Day 49: Ron finishes, alone — “what Kukai had in mind for my last day”

(6th in a series of posts on Ron Yoshida’s pilgrimage)

https://88-photos.com/

Yoshida 5

This final day, I traveled alone though I thought of Ichigo, Ichie – one lifetime, one moment. Perhaps that is what Kukai had in mind for my last day.

On April 21, Ron Yoshida completed his incredible pilgrimage.

I thought about reaching the finish. Indeed, a moment to enjoy as I passed through the sanmon and rang the temple bell – over two hundred years old.

88 Temples.

You might want to know what pilgrims do when they are at a temple and what I do as a secular person who respects other people’s beliefs but is not religious but spiritual. . . . I put my hands together, bow my head and think the following. I am grateful that I am healthy in mind and body to have walked to this temple (83 so far). I am grateful to my grandparents who had the courage to leave Japan for whatever reason and who endured in a new land. I am grateful to my parents who nurtured me even though at times I rebelled. I am grateful to have Sharon as my wife and partner who has shared my life and supported me on this trip. I am grateful for my friends who I know have helped me and will help me again when needed. I am grateful for all of my girl cats and Sherman who purr and give unequivocal love. I am grateful to all of the people who have given me acts of kindness. For those fellow pilgrims and for those performing osettai whom I will never meet again, Ichigo, Ichie (in one lifetime, one meeting), thank you.

Yoshida 11

1200km.                        745.6454 miles.                   Over mountains thousands of feet high.

I am sad to leave the road with the excitement of what possibilities lie ahead. Each day brought surprises and experiences that can’t be bought. Walking put the moments into slow-motion. I saw details that would have been missed while on a bike, in a car, bus, train, or plane. I am sad because although I have hiked before, I have never gone this distance and time appreciating nature and our environment. Will I ever hear frogs as I did when I walked around the pond having missed Temple 36 on Day 19? Will I walk along a coastline and feel the wind for as long as I did in Kochi prefecture? Will I hear the sweet spring sounds of the birds as I was walking through the forests of Shikoku?

We look forward to Ron’s reflections on his return.

“Please wear the clothes of the Buddha’s great compassion.”

Kukai (Kobo Daishi)

Buddha: “I am the awakened one.”

  https://88-photos.com/

Time-out for an H. D. (16)

(16th in a series of posts on H.D.)

Finding H.D.: A Community Exploration of the Life and Work of Hilda Doolittle

The next event in this year-long series is a lecture by Liz Bradbury,
H.D. and Emily Dickinson: Bisexual Women Poets Who Made History,”
Monday, April 29, 6-8pm, Bradbury-Sullivan, LGBT Community Center,
522 West Maple Street, Allentown
(the location may be hard to find, so figuring a bit of extra travel time is good)

Nature retracts as evening creeps

Evening

The light passes
From ridge to ridge,
From flower to flower—
The hepaticas, wide-spread
Under the light
Grow faint—
The petals reach inward,
The blue tips bend
Toward the bluer heart
And the flowers are lost.

The cornel-buds are still white,
But shadows dart
From the cornel-roots—
Black creeps from root to root,
Each leaf
Cuts another leaf on the grass,
Shadow seeks shadow,
Then both leaf
and leaf-shadow are lost.

 

Marilyn Hazleton called this poem to our attention during the last event in the series, “H. D. and the Natural World.” Thanks, Marilyn!

 

Remember:

The next event in this year-long series is a lecture by Liz Bradbury,
H.D. and Emily Dickinson: Bisexual Women Poets Who Made History,”
Monday, April 29, 6-8pm, Bradbury-Sullivan, LGBT Community Center,
522 West Maple Street, Allentown

Ron’s henro [pilgrimage], day 40: Kiyo sukete [take care], Ron

(5th in a series of posts on Ron Yoshida’s pilgrimage)

https://88-photos.com/

Yoshida 5

“Kiyo sukete,” Ron, “Kiyo sukete”

Customs we’d like to make customary:

Yoshida 9

 

As breakfast ended with a last taste of another homemade umeboshi, our host placed our bill on the table with a small plate containing two go (five) yen coins, one for each of us. Ayoyama-san explained that the coins were symbolic of wishing that the guest would return one day.

 

 

 

Heat waves far off look real, but close up are nothing.
Heat waves look like running horses or a stream, but are nothing.
Fantasies arise from wrong thinking.
Beautiful men and women fill a fortress;
But it is wrong to think that men and women have essential being.
Sages and wise men are only assumed to be so.
The all-voidness of the five functions of body and mind is the real truth.

Kukai (Kobo Daishi)

Buddha: “I am the awakened one.”

  https://88-photos.com/