Question: O.K., so let’s look more closely then at Unborn Light Reiki’s methodology. I see that you’ve begun by incorporating Usui’s stages of training and that you are presently introducing the first stage, or Shoden. What does Shoden mean?
Vajragoni: Essentially it’s the Japanese term for Level 1; also, it implies that an adept has only begun training at this stage and has not yet completed it.
Question: You also have created different meditation techniques for this stage, known as “dhyana” techniques. Let’s look at the first one, Shoden Session #1: The Dantian. What is the Dantian?
Vajragoni: For our purposes it’s in reference to the “lower Dantian”. It’s a Chinese term meaning “belly area” and is located two inches below the navel. The Japanese name is Hara.
Question: O.K., so what is its significance?
Vajragoni: In Asian understanding it is the primary energy center in the body; when one breathes it should always commence in the Dantian.
Question: You also discuss this as being the location of the “gotra” and Bodhi-child. Would you please elaborate on these terms?
Vajragoni: Yes, the gotra is the primordial dormant seed that, in initial stages, is like a tiny spiritual embryo that eventually grows into a Bodhisattva, or Light Bearer. When the gotra begins to awaken it is referred to as the Bodhi-child, also referred to as the Dharma Child, Dragon Child or Suchchild; this child, if you will, has a highly concentrated Spirit of Bodhi, or undivided self-awareness.
Question: The term is fascinating! You seem to be incorporating it often through the Shoden Sessions.
Vajragoni: Indeed, its significance is the very core of Noble Wisdom’s Self Realization as it begins the process of “recollecting” the very vivifying Source of ITs self-nature, or the Unborn Mind. This process of Recollecting the Return to the Primordial Source is pivotal in understanding how to “uncreate” dukkha by gently returning again and again to this primordial center (Dantian) where the gentle breath of the Suchchild, which is the highly mystically charged energy of Unborn Light Reiki, assures one a spirit of tranquility in the Unborn.
Question: Awesome! How did you ever come upon such a term?
Vajragoni: Its origins are from the Tathagata-garbha school of Buddhism, which the Lanka itself is based on. This is the “womb of suchness” and its seed, or gotra actually resides in all sentient beings, although dormant. It becomes actualized through the aforementioned process. In this fashion, the “potential” for Buddhahood is present in all sentient reality, and NOT a given as many schools of Zen, for instance, would imply.
Question: Tell me more!
Vajragoni: The kernel of this understanding is actually based on the gotra. This is very apropos since it deals with the very essence of the Source ITself; a full explanation of the nature of the gotra can be found in a Buddhist work entitled, the Ratnagotravibhaga. The main thrust of this work is to elaborate on the gotra, which also happens to be the source of several Mahayana notions like dhatu, dharmadhatu, buddhata, tathagata-garbha, tathata, dharmatā, and even sūnyata itself. The Ratna embellishes on the following ten points concerning the gotra:
1. Its Essence: This is the original nature of the gotra; one of absolute purity and its spiritual nature encompasses Universal Compassion.
2. Its Cause: In this sense the gotra empowers one to adhere to the Dharma in general, to profound meditation (samadhi) and Universal Compassion (karuna); all of these, in turn, empower one to remove defiled sensate reality.
3. Its Effect: Upon the removal of the above defilements, the gotra gives rise to the correct understanding (aviparyasa) of all impermanence and dukkha as well as the inadequacy of phenomenal thingness.
4. Its Function: Its essential function is that it instills detachment from phenomena and then creates will power (chanda) to empower one to fully achieve nirvana. Hence, it gives rise to the awareness of how to overcome phenomena and empowers one to achieve Ultimate Liberation.
5. Its Relation: Being fully connected to prajna and samadhi, the gotra helps to give rise to Buddhagnosis, as well as establishing the manifestation of Universal Compassion of the Tathagata.
6. Its Manifestation: The gotra manifests itself in varying degrees. For the Icchantikas (those whose gotra remains inactive), it is mostly concealed, dormant; for the more spiritually advanced (aryapudgala), the gotra is partly manifested and partly concealed; for the Enlightened Tathagata, one who has gone beyond defiled sensate phenomena, it is manifested to the max which leads to the Dharmakaya (Absolute Buddha Body of Perfect Suchness) of the Buddha.
7. Its State: In the defiled state (asuddha), it is the essence of sentient beings; in its partly defiled state (asuddhasuddha), it is the essence of the Bodhisattva; in its ultimately pure state (suvisuddha), it is the absolute essence of the Tathagata.
8. Its All-Pervasive Character: Due to its varying manifestations, the gotra is all-pervasive.
9. Its Unmodifiable Essence: Once again, its original nature, one that can only be fully realized through perfect prajna (or in reference to the Unborn, only through the Self Realization of Noble Wisdom).
10. Its Unitary Character: Here the gotra is totally identified with the Dharmakaya.
So, after a very long story, the point to remember in Shoden Session #1 on the Dantian is to become fully attuned to this Primordial Center since it’s the very nature of the awakened bodhiseed (gotra) as manifested in the developing Dharma child; also, through consistent practice, one will develop the ability to merge with the energy THAT is the gotra as Dharmakaya. It should also be noted that all of the Unborn Light Reiki Dhyana Techniques will empower the adept to merge with the primordial energy of the Dharmatā Buddha.
The following posts will focus upon Shoden (first stage or degree) dhyana techniques that will empower Recollective Awareness as well as cleansing the rupakaya and empowering self-healing.
The Dantian: (Chinese) Belly-area (in Japanese, Hara, or belly); located two inches below the navel.
This is the vital energy center that focuses on the Primordial Prajna as well as the Primordial Energy (awakened bodhi-seed, or gotra) of the Unborn within us. This is also the location in which the Bodhi-child resides [NOT in the head, silly! :)]; when “tuned-into” it one awakens to the Truth of the Unborn Recollective Resolve to “turn-about” and Recollect the very vivifying Source of the Unborn Mind. Becoming attuned to the Dantian, therefore, one becomes aware of the Sacred Now of Suchness and learns to de-tune all the distractions that are “created” by the discriminatory mind. One “Un-creates” dukkha by gently returning, again and again, to this primordial center, where the gentle breath of the Bodhi-child assures a tranquil spirit.
Dhyana Technique #1: In order to regulate the gentle breath (primordial life-force energy) of the Bodhi-child, practice the following:
Bodhi – Ho Focusing the mind on antecedent breath which helps to clear the meridians (pathways of energy in the body) and redirect and recollect the primordial energy in the Dantian.
- Sit and gassho (hands in prayer position; palms together with fingers pointed upwards), this helps to focus the mind and awaken the Recollective Resolve. Gently close your eyes.
- Sit with hands in lap and palms facing upwards.
- While breathing in, sense the Reikian Unborn Light (energy) coming through the nose as it moves down to the Dantian thus filling the rupakaya (body form) with Unborn Light Reiki. After you’ve developed an easy rhythm, begin to antecede (be before) the in-breath thus recollecting and empowering the dharmakaya (absolute Buddha-body of perfect suchness). Continue to expand this primordial essence out into your surrounding area.
- While breathing out, continue this expansion outwards to your surrounding area.
- Repeat steps 3 and 4 until you experience becoming One with the expanding Unborn Life Essence. This exercise can last from anywhere between 5 to 30 minutes; if you feel yourself becoming weary, “slowly” build on the amount of practice time.
- Gassho: Give thanks to this hidden primordial child of Unborn Light.