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MIKKYO
Copyright © 2002 James Deacon


Mikkyo is a little-understood, yet often sensationalised, synergistic 'esoteric construct' which lies at the very core of Japanese Spirituality & Mysticism.

Usually translated as: "Hidden", or "Secret" Teachings, Mikkyo is a "lineage tradition": meaning that, as well as instruction in the teachings and practices of the tradition, it also involves and requires "kanjo" enablements (initiatorial empowerment-transmissions) from a Master of the Mikkyo disciplines.

The collection of teachings & practices that eventually came to be known as Mikkyo had its early beginnings in the esoteric traditions of India & China.

As early as the 6th Century, there had begun a major importation of spiritual & culture ideas into Japan from China, however it was in the early 9th Century, that the formative concepts which would in time become the core of 'mainstream' Mikkyo (i.e. Shingon and Tendai Buddhism) were brought to Japan - initially by the monks Kukai (the founder of Shingon) and Saicho (the founder of Tendai) - both of whom had travelled to China to study.

To these initial doctrines & beliefs, were later added teachings concerning the powers of mysticism, magic and healing, which had gradually begun to reach Japan with the arrival of itinerant monks, priests, hermits and shamanic practitioners, forced for various reasons to flee from China after the fall of the T'ang Dynasty.

Blending easily with elements of Shinto practice and the pre-Buddhist folk traditions of sangaku shinko (spiritual practices connected with Sacred Mountains), these imported teachings, combining Chinese Tantric Buddhism, Chinese Yin-yang magic, Taoism, (and, at a later date, Tibetan Vajra Buddhism) evolved to become the esoteric Japanese tradition that is 'Mikkyo'.



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