Shin Mei Spiritual Centre

New Life as a Manifestation of Kami

New life, whether it’s the birth of a human of the growth of plants and animals—is an expression of divinity. It is mystical, without doubt.

Although we may be able to scientifically explain the emergence of a new being, bearing witness to the experience is filled with awe.

This Spring, at a Forest Therapy Guide session, I was fascinated at the unfolding of new fern fronds. Some of them actually vibrated with the emerging energy bursting forth.

This week, I witnessed the incredible birth of a new family member. There is such huge miracle in this event! The emergence of life energy into the present world, the immense power of kamuromi (the female ancestral kami)—the goddess—to be the conduit of life is nothing short of awe-invoking. And the safe delivery of child and well being of the mother invokes such gratitude to be expressed to the kami!

In the Shinto tradition, babies are brought to the shrine for hatsumiyamairi—the first shrine visit. The purpose of Hatsumiyamairi is to express gratitude for the safe birth of the child and to seek the protection and blessings of the kami for their healthy growth and well-being. By visiting the shrine, the child becomes connected to the divine and is spiritually welcomed into the community.

The cycle of life—whether it be human, or animals or plants—embodies divinity. It is the creative energy of the kami, entering this world. In Shinto, we acknowledge the interconnectedness of all living beings. We approach life with a deep reverence for all beings, seeking harmony between humans, nature, and all things sacred.