Sunday, June 21, 2009

Spiritual embodiment

There are certain areas of spiritual tradition that leaves you bewildered in a special and indescribable impression when you are there.

The Ise Shrine is one of them.

I have visited the Shrine countless of times. The meticulous care taken in its construction in harmony with nature is apparent as you cross the bridge over the Isuzu river. The tradition of rebuilding the shrine every 20 years (Sengu) has been running for about 1300 years. The next Sengu is due in 2013.

Whenever I have been to a particular location of spiritual significance like Ise, I always wonder why I can't have the same set of feelings back in my daily environment. Why can't I be in the mindset of pondering remote things in the busy streets of Tokyo, in the laboratory, on the train.

In principle one thinks one could, but in actuality one can't.

The reason is most probably in the intimate interaction of the body with the environment. You rediscover the significance of spiritual embodiment.

The Old Shrine Site (Kodenchi) in Ise, waiting for the next rebuilding of the Shrine.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I personally do not believe that location and an enhancement of spiritual awareness/feeling are related. I think most people feel like they are more or less spiritually aware in certain places because we learn to feel and think a certain way in specific situations. For example, if a person visits a spiritually significant location that they either have no knowledge/understanding about or do not believe in the philosophy of the faith, chances are they are not going to feel spiritual. From my own experiences, I have visited many spiritually significant locations where I do not believe in the philosophy and the locations did not invoke any spiritual feelings. The feelings I felt were respect and a sense of history.

I think one could learn to have a mindset of pondering remote things any place and time that they choose, they just have to practice doing it or be aware of their thoughts. I have practiced it while doing mundane tasks, such as biking, riding the bus, and walking to get a cup of coffee. And, I can think of and ponder over many esoteric things as well as feel a sense of peace.

Thanks for sharing your opinions. As a scientist, I find all of these topics very interesting and I think more individuals should be researching these difficult topics. But, unfortunately in many cases most scientists will not share their opinions on fuzzy controversial topics like consciousness.