View Full Version : Meditation

11th October 2002, 14:18
Hey guys, I was just wondering if Shinto involves any meditation or not. Also, a friend of mine and I were discussing whether or not Morihei Ueshiba was a Shintoist or not, or whether he learnt from a number of different traditions.

12th October 2002, 02:45

12th October 2002, 08:30
Yes, I believe meditation in Shinto is called Chinkon Gyoho. Morihei Ueshiba became very involved in Shinto, most notably in the Omoto-Kyu sect of the Shinto religion, under the guidance of Shinto priest Deguchi Onisaburo. Over a period of eight years, Ueshiba practiced Shinto meditative and purification rites and mastered the concept of Koto-dama (word spirit). Deguchi encouraged Ueshiba's martial arts training and guided him to incorporate spiritual aspects of the Shinto religion and philosophies into his martial arts.

But then again, most Japanese, even those that could be considered primarily Buddhist or Christian, are also Shinto. The belief system is far from exclusive.

Kokumo, please sign your posts with your real name, as per e-budo rules.

12th October 2002, 16:19
Mr. Craik:

Given the brevity of my answer, signing my name seemed a bit excessive. ; )

A fairly wide range of practices can be found under the outlines of "Chinkon Gyoho" or "Chinkon Kishin" but both names are in common currency for meditation traditions which were transmitted as Shinto practices during the Meiji and early Showa suppression of Buddhism in Japan.

Although the article could use considerable revision, a serviceable version of my 1994 essay on the subject of kototama/dama can be found in

Kjartan Clausen's Aikidofaq, The Philosophy of Aikido (http://www.aikidofaq.com/philosophy/a_section12.html)

As your reply suggests, Ueshiba Morihei's spiritual inclinations led him to study a number of traditions including Shingon Buddhism, Oomoto-Kyo, and Shugendo. There are also indications of connections with Konko-kyo, a relative of Oomoto-kyo which is also considered a Shinto "New Religion," though those are not definitive.

While popular literature tends to focus on Ueshiba's association with Oomoto-kyo, numerous individuals have given witness to his lifelong fondness for the Heart Sutra, an unequivocally Buddhist text/mantra.

For those who are interested, The Hsuan-Tsang Chinese translation of the Heart Sutra (which is the version familiar to most Chinese and Japanese Buddhists from the 8th Century CE forward), along with Sino-Japanese romanization and an English translation can be found on Amida Net at http://www.ne.jp/asahi/pureland-buddhism/amida-net/heart-ja.htm

Best regards,

Frederick Kotsu Little