Saturday, November 05, 2005

# Serenity

What a pleasant surprise when I received two postcards at the same time, both exhibited such tranquility, peace and serenity.

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I had a virtual tour to Kashima shrine through the postcard from a dear panda in Japan. Kashima Jingu is one of his favourite places, with its magnificent gates, wide paths, sweet cedars smell, lines of cherry trees and chirping birds, etc.. Quote panda: "The shrine is actually the land which has been used as a shrine for 2600 years. But the buildings date back to around 1600. In the Heian era, about 1100 years ago, they used to rebuild the buildings every 20 years." Such was the long history of the shrine, which still stands grandly at present day.

I wonder, what it feels like to walk on the path amidst of blossoms of cherry, listening to the voice of the wind, contemplating on ourselves, our life, in past, current, and future? A walking meditation at such surroundings will be a fruitful one, I think.

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A second postcard, from Low, conveyed another sense of calmness and quietness. The image struck a familiar note in my heart. This is the kind of environment I used to see in Malaysia when I was growing up. Small villages, peaceful waters, soothing wind, and simple, carefree people. Sea has been an intriguing landscape of nature that shows so much emotions and tells so much feelings. From the gently lapping waters to wild raging strong waves, the sea is speaking to us, telling us stories of the nature, sharing their wealth, their wisdom accumulated from so many years.

One day, when I am gone, I would like my ashes to be scattered in the wide blue sea.

(P/S: Panda, your story of your uncle in California made me decided that my ashes to be scattered from a BOAT, not a PLANE. hehehe...)


D-Moll said...

that second postcard is really beautiful. I'd like to go there. Thanks for sharing.

The Moody Minstrel said...

I used to live very near Kashima Shrine, and I often went for strolls there. When I did, I always felt an eerie feeling when walking down the main avenue of the shrine, which is enclosed on either side by very old trees. It's hard to explain. It was like a feeling of being watched and also a sort of thickness, maybe like a sort of electricity in the air.

Last summer I led a group of high school students from Seattle on a tour of the shrine. I overheard some of them saying they felt the same sort of thing. Some of them were genuinely frightened.

It's no wonder to me that Kashima Shrine has been an important center of Japanese spiritualism (including Zen and Buddhism at one time) for thousands of years.

YD said...

According to feng shui beliefs, old tress have their own 'qi' which exudes an ancient aura different from human's 'qi'. We feel the difference of the 'qi', and sometimes if it's counter-acting 'qi', we feel the uneasiness. Similarly, walking in thick vegetation of rainforest gives a sense of oppression and thickness too.

Someone told me that it is important we maintain a strong state of mind and wholesomeness of heart to protect ourselves from negative influence of external force. Apparently one needs to be strong in mind, concentration and have peace in heart.

I wonder how I would feel when I walk down the pathway. I have not develop a strong jhana yet, nor a strong state of mind.

Pandabonium said...

I get a similar feeling as Moody does at Kashima Jingu. Almost as if I am being embraced by the trees. I like to touch them sometimes and ponder the fact that they have lived for hundreds of years, towering over so many people and events in that time.

The postcard for Low is serene too - and from the tropics where it is warm :^). I get a sense of peace when I have a view of the ocean.

As for feng shui, I don't know. I do know one bit of knowledge from the book of "wrong shui" - never put a rock near a hard place. hehehe

@ロウ 。LOW@ said...

Looks like Daniel wish to shoot some movies there, haha!

Our Indian friends, too, believes that aged tree actually host ancient spirits. It's not diffucult to find a small shrine contructed besides an old fig tree, or even, rounding up the tree!

Welcome to Asia!

Lrong said...

Kashima Jingu in Kyushu?
And the fishing village scene... so serene...

Pandabonium said...

Hi Lrong, I enjoy your blog from time to time as well. Kashima Jingu is in Kashima City, on the Pacificc Ocean east of Tokyo in Ibaraki Prefecture.

The Moody Minstrel said...

Kashima Jingu also has small branch shrines all over the country on account of its importance. I have seem them in Chiba, Kamakura, and Osaka, for example. They had gifts sent from the Ibaraki "main" shrine (i.e. the one actually in Kashima) to show they were legitimate.

FH2O said...

Nice pics.
I think that's what we all want - peace of mind.

YD said...

Several branches! No wonder everytime i googled it, the results showed different places. I thought my geography is THAT bad. haha...

and thanks panda for the informative little brochure of Kashima! Let's quote a little bit of the content.

"The Kashima Jingu Shrine is dedicated to Takemikazuchi-no-Okami, a god of peace and matial valor. He descended to the world and ruled according to the order of the Sun Goddess, and unified Japan together. He then traveled throughout the country and finally settled down in Kashima, in which he was enshrined as a strong god of Peace.

"In the Nara and Heian Periods, it was the custom to raze the buildings every 20 years (well, that is quite interesting!) and erect new ones on adjacent plots.

"The annual festival of the shrine is held on Sept 1 with the attendance of Imperial messengers. On the Occasion of the grand festival called the Mifune-Matsuri held every 12 years, an imperial messenger formally visits the shrine.

"Kashima Shrine is worshipped by many people throughout the country as a shrine of very high dignity."

Arigatou gozaimasu panda! Learned a lot.