THE TAKI SHUGYO: WATERFALL CEREMONY
Every year our martial arts club heads out to the mountains for a few days of intensive training.
It’s called Yamabushi Gashuku. These camps are centered around growth. We expand our skills and expand our minds by partaking in various challenges that tests our grit.
Every year there is a “main event” that pushes your boundaries and takes you WAY beyond your comfort zone.
This year was the Taki Shugyo. It’s about facing adversity, and ploughing through.
It’s also about cleansing, by symbolically letting the flow of the waterfall wash away whatever it is that you wish to let go of.
My sensei, who is also a Shinto Priest, lead us through the Taki Shugyo this year.
First, we honored the four directions, and tried to prepare ourselves for what was about to come.
Then, we enter the waterfall and try to stay as long as we can.
Water is crashing down on you like a ton of bricks. Glacial runoff will cause your body to start hyperventilating. You can’t breath, you can’t see, you can’t hear
… all you can do is feel.
When you feel a state of presence that allows you to converge on the moment, you let out a massive kiai (battle cry) as you resurface, being snapped into present time; Not worrying about the future, not regretting the past, just being present in the very moment.