Day 53 – The Road To Enlightenment – Walking The Saigoku Kannon Pilgrimage – From Uminpia to Miyazu, and Thoughts On A World Gripped Between Good And Evil Forces

Day 53 – The Road To Enlightenment – Walking The Saigoku Kannon Pilgrimage – From Uminpia to Miyazu, and Thoughts On A World Gripped Between Good And Evil Forces

This morning we expressed our gratitude and said goodbye to the excellent staff in our hotel.
Staying here has felt like a second home, especially in these strange times.
They made us feel welcome and fed us excellent meals, and we slept well in a room that was spacious and had great views of the sea.
Every morning I woke up to a stunning sunrise over the sea, admiring from my bed the changing colors and light.

We left with the hotel our extra duffel bag for safe keeping, with a promise that they will ship it to our next destination hotel, after we finish our pilgrimage next week.

This bag forwarding system in Japan is an excellent system.
It is done either by the post office or by private carriers like Yamato and others, for a very small fee.
It cost us only about $15 to ship a big bag all the way north.
It is really a great deal, and so much more convenient than carrying a heavy bag on multiple trains.

Our backpacks feel lighter now, because we offloaded into the extra bag our winter coats and many items like our pilgrimage book and scrolls, and smaller items that we no longer need to carry.

We noticed that there were many more people on the train to Miyazu than we have seen in the past few days.
We read in the news that the government is planning to ease the stay at home request for regions that have almost no cases.

From the train windows, we saw the places that we have walked through in the past few days, and there were open stores now.
Our hearts rejoiced at the possibility that this trend would continue.

I read an interesting story from France in the news.
It was about a rural home for the elderly and how they handled the virus.
At first when the government issued the stay at home lockdown, they asked the patients to stay in their rooms for two days, while they throughly cleaned and sterilized the facilities.

After only two days of isolation, the elderly lost all will to live.
They refused to eat or get out of bed, and when the nurses came to wash them they said, “Why are your washing me, I am going to die anyway, it is pointless.”

But the nurses were not willing to give up on their patients.
They ignored the social distancing guidelines and allowed the elderly to socialize.
They got extra volunteers who even slept at the nursing home, and kept the elderly happy with activities and games.

They reported that they had not suffered one case of infection and did not lose a single life, even though they were located in an area with a high infection rate.

It was raining when we disembarked from the train in Miyazu, but it was only a short walk to our guesthouse.
The streets were mostly empty, and most of the places were closed.
It felt very different from the area we left, which was just opening up and had a sense of life returning to normal soon.

On the street we were approached by a woman who seemed to be living roughly.
She asked me if we could help her with four hundred yen.
We gave her a thousand yen bill and wished her well.
She seemed grateful but not all there.

We did not mind the rainy weather.
After yesterday’s very tough and rushed climb in the bright sun and heat to Naraiji Temple, we both felt tired and in need of some rest.

We checked into our historic Ryokan and made tea in our room.
The guesthouse was built about two hundred years ago, and it is still operating as a guesthouse and a museum.

There are artworks and calligraphy poetry that were left here by artists and poets who stayed here a hundred years ago.

The tatami mat room that we got is very spacious, with a big patio and our futon beds already laid on the floor.
We asked about the possibility of dinner, since we did not book the room with dinners, just with breakfast.

We were told that normally there are many dozens of restaurants within a few blocks, but now all of them are closed because of the lockdown.
Like everyone else, we will have to go to the supermarket to buy some food.

We took a long break in our room from the rain, which had intensified and was now pounding harder on the uninsulated roof above us.
The thin wooden windows of the guesthouse shook with the strong wind.

The guesthouse is not a luxurious one.
It is pretty modest, but it is comfortable and modern enough to have a heating and air conditioning system.

We have booked three nights, with the intention of walking throughout the area to cover the distance between Tango Yura, Amanohashidate and visiting Nariaiji temple #28.
But since we already visited Nariaiji temple yesterday, we have less to walk over the next three days.

I was reflecting on why the empty streets and closed places felt so eerie to me.
Both of us expressed the feeling that walking in nature, even climbing mountains, felt so much easier than walking down the main street of a closed town.

The energy of closed towns felt heavy and thick.
People were all wearing masks, and looked at us with suspicion, as if we had just arrived in Japan and could be possibly carrying the virus.

But even when nobody was in the streets to look at us, the energy felt heavy and thick and it was harder to walk on a flat street.

But in the forest, the mountains and along the empty coastline, it felt so much easier to walk.

It almost feels as if the world is now gripped in a battle between good and evil forces.
The dark energy forces are represented by the virus, the deaths, the abuse of power, the taking away of our basic human rights, the lockdowns, the fear, the ignorance of our true divine spiritual nature as gods and creators of our own realities.

The positive energy forces are all the healthcare providers who go to work to care for the sick, those who spread light and the keepers of the flame of Truth, who always stay focused on the light of Truth, despite the ever changing appearances.

Who will win…. the dark forces or the light….

Of course the light will win.
There is nothing but light everywhere.
There is no doubt in my mind that LIFE is eternal and unending.

Birth is not the beginning and death is not the end.

We only change forms as we go through the sacred life-passage called death.
Only light and life exist.
Everything else is an illusion and it is not real.

May the light of truth shine on you always,
Tali and Jules

Daily stats:
Steps walked – 8,931
7 km. walked
Active walking time – 2 hours
Total walking time today – 2 hours.
Total walking distance on the Saigoku to date – 919.5 km

Temple Visited:

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