In modern parlance a Misogi is an endeavor we are not sure we can complete. There is a 50% chance we will fail. It is meant to challenge us mentally, physically, and spiritually. I’ve embarked on quite a few Misogi’s in my life and while I have completed quite a few, I have also failed quite a few. Usually I fail the first attempt, maybe even the second attempt, but I will complete it on the third attempt. For me that is not a win since successfully completing the first attempt is the point of a Misogi like test.
While these tests primarily involve physical adversity, the goal is to build a “roadmap” of our mind and spirit. What are we made of? Where are my breaking points? At what point do I transcend the physical and mental discomfort, pain, and even injury? That is the information I am searching for.
Historically Misogi was a Shinto purification practice. However, the practice of Misogi is not limited to Shintoism; it has also influenced other Japanese spiritual traditions and has been adapted into modern spiritual and self-improvement practices. The concept of purification and cleansing remains central to the idea of Misogi, where individuals seek to rid themselves of negative energies or attachments that hinder their personal growth and spiritual development.
For our purposes, as multidisciplinary athletes, a Misogi can take many forms. I encourage you to pick an event, a task, something you are not quite sure you can do, and then go all in. Do it or die trying. Commit, even if it means a monk like life for a few days, weeks, or months. Put everything else on hold until after you complete your Misogi. You might be surprised how this endeavor will transform you.