Travel

Escape into the mystical Mountain – Koyasan

To experience the magic, we have to believe. When our mind experience the magic, we decide wisely, how to make use of that experience to shape our physical world. Such experience can be invoked numerous times over our lifetime to give us inspiration, strength and hope.

The unromantic ones will say “It’s all just in your mind.”

Yup, I agree;

but so is anything else we experience in this lifetime. So why should we exclude that spiritual experience? Spiritual experience is adding a touch of gold or rainbow to our life’s picture isn’t it?

Here’s an account of my experience in Koyasan with my own personal “romantic” notion of it.


A visit to Koyasan in the Wakayama prefecture will be devoid of spirituality if we do not believe the spiritual history behind it.

Founded by Kukai (空海), the entire mountain range is the holy centre or headquarter of Japanese Shingon (真言) Buddhism.  Shingon means mantra and it falls under Vajrayana Buddhism. It is an esoteric branch of Buddhist teachings that was transmited from India to China and then to Japan.


 

The heart of Koyasan is the Danjo Garan, which comprises a few holy building. My favorite is the Konpon Daito Pagoda.

When I visited the pagoda on 13th Nov 2017. There wasn’t much people around and I had the good fortune to circumambulate the group of images slowly, admiring the sculpture and pillar painting in a leisurely pace.

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Inside the Daito Pagoda

In that moment of religious fervour, my mind started to play my favorite Buddhist chant. It’s as if an invisible choir was right there singing the chant in a most exquisite melody. Next, imagination run wild and it seems like all the Buddha’s and bodhisattva where sitting there in the hall. Small and big became lost. Near and far became lost. Real and unreal became lost…. It was a very brief flash of hyper imagination gone wild. Tears just welled up. I managed to get a grip of myself. Even as I wrote this, that feeling is still vivid and strong.

Konpon Daito

 

Nearby is a holy pine tree known as Sanko no Matsu (Trident Pine). According to legend. Kukai threw a 3 pronged ritual instrument (Vajra) from China (where he was studying) towards Japan. The vajra landed in Japan and was caught by the branch of this pine tree. For that reason, Kukai decided to establish Shingon Buddhism in Japan from this site. So this tree is considered sacred with its three-pronged leaves. Visitors collect the leaves that had fallen on the ground as spiritual souvenirs / talisman.

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I read about this over the internet and was eager to pick my “lucky” pine leaf. On that day, I was afraid that there will be no leaves on the ground if there’s too many tourist. Turns out, the tree is actually very tall and there’s plenty of leaves lying around (lol). See the tourists searching for their perfect leaves in the picture above.

When I was walking towards the tree, I prayed silently in my mind that I will find my perfect leaf. As I approached, it was as if something was calling out to me. Just a kind of feeling and I walked right up to my perfect pine leaf. All the three prongs are straight and beautiful, equal in length. Somehow, at that moment it’s like my special pine leaf is mentally magnified. Just cannot miss it sitting there beautifully amongst the grass. I wrapped it up gently and kept it in my wallet. So Happy!


I decided to visit Okunoin before sun set. (In Autumn, sun sets at around 5pm) Decided to walk so that I can enjoy the beautiful autumn colors and look for the best vegetarian restaurant along the way. (I read that the vegan meal in Koyasan is so good that one would gladly turn vegan if one can eat it everyday)

20171113_130227.jpgWhile walking along the road, something influenced my mind to take a look up into the sky and I saw (with active imagination) a cloud formation that is small, but looks like a bird. Somehow the sunlight was reflected in such a way that it resembled a pheonix  with fiery red and golden aura. A bright sun with a pheonix flying towards it. Just a very brief moment before it was gone. A very beautiful sight that still brings a smile to my face as I typed this experience now. Beautiful nature with fervour belief, magic!


Okunoin is a HUGE buddhist cemetary amongst a forest of ancient trees. The trees are so gigantic that the sky is obscured when you are inside it.

It is like being bathed in nature and covered by the ancient life force of mother nature. On one hand you see tombstone every where (death), on the other you see think mosses on the ground and gigantic trees towering above (life). The experience is tranquil and peaceful. No sense of dread or fear at all in this cemetery.

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That’s all for now. Thanks for reading and may happy magic appears in your life too 😉

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My Buddhist name is Ratna Jamyang Puntsog. I first encountered Buddhism in this life when I was 12. Formally took ceremonial refuge in the triple gem when I was 19. I believe the different spiritual methods were taught by Buddha to suit various beings who each have their own unique characteristic. The various sects and practices that arose are just a naming convention invented by disciples out of communication necessity. Had read and studied different forms of Buddhism. Volunteered in Buddhist organization. Until it last, I hope to share my views on Buddhism and find like minded practitioners around the world. May we practice Buddha's instruction together and connect through cyber space!

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