Wish upon a New Moon

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Shinto (神道) is the native religion of Japan; however, I am realizing more and more that Buddhism is the predominant faith. My girlfriend often teaches me details about proper practice of Shinto and when I discuss them with well-educated people they seem at a loss. Most families go through a Shinto wedding ceremony and many families visit a shrine early in the new year, but otherwise, most practices are Buddhist. Even the simple Shinto prayer is not properly understood by the average citizen. (I should probably write-up what I learned about that.) Anyhow yesterday at 4:58 AM it was a new moon (新月) and with it came a new education.

願い事を書くと叶う was the phrase I learned. Soon after the new moon you are supposed to write up to ten things you would like to change about yourself and they will come to pass. Personally, I don’t think writing them down is what will make them come to be; however, writing them down requires that we formulate them, which is the first step in creating a plan. I decided it would be a good thing to write a list every new moon to see how things have progressed and introduce things I neglected. I view this as an extension of making the decision to turn over a new leaf (新しい生活に生まれ変わりたい) and leave behind some bad feelings and bad habits as I moved on from the unfortunate age (厄年). Actually, this is something I asked my girlfriend to inquire into from time to time. It is good having someone around who cares about me and is willing to shoot straight (率直話す).

For yesterday’s exercise I hiked to the top of the tallest mountain near here, and wrote nine things (to not push the limit). I was going to write the list here, but am waiting to hear back on whether the list is supposed to be secret. Also, because it might be a bit embarrassing for me.

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2 Responses to “Wish upon a New Moon”

  1. smithereens Says:

    Instead of having New year resolutions once a year, having them monthly seems quite a nice idea! (at least, you have a chance to remember them and not discard them on Jan. 31st!)

  2. びっくり Says:

    Yeah, I should probably do them with every phase of the moon to avoid forgetting. 🙂

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