More photos from my September 2013 travels in the American West…
Time for an offering at the Amaterasu Omi Kami Shrine, which honors the principal life-affirming deity in the Shinto tradition.
For more on the Kami in Shinto and context in Japan, see also this (YouTube) ‘Shinto Documentary’ (Part 1).
More a way of life than a religion, Shinto is usually translated as “the way of the kami.” (Kami is the energy that evokes a sense of wonder and awe in the human heart. Mountains, lakes and even people can have the quality of kami.) Zen master Kobun Chino Roshi, a friend of Chögyam Trungpa Rimpoché, explained ‘Amaterasu‘ to mean “brilliant rays of light shining in all directions,” and ‘Omi’ as “great” or “ultimate.”
The Shinto path connects people with the energy of kami through appreciation of the simple pleasures of life and nature.
Photo: I made it to the Amaterasu Omi Kami Shrine after sunset and found my way following a (partially flooded) path with 3 Torii gates through a field and aspen grove in the full moon light… For more information: Shambhala Mountain Center (SMC) Red Feather Lakes, Colorado (United States).
(I lived at SMC in 2004 and did retreats there for many years. I have not yet been to Japan in this lifetime. Some day, perhaps soon…)