#47 Mary Ward Counselling L3 2015


Temple: Ryukoji – The story of this temple goes that Kukai met an old man carrying some rice. He had a moment of trasference and realised the old man was Inari, the Shinto rice god. The shrines and temples were largely divided when Shinto was made the state religion but there’s a lot of interplay between the two and here the shrine actually contans the original Hondo (or claims it does).

Dedication: This one is for my fellow trainee counsellors from last year, we had a tough but good year together. I thought of Judy because she used to work in Japan a lot and loved the shrines. Becca was someone I actively avoided for most of the year for some reason I’m still not clear about. Towards the end of the course though I started going to study sessions she organised and we became good friends. Rosalind and I came on a similar path and had a lot in common. We both had contempt for our tutors’ contempt for CBT. Heike was brilliant throughout, and possibly I’ll study with her again this year. I thought of everyone else, in my group and in the wider group. I hope you’re all finding your way.

I spent a couple of days walking mostly by myself and on a rainy afternoon yesterday I sat in a hut on a mountain path reading A Very Short Introduction to Poststructuralism and saw not a single other person for four hours until I went to bed. The book was incredible, bringing together Levi-Strauss, Lacan, Derrida, and Foucault in a way that finally made sense to me after reading things they had written for years. It contrasted with the VSI to Wittgenstein which I threw away in disgust a few weeks ago.

Today though I walked with Yusuke, a policeman who retired from the force at 30 to become a travel agent and was now in marketing for Philip Morris. Regardless of the karma levels of his career path he was a good companion and interesting to chat to. He was a golden week walker who had been doing the pilgrimidge in stages and it was his last day. I said goodbye as he headed to his ryoken and then back to Tokushima and went to find somewhere to sleep. I might meet up with him again at the end, on my way to Mount Koya.

I also walked with a paediatrician who’s name I have managed to forget and I can’t interpret the kanji on his name slip. He was another golden week walker. There have been a lot of them around so I guess it will get quieter next week.