Visit to Ise in the Twentieth Year of Heisei Period – Part 2

森羅万象第6巻 表紙

I applied for Dai Dai Kagura(大々神楽) at the place of Geku Kaguraden(外宮神楽殿)for receiving Ofuda, a kind of talisman. I wrote my name on the application form as a representative of my family on and as the kind of prayer, selected the checkbox of “Expressing Gratitude to God.” Next time I pay a visit, I’m going to select “Praying for National Prosperity.” And I wrote the number of attendants.

  • apply for A  Aを申し込む
  • representative 代表者
  • gratitude 感謝の気持ち
  • prosperity 繁栄
  • attendant 出席者

This time, I received the prayer service together with my acquaintance’s family. We entered the waiting room hoping that our children would learn Japanese culture. As it was early morning, we were alone in the room, which was very large and clean. Waiting about 20 minutes, I heard a priest call my name and we headed for the sanctuary in the rear of the waiting room.

  • acquaintance 知人
  • priest 神官
  • head 向かう
  • sanctuary 神殿
  • rear 後ろ

After a priest held a purification ceremony for a short time, two shrine maidens performed a ritual of putting Ofuda and offerings, such as dried bonito, dried cuttlefish, kelp, salt, rice, tea and sake, on the altar. The ritual was really great. One shrine maiden appears from an inner room with the offerings on her hands, and the other shrine maiden receives the offering at the entrance of the sanctuary and put them on the altar. They repeat this many times in front of visitors. Ther delicate moves coincide with each other perfectly.They never fail to bend their knees once just before going to the front of the altar. I heard that this behavior means to express respect to God by crouching when crossing the centerline of the altar because the centerline, called Seichu(正中), is esteemed in shinto.

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  • purification ceremony お祓い
  • shrine maiden 巫女
  • ritual 儀式
  • offering 供物
  • altar 祭壇
  • inner 奥の
  • delicate 繊細な
  • coincide 一致する
  • bend 曲げる
  • behavior 振る舞い
  • respect 尊敬
  • crouch 屈む
  • esteem 重んじる

What impressed me most this time was the two shrine maidens, for the young shrine maidens who looked around 20 years old were approached by the holy spirit. There were several high ranked male shinto priests there, but only the two shrine maidens were approached by the energy of the holy spirit. Occasionally, I find some shrine maidens who are playgirls in private these days. But the shrine maidens of Ise Grand Shrine(伊勢神宮) were quite different. I perceived they trained themselves very hard everyday. They must have had no private time. They were the very holy women the holy spirit could come close to.

  • impress 感銘を与える
  • approach 近く
  • high ranked 高位の
  • occasionally 時折
  • perceive 知覚する
  • train 鍛える

Another thing I learned this time was a shinto prayer offered by a high ranked priest before the ritual. I had never heard such a prayer before. It was said slowly and softly as if it were a story. The way the priest said it was like the vocalization for converting the gentle spiritual waves of Ise Grand Shrine into words.

  • story 物語
  • vocalization 発声法
  • convert 変換する

If you’d like to receive the prayer service at Ise Grand Shrine, I think Okagura(御神楽), the basic performance for which you need to pay more than 1500o yen, is enough. We thought it was expensive at first, but a great Ofuda and delicious Shinsen(神饌) specially made of fish caught in the sea owned by Ise Grand Shrine we received at the end of the ceremony were worth what we paid.

  • expensive 高価な
  • worth 価値がある

The large Ofuda was too big to be enshrined in my household shinto altar, so I stood it, with it in its wooden box and the lid opened, on the left side of the altar. You can lay it with its wooden box closed, too. If you don’t have your own shinto altar, you can stand it because of its thickness. As long as you offer Sakaki plant and water to Ofuda, the holy energy can come close to it. If you can not get Sakaki, change the water when you can do it.

To be continued.

  • enshrine 祀る
  • thickness 厚み
  • as long as S+V SがVする限り

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.

Visit to Ise in the Twentieth Year of Heisei Period – Part 1

森羅万象第6巻 表紙

Around the end of June, I felt like visiting Ise Grand Shrine(伊勢神宮) on August 15. As I work in a sales job, I have to take days off when my clients don’t make an emergency call. Also, it costs a lot of money to visit there with my family, so I can’t do it many times.

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Mr.Kurozumi Munetada(黒住宗忠), a shintoist in the late Edo period, visited Ise Grand Shrine six times in his life. This is amazing, for visiting Ise must’ve been risking his life in those days. Since he walked to Ise, there must’ve been a lot of risks on the way, such as illness, injury, disaster, robbers and so on. There exist his memorandums for borrowing money he signed before visiting Ise.

  • shintoist 神道家
  • risk 危険に晒す
  • in those days 当時は
  • on the way 途中で
  • memorandum 覚書

In those days, it was a dream for people to visit Ise Grand Shrine once in a lifetime. A system named Iseko(伊勢講)was popular all over Japan, where people saved money for the trip to Ise and chose one representative to visit there by lottery. Some travelers on the way to Ise were given food and money by others. Others stayed at a place to work temporarily and after a while left for Ise.

  • representative 代表
  • lottery  クジ
  • temporarily 一時的に
  • after a while しばらくすると

People who were not chosen left their dog to their representative so that the dog could accompanied him. I wonder if there was a dog that completed the journey without running away. If there had been such a dog, it would’ve been really a guardian fog.

  • leave A to B AをBに任せる
  • accompany 同行する
  • complete 終える
  • guardian dog 狛犬

I got up at three in the morning on August 15, got into my car and left home. Feeling the beating of Mt. Hakusan (白山)in the distance, I used Shin-Meishin Expressway(新名神高速道路) for the first time, which was a beautiful new road.  To my surprise, the area extending from Shigaraki(信楽), through Kouga(甲賀) to Kameyama(亀山) was filled with spiritual wave of Ise-Hakusan line. The road seems to have made in the middle of untouched nature.

  • beating 鼓動
  • to one’s surprise 驚いたことに
  • extend 広がる
  • untouched 手付かずの

Areas are few on which spiritual waves of regeneration pour down so much from space. I felt this might have something to do with a certain factory famous for the development of world-class LCD screen being located in Kameyama. Places like this may cause people to hit upon good ideas or have some effect on molecules of liquid crystal being arranged uniformly. I thought one of the reasons why Kameyama brand of liquid crystal television is famous may be the location of its factory.

  • regeneartion 再生
  • pour down 降り注ぐ
  • development 開発
  • LCD screen 液晶画面
  • hit upon A  Aを思いつく
  • molecule 分子
  • uniformely 均一に

I stopped to take a rest several times on the way and arrived at Geku(外宮) of Ise Grand Shrine around 8:30 in the morning. After visiting the main building and the other ones in Geku, I received a prayer service of Daidai-Kagura(大々神楽)for the purpose of expressing gratitude to God at Kagura-den(神楽殿). To be continued.

  • for the purpose of ~ing 〜するために
  • gratitude 感謝の気持ち
  • to be contined 続く

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.

Nichiren Came from the Sun

森羅万象第6巻 表紙

According to my psychic reading, Isobe-cho(磯部町), where Izougu(伊雑宮) of Ise Grand Shrine(伊勢神宮) is located, is the place in which people living on a floating island in the Pacific called Mu moved to settle in ancient times.  They were the group of priests who worshipped the Sun God, or Amaterasu-oho-mi-kami(天照太御神), on Mu. The group who could become one with God. They were extremely good at swimming like mermen. They were humans who inherited the DNA of mermen worshipping the sun, whose body was half human and half fish.

  • floating island 浮島
  • the Pacific 太平洋
  • settle 定住する
  • priest 神官
  • worship 崇拝する
  • merman 人魚

They were called Ama-zoku(海人族)by other people in the area and discriminated against. They were only allowed to live in a confined area on the sea, which, luckily, enabled their bloodline to continue for a long time in the Japanese history. Some of them emigrated from Isobe-cho to other seashore areas all over Japan. I feel that there used to be a large area for Ama-zoku to live in in Wajima(輪島) on Noto Peninsula(能登半島).

  • discriminate 差別する
  • confine 限定する
  • enable 可能にする
  • bloodline 血統
  • emigrate 移住する

Well, there is a famous Buddhist monk who inherited the bloodline of Ama-zoku and was born in a poor town by the sea−Nichiren(日蓮). I feel that he was feeling a strange relationship with the Sun by nature. His mother had a strange experience of the rising sun jumping into her womb during the period of pregnancy. He felt a special wave from the sun since he was a little child, but he didn’t know what it was. His family was poor and he was led to enter the Buddhist priesthood naturally by his karma. And later he found the wave of the sun he had felt in his boyhood in the Lotus Sutra. As time went by, unfortunately, his teachings were changed just as those of Shakuson(釈尊), which may be unavoidable.

  • inherit 引き継ぐ
  • by nature 生まれつき
  • pregnancy 妊娠
  • wave 波動
  • the Lotus Sutra 法華経
  • unavoidable 避けられない

The fact is hardly known that before Nichiren declared to found his own religion, he stayed at Joumyo-ji(常明寺)in Ise and that he cleansed his body at the well now called Seigan-no-ido(誓願の井戸),  a well of vow, and visited Geku(外宮) of Ise Grand Shrine(伊勢神宮) for a hundred days. Joumyo-ji was also a temple constructed by Watarai-uji(渡会氏), who managed all the rituals held at Geku. Watarai-uji is the man who established Ise Shinto(伊勢神道), asserting that Geku of Ise Grand Shrine is the very shrine that the highest God resides in. Suprisingly, he was also from Isobe-cho. Japan is really a strange country. I feel great God’s will lies behind it.

  • hardly ほとんど〜ない
  • declare 宣言する
  • vow 誓願
  • ritual 儀式
  • assert 断言する
  • will 意志

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.

A Great Man Who Wrote a Moving Word – Kukai

森羅万象第6巻 表紙

The other day, a reader of this blog asked me if the cover page of my new book Together with Inner God, the sea reflecting the sky, was the image of Kukai(空海). A sea of clouds spreading between the ground and the sun is very dreamy, to be sure.

  • a sea of clouds 雲海
  • spread 広がる
  • dreamy 幻想的な

Kukai’s childhood name was Mao(眞魚), which can be interpreted as “true fish.” When the soul of Kukai came down to this World of Reality from the World of Venus, the World of Sea Dragons supported him, acting as Ubusuna-kami(産土神), a guardian deity of one’s birthplace. I feel this is why his childhood name had the word “fish.” Souls protected by the World of Sea Dragons are to be very successful in the World of Reality, for the spiritual source of wealth is the sea. So I imagine that the word “海” in his name is suggesting that he had good luck by nature that assures success.

  • interpret 解釈する
  • support 支援する
  • wealth 富
  • assure 保証する

What I felt on receiving the question from the reader was that a sea of clouds matches Kukai spiritually. And what came to my mind then was a stone monument located in Mt. Koya(高野山), on which a word written by Kukai was inscribed. There is one word on the stone monument. It is “空”, or sky.  The word “空” written by Kukai  is very unusual. The word is skew and looks like steam rising up into the air. The entire word looks as if it were about to vanish like a living thing. Since Kukai normally wrote great block letters clearly, the word written in a cursive style struck me as rare.

 

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  • match 合う
  • stone monument 石碑
  • inscribe 刻む
  • unusual 変わっている
  • skew 斜めの
  • entire 全体の
  • vanish 消える
  • rare 珍しい

The sea lying between the World of Gods and the World of Reality concerned his birth, but after he came of age, he lived his life to the full, supported by Amaterasu-oho-mi-kami(天照太御神), the Sun God, and Kunitokotachi-oh-kami(国常立太神), the symbol of the earth, just like a sea of clouds flows in the sky freely.

  • concern 関係する
  • come of age 成人する
  • to the full 思いっきり

Kukai can be said to be an embodiment in the World of Reality of Susanoo(スサノオ), which also suggests the relationship between Kukai and Koujin(荒神),  a fierce god. Human beings, once born, are to vanish like clouds sooner or later. We’re living between heaven and earth. If we vanish at all, why don’t we live in the precious moment to the full?

  • embodiment 具現化
  • fierce 荒ぶる
  • precious 貴重な
  • moment 瞬間

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.

Truth Hidden in the Shakuson’s Words

森羅万象第6巻 表紙

One day, a man who kept on reviling Shakuson asked him, “Why don’t you talk back to me?” Shakuson replied, “Suppose you send a gift to someone. If the person refuses to receive it, whose do you think the gift is?” On hearing this, the man felt ashamed for what he had done. Some of the life stories of Shakuson that have been passed on after he died contain some deep spiritual truth. The story above is one of them.

  • revile 罵る
  • talk back 言い返す
  • reply 返答する
  • suppose 仮定する
  • feel ashamed 恥じる

Abusive languages contain spiritual magnetism of abuse. But, even if the magnetism of abuse is thrown at you, it passes through you easily, as long as you have nothing to deserve it. You won’t even feel like speaking against. You won’t feel any attachment to the abusive languages, thinking “He’s just misunderstanding me. He’ll understand me later”, “I know what I’m doing is a right thing to do, so I don’t care what they say to me” and so on. In short, you’re in the state of confidence.

  • magnetism 磁気
  • deserve 値する
  • feel like ~ing 〜したい気がする
  • confidence 自信

The magnetism of abusive languages, when the other refuses to receive it, returns the person who said them, just as curses are returned to the one who curses twice as strongly. He that emitted the magnetism of curse ends up being covered with the magnetism. It’s difficult for such a person to have a stable state of mind. Those who are short tempered will be easier and easier to get angry. I sometimes admire such a man, wondering “How can he be so mad at such a trifle thing?” Being in this state of mind will make them come across similar people to them because of the law of attraction by the spiritual light of the sun, and will end up hurting each other physically and mentally. They will go down to a miserable life by themselves.

  • refuse 断る
  • stable 安定した
  • short tempered 短気な
  • admire 感心する
  • similar 似ている
  • attraction 引きつけ
  • hurt 傷つける
  • miserable 惨めな

When you’re reviled, you’ll try to defend yourself by instinct if you know you’re to blame or you have a guilty conscience. You’ll feel like justifying yourself convincing yourself that it’s not your fault, and want to revile the other. This means that you’re responding to the magnetism from the other and you have received it. You two are throwing a bad magnetism at each other. In the eyes of a passerby, you look the same.

  • defend 守る
  • instinct 本能
  • be to blame 責められるべき
  • conscience 良心
  • justify 正当化する
  • convince 納得させる
  • respond 反応する
  • passerby 通りがかりの人

This phenomenon explains why it’s bad for a psychic, or a guru, to receive money from a person who wants to have counseling. When a psychic uses the name of God and, making a poor person expect something miraculous to happen, receives money, he takes over the spiritual karma or dirt from the poor person in exchange for money.  The more money he makes, the more bad karma and spiritual dirt he accumulates.

  • phenomenon 現象
  • take over A Aを引き継ぐ
  • accumulate 蓄積する

Such an unscrupulous psychic who make money using the name of God will go to Hell. But the problem is that the person who gets in touch with the psychic also gets involved in the huge spiritual dirt the psychic has. As a result, after a little temporary improvement, the poor person will find his situation getting worse and try to give all the more money to the psychic because of a sense of fear.  The person will be crying having lost all money and everything. This is an old typical pattern that has been repeated since a long time ago. I hope that more and more people will believe in their own Inner God and live strong.

  • unscrupulous 悪徳の
  • temporary 一時的な
  • improvement 改善
  • sense of fear 恐怖感

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.

What the True Intention of Shakuson Lies in

森羅万象第6巻 表紙

I wrote before that what Shakuson(釈尊)transmitted directly to his disciples was Four Noble Truths(四諦) and Eightfold Path(八正道)contained in it. I perceive that the essence of these is all you have to do is accept the present situations and live with gratitude. All the other teachings are accumulated interpretations falsified by others who were born hundreds of years after Shakuson died. His true teachings are positive and full of life energy. Religions using his teachings often misunderstand his teachings.

  • transmit 伝える
  • disciple 弟子
  • accept 受け入れる
  • gratitude 感謝
  • interpretation 解釈
  • falsify 偽造する

In my opinion, the spiritual essence hidden in Eightfold Path is Seichi(正知), or to know life rightly. Well, how about Four Noble Truths, the basis of Buddhism? It is said generally that the Four Truths are:

  1. the truth that lives involve suffering
  2. the truth that the cause of the suffering is fixation
  3. the truth that the state of having removed the suffering is enlightenment
  4. the truth that the way to reach the enlightenment is Buddhism
  • basis 基本
  • fixation 執着
  • enlightenment 悟り

The basis of his teachings lies especially in the first truth, that is, you can never avoid sufferings in life. He’s saying that it is natural that you have a hard time in life and that trying to avoid or escape from it is against the truth of the universe. Yet, people , trying to avoid it, abuse God or pay a lot of money to someone saying “I can save you from your suffering if you pay me, ” and try to depend on the person. Such people will end up adding to their suffering because this is against the truth of the universe.

  • especially 特に
  • yet にもかかわらず
  • abuse 悪用する
  • add to A Aを増やす

Shakuson said that human beings cannot escape from the dark side of life, such as living itself, getting old, falling ill and dying. To be sure, it is true that no one, rich or poor, can escape from problems caused by dispositions of male and female, aging, illness and fear of death. At the bottom of our problems lie these four problems. Therefore, now is precious. Living a normal life is a miracle and what you should delight in. It’s only natural that difficulties and uncomfortable things happen. It can be said that those who can be grateful for the present ordinary situations are those who have accepted the four kinds of sufferings and got over them. They have already reached the state of mind of the 3 mentioned above and the enlightenment, Shakuson told me.

  • to be sure 確かに
  • disposition 性
  • delight 喜ぶ
  • get over A Aを乗り越える

You might think “Why uncomfortable things or sufferings happen to such an enlightened man?” – That’s right. Even if you’ve reached enlightenment, you would have problems. However, because you can truly feel that all good things and bad things happening in this short life will disappear sooner or later and that they are precious things that you can never experience again, you cannot help but be grateful for all of them. And you will come to smile even in the face of harsh conditions. You’ll feel love for everything. This is the state of enlightenment and also the state of Kannagara(カンナガラ), or always being with Inner God.

  • disappear 消える
  • cannot help but~   〜せざるを得ない
  • harsh 厳しい
  • Inner God 内在神

It is no use sitting in zen meditation. You’ll end up in daydreaming called Makyo(魔境, an unbalanced mental condition of ego-swelling that results from excessive self-consciousness, into which an ascetic of the Zen Sect of Buddhism tends to fall when halfway awakened). How many people have reached the stage of spiritual awakening since Buddhism was introduced to Japan? Though billions of people in total have practiced meditation in the world for the last thousands of years, how many of them have reached the spiritual enlightenment? The number of eminent sages will be less than ten.

  • It is no use ~ing 〜してみても無駄だ
  • meditation 瞑想
  • billions of A 何十億ものA
  • in total 述べ
  • eminent 卓越した
  • sage 聖人

It is waste to spend life time on meditation. If you’re idle enough to have time for meditation, you should work hard in society accepting everything with gratitude together with your Inner God. Have a positive, grateful heart, saying to yourself “Come what may. I’ll get over it.” This is what Shakuson wished us human beings to do. The following words will lead you from behind;

  • waste 無駄な
  • idle 暇な
  • wish 望む

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.

What is Necessary to Grow up Mentally

森羅万象第6巻 表紙

This World of Reality is where various levels of souls from different dimensions are gathered. Some people can do cruel things and others work hard trying to help others, regardless of their environment they were born and brought up. In this World of Reality, it is necessary to receive both good and evil stimuli from others for you to grow up mentally.

  • various 様々な
  • dimension 次元
  • gather 集める
  • cruel 残酷な
  • regardless of A   Aに関係なく
  • stimuli 刺激

It is only in this miscellaneous world that you can grow up mentally. In the other worlds, including the World of Gods, you cannot do that as a rule, for the other worlds are where souls of a kind are gathered and once you’ve entered one, you are fixed. It’s difficult to grow up mentally in a group of similar people.

  • miscellaneous 雑多な
  • of a kind 同じ種類の
  • fix 固定する
  • similar 似ている

If you could live in social life without being interfered with by others, you would be likely to have some problem, disease for example, and receive stimuli from others in the treatment. It is inescapable for you to have relation with others as long as you live. That is, it is necessary that you receive both good and bad stimuli from others in order to mature.

  • interfere with A Aに干渉する
  • disease 病気
  • treatment 治療
  • inescapable 逃れられない
  • relation    関係
  • mature 成熟する

If you receive an evil stimulation from someone, all you have to do is discard something of the same kind inside of you. “Discard” means “purify.” If you don’t want to be spoken ill of, just stop speaking ill of others. If you’re happy that someone did a good thing for you, just do the same thing for others. As you do things like this, what will remain in your heart? A very pure heart will remain, which is a manifestation of your Inner God.

  • discard 捨てる
  • purify 純粋にする
  • speak ill of A    Aの悪口を言う
  • remain 残る
  • manifestation 顕現

This is also a secret of alchemy of the Western mysticism. Alchemy is a technique of changing or refining common substances into pure ones and has a meaning of trying to change human souls into pure and mature ones, as well. Alchemy aims for becoming one with God. Kukai(空海), the founder of the Shingon sect of Buddhism,  put alchemy into practice in Japan. He had a great knowledge as an alchemist, too. There are some theories saying that Kukai founded the head temple in Mt.Koya(高野山)because there was mineral veins of liquid silver in the whole neighborhood.

  • secret 秘密
  • alchemy 錬金術
  • mysticsm 神秘主義
  • refine 精製する
  • substance 物質
  • aim  目的とする
  • the head temple 本山
  • menral vein こうミャウ
  • liquid silver 水銀

I feel that when he studied in China, he knew the Western mysticism for the first time and then acquired a secret ritual of reciprocal action of liquid silver, spirit and spiritual bodies. Many of the temples in Mt. Koya, especially their pillars, are painted vermillion. The coating material of vermillion needs liquid silver. This paint made from liquid silver is applied in layers to the bases of Buddhist statues as well.

  • for the first time 初めて
  • acquire 習得する
  • reciprocal action 相互作用
  • pillar 柱
  • vermillion 朱色
  • in layers 何層にも

Indeed, Ise(伊勢) region has also been a producing district of liquid silver since ancient times. There are a lot of mineral veins of liquid silver under the ground of Ise region. Vermillion is the color of the figure of the sundisc represnting Amaterasu-oho-mi-kami(天照太御神) I see at Izawa-no-miya(伊雑宮)of Ise Grand Shrine(伊勢神宮). Liquid silver is the best and essential substance to express the color of God in the World of Reality, and the spiritual vibration liquid silver emits is subtle and makes brain waves of human beings stable.

  • prosucing district 産地
  • ancient   古代の
  • sundisc 日輪
  • subtle 精妙
  • stable 安定した

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.