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The concept of kaji (in Sanskrit: adhisthana) is something that comes from esoteric Buddhism and is one of several practices, the purpose of which is, to connect with 'enlightened energy' - for healing, protection and spiritual development.

In its formal sense, kaji refers to the generating of 'merit' or 'grace' through a process of esoteric union or 'mutual empowerment' with Dainichi Nyorai* - aligning the practitioners will/desire with the Will/Desire of Nyorai - and through this process becoming infused with a sacred peace of mind, as well as increasing ones life force.

Dainichi Nyorai (Mahavairocana Buddha) - generally referred to simply as 'Nyorai' - is the central deity/highest expression of the Dharma, in Shingon Buddhism.

However, kaji is something that can be performed not just for the benefit of the practitioner, but for others as well.

- as with other spiritual practices - can be dedicated to another being, thus for example, invoking & transferring the power and blessings Nyorai's grace to a person (or other animal) in need of healing - or in need of other form of aid.

Kaji is one of the underlying notions of esoteric Shingon - Kukai, the founder of Shingon spoke of it as: sammitsu kaji - union of/through the three mysteries - alluding to the central importance of the 'three mysteries' (: gesture, mantra and visualisation) in the kaji process.

Kaji is a word comprised of two kanji, meaning respectively: "to add/support" & "to retain/hold". It alludes to 'union' and can be translated conceptually as "grace."

On one level, ka signifies the compassion of Dainichi Nyorai flowing into the hearts of sentient beings - ji signifies the hearts of sentient beings which retain the compassion that flows from Nyorai.

While the Shingon esoteric (Mikkyo) approach to the practice of kaji tends generally to be highly 'ceremonial', amongst the more 'avant-garde' practitioner of Mikkyo - e.g. the various groups such as the
Senin, Gyoja, and Shugenja / Yamabushi mountain ascetics - kaji has frequently taken far more 'minimalist' forms of expression.

However, whatever the form it takes, many would say that the core requirement for the practice of kaji is a true, deep, heartfelt belief in the reality of Dainichi Nyorai.

True 'nyorai kaji' requires an emotional connection. A lesser, intellectual connection - that is, a merely intellectual belief in Nyorai - as opposed to a heart felt one - would effectively result in lesser effectiveness of practice. To enter into the process of 'nyorai kaji' as such, without any level of belief, would be an 'empty' practice.

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