Back from Japan
At Narita airport in Japan, Wow what a journey! I think this will take me months to really assimilate it all. I rediscovered so much about myself and about Mikao Usui's teachings. The first 7 days I spend with a Tendai Ajari (Ajari is a priest who can train other priest). His name is Takeda Hakusai and he is a deshi (direct apprentice/student) of the late Dai Ajari Sakai Yusai, who was at his time one of the most famous priests in Japan as he did the extremely difficult kaihogyo two times!
Hakusai Ajari had me working hard, wake up time was 3am or 4 am, off to bed around 11pm. He taught me Mikkyo and Shugendo practices, which he feels interlink with Mikao Usui's teachings. He taught me a Shugendo dharani in which the word Reiki is used as well. Of course the word Reiki was used before Mikao Usui in all sorts of contexts but in this specific context is is very much interlinked with the Dai Kômyô, the precepts, and tapping into the essence for helping other people. He also showed me where the reiju comes from and how this also interlinks with "distance healing". We talked a lot about Mikao Usui and his more inner teachings, the way to enlightenment. I have been very lucky to train with Hakusai Ajari as he was trained on Mt Hiei and had his own monastery there as well. I learned so much from Hakusai Ajari, so many insights and experiences, too much to put into word right now.
After this training I went to train in the sacred mountains of Yoshino with a Shugendo priest called Kuban. We spend 6 days in the mountains, 4 nights on Mt Omine, 1720 meters high. Mt Omine has been a Shugendo training ground for around 1300 years! I had to do all sorts of test, like hanging, head first, over a cliff, to help you to release your fears, an ancient Shugendo practice (although they didn't lower me as far down as they would have done with one of their own). One of the tests I couldn't do as my fear of hight was too big, it was standing on a very small ledge with a plummeting drop, while you move around a boulder. There were no safety cables or anything at all to hold you if you slip. My fear of hight was too big for that one, the other tests were already stretching that fear! We also walked for hours on ancient old training paths while chanting mantras, the paths are steep and rugged. The path is full of ladders and metal chains to pull you up or as a support to help you down as you walk these paths in deep meditation to unify with the Reiki (essence) of the mountains. A priest on top of Mt Omine also showed me the real meaning of the first symbol we use in the system of Reiki.
Hopefully soon I will write some interesting blogs about this all, but as I will be teaching a 4 Day Reiki Retreat in Massachusetts and a Shinpiden Reiki III class in New York in June, you all have to wait a little while!