Do You Open or Close Your Eyes When Visiting Shrines?


A lot of people close their eyes when they pray in front of a shinto or Buddhist altar. As for me, my eyes are usually opened when I pray in front of the family altar and hold a memorial service for my ancestors every morning. I close my eyes sometimes, but when I do so, I concentrate too much and sympathize with other spirits unnecessarily. So I decide whether to open my eyes or not depending on the situation.

  • pray 祈る
  • altar 祭壇
  • as for A Aについて言えば
  • ancestor 先祖
  • sympathize 同調する
  • unnecessarily 不要に
  • depend on A Aしだいである

It is right and important that you think you should offer gratitude to your ancestral spirits with your eyes shut in holding a memorial service. However, you have come to do it for the sake of yourself sometimes or give excessive expectations without knowing it. Also, if you close your eyes, various thoughts may come into your mind and you may be thinking about unnecessary things.

  • gratitude 感謝の気持ち
  • for the sake of A Aのために
  • excessive 過度の

To offer only gratitude to gods and ancestors is the shortest way to reach them and that would lead you to happiness later. It’s important to leave everything to them. To pray hard for something you want will end up making your ego stronger. You don’t need to think about trifles and pray hard for them.

  • leave A to B AをBに任せる
  • end up ~ing 結局は〜することになる
  • trifle 些細なこと

As is a secret of marshal arts, when you’re confronting your opponent, if you think minutely like “If he comes this way, I’ll do this,” or ” I’m going to definately beat you, ” you’re sure to lose. To win the fight, it’s important to move unconsciously by the result of repetition of training.

  • secret 秘訣
  • marshal arts 格闘技
  • confront 対する
  • opponent 空いて
  • minutely 綿密に
  • be sure to~ 必ず〜する
  • lose 負ける
  • repetition 繰り返し

The same thing can be said about holding memorial services and visiting to shrines. It’s important what attitude you have in your daily lives toward gods and what consideration toward your ancestral spirits. When you visit shrines, all you have to do is offer the gratitude you feel everyday. That is, the magnetism of your gratitude faces that of gods there. It’s important whether your magnetism attracts the holy energy unconsciously or is rejected. If you feel refreshed somehow after the visit, the visit can be said to be good. If you feel nothing, there’s no problem. This is a secret of the spirit world.

  • attitude 大度
  • consideration 思いやり
  • magnetism 磁気
  • attract 引きつける
  • feel refreshed さっぱりする

As for the memorial service I recommend you to hold, the action itself is much more important than just a mere thought. Excessive thought is unnecessary. In this World of Reality you live everyday busily, it’s precious to etch the form of holding memorial services into the space.

  • recommend A to~  Aに〜するよう勧める
  • mere 単なる
  • precious 尊い
  • etch 刻み込む
  • space 空間

Also, you can console lost hungry spirits related to you by the smoke of incense sticks you offer, which changes into what they want, much more than a hundred words of comfort or sutras. This way of holding memorial services is very practical.

  • console 慰める
  • related 関係した
  • incense stick 線香
  • comfort 慰め
  • sutras お経
  • practical 実践的な

If you don’t hold any memorial service for your ancestors, you don’t die. You can watch your favorite TV program instead. You can do anything you want. That’s why the kindness of directing your mind to invisible beings is precious. No sooner do you hold a memorial service for your ancestors than the law of “Birds of a feather flock together” sets in motion. Merciful spiritual beings will be attracted to your kindness. It’s important that you have consciousness of directing your mind to the Great Inner God within yourself, receiving supports from unknown holy spirits coming close to your kind heart.

  • favorite 好きな
  • instead 代わりに
  • kindness 優しさ
  • direct 向ける
  • Birds of a feather flock together 類は友を呼ぶ
  • set in motion 発動する
  • merciful 慈悲深い
  • consciousness 意識
  • support 支援

生かして頂いて ありがとう御座位ます

I Ka Shi Te I Ta Da I Te    A Ri Ga To U Go Za I Ma Su

Thank you so much for keeping me/us alive.


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