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KOTODAMA GAKU & THE 'UNFOLDING' OF JUMON

Copyright 2010 James Deacon


[This article is actually 'part 3' of the article: 'Mantra', 'jumon', & 'kotodama'  and is intended to be read in conjunction with it,]  

From the outset, I must make it absolutely clear that this process of "the unfolding of jumon" detailed below in NOT an original Usui technique.

Some time ago, when researching into certain Japanese esoteric practices, I noticed albeit superficial parallels between what is being taught as "the Reiki kotodama" and elements of jumon-related empowerment techniques found within particular branches of the mikkyo tradition.   

As an experiment, I decided to adapt these elements of jumon discipline to fit a Reiki-related framework, to discover just what level of
beneficial effects this practice might have in relation to enhancing/augmenting the 'kotodama power' which lies beneath the surface of the four jumon familiar to many reiki practitioners.

In a later part of this article, I will discuss - amongst other things: 

further levels of deepening the connection with the kotodama power invoked by the first jumon,
working with the remaining three jumon
the process of integrating each jumon with its associated shirushi, as well as how to correctly write/draw shurishi with 'spirit'.

I will also look at
the mikkyo-related sources from which the elements of this technique were derived.

But for now, I will simply "dive right in" and give a description of the first element of the practice, as it applies to the 'unfolding' of the first jumon; and also look briefly at some levels of meaning 'hidden' within the jumon.


A method for the 'unfolding' of jumon, and enhancing / augmenting the 'kotodama power'

Begin with intonation of the following sequence of individual vowel-sounds:   . . . .

that is:    i . o . u . e . i

 I - vocalised as the ee in 'sleep'

O - vocalised as the o in 'comb'
U - vocalised as the ue in 'blue'
E - vocalised as the e in 'pen'
 I  - vocalised as the ee in 'sleep'

Take a moment and get the correct sound of each vowel clear in your thoughts.

Pronounce the sequence slowly – perhaps initially voicing each vowel-sound for 2 to 3 seconds - with perhaps a 2 second gap between each one.1

[Perhaps it is helpful to view this initial element of the technique as being on a par with the 'vocal warm up' exercises done by a singer prior to giving a performance.]

The sequence should be pronounced with one single breath. 

Take a relaxed, full, deep in-breath. Naturally breathe out a little as you pronounce the first sound, then gently hold the breath as you pause momentarily before pronouncing the next sound. Again, breathe out naturally as you pronounce the next sound - gently holding the breath as you pause -  and so on: 

   i . o . u . e. i 

It may take a little practice to achieve this comfortably - especially if you are not accustomed to 'breathwork', or if you have any form of breathing difficulties.[in this latter case, the technique might not be suitable for you - use your own judgement and common sense].

It is important that your breathing is relaxed, not forced, not rigidly controlled.

If initially you feel you cannot hold enough air in your lungs to 
comfortably complete the process, reduce the pronunciation-time and also the duration of the pause. With regular, gentle practice, you will find that you are able to increase the pronunciation-time and pause duration.

If, on completion of the final sound, you find you still have a reasonable ammount of air in your lungs, simply continue to breathe out naturally, before slowly inhaling another full, deep relaxed breath, and repeating the process again...


After a few minutes of repetition, you can then begin the process of 'unfolding' the vowel-sounds into syllable-sounds:

[As you do so, notice any physical sensations you may be experiencing & any thoughts, images, sounds, feelings that arise within...]

The first “i” 'unfolds' to become “chi”:

So, once more take a relaxed, full, deep in-breath. Breathe out a little as you pronounce this first sound: “chi”, then gently hold the breath as you pause momentarily before pronouncing the next sound: "o" -  and so on: 

chi . o . u . e . i

Intone this for a few minutes. And when you are ready, continue with the unfolding process:

now, “o” unfolds to become “yo”:

 chi . yo . u . e . i

After a few minutes intoning this, the “u” unfolds to become “ku”:

 chi . yo . ku  . e . i

And when you feel ready, “e” unfolds to become “re”:

 chi . yo . ku . re . i

Next, “chi” and “yo” run together to become "chi-yo":

 chi-yo . ku . re . i

then they merge fully to become "ch'o":

 ch'o . ku . re . i

Important note:
From this point on, the “u” in “ku” falls almost (though not completely) silent

"ch'o” and “ku” run together to become "ch'o-k(u)":

 ch'o-k(u) . re . i

and finally, “re” and “i” run together to become “re-i”:

  
And so, the unfolding process is complete and the full jumon is revealed:   

 CH'O-K(u) RE-I 

Continue to intone the full jumon for a few minutes or as long as you feel inclined.

 


Complete sequence of unfolding:

 i . o . u . e . i  

 chi . o . u . e . i 

 chi . yo . u . e . i. 

 chi . yo . ku . e . i.

 chi . yo . ku . re . i. 
 

 chi-yo . ku . re . i 

 chi'yo . ku . re . i 

 cho-k(u) . re . i

 CHO-K(u) RE-I 

 い . . . .

 ち . . . .

 ち . . . .

 ち . . . .

 ち . . . .

 ち-. . .

 ち . . .

 ちょ. .

 ちょく  れ


Remember, from the point where "ch'o" and "ku" run together to become "ch'o-k(u)", the "u" falls almost silent - as in the correct pronunciation of the full jumon itself: "CH'O-K(u) RE-I.



In the intoning of jumon, effort should be made to attempt to achieve accurate pronunciation.

In the case of choku rei, it is particularly  important to be mindful that there is no true 'r' sound in Japanese.
On occasion, the letter 'l' has also been used to represent the actual Japanese sound represented here by the letter 'r'.
For example, the word we now write as 'Reiki', Takata-sensei wrote as 'Leiki'; however, neither is quite right (there just isn't an accurate way of representing the Japanese word-sound using the letters of the English alphabet)

The actual sound identified by 'r' in transliteration is pronounced with the tip of the tongue and is essentially a blending of 'r' & 'l'.

In pronouncing 'l' (lah, leh, lih, loh, luh) your tongue briefly touches the alveolar ridge region of the gum behind your front teeth.
As a general guide, to pronounce the Japanese sound rendered as "r", essentially pronounce the 'l' sound, - tongue touching the ridge behind your teeth - but broaden your tongue so as to achieve as sound somewhere between the English 'I' and 'r' sounds. [Do not 'roll' the sound as is often done with 'r'.]
Sometimes, depending on how the tongue is positioned, the sound produced may be perceived to be somewhere between the English 'I' and 'd'.

"RE-I" pronounced as a cross between 'Ray' & 'Lay' - but with the slightest imaginable 'echoing' of the Y:
RAY-y

* * * * *

A brief look at some levels of meaning 'hidden' within the jumon: choku rei.

[coming soon]



NOTES:

1 In time you must come to find your own rhythm, your own tempo, just as you must also find your own unique tone - the tone that expresses your own true essence...



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