My 22 visits to Mt. Kurama

by Jessica Miller

Mt. Kurama is the mountain near Kyoto, Japan, upon which Mikao Usui once meditated for 21 days and received the Reiki energy. I had visited Mt. Kurama in 2000, but in the fall of 2001, I decided to make a 21-day thank you pilgrimage to Mt. Kurama as part of a Reiki research trip. I even went a 22nd time.

It was fantastic to really get to know the nature of Kurama. The mountain is a whole series of sacred spaces. Every day I would feel called to meditate in a different location. It was such a luxury to be able to truly get to know the place; the patterns of day and night, the feel of different areas. It was very different than the usual tourist experience of seeing a sacred site once, and thinking it is understood.

One of my favorite places to meditate was by the taller of two waterfalls. At the top of the waterfall is a shrine to Mao son, one of the three deities of Kurama. The waterfall is really more of a water feature with a thin ribbon of water which steadily pours down. When I meditated there, I discovered the water had it's own rhythm, and seemed almost alive and talking. The quantity of water waxes and wanes and pulses every few minutes with no discernable cause, yet seemingly in response to my thoughts.

I spent an evening in front of the main Buddhist temple building, watching the sunset and the stars come out. Inlaid in the temple courtyard is a large mandala. I felt tingles in my feet as I stood on the triangle at its center. The mythology of the mountain says standing there is a way of connecting to heaven and earth.I spent an afternoon lying among the roots of a tree near the Mao son shrine, which many suspect to be the area where Usui meditated for the 21 days. The roots seemed to hold and welcome me and invite me to stay as long as I wished. I wondered if Usui might have sat in this very spot.

A Place of Strong Energy
Mt. Kurama is a place dedicated Reiki practitioners may want to experience in their lifetime. The energy of the place is complex, subtle and broad reaching. Kurama has many different frequencies and patterns of energy. Many of these energy streams seem connected to the natural features of the water, stones, or trees.

A Candle Lit for You
As part of my pilgrimage I lit numerous candles and incense at the various shrines and temples on the mountain. I would often light them in threes: one for the world, one for the lives of those touched by Reiki, and one for my own growth. As you are reading this, know that a candle and incense were lit on Kurama for you, as part of a Reiki thank you to the Mt. Kurama, and the discovery of Reiki.

I have been shifted by my 21 days on Kurama in ways I cannot completely explain. My energy has broadened and deepened. Even after 21 days I do not feel complete with this mountain. I already feel called to return and I will be spending more time there in the future, including bringing tours of other people.

All Reiki people who feel called to personally experience the mountain where Reiki began will undoubtedly cherish the experience.