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About Shint practice?

Discussion in 'Shinto DIR' started by Leftimies, May 16, 2014.

  1. Leftimies

    Leftimies Dwelling in the Principle

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    So, folks, recently I became endlessly fascinated by the Shintō philosophy and spirituality. I wonder if there are any other people on this forum who would already have experience in Shintō practice, and could give me their insight on the matter? For example, about the Kamidana household shrine, one of which I bought today.

    I retain also my Buddhist core beliefs, under the framework of "Shinbutsu-shugo" or the mixture of Buddhism and Shintō, so I would also like to hear about how that has worked out for people, if there are any such people here.

    I suppose if there are any people with Shugendō history, that would also qualify as such experience.
     
  2. Breathe

    Breathe Hostis humani generis

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    Does this help?

    Worship at the kamidana may be as simple as freshening up the arrangement of gifts that are set atop the altar. It may involve kneeling before the altar with one's hands clasped in prayer. However, it generally involves the offering of fresh fruit and vegetables, salt, and sake to the ancestral spirits. The altar must be maintained, cared for, and kept clean and pristine.
    Individual Worship in Shinto | Faithology

    If you haven't seen it already...
    How to Set up a Kamidana: 13 Steps - wikiHow

    Hope this helps. :)
     
  3. Leftimies

    Leftimies Dwelling in the Principle

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    Ahhh! Thanks for the links! They proved to be quite useful.

    I was debating about what to enshrine, but I think I arrived at enshrining a major kami, perhaps the Amenominakanushi (天之御中主神), the first kami or being to exist and the originator of everything.
     
  4. Breathe

    Breathe Hostis humani generis

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    Welcome. :)

    Amenominakanushi was once widely worshipped I believe, so if you wish for it, I suppose go for it. I don't know how to enshrine a kami, though, unfortunately. I suppose you could get in touch with the Tsubaki Jinja to find out more.

    If I were to do it personally, I would probably consider doing it for an ujigami, probably an ubusunagami, or other local spirit/deity, or even Konjin - but traditional Shinto interpretation is that you don't mess with Konjin. I didn't choose the thug life, it chose me. :D
     
  5. Leftimies

    Leftimies Dwelling in the Principle

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    Yes, and then there is the question of Shinto deities outside Japan. If there is one Kami that can very well be enshrined outside Japan, it must be Amenominakanushi because of his nature as the originator of all things. One of the few Kamis that a person with no relation to Japan can enshrine and worship with no problems and still appreciate the beautiful naturalist approach of Shintō existentialist philosophy to reality.

    I suppose that Amenominakanushi is somewhat comperable to Brahman in the sense that all the other Kamis are mere offshoots of it, in same manner as Devas are of Brahman. Thus, Amenominakanushi can also be probably revered in a more exclusive sense.
     
  6. Breathe

    Breathe Hostis humani generis

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    Definitley; not to mention that there was other gods enshrined in Tsubakji Jinja, such as 'America Kokudo Kunitama-no-Kami' (protector of North American Continent). Can't ask for a much more American kami than the kami of Norht America. :D

    I like that view very much. :yes: It coincides with my own belief regarding God and 'gods' and so on, so I'm biased, of course. :D

    It kind of reminds me of Konkokyo and Tenrikyo, too.
     
  7. Leftimies

    Leftimies Dwelling in the Principle

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    Good point about the two new religions, too. Japan certainly has some interesting religions to go around, Tenrikyo came off as an odd hybrid between Confucianism (emphasis on service), Shinto (the emphasis on kami-nature) and Buddhism (emphasis on reincarnation).

    Can you tell me about your views and how they coincide with the Originator Kami fracturing into lesser manifestations (regular kami)? Or the Brahman-Deva paradigm?
     
  8. Breathe

    Breathe Hostis humani generis

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    I have a soft spot for Konkokyo, but I don't like its concept of intermediaries. That kind of ruins it for me.

    It's not really Shintoism, or anything, but it's kind of like a prism: light and colour are God. I usually define it as one God, experiencable in many colours, styles, aspects, moods, or even 'flavours'. Some people want a fiercer form, some are closer to the sea, etc - but ultimately I think it's one Absolute Source: Brahman, Tao, Ishvara, Waheguru, Nous, whatever one wishes to call it.
     
  9. Leftimies

    Leftimies Dwelling in the Principle

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    Once again I find myself agreeing with your views. I have also often said to my friends in various debates that the God is the Final Cause with many names: Hashem, Allah, Theos, Amenominakanushi, Shangdi/Tian or Buddha-nature. All try to capture a fragment of its nature. Different cultures put different emphasis on its different aspects, but the basic idea is the same.

    Man, have I come a long spiritual journey. It has been a fun ride though :D
     
  10. Brinne

    Brinne Active Member

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    A little late but, if you haven't found out by now, to enshrine a kami it is typical to purchase an ofuda (a talisman from a shrine with the essence of a kami) for that kami. Grand Tsubaki Jinja of America offers Ofuda for three kami; (Amaterasu okami-sama, godess of the sun, compassion, energy, and light, Sarutahiko okami-sama god of earthly kami and guidance and Ame no Uzume Mikoto goddess of revelry and mirth.)

    You can acquire other ofuda from other shrines but you will probably have to order them from Japan.

    Regardless of this what truly matters is your sincerity. A simple shrine made by someone with a sincere and pure heart is 1000x times better than an expensive one put together by someone with selfish and malignant intent.

    Shrines/Kamidana are not necessary for practice but encouraged. Simply praying to the sun in the morning and thanking/thinking of the kami when you see a beautiful spot in nature is fine. The whole point of the Shinto belief is living by the way of the kami, in essence living with nature.

    In short; your practice can be as formal or as informal as you want. It's really up to you as long as you are sincere the kami will listen.

    I hope I could be of some help. If you have any other questions feel free to ask them and I will do what I can to answer.
     
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