Thursday, November 29, 2007

Shou Un Dai: (Flying Cloud Stone)

It is said that Mao landed on this stone 6,500,000 years ago from Venus to save the earth. When I placed my hand near the stone, I felt the dense energy past the rope. The rope is called Shimenawa.

Shimenawa is a rope that separate the sacred space for worshiping deities and other holy things from regular space. You see them often in temples. The 8000 year old sacred tree that I talked about earlier has the Shimenawa around it as well.

I pictured imaginary Mao on the stone and flying around. In my head he is made out of gold with golden stick navigating his flying stone around and patrolling the town to make sure everything is in order. I feel like he is a Science Fiction Super Hero.

Wednesday, November 7, 2007

Poems of Peace

Translation from the above poem:

A long time ago, Buddha taught us that when we get rid of hatred, anger and greed, there is peace.

Now we have a “Japanese constitution” humanity treasures that state of the courageous choice of not fighting.

So that we won’t be sad because of war
So that others won’t be sad because of war
Let’s walk the path of peace by using both the teaching of Buddha and the peace constitution.

Translation of the top poem in the above image:

Once upon a time, Yoshitsune (a samurai warrior) realized the cruelty and emptiness of war after fighting, fighting, and fighting at Ichinotani, Okushima, and Dannoura. He no longer continued on his fight at Hiraizumi.

A little while ago, our country found out about the tragedy and ridiculousness of war after the fighting, fighting, and losing at Pearl Harbor, Iwajima, and Okinawa. We have made a commitment not to have war forever.

So that we won’t be sad because of war
So that others won’t be sad because of war
We started to walk the path of peace
“ Japanese Constitution” is the base of peace
Something that we can be proud to show the world as our treasure.

Translation of the bottom poem in the above image:
Stop the terrorism
Stop the war
It is heartless & brutal
Let’s just keep praying for the wish of true peace.

By Kurama temple

These three poems were posted at the Kurama temple. The top one was posted right outside of the rest area and the other two were at the entrance of the main temple. They are written in calligraphy by hand on regular paper (not laminated), so I assume they make new poems to post at frequent intervals. I wish I found out who wrote these poems, but I assume one of the head monks at Mt. Kurama did.

These three poems touched my heart when I was there, but I purposely skipped them when I wrote about the rest area for the fear of discussing politics in this blog. However, I heard that a few days ago Japan decided to recall troops that were sent over seas and I was compelled to share these three poems with all of you. What do you think?

For those of you who don’t know, after WWII the “Japanese constitution” was created stating that Japan was only allowed to have military troops for defense only. After 911 Japan was pressured to make a six year agreement to support the war in Afghanistan. Many people, including myself, felt this was against the “Japanese constitution”. Now that the six years has ended I was happy to hear that the Japanese government decided not to renew the agreement of supporting the war.

A final note of clarification, the poems didn’t talk about any specific war or any point of view about the politics, only about war in general. And because I related to the poems based on current events, I wrote the last paragraph from my own personal perspective and not to be confused with the perspective of Kurama Temple.

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Mandala: Kon Gou Shou 

There is a Mandala located in front of the main temple. It is called Kon Gou Shou. According to Japanese wikipedia, Kon Gou is a Buddhist term that means the hardest metal on earth. For example, it is said that Kon Gou stone means diamond. Shou means floor or bed. So, I assume that Kon Gou Shou means that hardest floor/bed on earth. My interpretation is that it is symbolizing the most stable and reliable place on earth. It certainly felt that way.

According to broshure of the Kurama temple, the pattern of this Mandala represents the teaching of Kurama temple, about the ideal goal of uniting the universe and people who have the universe inside of them, coming together as one. The mandala seems to have special energy. I stood on top of the triangle for a long time enjoying the sensation in my body from the energy coming up from the mandala. Most people place their hands in a prayer position and stop and pray, some people kneel down and bow, others even perform some kind of sacred dance on top of it.

I also charged my crystals on top of it when there was no one else around waiting to experience the Mandala.

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Special Edition: Reiki Photography greeting cards

Big News for Reiki Photography!
Open Center Bookstore is now carrying Reiki Photography greeting cards! They are trying them out for couple weeks and see how they sell. If you live in NY, please stop by and check it out in next couple weeks. It’s a blank card, so it can be used for birthday, holiday, or any other occasions you can think of. You could just keep one for yourself to decorate your altar as well. Please spread the word to people whom you know would be interested.

Open Center Bookstore
83 Spring Street, NY NY 10012

Reiki Photography on line store is coming soon!

Thursday, October 11, 2007

Guarding Tigers

The main temple is guarded by two Tiger statues. Generally most of the temples are guarded by dog statues, but Kurama Temple has Tigers because of the temple’s special association to the Tiger. The history of Mt. Kurama begins with Bishamonten saving one of the monk from the devil on a Tiger month, Tiger Day, and Tiger hour. Tiger is considered a messenger for the Bishamonten at the Mt. Kurama. Back in 770AD when that happened, Japan was using animals to address month, days, and hour just like Chinese zordiac sign.

The right tiger’s mouth is open in a shape to pronounce “A” and that signifies the beginning of everything. The left tiger’s mouth is closed in a shape to pronounce “UN” and that signifies the end of everything. So, these are called A-UN tigers and represent everything in the universe from the beginning to the end.

Personally, I am born on a year of the Tiger, so I have an affinity with them. So, I loved reading this little Tiger themed Kurama temple history.

In case you are wondering what time Tiger hour is, it’s about 3-5am. Tiger Month is January and Tiger day comes up every 12 days. Coincidentally, today Oct 11 2007 is the Tiger day.

Wednesday, October 3, 2007

Main Temple

I finally reached to the main temple compelx! I didn’t do that much research about Mt. Kurama before I got there, so I did not expect to see so much leading up to the main temple. I was so happy that reached what I thought was my goal, the main Kurama Temple, but little did I know this was just a beginning of the tour. (Yes, this blog is just beginning as well.) I am very thankful for the healing salon “Earth” for guiding this tour and sharing their knowledge with myself and the rest of the group. Most of the people who come to Mt. Kurama pay their respects here at this temple and head down the mountain.

This place has a few buildings including rest areas, the main temple, a couple of side temples, the main office, the flying stone, a mandala, and great view Mt. Kurama and Mt. Hiei.

The first thing you see on your right after climbing up the stairs is the rest area building. (picture above) People are allowed to sit and rest while they eat, drink, or smoke. At this point, we really needed to rest and eat our lunch! We were so exhausted and hungry from climbing up so many stairs. Just as a side note, there is no restaurant or snack store over here. You need to bring your own lunch. Inside and outside of this rest area are the drawings, posters, and information about Kurama mountain and the village. There were some drawings done by elementary school kids from Kurama village that were very cute. The only thing that bothered me was that people were allowed to smoke inside of this little building and I would have to breathe in the smoke. Coming from NY, I got so used to not having people smoke in a public space. If you have a same problem as I do, there is another rest area right across from this one or there are benches outside.

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Tenporin temple

This is Tenporin temple. Inside of this temple is a huge Amida Budda about 16ft tall. You can only see the upper body of the statue and it is guarded by the fence, so that you cannot touch it. There is a rope hanging from the hand of the statue and by holding that rope is equivalent of touching the Amida’s hand. There also is a device called Tenporin it is said that spinning it once will have same effect as chanting 10,000 times. This is a very nice place to meditate. I also enjoyed watching other people meditating.