...What is River Misogi?...
River Misogi is usually done around the New Year holiday in Japan. Done with a group of people, you generally go up to your chest in a cold river and do a few Kiai (Shouts).
The interesting thing is that if you do it incorrectly, you'll be shivering all the way through with chattering teeth. If you relax completely, you can do all of the misogi without a goose bump. So the experience leads you to use your body correctly.
An added benefit of jumping in a cold river at the start of winter is psychological. Confronted by a freezing, gray winter day, you can tell yourself that if you were stupid enough to jump into a river at New Year's, then you can surely make it though another winter's day.
I'd like to add a few words of caution. Japan is warmer than some parts of the US. Doing a New Year's river misogi in Alaska or areas in Minnesota is more suicidal than invigorating. It's a good idea to do this as a group. A bad misogi is when you are being washed downstream, never to be seen until the spring thaw.
If you're interested in doing a river misogi, the St. Louis Ki Society will have it's Winter Workshop of Mind & Body Unification Jan 6 & 7, 2001
This weekend event features Sokushin training (chanting in a series of forceful exhalations) and Senshin training (training to make your mind positive)river misogi. The event takes place 72 miles SW of St. Louis on I-44 at the Bourbon exit.
Contact the St. Louis Ki Society, 6006 Pershing Av, St. Louis MO 63112 (314) 726-5070 email firstname.lastname@example.org for more details.
[Edited by tedehara on December 16, 2000 at 08:29pm]