We usually hold the Saturday Meditation inside of the Moonviewing House of Hakone Estate and Gardens, but since we are currently unable to do so, we would like to offer a summary of Koraku Mikami Sensei's talk.
Checkpoints after meditation:
First: Generally, we are so tense everyday. When we breath in and exchange oxygen, materially we exchange oxygen, but the body is not absorbing it. If we have good inhales and exhales with a good rhythm, then our body tension is lower and pretty flexible, and our ability to perceive something outside of ourselves is very efficient.
Second: Your tummy feels more flexible than usual. Beforehand, the lungs are working but the body is not associating with the breathing. So after meditation if you feel lighter or if you feel like you lost weight around the tummy then that is good.
Third: You feel sweaty on the surface of your skin, or your body temperature is a bit higher compared to before the meditation.
All three points give you a template to find out if you had a good meditation.
In the Mikkyo philosophy we believe that we are made from the different rhythms and patterns. We have so many different rhythms and patterns inside, like digestion patterns, breathing patterns, and blood circulation patterns.
Breathing is like the conductor. Making alignment with the breathing is the last resort to orchestrate all of the different rhythms.
This is the same as what we are experiencing with people, with events outside. How we orchestrate with everything—this is the key to stabilize ourselves and our lives.
We are under uncertainty, with the corona virus especially. Are we so worried about the coronavirus? No. We are so worried about what is certain or uncertain. When will this event end, what kind of effect will we experience after we get infected with the corona virus. Who we can rely on—which new source? Who is going to be the very best trustworthy person, information, and action? We need to decide everything by ourselves, but we are relying on something out there. This is called exoteric. Exoteric is when we need something out there to follow, and we feel fine and secure because of the authority.
But from now on we are coming into the uncertain world, so we are the last person we can rely on.
Basic topic of the usual Saturday morning Hakone Garden meditation is: How to live in this present moment.
With what kind of identity?
Mikkyo practice teaches that we have three different identities in our body.
The first is self-centered; ourselves. As long as we can reach out with our hands, we can touch and control under our authority.
The second is interaction; the relationship with someone, some people. We always identify ourselves with the reflection of people’s comments, reactions, and influence.
The third one is we are a member of the global community; the world. No matter what kind of country we are, no matter where we are, we are paying taxes, we are paying dues, we are the member of some community or communities.
With these three identities, we are identified by touch, reflection, and by receiving rights.
Mikkyo philosophy tells us that we come under uncertain situations when we are uncertain of ourselves.
We have three different identities that can be defined by three different angles.
We should be certain about who we are with the three different angles.
The first angle: Ourselves. We should be masters of ourselves, master of the inner self. In order to avoid uncertainty we should be a master of ourselves, our small universes. Zen practice, meditation, and Buddhism are good resources to achieve this. From ancient time, the historical Buddha gave us a lot of insight and teachings to all of us of how to cultivate our inner self and move our Buddha nature/potential/capacity to higher and larger states.
The second angle: Interaction/relationship. We should be a leader of the market, of the people and transactions. How to lead? We should be certain about the policy and certain about the agenda. When we are not sure about the future schedule, future events and details, we cannot lead people. The people always see the person who has the strong charisma and leadership. The leader should know everything. We can cultivate leadership skills by being first and foremost certain about ourselves. In Mahayana Buddhism, monks and priests and philosophers exist for the people’s benefit. People demand some benefit—financial, intelligence, skills, and solutions. Who is leading the community should see everything clearly.
That is a leader.
The third angle, the most important part of the Mikkyo philosophy: Governing the world. The governor is not, for example, the governor of California. The governor is who is making the rules based on universal action. We cannot disobey the law of nature, the law of the universe. We cannot resist the change of the season and climate change. The governor is not leading people, people are under the rules of the universe. What is the best, closest governing law which can be applied to the human world. We need to be certain of the law of nature and the law of the universe. We need to be certain about the governing law in relation to the universal law. We are going to be governors by cultivating our inner selves and outer selves and applying laws and rules, models and ethics. Then people can live happily ever after.
We have three identities, even in this very moment. What are we going to do about this?
Try to not to bring your attention and interest outside. Try to see for yourself.
“A” breathing meditation is very simple, and this is the first stage for later, more complex deeper meditation.
We can see the truth, hear it, smell it, taste it, and feel it, but we are not always doing this. When we are on the computer, driving, etc, we are not breathing correctly and we lose the rhythms of ourselves which govern ourselves, which lead ourselves, and which oversees ourselves. So use the meditation to come back to the origin.
"A" Breathing Meditation
First two counts: Cleanse your upper chest
Second two: Cleanse your lower tummy
Fifth breath: Cleanse the surface of the skin
Sixth breath: Cleanse inside all organs
The seventh stroke: Takes between two or two and a half minutes with long, slow nice breathing strokes. This gives you good alignment moment so that you are living in the right rhythm.
So check the root of your neck and tummy and surface of your skin. If you have these three points very clearly and nicely, then you can come back to the origin. Then, you already know the answer. You can make yourself master of your mind, leader of your community, and governor of the whole world. You earned it, you deserve it.