A Pilgrimage up Mt Fuji 2013
I Survived Myself!
I am here again in one of my favorite countries just after returning from Mt Fuji ascension journey. The purpose for this “Pilgrimage” was to offer prayers for Mother Earth, Japan, and all of Humanity. The goal was to start at the first Jinja, Kitaguchi Hongu Fuji Sengen-jinja Shrine and pray at each one all the way up to the top of Mt Fuji. My mantra for the journey was a combination of words I used on my first journey in 2005, which were Love, Joy, Beauty, Peace. I silently repeated these words over and over as a way to empower myself to make the climb. Last year in 2012 the chant was Trust, Joy, Love, Beauty, In Truth, Peace, and Harmony, with Reverence for God (God being the Great Spirit that resides in all living beings). These words were a combination of words I had already used from 05’ plus the words from our ATIH workshop that represent the six points of the Merkaba + the center point being Reverence for God. I felt it was very important to insert “Joy” partly from the influence of one of our dear friends’ Asha Freedoms music, where she really emphasizes the importance of Joy! This year in 2013 the chant was Trust – Joy, Love – Beauty, In Truth, Peace and Harmony, with Reverence for All Life Everywhere. This statement “All Life Everywhere”, is a phrase I have heard Drunvalo use many times, especially in a situation of prayer or ceremony. I like this statement a lot because it says it all in a few simple words; reverence for God or the divine, Great Spirit residing in all living things, all living beings. This sounds so great and beautiful, it is and it was, but there is more to the story as the journey unfolded which is the reason I am sharing this experience with you.
First let me begin by saying that the motivation for calling this a pilgrimage is because I wanted to offer very strong prayers as a symbol of devotion for the situation we are facing as humanity. The most important situation I believe we are facing is to avoid “Omnicide”, to be able to survive ourselves. Everywhere we look there is the unmistakable threat and potential danger that our actions will be the cause of our own demise, extinction! If this is true that our behavior and actions as humanity is the root cause of our own demise doesn’t that mean we can change it? Doesn’t that mean we have the ability to get out of the same mess we ourselves created? Here in Japan, the ever present danger of the current crisis in my opinion is not just Japans problem, this is everyone’s problem. This is not just happening to Japan, this is happening to Mother Earth. We are all a part of Mother Earth, everything and I mean everything that we are or have on this plane of existence comes from her! To deny this is a great ignorance, not only that, but the first great offense is to deny that she is even a living being… So with these realizations brewing with inside of me I decided that one thing I can do is to offer sincere prayer and ask Mother Earth to forgive us for our actions, to help us, to overcome the many crisis’s of our time.
My goal was to start at the first Jin-ja around 6 pm and make the ascent to the top by 3:30 am with my filming equipment to be able to get a time lapse video of the sunrise to share the beauty of the first rays of light connecting with Mother Earth an event that occurs each and everyday. The sun is another living being revered through out all time from which we would not exist without the energy and light of the Sun! I was so excited as we pulled into the train station because my imagination was building over the 3hour train ride to Mt Fuji station. I had asked my friend Asha to join me if she had time for prayers at the first Jin-ja, but it was uncertain for me if she would be able to make it and I had predetermined that I would go straight away if I didn’t see her at the train station because I didn’t want to be late for the sunrise filming. I didn’t see her and assumed she had continued with her prearranged plans. So I got some food and was going to get some bottled water but decided I would get the water from the first Jin-ja instead, living water imbued with prayer. As I set out walking to the Jin-ja I knew it was close by the train station but not sure which direction so I asked a taxi driver with my broken Japanese figuring if I had the general direction it would be no problem. It was not the right direction but it was close enough for me to end up asking directions from a gas station where a Japanese guy who has been a backpacker traveler himself over heard that I was trying to go to this Jin-ja where he was heading right at that moment and he offered me a ride there. Cool, wow this was starting off good even if I didn’t get it right, right from the start! Isao Kitoh gave me a ride to his outdoor adventure store and café. I just love that kindness of strangers and Japanese hospitality. Many backpackers or travelers have that kindness to other travelers because they have been in the situation before of being in a foreign country and having kindness bestowed upon them, that in turn gives them the impetus to return that kindness when the opportunity presents itself. Very Cool! Even more excited from that encounter, I headed off from Isao Kitoh’s Adventure sports café “INTI” which is located right across from the Jin-ja.
This Jin-ja is the first shrine on the pilgrimage trail to the top of Mt Fuji. In fact I was so excited to begin I wasted no time to get to the shrine for the first prayer offering. In my excitement for getting started I neglected and committed the highest offense when taking such a journey up a mountain with about 40lbs on my back. I forgot to get water!... and I didn’t remember until I was about 3 hours up the mountain around 9 pm. I had been hydrating excessively all day in preparation so I believed that I could make it from where I now was, to the first station for water and still be just fine. Around 10pm I was getting really thirsty and my inner battery was running down fast. What I mean is that my body was feeling like it was running out of fuel, literally! On top of that another battery had already been going out in my headlamp, so I was in the dark of the forest tree line without water and very little light from the cell phone that I was now using as a very dim head lamp. This was not going according to the imagination I was so previously excited about. I kept going but at a much slower pace then before and was feeling very low in energy. Around 10:30pm only a half hour later I was feeling a little delirious and was uncertain if my basic mental capacities were becoming impaired. I started to get concerned for my own well-being. I sat down to rest and catch my breath to see if I could recover to keep going. When I took the pack off and sat down I felt like laying down, so I did, and immediately felt like sleeping. I caught myself by what I believe to be the voice of Mother Earth she said, hey wake up your shirt is soaking wet, it is getting colder, if you go to sleep you won’t wake up. So I pulled myself up, changed my shirt and put my jacket on. It took more focus than it should have, again this reminded me that my mental capacities were a little impaired.
I sat back down and pulled out the phone pushed one on the speed dial, which would call my girlfriend, but I hesitated to call for 2 reasons; the first reason was because I would be so embarrassed and ashamed to have to admit I forgot the water! The second reason was I didn’t want to upset her because I knew somehow I would be okay, but it seemed important to let someone know in case I was passing out. I sat there with my finger on the button hesitating…
Suddenly straight ahead of me down the trail from where I was facing there was something moving fast in the bushes, and it sounded big! ( Just writing this I am getting chills up and down my body) It was so big that it knocked over some big rocks which sounded like boulders! I immediately got the feeling something had been watching me and now that I was facing it, it got scared and it took off. I know it sounds weird but my feeling was it got scared of the phone being pointed in it’s direction, well whatever but back to the clear present danger of not having any water and the new adrenaline coursing through my body from whatever was in the bushes my thumb by itself acted for me and pushed the button. Some how I immediately felt safer… but she did not answer and I got the answering machine instead. So I tried to leave a calm message to assure her I was so far okay, but I was out of water, and something big was just running through the bushes. ( By the way my first initial feeling was that it was a bear or....)
Not reaching her and with the new adrenaline I grabbed my backpack and kept going but the adrenaline didn’t get me far, about 10:45pm – 11:00pm I was feeling more delirious and thought of calling Asha who is a local and has friends who are Mt Climbers, so I thought I should give her a call and at least give my general coordinates in case I needed to be rescued. The last thing I wanted to happen. How embarrassing just even making this call. She was there and after letting her know where I was and checking in I felt better and then heard some voices, so believing I was very close to a station and water we got off the phone agreeing that I would call back if I didn’t find water. By now I was no longer able to repeat the mantra all the way through which was a sign to me that my mental faculties were a bit impaired. So I began praying for water instead. Then Yuko called to find out if I was okay and if she needed to call a rescue team. I said no, I can hear voices I am very close to a station or something so please, please do not call the rescue team, even though I was still very concerned for myself I felt somehow I would be okay and find water. She said okay and to call her right back when I get to the station. I then found a road and knew I was very close. I found a station but it was the staff’s place or something and I saw a sink outside going to a water tank so without knocking on the door I went straight to the water and got a drink. Just as I was getting a drink the phone rings and it is Yuko. I let her know I got water and would call back as soon as I go to the station and see if I can find a place to rest and rehydrate.
The Mt Hut’s have a strict policy because there are so many people ascending Mt Fuji and so little space that you can only stay there if you book in advance or if they have space available which usually there isn’t because the season is only for 2 months out of the year, July and August. I came into the hut and saw no one in attendance, when I came to the desk some guy was sleeping behind the desk and even though I really tried to wake him he was out like a rock. I saw some mattresses folded on the floor and thought I could just sleep there and pay them in the morning. There was water so I got some water and a beer to replace the electrolytes along with a snickers and a rice ball that I had brought with me. As soon as I drank the water it was like the tank in my car getting topped of with fuel. Immediately my energy began to rise again. I was feeling much better. Yuko called again and asked if she needed to call the rescue team. I assured her that I was now okay and fine, with water, food and a place to rest. She asked me to stay there and do not attempt to go further! I agreed that would be the best thing to do. After about a 30minute power nap I felt like completing my pilgrimage and to not give up just because it was comforting to just go to sleep. With new energy and vigor I set out again. After having my head lamp in my pocket for a while close to my body heat somehow it came back on and stayed on until I got out of the tree line. At first I was strong and felt like I can easily do this but slowly the weight of my backpack and the steepness of the mountain was taking it’s toll and it was very painful to keep going. I was able to return to reciting the mantra but the pain in my body from carrying this heavy thing on my back was really distracting. Each time I felt to let out a moan because of the pain I felt the pain of Mother Earth. The moan felt like a pain from her, and I realized my journey was a symbolic relationship to her, to know what she is going through. To feel how painful it is to endure this heavy burden that she is carrying on her back. To feel just a miniscule of what she is feeling.
My brothers and sisters she is in great pain! She is suffering so much and we will never know how much because we could never endure that much pain ourselves. Luckily it was so early in the morning and I took the least traveled route so that I was almost completely alone except for the 5 other people descending that I passed along the way, so I could let out a moan when I needed too. It felt like I was feeling her moaning, or should I say her mourning, because after a while of moaning I realized she was mourning US. We are her children and even though we are creating all of this pain and suffering for ourselves as well as for her, she knows that it is her children that will suffer the most. Like every good mother she will do anything for her children even enduring our bad behavior and wrong actions. She loves US without condition, even beyond the condition of treating her with respect, even knowing that it could mean her own demise. That is how deep the love of a mother goes. It was so slow, so very slow climbing up this mountain and the pain in my shoulders, back, muscles and feet was agonizing. I had to keep going though to offer a symbolic expression a very small gesture of devotion to complete this pilgrimage and to express at least to myself and Mother Earth, that I would be willing to give myself to a cause to make things better, that I was willing to become a better human being, to sincerely seek forgiveness from Mother Earth, for healing ourselves and for healing Mother Earth. The agonizing journey continued but with confidence that somehow I would be able to make it to the top to film the sunrise and complete the pilgrimage.
At around 4:15am I was nearly to the top but was in need of some rest and more water. I saw a station that I could stop at for water and a rest. It was starting to get light but I knew I could not continue without more water, so I went over to the station. When inquiring how much further to the top the Mt hut guy said, 2 hours. I thought, oh I’m not going to make it to the top in time for filming the sunrise. I also asked how far down to the 5th station where the buses were, he said 3 hours. I was really at the end of my tether so I went inward and asked Mother Earth should I continue. She said it was not necessary to make things difficult in order to prove your devotion. Love yourself, be a better person, share your love with me, share your love with others, respect all life, and do it with joy in your heart. It’s not how hard you try to show your devotion that counts. It is only that you give yourself fully to Love and when you do you will see the magic of creation work through you, in you and around you. She said don’t go for the glory of going to the top, go for the glory of devotion in your heart, that’s all you need!
Just then many people came out of the hut to see something and I realized it was the sunrise… I thought I would only be able to film it from the top… I had to hurry to get the camera set up. I missed the first moments but did get to capture the early first contact of the rays of the sun connecting with Mother Earth.
It is a sight to behold. You can actually see the rays of the sun in the camera lens coming down in the form of a pyramid as they reach down to Mother Earth. Then as the sun rises you can see the rays in the shape of the six-pointed merkaba, and a spherical orb in the center. What a beautiful experience. After the filming I felt complete and that it would be wise to use that 2 hours up to began to head back down. Indeed it was wise. With only a 30minute power nap all night I began the trek down as grueling as it was that was nothing compared to the ascent. On the way down I had many reflections of what this whole pilgrimage was about.
First I would like to critique myself because it was incredibly negligent on my part to forget the water! I got distracted by my own excitement for the journey. In no way though do I believe that takes anything away from the message received from the events that unfolded. In fact for me it only becomes that much more clear. If we continue on our way without acknowledging the value of water by acting in good faith, as we wonder in complete darkness we just may trigger our own downfall inadvertently.... "In~Joy" the journey but also utilize our ability to respond, so we can continue to "In~Joy" the journey...
My dear sisters and brothers we are in an extremely crucial turning point in the history of humanity. Quite literally our greatest challenge is to survive ourselves. We are suffering unnecessarily. There is no lack, except for the lack of love, unconditional love, for ourselves, for others, for all life and especially for Mother Earth.
Everything is just a symbol and an image so I was able to reflect on the events of the pilgrimage to allow the images to speak. We will not be able to survive on this plane of existence without water! We cannot continue to poison our source of life and expect to live, let alone survive. The problem with the radiation from all the nuclear energy is the general lack of respect for life. The general disrespect for all living matter including splitting uranium to create heat in water, under enormous pressure which then in turn becomes extremely deadly and dangerously toxic material for thousands of years to come, This only occurs when we extract it from Mother Earth to be used in this form. It only generates 20% of all of our energy supply. Only 20%!... The risks are unbelievable! In an interview that we filmed with Dr Emoto right after 3.11.11 I heard him say that the problem is we have caused the water to become extremely angry. That we need to first ask for forgiveness and start using the vital consciousness of water in prayer and ceremony to heal ourselves and Mother Earth instead of using the water in this destructive way.
We have to face our greatest fears, we have to believe we can make it some way even in a very late hour which has become a desperate situation, even when it is not looking good, even when we are so very close to our own possible expiration date. Our only way out is in, into our heart! We have to lighten up our heart and act from there. Only in love will we find our solution to survive ourselves. It begins with ourselves and there we have an infinite source of solutions within our heart. Fear only makes the situation worse, if we indulge the fear and panic, we don’t stand a chance of surviving ourselves let alone living full vibrant lives. Only when we love ourselves, take care of ourselves, and heal ourselves first, only then are we able to share that energy with others and Mother Earth for creating a better world to live in, to create a better lifestyle for everyone. We can do it! It’s not about how hard we struggle it is about how well we take care of ourselves starting with ourselves first. When we do that a new vital energy of self perpetual motion energetically takes over and we can then be open for pure joy to fill us up so that we can LIVE a vibrant bright worthwhile existence. Everything really is okay when we act from our heart, when we act for LOVE. Thank you from my heart to “All Life Everywhere”! May we have the courage to face our greatest fears whatever they are and choose to emanate LOVE from our hearts no matter what! The only way out is in, into the deepest recesses of our heart. I know it sounds simplistic but for me we have to dedicate ourselves to be in a constant attitude of prayer as much as we are possibly able. It looks like we might fail to survive ourselves, worse yet it appears we have become willing to sacrifice all the beauty and abundance of a lifestyle that offers "True Living", for the illusion of so-called convenience.
All the abundance of life is within US....
Trust~Joy, Love~Beauty, In Truth, Peace and Harmony, with Reverence for All Life Everywhere!
Arigato Mother Earth, GAIA, Amaterasu, Father Sun, Central Sun and
All Life Everywhere.
Thank you from my heart!
Only LOVE is worthy of our devotion!
Robert Dakota 08.08.13
Here is a Time Lapse from my Pilgrimage 2012 from the top of Mt Fuji