters (10,051 feet)to the top, extereme uphill-downill. I would guess at least another 5,500 meters to Marishitenzen. Maybe I was not exhausted enough for them?

    What's too eager mean? I mean I wasn't jumping up and down screaming like jack sprat. I was, however, able to make this trip without a problem. I think that bothered them.

    I am not sure what to make/how to take their commments.

    -Russ

    Originally posted by Bryan Fishback
    I don't know much about Misogi but I would guess a lot of them are kind of conveniently easy. So the average person can go do it and feel good. I think your probably too used to it for their liking, maybe to eager? Sounds like good fun though, I've been meaning to do one like your personal version all summer but haven't had the chance

  4. #4
    Striking Hand Guest

    Default

    Russ.

    From what you wrote it sounded like the whole trip to you was more like an outdoor adventure hike, than the religious experience it is supposed to be.

    I don't think it is about being easy, tough or over-eager but more about connecting with nature, purifying yourself and being one.

    Cheers.

  5. #5
    Mekugi Guest

    Default

    Umm...okay. What gave you that idea again? Where was the part where you got that opinion?

    Was it where I wrote:

    "I just enjoyed myself and revitalized my link with the outdoors as always. This type if thing is absolutely commonplace for guys like me and I take it in as usual."

    ....the part where I was inspired to remember my connection to nature?

    Maybe where I scribed:

    " I usually take my trekking very seriously and my hunting even more serious. Matter of fact, I think I got more out of it spiritually than anyone else as it was like going home for me, kind of nostalgic and homesick at the same time."

    ...Bringing back the fond memories of my childhood and the connection to my life now? Remembering where I come from? My seriousness of the whole thing?

    or maybe the part where I wrote:

    " I did a great deal of caretaking for these folks up and down the mountain- I can't figure what is more spiritual than that. I could have just breezed by them and left them in my dust-however I took the option to stay and help them."

    Perhaps where I spent more time looking after the wellfare of the other people around me rather than just tossing them to the rear?

    Or maybe the fact I don't write crap like
    " The mountain was set on fire with the sunrise, it was like my soul was on fire with the bliss of nature. I was truly enshrined in the wonders of the wilderness."

    People who write like that never spend enough time in the sticks to appreciate it or have any real connection to where they are. They just want you to think so, and spend a great amount of time trying to convince you of it. Usually these are people who have more words than experience. Period, point blank end of story.

    Tell you what, I will leave that garbage writing to the greenhorns that visit Walden Pond and think that's nature. I'll keep on with my Dharma Bum version of things and keep on riding hard, shooting straight and speaking the truth.

    I can go on and tell you a great big story about my friend Mike Metcalf, 100% Warm Springs Native American and the time we spent on a Vision Quest when I was 17. Perhaps a little yarn about how his kids won't know this type of thing because bit by bit these folk are loosing their culture while the money rolls in on Casinos?
    However you would think I was on another adventure hike, right?


    -Russ



    Originally posted by Striking Hand
    Russ.

    From what you wrote it sounded like the whole trip to you was more like an outdoor adventure hike, than the religious experience it is supposed to be.

    I don't think it is about being easy, tough or over-eager but more about connecting with nature, purifying yourself and being one.

    Cheers.

  6. #6
    Striking Hand Guest

    Default

    Russ.

    Since you are like always argumentative I will leave you with the following.

    You asked for opinions and than complain when I give one you don't like.

    Maybe your spirituality is not theirs, or maybe you are not supposed to help folks?

    Kinda reminds me of a 15km race we once did during MA class, sensei gratulated the LAST person to finish the race as he had the hardest struggle & difficulties to overcome.

    "Don't think. Feel. It is like a finger pointing to the moon...don't concentrate on the finger, or you will miss all that heavenly glory...." Bruce Lee.

    Cheers.

  7. #7
    Mekugi Guest

    Default

    You didn't give me an answer you just commented on something, without thinking about what I was saying or why. I gave you no reason to think this was a sport, other than the passing comments of some people in the group.

    Why don't you just say "I don't know" mayann or pass on posting. You simply chimed contrarywise just because you saw my name and thought you would re-quote what I was saying earlier.


    You've never been there, you've never done that and I have a feeling you have no idea what I am talking about. You really haven't a clue! I mean, you're quoting Bruce Lee for Chriss-sakes.

    Let me say this about your race: THIS WAS NOT A SILLY LITTLE GAME, DUDE! This is real, it is pure reality. If you fall down up there, you break your leg, you can DIE. Understand? Not a game, not some stupid Chinese puzzle box in which you can gain satori in a few moves.

    There are a hundred ways to die in the boonies. Falling down the side of a rocky cliff is a big one. Especially for a person that is 75 years old, which is the one I was helping the most. The reason I was helping these people is because of the threat of hypothermia, injury and exhaustion - to which they really didn't an idea about what I was talking about when I brought it up. It was only when one person started getting the shakes that they started to listen to me. I lent my strength to help the weak. Hmmm....yeah maybe it's not a sport huh. Maybe that's not "spiritual". Maybe this WASN'T A GAME. Get my drift?

    -Russ

    Originally posted by Striking Hand
    Russ.

    Since you are like always argumentative I will leave you with the following.

    You asked for opinions and than complain when I give one you don't like.

    Maybe your spirituality is not theirs, or maybe you are not supposed to help folks?

    Kinda reminds me of a 15km race we once did during MA class, sensei gratulated the LAST person to finish the race as he had the hardest struggle & difficulties to overcome.

    "Don't think. Feel. It is like a finger pointing to the moon...don't concentrate on the finger, or you will miss all that heavenly glory...." Bruce Lee.

    Cheers.

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