Shinto Mediation, Liberating the Heart and Yogic Mindfulness

Considered one of the traditional thirteen sects of Shinto, and called by some “the fulfilment of Shinto”, the Konko-Kyo school is based on the concept of “deliverance through mediation”. An article by Delwin B. Schneider gives us an introduction to this new and old Japanese faith:

When man becomes a living Kami, it follows that he becomes an agent of mediation between Kami and man. In this sense, Kami becomes man and man becomes Kami. It is this act of mediation which is performed both by priest and layman.

• We also have this week the audio recording of a recent talk by Reza Shah-Kazemi, “Liberating the Heart: Sufi Perspectives on Qur’anic Psychology”:

This oil, the Spirit hidden within the soul, which we can only get to once we crush these olives of the soul… is transparent, because the heart, which is like a mirror, has been polished by the remembrance of God, so that the one and only Light of God falls upon it.

• And finally a new article and translation of a very early short text on the yogic path, the Carakasamhita, with some surprising references to Buddhist meditation and a previously unknown eightfold path to the mindfulness which is key to liberation:

The Pali term sati (Sanskrit smrti) can denote memory in two quite distinct senses. First, it denotes memory as the simple bringing-to-mind of events that happened at an earlier period in time, the mental act required to answer such questions as “what did I have for breakfast?” In a second sense, it means the deepening of one’s consciousness, of one’s experiential awareness of the present moment. This is the alert self­ recollection that people experience at special or shocking moments in life, or as a result of deliberate forms of meditation practice.

• There are still a few places available on the Sacred Gardens course, a practical & philosophical workshop led by Emma Clark, taking place this year from 22nd to 25th May in the City of Wells, Somerset. Please follow this link for details.