Saitō Goma is a Shugendō fire ritual. The Yamabushi prepare a structure made of logs and cover it with green branches. Through a series of actions and prayers, the Yamabushi invoke Fudō Myōō to burn away defilements and to solicit blessings.
The Heart Sutra is a revered text in Mahayana Buddhism. It is a short text that condenses central teachings in Buddhism. In the text, Avalokitesvara Bodhisattva, in Japan also known as Kannon Bosatsu, speaks to Shariputra, who was an important disciple of the historical Buddha. The Bosatsu describes the non-substantiality, emptiness or boundlessness of all phenomena. A main message is that everything is impermanent and interdependent.
Shugendo is an amalgam of magico-religious practices coming from Shamanism, Taoism, Shinto and Buddhism. Yamabushi, the Shugendo monks, seek spiritual growth through ascetic practices in the mountains. Fudo Myoo, Zao Gongen and Vairocana Buddha play a central role in Shugendo’s pantheon.