A SHINTO SHRINE HONOURS THE SPIRIT OF FORESTS
On my last day in Japan, I was blessed by my visit to see Fatima-san (Suomi) and Yaqin-san (Yuya) in Nagano Prefecture. They have kindly took me to the Hijiri Shrine, a Shinto shrine nestled in a radiant forest.
We walked the path through the thick bodies of trees to reach the shrine which was, just at that moment, illuminated by sun. A small space in the shrine was created for humans to pay their respects to nature. Behind the shrine a small pond contained the spring water coming from the mountain, which is always fresh and cold. Tiny little fish flirt in the water of the pond. Next to it, a sign carved in stone, announces that the pond, is a seed pond. I don't know how this small body of cold water could be a seed pond, ecologically thinking, but something in my heart jumps up and down in delight. Here, on my last day in Japan, I offer the intention of my journey - to sprout seeds of life, to the pond.
SPROUTING SEEDS OF NEW CONNECTIONS
I wrote a story in preparation for my journey to Japan, and to offer a workshop on Personal Seeds of Renewal for the Earth. I followed a process I learned from Allan Kaplan from the Proteus Initiative. After observing my present circumstances from various perspectives, I allowed my imagination to 'see' into the potential of my journey. The story surprised me. It also delighted me. What follows is the myth of my Japan Journey.
THE WOMAN WHO LOVES SEEDS
There is a woman who loves seeds, and she collected them whenever she could. Seeds of all kinds : flowers and grass, grains and vegetables, trees and bushes. She just loves plants, insects, worms ... anything that belonged to the category of life. She had a big sac, in which she placed her seeds mindfully. But her sac had a hole in it. Just like Kokopelli who travelled from place to place, with his seed sac, and a hole in it. Kokopelli, the seed collector, left a trace of life wherever he'd been.
She is particularly keen on human seeds - the potential of each person to blossom. She also noticed that many people have forgotten their seeds, their gifts and essence of life. So she decided to help those people to reclaim their seeds, and plant them for the sake of life.
She climbed up to the top of a tall tree. From that height she chirped a bird song. She sang for the people who could hear her to gather around the tree. When she looked down, many people were gathered in expectant anticipation. So she climbed down and sat with them. They started a great conversation. So many soulful stories were exchanged in their circle. She helped each person to sprout their seeds, their potential to blossom. And those who gathered around the Tree of Life went to awaken the seeds and potentials of others. A ripple effect reverberated through the land. The people who sprouted their seeds were no longer victims of circumstance, but agents for life. They distinguished between love and domination. With their power to discern, they made a difference in the unfoldment of evolution on their land.
She perched up on her tree once again. Looking at the landscape of her life, she could see undulating patches of time. The patch of time she had spent in Japan were among the most colourful and abundant times of her life, such that from that patch of time, seeds of life kept forming and being released to regenerate life well into the future. She felt the heart of Gaia beating with her gentle, soft, caring rhythm in the heart of everyone she knew. She saw all this from her vantage perch on the Tree of Life.