Prayers of the World

Posted on December 12th, 2013 by

Writing your Dreams

I knew very little of Meiji Jingu Shrine before I visited. I knew what the guidebook told me about the space to honor the spirit of the Emperor and his wife. The site is full of tourists, but also with regular Japanese people spending time in ceremony. It was a strange cosmic convergences where the practitioners lost in the murmurations of prayer form some harmonious counterpoint with the wandering spirits of overwhelmed travelers. Perhaps we are one in the same, no different as we both seek something we can’t understand or begin to explain.

All Languages Welcome

One of the things people do at the temple is purchase one of these cards (Ema) to write their dreams. I am not certain dream is the correct word. Prayer is likely more accurate, but the former seemed accurate for the few cards that I could decipher. What struck me was the variety of language contained in the Ema. Shinto does not make some of the demands of other religions. You are generally not required to profess your faith, which seems a very open and inviting.