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Monday, October 10, 2011

A most sacred stone.

Womb of Zuigu-Bosatsu
The Womb of Zuigu-Bosatsu. Kiyomizu Dera, Kyoto, Japan

As you enter this temple, you are pointed down a dark stairwell into a maze devoid of even the tiniest sliver of light. You wander through twists and turns beneath the temple - sightless, stumbling - until you finally turn a corner and are greeted by the most interesting sight. There before you, dimly lit but shining through in the darkness, is a large stone with a single raised Sanskrit character atop it.

The character symbolizes Zuigu-Bosatsu, the motherly Buddha, who is said to grant wishes to those that are sincere. The narrow maze is seen as the womb of Zuigu-Bosatsu, with the close walls leaving no room to bring your worldly attachments with you. When the stone appears, you are supposed to make a wish. If it is successful, the stone will turn on its own (I had to do it manually).

Once you leave the womb, you are supposed to be purified and to have undergone rebirth with the virtue of Zuigu-Bosatsu.

What an interesting ritual.

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