Saturday, May 1, 2010

Natural Kiko of Jizo Bosatsu

There are 'natural' kiko that everyone knows. Holding up an empty hand to say hello for instance. This movement says 'have no fear... my hand is empty... I'm not carrying any weapons.'

Another natural one is to hold out our open hand to offer someone something.

Walking is a natural kiko. Walking upright or being able to maintain a completely upright posture is a human practice... one of the movements that both demonstrates our humanness and promotes it as well.

The combination of these three, by holding up our right hand and offering with our left while standing slightly on one foot (the right one, in this case) as if walking, is the inzo (seal) for Jizo Bosatsu (a saint of Daijozen-shu). When combined with the chant 'ka ka kabi sam ma ei sowa ka' we can address the conditions of traveling both through this life, and any life, in any time or space. To Repeat the ritual 7, 49, or 4900 times has quite an amazing effect.

As with all rituals our intent is very important. How often we perform it... how many times we repeat it... The consciousness, mindfulness, and passion we have when preparing, performing, and cleaning up after really begins to interact with ourselves and our environment.

There are 1000's of these kiko, and there are over 1600 of these combinations currently used in our tradition. Each one includes an inzo, like this one; which attaches to a saint or ancient master (or two); a root sound ('ka' in the case of Jizo Bostasu); this root sound becomes a short phrase (like the one mentioned above); then there may be a paragraph sized incantation; plus usually a longer chant and/or story associated with the saint.

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