Lots of trucking, moving, and barging has been going on here during the last week. With Tsubaki America transferring from Washington state to Shin Mei, we have making space for more shrines, as well as stone lanterns and torii.
The Mikoshi is a portable shrine, traditionally used for 祭 Matsuri festivals. The kami are transferred into the Mikoshi for the festival, and are carried around as part of the celebration. Weighing over 500 lbs, we carried this up the boat ramp at low tide! Having it safely placed inside the haiden was a cause for celebration!
Yesterday, we received the Oyashiro, a wooden shrine (similar to our large Forest Shrine). This will eventually be placed on the east side of the Centre. It will replace the smaller shrine which will find a new home in the forest on the way to the misogi beach.
We talk a lot about the presence of kamisama in the Forest. Why a shrine?
A shrine serves as a focal point for our spiritual practice. A place where we—both individually and as a community—invite divine presence.
And in this sacred space, in the company of the divine—of the kamisama—we renew our life energy. We energize our spirits, our souls. We allow impurities to be swept away so that we can again experience our brightest selves.
What about on a personal level—at home?
There is great importance in having a sacred space at home.
A shrine in your home creates a physical space where you can pray, present offerings, and connect with the divine.
It is a way to invite the kami to dwell within the home. To bring protection and blessings.
The repetition of prayer, of devotion elevates the sacred connection of a shrine or altar. It invigorates the spiritual energy and beseeches the kami to be present. Here, we experience awe, express reverence and gratitude, and connection to the Divine.