The Intuitive Spirituality of Nature
Before the Goma, we offer a traditional Shinto prayer and a purification of the grounds known as Kiyome Harae to purify and thoroughly clean the energies. Shinto is the indigenous spirituality of Japan, passed down since ancient times. Shinto shows us how to purify ourselves of negative energies so that we can purify and strengthen both our connection with the divine and our connections with self/others.
Through the sacred practices of Shinto, we can come to live in harmony with Great Nature, understand fully our mission, and serve the divine order/will. Shinto, like many indigenous traditions, is based more on an intuitive connection with the forces around us rather than a prescribed doctrine or dogma and as such, it can easily complement many traditions.
Our Goma Dojo contains a small Shinto Shrine where we make offerings to several Okamisama (Shinto deities), including Sarudahiko no Okami, the leader of earthly deities, Ame no Uzume no Mikoto, wife of Sarudahiko-sama, Amaterasu no Omikami, the sun god, and Ame no Tajikarao no Mikoto who, in ancient times, held open the door to lure Amaterasu Omikami out of her cave in one of the most famous stories in Japanese mythology. We also offer to the local deities of the land and to Ryuge Dai Myo Jin, a mountain deity with special significance to our practice.
We especially enjoy Misogi, an ancient magical rite of water purification traditionally practiced in waterfalls whereby we, with the help of Okamisama, purify our energies.
In Japan, there are 100,000 Shinto Shrines and many people consider themselves both Shinto and Buddhist We practice the misogi and Shinto practices of Tsubaki Grand Shrine in Japan through its North American Branch, Tsubaki Grand Shrine of America (pictured above) as taught by Rev. Koichi Barrish. The Tsubaki Grand Shrine Shinto lineage dates back to 3 BC.
Rev. Koichi Barrish. Barrish Sensei
Our Shinto teacher is Rev. Koichi Barrish. Barrish Sensei is the Jinja Shinto Kannushi/ Shinto Priest. He is Senior Shinto Priest of Tsubaki Grand Shrine of America, the US Branch of Tsubaki Okami Yashiro, one of Japan's oldest and most prestigious shrines with an unbroken history of over 2000 years. Barrish Sensei was the first American to receive the license of the Jinja Shinto Priest and has also been the teacher of Aikido for over 40 years.