Pilgrimage in Japan, A

Pilgrimage in Japan, A

The 33 Temples of Kannon

A Buddhist journey to the thirty-three temples of Kannon, an ancient pilgrimage route in Western Japan traveled for over a thousand years.


CATEGORIZED IN

Kannon, the Bodhisattva of Compassion, is the one who “hears the cries of the world” and vows to “assist anyone in distress.” As the author embarks on the pilgrimage route that extends from the Japan Sea to the Pacific Ocean, through the ancient city of Kyoto and the modern city of Osaka, and to the many mountain tops in between, she allows the special characteristics and sacred presence of each place to bring forth relevant Buddhist teaching; letting go of attachment, contemplating impermanence, engaging in right livelihood, being of service, and other teachings found in classic Buddhism. The dharma, or doctrines of Universal Truth, intertwines with rich descriptions of mountain hikes, remote temples, modern Shugendo practices, sacred icons and the author’s spiritual insights.

REVIEWS & ENDORSEMENTS

This book is perfect summer reading. A Pilgrimage in Japan takes you on a delightful journey to the 33 temples of Kannon, the Bodhisattva of Compassion, through the words of Joan Stamm. This is an ancient pilgrimage route in Western Japan, which has been travelled for over a thousand years. It is a Buddhist pilgrimage, but honestly you don't have to be a Buddhist in order to enjoy the delightful and evocative descriptions of travelling to places of historic interest and natural beauty in a far-off country. Nevertheless, publisher Mantra Books concentrates on the spiritual aspects of A Pilgrimage in Japan on its website, where it says: Kannon, the Bodhisattva of Compassion, is the one who “hears the cries of the world” and vows to “assist anyone in distress.” As the author embarks on the pilgrimage route that extends from the Japan Sea to the Pacific Ocean, through the ancient city of Kyoto and the modern city of Osaka, and to the many mountain tops in between, she allows the special characteristics and sacred presence of each place to bring forth relevant Buddhist teaching; letting go of attachment, contemplating impermanence, engaging in right livelihood, being of service, and other teachings found in classic Buddhism. The dharma, or doctrines of Universal Truth, intertwines with rich descriptions of mountain hikes, remote temples, modern Shugendo practices, sacred icons and the author’s spiritual insights. Journeys change us. Those embarked on especially to contemplate or confront specific concepts can change us even more. However, Joan Stamm's contemplations aren't preachy - she isn't trying to convert anyone to Buddhism. She describes the thoughts she has as she takes difficult routes to remote sacred sites, and well-travelled paths to quiet sanctuaries within busy cities. She contemplates the messages associated with each one when she arrives. She makes it clear that these are her own thoughts and feelings. Through her beautiful descriptions she has inspired me to look for my own pilgrimage route; to seek answers to my own spiritual questions by travelling in body, mind and spirit to those ancient and sacred sites that call to me, on my pagan path. ~ A Bad Witch's Blog

Covering three trips in four years, Joan D. Stamm details her pilgrimage to thirty-three temples in Japan, in honor of Kannon, the Bodhisattva of Compassion. Rather than a powerful deity that exists “out there,” Kannon represents one’s true or most fundamental self. Pilgrimage is therefore a journey back to one’s true self. Because compassion touches every aspect of one’s self and life, as well as the whole world, nothing is excluded from this book. From aching feet, anxieties of dying, and “temple burnout,” to social and environmental issues, to prayers, rituals, ceremonies, and festivals, to intimacies with Buddhist teachings; nature, mythology, themes of right action, diet, impermanence . . . all this and more are included. The journey is personal, practical, and with every step along the way, authentic: "We had, at every moment, the opportunity to live our lives with Big Buddha Mind... or not." As rich as the book is, the author admits she had discovered only one layer of possible significance and meaning at each temple: “Time never allowed us to absorb all that each temple contained, or the depth of meaning in each statue, pond, tree, pagoda, rock… .” The back of the book includes directions to temples, along with references and a bibliography. If you are considering pilgrimage, this book could be a powerful guide toward aligning intent, practical preparation, and the reminder to surrender to the unknown at all turns. ~ Jerry Katz, www.nonduality.org

This book demonstrates how "sacred intent" turns ordinary travel into the adventure of a pilgrimage. As the author and her sister visit each of 33 temples on a traditional pilgrimage route in Japan, we are drawn in by her vivid descriptions as if we had undertaken the journey ourselves. We are left enriched and curiously satisfied. It is rare to find a book about traditional pilgrimages in Japan. This book will serve as a valuable, practical guide to those with the courage and determination to undertake even a portion of this very special and sacred journey. ~ Jan Chozen Bays Roshi, author and Co-founder of Great Vow Zen Monastery

ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Joan D. Stamm
Joan D. Stamm Mantra Books is a leading publisher of Body, Mind, Spirit books. We publish titles on Buddhism, nonduality, meditation, mindfulness and Eastern Philosophy, working in partnership with authors to produce authoritative and innovative books. Our authors offer wisdom from ancient teachings, with new perspectives and interpretations. Mantra Books aim to enlighten and inspire our readers.

For authors: We accept unsolicited manuscripts. Please go to Author Inquiry and fill out the form. We offer traditional publishing contracts with royalties, and occasional subsidy contracts. We have an extensive Author Guide which explains all that an author needs to know about publishing books. Our sales teams sell to all chain and independent booksellers in the UK, USA, and English-speaking territories worldwide, plus online retailers. Our umbrella company is John Hunt Publishing Ltd.
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