Days 44 – The Road To Enlightenment – Walking The Saigoku Kannon Pilgrimage – A Lazy Day In Kyoto And Thoughts About The Coronavirus Lockdown

Days 44 – The Road To Enlightenment – Walking The Saigoku Kannon Pilgrimage – A Lazy Day In Kyoto And Thoughts About The Coronavirus Lockdown

We visited all the temples that were possible to visit from Kyoto, returning each night to our apartment in Kyoto.

Some temples will remain closed until the end of the lockdown.
The temples which are only accessible by a ropeway or a boat ferry also remain closed for now.
This means that we might or might not be able to go back to visit them before we leave Japan at the beginning of June.

Mimurotiji, Temple #10 in Uji, will not do any seal stamps until the end of May.

Engyoji, Temple #27 in Himeji, is only accessible by a ropeway that is closed now, but we have already visited this temple last year, when we first decided to walk this pilgrimage.
So we do have the stamps of Engyoji in our book and scroll.

Temple #30, Hogonji, is located on a small island called Chikubu Shima, accessible only by a ferry that is now closed.
But it might reopen when the government announces their new extended plan for the lockdown.

Bangai Temple #3, Kazan-in Bodai Temple, is now closed until the end of the lockdown and so is Nariaiji, Temple #28.

So we decided to delay our pilgrimage by three days and stay put in Kyoto, where we have rented a small but very comfortable apartment.
This way, we will start walking again closer to the end of the first lockdown, with the hope that they loosen the restrictions and that more of the temples would be open by then.

Today we spent the day lolling in bed watching movies on Netflix.
In the late afternoon we went for a walk and to buy some groceries for dinner.
The energy in the city felt heavy, but many places were open, including many small shops.
Some of the eateries did take-out food only.

The supermarket was very busy, and the cashiers worked behind thick, clear plastic sheets.
But nobody was really observing social distance.
It was almost like they wanted close human contact, and often they leaned over to see what I was buying.
It was perfectly OK with me.

We have been reading the global news and were delighted to hear that Taiwan, which has not put on any harsh mandatory restrictions and did not force its citizens into a lockdown, has had very few infections and very few deaths.

Businesses were not required to close down and the only requirement has been that people wear masks in public places and on public transportation.
Our friends in Taiwan even did a 200 kilometer walk recently in Taiwan.

We even read that some visionaries with money have started buying houses in Taiwan, because of the level headed way they have handled this global crisis.

The harsh totalitarian lockdown that some of the countries around the world have initiated, is heartbreaking to me. (like New Zealand and the USA)

These countries are so proud of their democratic principles, yet they have had no qualms about enforcing their lockdowns by pressing criminal charges against people whose only “crime” was to walk the streets or dare to keep their businesses open.

Yet every day the New Zealand Herald newspaper sends out emails full of national pride, which sound more like Chinese propaganda from the 1950’s.
It trumpets messages that sound like:

“Our country is the greatest, our leader saved us from this evil, the draconian measures that our government took were not too harsh, most Kiwis were willing to have even harsher measures, countries which did not enforce the same harsh lockdowns all are losing lives, we eliminated the virus and we won!”
“We all agreed to this lockdown and we are one family of five million people.”

I am pretty sure that those Kiwis who emerge from this fiasco with criminal records for just walking the streets, do not feel like loved family members….

The aggressive behavior of the government has led to a rise of local vigilantes, who block roads in NZ and act unlawfully by barricading their villages and not allowing anyone to drive through.

In Fukuoka, Japan, the local government cut off the flowers of a six hundred year old tree, because they were attracting people who came to enjoy them.
They also cut the blooms off all the beautiful tulips, for the same reason.
The message is that people should stay home and not go outside to appreciate the seasonal glory of nature.

Sad and strange times…..

Elon Musk, the man behind the Tesla Electric car, called the lockdowns an act of fascist governments.
He added that the lockdown amounts to de-facto house arrest, of all of the people who do not understand what is happening and are like sheep obeying irrational orders.
We completely agree with Elon Musk on this.

And…. the lockdown is NOT the reason people are not getting infected.
Staying home is NOT keeping you safe.

This is a part of a recent article from New York:

“Most new Covid-19 hospitalizations in New York state, are from people who were staying home and not venturing much outside, a “shocking” finding, Gov. Andrew Cuomo said on Wednesday.

“This is a surprise: Overwhelmingly, the people were at home,” he added.
“We thought that maybe they were taking public transportation, and we’ve taken special precautions on public transportation, but actually no, because these people were literally at home.”
Cuomo said nearly 84% of the hospitalized cases were people who were NOT commuting to work!”

So why is that?
It is because we are all connected in the eternal web of life.

The food you buy while you stay home under a lockdown, has been touched by hundreds of hands.
From the growers who cultivated it in the fields, to the cow manure that is spread on it to fertilize it, to the crows who peed on the plants, to the worms who crawled on its leaves, and the lady bugs who previously sat on a dead rat, and now landed on the tomatoes in the fields.

Then the pickers picked up the fruit, and more people packed it into its packaging and it was sorted into cartons for delivery.
Then it was distributed to supermarkets where delivery men unloaded it.
The supermarket employees placed it on the shelves, and many hands touched it before you decided to pick it up and call it your dinner.

Every hand that touched your food, left germs and bacteria on it, the same way your hands do.
There is no such thing as sterility in the web of life.

But the good news is that your body is an intelligent energy field, and it is much smarter than you think.
It knows how to fight invasion and infections and it automatically process air and food into blood cells, skin cells, hair and bone.
Your lungs, brain and heart work automatically without your conscious guidance.

You need do nothing to make your body healthy, except stay out of the way and do not impose on it delusions and limited beliefs.

Trust in the God within you!
She knows what she is doing.
Let her lead you to enlightenment and towards a life of happiness and joy.

With a million blessings,
Tali and Jules

2 Comments on “Days 44 – The Road To Enlightenment – Walking The Saigoku Kannon Pilgrimage – A Lazy Day In Kyoto And Thoughts About The Coronavirus Lockdown”

  1. Your words are always inspiring. I feel blessed to read your journey and thank you for sharing so much food for thought and life.
    Many thanks and blessings for the rest of your time in Japan. With thanks and appreciation, Jennifer
    p.s. what app do you use to produce those marvelous prints of the temples. Your art is always fabulous.

    • Dear Jennifer,
      Thank you so much for your kindness and for joining us on our journey.
      I am using the adobe sketch app with an apple pencil for the drawing on my mini iPad.
      Love and blessings,
      Tali

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