Jyorei: A Higher Perspective
Motives for Sharing Jyorei
Two types of people are drawn to Shumei: Those who want to be healed and those who want to heal. The main difference between them is their motives. One is concerned with receiving and the other with giving. The second motive is a more evolved because it is not solely centered on the self. Instead, it is concerned on others. However, this does not mean that those who come to Jyorei to be healed have a lower motivation. A person can be both spiritually advanced and still need healing, and those who first seek healing for themselves often pass on what they have received. We hope that those who come to Shumei to be healed eventually want to heal others; that the motive to receive evolves into a universal motive to heal all in need. I suggest here that the motive to help others is of a higher nature.
The motive to heal others can be subdivided in two: the desire to help friends and family; and the desire to help all, including those one does not know and even those one does not like. From a spiritual perspective, the desire to help all people is the higher of the two motivations because it is unconditional. To care for the well-being of others we barely know or do not know at all is all-inclusive, and is a hallmark of Shumei’s mission.
Unconditional giving is about ‘we,’ not just ‘I’ or ‘us’ versus ‘them.’ This feeling of ‘we’ comes from the realization that we are essentially all One. By giving unconditionally, we serve the greater good beyond social division and narrow self-interest. The desire to help everyone everywhere is the highest motive for sharing Jyorei.
Why should we help everyone? Meishusama tells us that spiritual cords1 interconnect us all. Ecologists say that all creatures are interconnected with those in their physical environment. If an ecologist wants to study a rabbit, fox, or owl, he or she needs to know about the climate, terrain, plants, and trees in the creature’s environment, what food it eats and what threatens it. Ecologists need to know all this because the creature’s identity is reflected in its behavior, and its behavior is determined by its environment. Nothing exists in isolation.
To understand people, one needs to know not just how they think and feel, but also how they live. One needs to know about their family and friends, about their job, their religious and political affiliations, their ethnicity, and their lifestyle. All of these things are part of who they are. We are not separate beings encased within our physical bodies. We express ourselves within our environment and our environment expresses itself through us. Everything affects everything else.
We are all part of one life. But deeper than that, we are all one at the highest level of being, on the level of Spirit. What does it mean to be one on the level of Spirit? It means that within each of us there is the presence of God. We all have a divine spirit. It is a pure being, formless, changeless, and invisible. Actually, there is only one spirit looking from each of our two eyes and listening from our two ears. Why only one? Because that which is formless has no boundaries to separate itself from anyone or anything else. Only forms have boundaries. So, on the level of spirit, we are all one. And the more we evolve spiritually, the more we can perceive this.
What prevents us from seeing this Oneness? According to Meishusama, the answer is spiritual clouds. What are spiritual clouds? They are the impurities of selfishness, negativity, and ignorance. These clouds narrow our awareness. They keep us from seeing things correctly. Fortunately, the Light of Jyorei purifies and dissolves them.
When we begin to perceive spirit in others, we begin to feel a profound connection with them. One feels that, deep down, the person one is looking at is no different from oneself. This causes one to care about the other. One’s happiness becomes the other’s happiness, one’s sorrow becomes the other’s sorrow.
This spiritual perception is the basis of compassion and the underlying motive for sharing Jyorei. We want to relieve the suffering of others because we see ourselves in them. Their sorrow diminishes our own well-being.
Serving Others and Serving God
Happiness wants to be expressed. So when happy, we naturally want to share it with others. Sharing happiness does not diminish it any more than the lighting of many candles diminishes the brightness of the original flame. Each newly lit candle only makes the room that much brighter. Similarly, happiness does not diminish by being shared; instead, it grows. And the more we evolve spiritually, the more our motivation to help others grows.
Traditional wisdom claims that the highest of all motives is to serve God. But how can we serve God if God is all-powerful, all knowing, and equally present everywhere? Does God lack anything? Does God need to be served?
Meishusama used the term ‘Miroku Omikami,’ when referring to God as both the Creator and the Created. It means that God is both everything and also beyond everything, both form and formlessness, both spirit and matter. As pure spirit, God is formless and unchanging. But as all things, as form, God is constantly changing and evolving. God as pure spirit does not need anything, but as the evolving Cosmos, God does. Thus, the best way to serve God is to help the world evolve. By doing so, we help God evolve and become more conscious of Him through us. This is also what we do when we love and care for others. This is precisely what we do when we share Jyorei.
To be conscious of ourselves, we need to see ourselves. We need a mirror. Each of us functions as a mirror for others and they, in turn, function as mirrors for us. They reflect our behavior by their responses, and these responses help us be more self-aware. Could it be that God became the world to create a reflection by which to become Self-aware?
It might be that we are the eyes of God. The more conscious we become, the more conscious God becomes. The closer we come to God, the closer God comes to the mirror that is us.
Although we may all share God on the inside, most of us do not consciously know God. Nonetheless, everyone serves God as a mirror, although only some do so consciously. At the highest level, there is no separation between God and us, but we need to refine and awaken our consciousness before we can actually see or feel this. This is what Jyorei helps us to do. And this is what Meishusama did.
Unity and Duality
It could be said that an evolving universe is founded upon love, and that God wants both to love and be loved. In other words, instead of evolution seen as leading to greater consciousness, it can be seen as leading to greater love.
God is the source of all love. God is also the object of all love. An aspect of love is the desire to give and receive love. To love, one needs someone or something to direct love to. Perhaps, God created this divine play of life so that Oneness can share love with Itself.
God functions as both the knower and as the object that is known. There is God and then there is God’s Creation. This sounds like two different entities, yet everything is one undivided reality. This divine mystery is integral to what Meishusama calls ‘Miroku Omikami,’ the all encompassing presence of God. Essentially, the concept of Miroku Omikami implies that God becomes the world while still remaining beyond it.
The coexistence of form and formlessness can be understood by going back to the analogy of a mirror and the object it reflects. The very formlessness of a mirror’s surface allows forms to be reflected on it, and the clearer the mirror’s surface, the sharper the reflection. Formlessness reveals form: form reveals formlessness. And for us to perceive the world accurately, our consciousness must also be clear. Clarity is an essential quality of spirit because clarity reveals form.
Imagine a horizontal line separating God from us, God above, us below. From God’s perspective, there is only One undivided reality. But from our perspective there is only multiplicity. Looking around, we see many objects and feel that we ourselves are also objects. With our limited minds, we can only see separation, whereas God, who is beyond the mind, sees unity. Although God sees all of the details of the world, this does not interfere with the perception of unity. There are two ways of seeing reality: the higher and the lower, the divine and the human.
The more we, from the perspective of multiple forms, see divine unity, the more peace and harmony there is in the world, and the better things work. The perception of unity is also a realization of love. When we recognize the divinity within others, we cannot help but love them. Love overcomes differences because it sees beyond them.
So, we want to move towards a greater sense of unity, toward understanding that the parts affect the whole and the whole affects the parts, understanding that when we help others, we help the whole world. Each time we treat another with kindness, we raise the world to a higher level. This is what happens when we share Jyorei.
Jyorei and God
As to salvation, I will make it perfectly clear that humans, by themselves, cannot bring about true spiritual salvation. God does this. Humans are His mere instruments.
—Meishusama, Kannon’s Way, “Judge Not”
To be God’s instrument is a great blessing. God is using each of our hands to give Jyorei. The fingers of each hand represent separate individuals, and the entire hand represents all of us united with God. Another way of saying this is that God gives Jyorei through us. This is a higher way of viewing Jyorei.
Beyond that, not only is God the giver, ultimately God is the receiver as well. The Divine is giving Jyorei to the Divine through us, by us, and to us.
So, when one gives Jyorei, one can envision God sharing Jyorei. One can visualize God using one’s hands to give Jyorei or imagining Kannon2 or Meishusama doing this. This view raises our perspective on Jyorei to a higher level. It is important to remember that we are conduits for the Light. The energy simply moves through us. We are not really the givers—God is. We are not really the receivers—God is. So, when sharing Jyorei, it is important to discard our egos, our sense of being independent agents of action. It is enough to appreciate the miracles that God is performing through our hands.
Giving Jyorei is not about us. It is about serving the greater good.
Jyorei and Attachment
There are two things one can do when sharing Jyorei to gain more from the experience. One is to focus on the higher perspective, realizing God is doing everything through us. The other is to simply focus on gratitude, leaving the rest to God.
By contrast, wanting the person to feel better is a form of attachment. This often happens to us when giving Jyorei to someone close. Do not focus on a particular outcome. Instead, trust God to do what is best. God always knows better. If one tries to make things happen in a particular way, one is probably interfering with the process. It is better to let go and allow God take care of the details.
Love and Gratitude
Gratitude has no agenda. It is not goal-oriented and does not trying to change anything. Gratitude is a form of acceptance.
When focusing on gratitude, there is no need to know what is going on with the person receiving Jyorei. We do not need to think about how that person should be healed. We do not have to think, “This person needs to get better.” All we need to do is focus on being grateful for being able to share Light. When we are grateful, our hearts open and more Light passes through us.
Oftentimes, people feel Jyorei working on their heart, even though we do not direct it toward their heart. As you may know, we direct Jyorei only to the forehead and to the crown of the head. The Light of Jyorei not only quiets the mind, but also opens the heart. And when the heart opens, love is felt. And love and gratitude allow more Light to pass through us.
Love and gratitude are two pillars of Meishusama’s teachings. They support Jyorei and are also enhanced by Jyorei. So, when sharing Jyorei, try focusing on love and gratitude. Then allow the Light to pass through you like sunrays through a clear window.
Balance and Harmony
There are two approaches to Jyorei. One tries to cast the ego aside and view things from a higher perspective. The other places everything in the hands of God. There should be no conflict between these two approaches. When sharing Jyorei, we need to do our best while simultaneously leaving the results to God. We should not feel that Jyorei depends entirely upon us or that it depends entirely upon God. Each approach, by itself, is one sided and incomplete. Each, if taken to extremes, causes problems. So, why not try to do both?
It is absolutely necessary for us to do everything we can with all our effort, while simultaneously trusting in God to do what is best. –Meishusama, Kannon’s Way, “Maintaining Moderation”
The Kannon’s Way3 teachings of Meishusama stress the importance of finding balance and harmony. These two qualities are necessary not only in daily life, but also in giving of Jyorei. Let us not forget that it was Kannon who gave the power of Jyorei to Meishusama. And if balance and harmony are essential to Kannon, then why should they not be essential to us?
May Jyorei’s Light guide you to this balance and harmony.