by William Lee Rand
I recently got together with Arjava Petter and Walter Lubeck in Japan and the three of us visited Mt. Kurama and the Usui memorial. This was my second trip to Japan and I'm filled with even greater joy and new inspiration from the wonderful experiences we had. We met in Tokyo and went to the Usui Memorial the next day. Saihoji temple where the memorial is located has wonderful energy. It is part of pure land Buddhism and the fact that Dr. Usui is buried there clearly indicates that Dr Usui was a Buddhist. We cleaned the Usui memorial area, removing leaves and other debris, placed flowers and burned incense.
The meditation we did was especially meaningful. I felt a connection to the source from which Dr. Usui received his Reiki initiation and received a healing that helped to release a restriction in my solar plexus. This created a stronger intention to promote Reiki worldwide and to encourage all Reiki people to work together in harmony. This was a beautiful experience.
The next day we took the bullet train to Kyoto where we stayed in the Gion district. This area of Kyoto has lots of small alleys that connect with each other. They are filled with interesting shops and restaurants and many of the alleys are covered so it is like the Kyoto version of a shopping mall that seems to go on forever in a maze like way. Within this maze of covered alleys there were several temples we visited and I immediately had an uplifting experience upon entering them. The walls of the temples were lined with Japanese lanterns which were decorated with spiritual sayings written in Kanji. In fact, Kyoto is known as a very spiritual city because of the thousands of temples located there.
Early the next day we took the train to Mt. Kurama. The short train ride goes North into the mountains and ends at Kurama station right at the foot of Mt. Kurama. We stopped to buy muchi, a Japanese rice confection before walking up the stairs to the entrance of the Mt. Kurama temple area. We visited the first temple that includes a statue of Kannon (Avalokiteshvara) and also has the three symbols representing the aspects of Sonton, the Supreme Deity, which are power, light and love. The love symbol is the one that looks very similar to the Reiki mental/emotional symbol and is derived from the Sanskrit seed syllable hrih. A little way up the mountain, we paid our respect at the two small waterfalls which were possibly one of the places Dr. Usui had his satori or Reiki initiation. At the main temple, we said prayers and burned incense and also listened to a monk say his prayers inside the temple. There are many temples on Mt. Kurama and we stopped at others as we made our way up to the top of the mountain. There we visited Mao Den shrine which is another possible place Dr. Usui had received his Reiki empowerment.
I had video taped our whole experience, and the camera equipment slowed me down, so as we started our way down the path, the others got ahead of me and I found myself alone at twilight on Mt. Kurama. Stopping to rest I was taken by the beauty and subtle energies of this sacred place. As twilight deepened, the feelings that came welling up around me and from within were both gentle and powerful. I became aware of the spirit of the mountain and the healing and higher inner states that it offers. Mt Kurama is truly a magical place and even after several weeks, I still am benefiting from the experiences I had there. An opening took place while on the mountain and I feel even more connected to the spiritual tradition of Reiki than ever before. I am grateful.