Morning meditation with mountain priests

Morning meditation with mountain priests

Get closer to Japan's spiritual heart by joining yamabushi mountain priests for a morning meditation service.

Mount Yoshino is located deep within Nara prefecture and is best known as the site of some of the most spectacular cherry blossom in Japan. However, for centuries Yoshino has been a centre of Shugendo mountain worship and an aura of mysticism still surrounds the village. Every morning from 6:30 am the yamabushi mountain priests gather at Kinpusen-ji Temple for a half hour service and all are welcome to join them for meditation. 
 
This isn't for only hardened practitioners of Buddhism; it is for anyone who wishes to get close to the spiritual soul of Japan, to experience a ritual which has gone unchanged for a thousand years and more. You may well be the only person in attendance as you settle down on the tatami mat floors within the Zao-do main hall of the temple as the yamabushi process in to begin the ceremony. The hazy, repetitive drone of the chanting, the tones of the giant conch and the aroma of incense intermingle to provide a powerful aid to meditation and the emptying of the mind. 

This is an experience which will live with you long after the stillness of the early morning has given way to chatter of tourists and the sounds of cars climbing the mountain roads; a unique memory of your time in Japan.

Morning meditation with mountain priests

located in Yoshino

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