Fuji and me
Year 2000 started with big surprises for me. I spent some time is Slovakia and met two ladies, PhD Klára Hodnics and Monika Petrikova there. They told me about their participation at a training in Japan, which was organised by the Goi Peace Foundation. They learnt a method there that they showed to those interested. I really liked it and decided to practice it every day.
The two ladies also explained that the Goi Peace Foundation, which works as the partner organisation of the UN, would chose 70 people to represent Peace. They are planting Peace Poles all around the World, which are filled with positive messages for Mother Earth and for the Peaceful life of its inhabitants. More than 500 Peace Poles have been planted in more than 200 countries. This organisation also has an inner method that cleans the aura around us with the help of a specific sound and movement technique and helps the spiritual development of mankind. During the performance of these practices I have experienced the way energy fills my body. The honourable goal has also made me more devoted to belong to the group of chosen ones. After the submission of application forms two people have been selected from Hungary, Mr. Zoltán Daróczi and myself. This training tested our spiritual, psychological and physical stamina that included the preparations at home and the 3-week-long training in Japan.
The organisers of the training informed us about the most difficult exercises, that in brief were a three day long fasting, string walking on an 8-meter-long string, balancing with a bamboo stick and climbing of Mount Fuji with a 20 kg backpack for men and with 15 kgs for women. By then I had been struggling with a horror of height for some years. I had a couple ways of trying to let it go, but I was not able to lose it completely. When I applied for the training I understood the weight of my choice. I had not seen such a high mountain before. Mount Fuji is 3776 meters high. I had a half-a-year long preparation period, which included trainings at the gym, jogging and – since there is no mountain in Debrecen – climbing on a daily basis the low hill of the Big Forest of Debrecen. I had never done athletic trainings before, on top of it I was not one of the best in terms of gymnastics at school. The only sport I really enjoyed was swimming. I had two people of great help in this period, Gyula Bese the gymnastics teacher of Franz Liszt Music College at the Gym and Kata Kozma gym teacher when running at the Great Forest.
During the preparation period there were times when I wanted to give up, because my joints were inflamed during the years before, and I was in pain during running. However doing yoga for years helped a bit, it was still not over yet. At one of these times I decided to give up right there. At that moment something happened that I still have not been able to explain. I was running with Kata in the forest and after a short break I was complaining about a pain in the waist and in the knees. But as a last result I still started running and I felt as if an invisible hand had touched my left waist bone as stretching a slingshot. I told Kata with surprise about it, but this power was taking me and I started running faster and faster, I felt that there were no boundaries, as if it had not been me. I had never run this fast in my life. In this special feeling I could not do anything else but running and laughing. I was light, strong and unconquerable. Kata was far behind me. When we met again she asked me with great surprise what was going on, because she could only see my red T-shirt in the distance and hear my laughter. She did not understand what happened, as we had been running together many times and she never saw this running technique of mine. I am 42 and the last time I remember having had a good run, was at the college. During this strange experience I felt that it is possible for me to climb Mount Fuji, I only have to concentrate on this force, which was with me or within me. In Japan we made severe steps of preparation to enable us for the big test. We stayed at Hotel Motosko at the bottom of Mount Fuji and I could see the big mountain every morning. I set in front of it and I greeted it and I asked it to help my preparation. When I looked up on it I could hardly believe that I will be on it soon.
During the three-week-long preparation period our instructors tried us psychologically, spiritually and physically. We had to do special meditation techniques and perform the two most important practices for cleansing and elevating the soul and spirit. During these 3 weeks our patience, stamina and spirituality were at stakes. Meditation for Hungary, the finishing moments of the 3-day-long fasting. Before climbing Mount Fuji we had a 3-day-long fasting period, during which we were not allowed to sleep in the first 24 hours and during it we had to count up to the 28th power of 7. This was followed by a 4 and a 6 hour long sleeping time. During this we had a one day break. The day after the fasting I felt happiness and harmony and I felt really light. I felt to be full of energy. The next day everyone was a bit uptight as the big test of power was ahead of us. I had everything packed in the backpack. I cannot say that I would have been too cheerful, but I remember writing a postcard to my friend saying: I am starting to Mount Fuji. I know that the total devotion will help me. I hope I will succeed. Almost during the whole day long we were preparing ourselves. During this we were visited by Mr. József Lukács and his family from the Hungarian Embassy. It was very good meeting them. I could feel a certain unity, with all Hungarians. Wherever our life takes us, we meet. Even coincidences help us in it. This is how we met, by coincidence. József has drawn our attention to a really unique heavenly phenomena to be observed the next night. After 10pm a full Moon eclipse will start and will go on until 0:54 followed by a Full Moon. I remember thinking that this is the period when we will be asleep, when we wake up we will observe the Full Moon above Mount Fuji. The last day of preparation was a bit stressful. Everyone was a bit quieter than usually. Our instructors had a look at our backpack, trying to select those that did not seem necessary. They prepared us for rain or even snow. The mountain guides who have done this track many times have explained us how to breath, it would also help us if we chant mantras during the way, because that by strengthening the soul and through it the body. The Ware Soku Kami Nari mantra would have to be chanted along with appropriate breathing technique. This Japanese expression means that I am a Divine Being. This refers to the higher self, which is known in the Eastern philosophies. After we have packed the backpack each of them were measured and the missing kilograms were replaced by sand sacks. This way men were carrying 20 kilograms, while women were carrying 15 kilograms. During the rest of the day we were practicing our well-known meditation techniques. After the last evening meditation we went to sleep separate from men at a shared room. Reiko, one of my group mates spread aromatic oils on me where I had pain in my body. Before falling asleep I had a look at the picture of Goi Seinsei, the initiator of the peace movement and I asked him in my mind to help our journey.
Wake up time came early. We were up by 1.30 pm. We were walking towards the busses with full gears and backpacks. There was a strong Moonshine in the whole area. Mount Fuji was right in front of us. We were in complete silence on the way up to the Mountain. The bus took us to stop No. 5. I remembered an earlier poem of mine when I was only practicing my poetic gifts. Now I was chanting this line: “when the sky is in purple-blue, when the Moon is the only one in shine, the magic cube starts its journey…” I felt the specialty of the task, I knew it inside that there will not be anyone to hold my hands here, I can only count on myself and the inner belief that I have. It was slowly dawning when we got to station No. 5. The previous night the groups were announced and we lined up accordingly. Before leaving some Japanese people appeared to help us on the way.
A young Japanese man appeared by me and he was trying to spell my name on the name tag I had on my pullover. He was happy to find that I was one of the Hungarian participants and introduced himself as Michael Takemura. He told me that he will be helping me on the way and will stay with me during the whole journey. I was happy to have him next to me. He could have been my son by his age. Before my journey I sacrificed this journey for the spiritual development of my son. I smiled at my helper and told him that he will be my guardian angel. He smiled back, accepting my note and we started on the journey next to each other. The Sun came up and slowly took over above the area. During the first 100 meters we were walking on a sloppy part. The backpack was heavy. I did not feel tired, but I could feel the weight pulling me down.
I was breathing consciously step by step and I was watching the way. I knew that I had to make each step consciously. I could not allow myself any slackness, because one step and I could heart myself. There was one more thing chanting in myself that I have to walk slowly, I cannot hurry anywhere, because of the size of the mountain I need each breath and each step. During the first one third of the journey the groups fell apart, some legged behind, some others were in the front. Zoli was in another group and after the first couple stations I could not see him any more. I was a bit sorry about it because he was the other Hungarian participant, however Monika, the Slovakian participant was also of Hungarian origin. I lost both of them. Michael was following me. When I stopped to rest, he gently took my backpack and he was patiently looking around. We also talked a little. I found out that he has a beautiful wife who is a painter, just like me. I was happy to acknowledge this similarity. According to the rules we could rest at the stops, but we could not eat or drink. These rules were probably made, because after a certain height there is a shortage in Oxygen and it could cause sickness and through ups. During the first one-third there were times when I felt that I could not succeed, but something helped me through these periods. Due to the quick breathing pattern I got to a state close to a trance. Just in time, because the field became more rough. We needed to climb always bigger rocks and this was really difficult with my 158cm height. A perfect concentration was needed, because even one missed movement could have caused a fatal harm. In these situations can we learn our senses the most. Learning the unity of vision, touch and breathing. There were stations in every 100-200 meters where we could rest a bit.
I kept cleaning my mouth with water, it dried out easily. We had a wonderful sunshine. Each time Michael helped me put on my backpack, he evened the towels on my shoulders in a gentle way. He helped me with each of his movements and committed attention.
In the second third strange shaman voices busted out of my without limits. The voice surprised my helper and he looked at me with a bit of fear and asked: – Is this voice to God? Yes, I said I feel that it is to God. It may be a voice of some karmic origin, it feels as if I had experienced it before. He understood it and later I did not see fear on him. This part of the journey went really good. I was full of energy and I could not feel the backpack on my back, as if it was part of myself. It did not have a weight any more.
At 3250 meters steps became slower. Oxigen was too rare. Once I looked back to my helper and I thought to myself that providence is with me through him. He looked back at me and asked whether I wanted Oxigen. “I brought some with me, it will be enough for the both of us.” I smiled at him as if he had read my thoughts. I nodded. The first sip of Oxigen went through my whole body. My vision got clear again and I could feel the way blood was circulating in the veins. I did not know Oxigen had such a power, I only now experienced it. The next steps went easy, but after ten steps it became difficult again. My legs felt like lead, the same way my backpack and life were really heavy on me. In those steps I relived the more important parts of my life and after each step I realised that I was not guilty of anything and everything was serving me and only my thoughts have made me think that I made fatal mistakes during the turning points of my life. I understood that I could not have made other decisions, these were not such big mistakes, but they were really decisive in my life. When I was too sweltered I set down and I was watching the view. Pretty, I said without a smile. My helper looked at me and said: Erika, you are a strong woman, I know you will do it. I highly appraised this creation of God. I know – I smiled back. God is with us. He lives here in the rocks, in the air and in our souls. The last 200 meters were the most difficult. Two steps forward and I had to rest. The red volcanic powder covered everything. Our face, mouths and clothes kept the powder. Sometimes we walked in the clouds and it felt good.
There was such a period where only a tinny side-walk wide part was walkable and we had the dept under us. I looked under and I asked the clouds to cover the dept, because I felt that the horror of height was overwhelming me. Up to this point there was no problem and now just before the summit there is the biggest obstacle that is not really outside, but more like living inside me. I remembered my father who came to pick me up from the church tower, because I did not want to come down. He took me down on his back, now there was nobody here who would have saved me but myself. I set down to pray and I asked the stones for help then I stood up and looked at the face of my helper. Erika, you are a Divine being. You see I only have a small backpack, but you have that big one and still you got this high up. I got very emotional and I thought that I could not allow myself the horror of height. It is time to let it go. I put on the backpack and continued. Michael, after each of my steps, said in Japanese – Ware Soku Kami Nari. During the way we met some American tourists. We were both saying Ware Soku Kami Nari and they asked us what it meant. When I told them that it meant I am a Divine being, they laughed at us. They asked me what it was good for and I told them that it helped me on my journey, they laughed again. I did not care any more, just continued my way.
The last part was the most difficult when we did not know where to get the strength from. At this part I started praying again then I heard that one of the leaders shouted something to us. After seconds he was by me and hugged me. He said you only have a hundred meters left. See, there is the peak! – and said good bye to go on and strengthen the others behind us. Those 100 meters were an eternity for me. I stepped and held onto the rocks and I realised that I am. I was chanting loud in a good rhythm “I believe”. Happiness and crying kept changing in myself, but I knew that I could not allow myself to lose strength through the tears. I needed even the strength of the tears. I set down to relax a bit. Michael once again helped with my backpack. He treated me with a lot of patience each time I set down to relax. I was watching the view under us. For a second my helpers voice put my thinking off. – Your son? – he asked. How old is he? Nineteen, I smiled. I sacrificed this achievement for him. My eyes were full of tears. I felt that all power was leaving me and I would not be able to continue. Stand up, please. – said again Michael. I stood up obediently. He came up to me and hugged me, just like a son hugs a mother. All the love that led him went through me. There was only 80 meters left. At this time I heard Zoli’s strong voice. Era, finally you are here. You succeeded! Look there is only 80 meters left! Come on, hurry! I tried but each part of mine was heavy. I stepped and breathed. I was just like a slow motion picture. I only had in my soul that I have to step slowly, I cannot hurry, the peak will wait for me too. During this I met Sonoko, with whom sometimes we met and at times we lost each other during the journey. We always asked each other – How are you? I am fine – was the answer both ways. During the last meters my mates were shouting my name and Ware Soku Kami Nari. This is how I got to the peak, I really do not know who was coordinating the last steps. Up there everyone hugged me. My 20 km long journey without food and drink was over.
I hugged my helper and told him my gratitude and I added that he really is an archangel. During my journey I learnt how little I know and everything we receive we have to accept with gratitude. And one more thing: each step builds the next one, there is no time we slather in our lives.