Cut Obstacles for the New Year!

We finished the November Goma on Saturday under very sunny skies. Our heater broke just before the start so I want to thank the guests who braved the cold to join us as we had a very good turnout. We had the very special guests – one of my most treasured teachers who I hadn’t seen in some time and his girlfriend joined us. I’ve posted some pictures below.

The December ceremony will be held on Sunday December 27th at 2pm. This goma is especially important because it is focused on clearing away any obstacles that may be holding us back from success, prosperity, and abudance in the new year. So, pleased do join us and tell your friends…together, let’s bring in 2010 with purpose, vision, and no obstacles!

Thank you all!

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Rev Tanaka to visit CT Fudosan Kongo-Ji Temple

Minnasama Doumo…

Just now I am sitting in the Tokyo airport on my way back to US after the very successful trip to Japan. Here I will share some pictures from the trip.

Maybe my favorite thing about visiting Japan is the food…and it started with a tremendous breakfast buffet the morning after I landed. scrambled eggs, boiled eggs, fried eggs, Spanish omelets, egg curry, Canadian bacon, ham, crispy bacon, soft bacon, sausage, chicken sausage, steamed veges, rice noodles, all kinds of fish, 4 different kinds of tofu, miso soup, various Japanese vegetables, chocolate Danish, apple Danish, strawberry Danish, bread, croissant, cereal, oatmeal, pancakes, French toast, hash browns, all the fruit you can imagine, and about 12 other kinds of bread/danishes, orange juice, acerola juice, apple juice, grapefruit juice, tea, coffee…and a bunch of stuff I don’t remember.

Then I could spend several days on the sacred mountain that is home to several of the Okamisama spirits that are enshrined in our Dojo Shrine and to whom we make offerings before Goma time. In Japan, mountains are considered the sacred abode of the spirits and this mountain is so incredibly powerful…it has the very profound spiritual history of the yamabushi (mountain ascetics) training. Mountains are addressed by the suffix San which is used when addressing a person. Essentially it means Mr. or Mrs. Each day twice I could walk to the onsen hot springs and enjoy the hot mineral spring bath in the cool mountain air. During the morning I was planning to hike up to the inner shrine which is deeper in the mountains, we had the really big rain but it cleared after noon and a bunch of synchronicities led to very profound experiences at the shrine.

And then it was off for the busy week in Tokyo area with Rev. Tanaka. It was the harvest Thanksgiving festival in Japan which is a national holiday similar to our thanksgiving. The temple had a really magnificent two day ceremony where many people could light candles and offer Thanksgiving to the spirits of their ancestors. I particularly enjoy this ceremony because of the thousands of candles that are lit and placed around the edges of the pagoda and in the water stream.

During the week, I could spend a lot of time with Sensei, study the goma, purchase new items for the Goma, and discuss with Sensei our progress. During this time, Sensei Tanaka presented me with a ceremonial kesa that was passed to him by Archbishop Seytsu Takahashi. Takahashi Sensei served as the Bishop of North America from 1931 until 1982 and later became the Hoin -archbishop of Koyasan the highest position in Shingon. I am so grateful to be able to wear such a powerful kesa.

Sensei is very happy with our goma and

Rev Tanaka has announced his visit to Fudosan Kongo-Ji Temple in September 2010.

Sensei will be visiting our CT Temple in September of 2010 and we will have the very special Goma. More information will be posted as it becomes available.

Sumimasen (excuse me), now my plane is leaving soon and I must go to boarding.

Please join us on November 28th.

Thank you everyone!

Myochi Riki.

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Important October Announcements!

This past Monday we could complete the September Goma. Several new guests joined us and everyone had a good time sharing tea and cider after the ceremony. Rain was predicted for most of the day and it was so interesting – the moment the ceremony ended, the skies opened up as a storm came through causing everyone to rush into the indoor dojo. For our first year, we never had rain on Goma Day even when it was predicted, the skies cleared around ceremony time. Lately, we have had lots of rain which is very interesting considering the number of rain and storm spirits that can aid us in our work. It reminds me of the day I received my first initiation from Sensei, it was rainy and at several points the wind kicked up. I thought nothing of it but he mentioned the significance of it to me three times that evening. Whatever the weather, it is just as it should be and just perfect for the Goma.

Omamori Amulets are Here! 

The amulets for our Goma have arrived from Japan. These amulets, called Omamori are purified and empowered in the sacred fire and used to protect the bearer from misfortune, harm, illness, and misdirected energies. They are embued with the power of the Goma deities and have the power to bring good luck and healing. They can be carried on your person, hung in your car or room, or kept in a purse. Additionally, they can be returned and renewed annually. The cost for each Omamori is $15 and can be arranged by contacting us at or even better, by coming to a Goma!

Very Special Healing Class October 24, 25, and 26, 2009 

Space for the October Reiki I Class is extremely limited so if you are interested, please let me know asap. This is a very unique opportunity to be initiated into the Japanese healing art of Reiki through a 21 hour program taught by master healer Teresa Weatherly. Teresa is the rare person who is both a divinely guided master healer and incredible teacher and she has agreed to travel from the other side of the country to teach this class in our dojo. Reiki is a Japanese form of energetic healing that calls upon very high vibration light-energy that you can use to heal yourself and others. Once you have had the initiations, the vessel is opened and the healing energy naturally flows through you. This class is very unique in that it contains 4 attunements and is a 3 day immersion experience. Please do let us know as soon as possible if you wish to attend .

October 2 Year Anniversary Goma Mentioned in Natural Awakenings 

Natural Awakenings magazine was so kind to contact us about our October Goma. October is always a very powerful ceremony because the air is cool and crisp, the foliage is changing, and we enjoy apple cider around the campfire after the ceremony. The starting time is 4pm because we expect a large crowd but we know you may not get off of work until later than 4pm so please feel free to arrive anytime you are able. By the time all the wishes are written, the ceremony will probably actually begin a bit after five o’clock and proceed through sunset. 

Thank you all for your help and support always.

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Diamond Temple of Fudo Mountain

Minnasan, doumo…hello everyone,

This past week Sensei (Rev. Tanaka) gave us the name and calligraphy (displayed below) for “Fudosan Kongo-Ji” the meaning is “Diamond Temple of Fudo Mountain.” This is a significant step for us and I will explain a little bit about the meaning of the name.

Fudo-san,” refers to Fudo Myoo, the chief diety to whom the Goma is offered. (For more information about the chief diety please click here ). In this case, “san” refers to the Chinese character for mountain. In Japan mountains are the sacred abode of the spirits.

“Kongo” literally translates as “diamond” but the deeper meaning refers to the male aspect of Dainichi Nyorai, (Mahavairocana in Sanskrit) the great universal cosmic Buddha from which all other deities are emanations. In this way, the concept is very similar to the western notion of “God,” “Spirit,” or “The Creator” – all names for the highest universal deity. Kongo is in reference to the Kongokai mandala, one of the two artistic depictions of the Shingon pantheon and view of the universal process. (More information here)

Ji is Japanese for Temple.

So we are very excited to be given this name. Sensei also dropped one more surprise last week: We are getting our own omamori. In Japan, many people will carry with them a protective amulet from a shrine or temple and these are called Omamori. These amulets bear a sacred protective mantra inside and are embued with the energy of their shrine or temple. Our Omamori will bear our new name and be purified and empowered in the Goma Fire before being given to those who wish to have them. An omamori is shown below:

Please join us for an upcoming fall goma at Diamond Spirit Temple of Fudo Mountain.
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August Goma Finished!

Yesterday Friday August 28th we could have our August Goma. The weather was a very purifying and vibrant rain and several new guests attended. After the ceremony, we enjoyed tea and mochi in the indoor dojo (which is relatively rare as we typically gather outside) and great conversation.

One regular participant, a modern orthodox Jewish man, commented on how non denominational he finds the ceremony and mentioned that he could see light emanating from within the shrine. Another first time participant commented that she could see a border of light around the perimeter of the dojo and went into an instant meditative state when the ceremony began. It is always nice to hear participants recount the magic of the ceremony.

This time we had no assistants who were able to attend so we were not able to enjoy the full effect of the chanting but I think everyone had a good experience.

Please join us next month and note that at the September and October fire ceremonies, we enjoy hot apple cider and will likely sit around a campfire after the October ceremony which will be our two year anniversary.

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July Goma Owarimashita

Yesterday evening we completed the fire ceremony around 9pm. We were joined by two special guests from out of town – Rev. Dr. Ryushin Nick Karapasas, a chiropractor and priest of the Japanese Tendai school of Japanese esoteric Buddhism ( and Rev. Dr. Richard Jisho Sears, a psychologist and Director of the Center for Clinical Mindfulness at UIU ( and Tendai Priest. We also really enjoyed meeting several new guests who attended for the first time. And, of course, our long time assistant Justin Pegnataro, helped us tremendously by showing the guests how to make the Gomaki wishes and leading them into the dojo during the ceremony.

The day was incredibly warm and humid with sinister skies and a severe thunderstorm watch. Fortunately, we avoided a direct hit before the ceremony as the storms moved north of us but we erected our rain protection (a large blue Home Depot tarp) anyway. We also enjoyed the first use of five new meditation cushion sets which arrived yesterday by UPS. The fire was intense and especially hot and the wind and rain picked up at certain points during the ceremony.

We got started as the sun set and I think everyone could really have the good experience. After the ceremony, we enjoyed hojicha, a mild tea made by roasting the green tea leaves and our delicious mochi. As we shared some great conversation, the storms picked up and we had some big thunder and lightning.

Thank you to the deities who assisted us, to the assistants who made for a great experience, and to the guests who attended and supported us.

Please enjoy the pictures from the ceremony.

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Sensei’s keys to happiness and abundance

When you think about your life and the choices you make, and you really deeply examine them, you’ll probably agree that most of what we do is seek happiness. We all want to live a happier, more fulfilled life and feel like we’ve accomplished something of value to both us and the world.

Last November, while I was in Japan, Tanaka Sensei shared with me his 5 secrets to happiness. He was preparing them as a speech he was going to give that weekend to a large crowd and I was fortunate to receive his teaching over tea while he was preparing. If you follow them faithfully, you will find your life bringing you not only a permanent and unwavering happiness, but also incredible abundance. I am so thankful to be able to share Sensei’s secrets.

These 5 keys are profound in their simplicity and incredibly effective in their truth. The first three deal with the physical body/mind and the last two address the spiritual. I hope these five notions can benefit you as much as they have me.

Good Food: (Shokuyo) Our bodies are our vehicle in the human realm. They encapsulate all that it means to be human and provide us the capacity and capability to live. Consequently, how we nourish and treat them is directly related to how we feel. By making healthy choices about what we consume, we are making more enlightened choices about how we choose to live. In addition to consuming healthy foods, regular exercise is also extremely important.

Respect: (Koyo) In Japan, respect permeates every aspect of the culture. American society, in contrast, is characterized by a sense of entitlement. We want everyone to respect and acknowledge us. Sensei’s teaching on Koyo underpins one of the most important keys to materializing abundance: Gratitude. Respect for parents and elders and an attitude of gratitude for all that you already have will increase your emotional vibration. By emotional vibration, I mean such lower emotions as jealousy and greed will be replaced by better feeling, peace, harmony, love, and appreciation. Since like attracts like, such emotions will attract more abundance into your life. So, give it a try – offer respect and gratitude and see what happens.

Knowledge: (Kyoyo) Just as the physical body needs nourishment and exercise, so does the mind. Regular reading and cultural activities will broaden your horizons and open the mind. Have you ever met an uptight person who is narrow minded? How did you feel around such a person? Did they strike you as being truly happy? Keeping an open and fresh outlook is another super important key to maintaining positive emotions. So, read something mind expanding…go to a play…try a different ethnic cuisine.

Spiritual Practice: (Shuyo) Get on a regular schedule that allows you a daily period of meditation time…time to connect with the core of who you are. This could be a daily period of meditation, tai chi, yoga, etc. The most important element is that everyday you take some time out for yourself to relax and connect to and with yourself in the here and now…in this moment.

Offering: (Kuyo) In addition to taking care of yourself, it is very important to maintain a connection with the divine. We are spiritual beings living a human existence and having a connection to the divine keeps us on our path and in touch with what’s really important and truly real. It also provides a source of life energy (chi) that is far more powerful than what is available to us when we draw from only ourselves. Find time everyday to offer to the divine, whatever that is for you. This could be a period of daily prayer and thanksgiving or actual food offerings as is common in the eastern traditions such as Shingon, Shinto,Taoism, and Hinduism. There are realms beyond the physical everyday reality that we see, hear, feel, and choose to acknowledge. And, we all have our own unique spirit guides. It’s not important which tradition most calls to you or whether you choose a personal religious path, but it is critical that you do have a connection to forces higher than yourself. This is so important because it allows you, on a daily basis, to step outside the pressures and stresses of worldly life and tap into higher potentials that will enable you to fully actualize your spirituality and your purpose for being here.

May your life be filled with endless abundance and boundless happiness and may faithfully following Sensei’s advice benefit you as it has benefited me.

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