From The Saigoku Pilgrimage to Nagoya, Japan
From The Saigoku Pilgrimage to Nagoya, Japan
We stayed an extra night in the rural Onsen hotel outside of Himeji in order to enjoy its carbonated hot springs, and to soak in the silence of the countryside.
This morning, we had breakfast with the only other couple staying in the hotel besides us.
We were seated far from one another, and we lingered a bit longer over hot green tea.
The hotel had promised to take us to the train station, which was about six kilometers from the hotel.
It was a rainy day and we still had to catch the train to Nagoya, where we had booked a hotel for one night.
The other couple went upstairs, but soon the lady came down again, and asked us if we had time to talk with her.
She said that she was learning English and wondered if I would help her practice her English conversational skills.
Since we had some time, I agreed to sit in the lobby and talk with her, while Jules went upstairs to finish packing.
After introducing ourselves and exchanging the usual pleasantries, she asked why we had come to Japan.
I explained about our walk and she said she admired us for being able to walk for so long.
She said she does not walk much, but she loves to travel.
She enjoys soaking in hot springs, good food and culture.
She asked me why we come to Japan so frequently, and if we love Japanese culture.
I explained that we come to Japan because we have so much to learn here.
She asked me to explain what we have to learn.
I told her that we learn in Japan how powerful it is to be gentle, considerate and to think of others, before thinking of yourself.
How that leads to having a calm heart, how being soft and not hard-edged leads to having a loving heart, and I gave her some examples of what I meant.
She was so touched, that tears gathered in her eyes.
She cried softly, saying that I was already so kind and gentle.
I explained that I had learnt most of it by coming to Japan, where I learned to embody real kindness, helpfulness and tenderness.
We said our goodbyes and I went upstairs to help Jules pack.
The hotel lobby was full of small aquariums holding turtles and fish, local produce, pickles, second hand clothing, shoes, used toys, antiques and vintage jewelry.
I found a very interesting ring to buy, and also bought some homemade artisan cookies for the train ride.
It was good that I did, because even though the state of emergency has been lifted, most places remained closed.
The cookies we bought, along with the tea we packed, were the only food we had for the long journey.
We got to Nagoya in the pouring rain.
We decided to take a local train instead of walking in the rain.
On that local train, I saw a woman who had a hand that was turned upside down.
It seemed to be a birth defect or an injury that had happened long ago, since she had learnt to used her other hand very proficiently.
I closed my eyes and envisioned a golden light surrounding her.
It was a loving light of perfection and healing.
I made some inner affirmations, and wished her many blessings.
I said it all inwardly.
I affirmed that the ultimate goal of humanity is for this inner light of perfection and love to become so strong and radiant, that the cells of the physical body are transmuted into a finer energy that can overcome all kinds of injury, sickness and the mistaken idea of mortality.
Nagoya is a big city, and most of its stores still appeared to be closed.
Our hotel is beautiful and modern, and we got a great and comfortable room.
The hotel’s restaurant offered a special lunch menu, which included a choice of pasta or pizza, a drink and free gelato.
We sat among (but at widely spaced tables) other ladies who had come to enjoy the beautiful panoramic views of the city.
We ate a very tasty meal of vegetable spaghetti, a wood-fired pizza and gelato.
We watched the news on TV and spent our evening sleeping, resting and reading books on our iPads.
Tomorrow we will be taking a series of trains to the mountains, to spend a few days in the embrace of the Japanese Alps.
Before bed, I was thinking that maybe all the current events would help purify the world and bring more harmony, much needed balance, and more spirituality into the hearts of people.
We need to live in harmony with our surroundings, in communion with nature and with the animal kingdom, as well as live in an inner environment of calm, love, kindness and inner peace.
With love and endless light,
Tali and Jules