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Shaped by our Environment

I have never had to fight for my freedom, independence and peace. This absence has shaped who I am, just as this fight has shaped Slovenians. I sit here on the banks of the Ljubljana River which dissects the capital Ljubljana in the sunshine under the trees wondering about our sameness and difference. I sense self confidence and pride in the people. There is gentleness, a softness here yet strength. I feel there is more sameness which makes me feel so comfortable. This city has been planned and replanned to make life comfortable and people-friendly. It has become pedestrianised in the last ten years. It's a green city. I hear birds in the trees above and music from the buildings nearby.

Pain Solutions on 88Temple Shikoku Pilgrimage

Pilgrims offer each other mutual respect born of understanding the common yearning to realise our Buddha nature. I bow my head as I pass each one and greet "konnichiwa". This creates a sense of family. We are concerned for each other and interested in each other's experience. Walking pilgrims empathise with the physical endurance required. It is the pure oneness with our physicality that enables and releases us to connect more deeply with Kukai (Kobo Daishi), the pilgrimage's spiritual guide. Giving myself time to withdraw from the world to deeply contemplate is, i think essential to my mental health, to understanding my own nature and discerning my pathway of spiritual development. To wa

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