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Chasing Happiness - A Spiritual Memoir -Part 1

If it had not been for my troubled marriage, I would not have encountered the Kyudo Ceremony to which I was introduced by my Reiki Master, Sheila. I had hoped the Reiki would be an instrument for my release, for cutting the negative karma that had created my misery, but the effects were temporary.

So while I prayed in the Maitreya Buddha Temple for divorce, my husband prayed that we save our marriage. Today we are friends and I am happy to say that it appears we have resolved our karmic debts to each other.

Shortcut to Enlightenment

The Kyudo is known as the ‘shortcut to enlightenment’. The Buddha, one of our lineage masters, passed it on to Mahakashyapa. It was transmitted one to one in those times in secret and only since the past 100 years or so has become available to “ordinary people” like us.

The Third Eye (different from the ‘ajna chkara’) which is "opened” in the ceremony is the door of atman. According to this spiritual path known as Sentendaido – a blend of Taoism, Confucianism and Buddhism – the third eye is the place where the body is first formed. Since the consciousness exits from this door, freedom from the cycle of birth and death is guaranteed for 100 days after death. What happens to you after that depends on your karma.

The serious practitioner is vegetarian (no onion or garlic either), gives up intoxicants, sexual excesses and harsh speech. One attempts to overcome the sense of self-importance and let go of attachments.

For me, the most difficult of these requirements is transcending my self-importance. In Japan, it is not difficult, since from a young age the Japanese are taught to be humble. But in India, this culture does not exist. My success as a writer and a fashion model made it even more difficult to be humble.

The Beginnings of Faith

Kyudo Month Award from Matsumoto Sensei who initiated me

At the moment my third eye was opened by the Guru, I didn’t see the light. But after around five years of the ‘dynamic meditation’ – a form of prayer unique to Sentendaido, I began to see light radiating from my third eye like waves in a pond when a pebble is thrown in. No one had prepared me for this.

Many amazing events happened after that, such as dreaming of the Maitreya Buddha and his sacred number ‘369’ and the following day, in a village school, introducing the same number of people to the Kyudo Ceremony. The idea of introducing villagers to Kyudo was my initiative. Many villages were covered in this way and I paid the 'guru dakshina' (offering for the ceremony) on the behalf of the poor.

A Little Miracle

When I was suddenly struck with sinusitis, my head ached constantly. Father had suffered from it and my sister too. The Reiki healing did not help much.

One day as I knelt on the red cushion before the altar, doubled over like a babe in the womb (the posture awoke innocence) to pray, I wondered how I would complete my prayer. In that moment, the headache vanished and the sinusitis too, never to return. At least, never in an acute, chronic way.

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