Initiation

Footsteps through Time, Space, and Spirit…

Traditionally, a series of initiatory steps serve as “mile markers” on the spiritual path, affirming ever-deepening commitments, and signaling new beginnings in ever-advancing training.

The Blue Lotus Assembly offers a life-long series of initiations for those who choose formal connection to the lineage. There is absolutely no obligation or expectation for anyone to take these initiations; they are offered only as encouragements to those who wish to make a personal statement of commitment.

Practitioner Initiations

Step 1 – Deshi (弟子) Disciple of Shugendo

San-Ju-Jo Kai “Vows of the Three Pure Precepts”
You are so inspired by the thought of the transformative power of the spiritual quest that you just have to make a declaration of promise to live by reliance on the three vows for uplifting advancement. The “Three Pure Precepts” are your promise to work towards the awakening and cultivation of spiritual power.

With your San-Ju-Jo Kai Three Vow promise, you state your personal commitment as a Deshi, a disciple of Shugendo, the “Path to mastery through diligent experiential training”. As a Disciple of Shugendo, you promise to promote generating positive energy, and to do and say good and helpful things in the world. You promise to avoid generating negative energy, and to purify and transmute damaging and degenerating forces in the world. You promise to benefit and encourage all others, setting an example through your own clarified thinking and benevolent actions.

As a first step, study our philosophy, history, and practices through books, CDs & DVDs, internet research, classes, and workshops. Learn to meditate. Practice being morally mindful of the impact of all your thoughts, words, and actions in every moment of life. Join a study group if at all possible. As a Shinyaku (新客) Apprentice Disciple, right away begin to work on mastering the following 3 purification challenges on your own:

Misogi purification verse recitation, placing hands or head and body under flowing water, contemplating the meaning of physical, mental, and spiritual detoxification of corruption. Do 1,000 purifications!

Hanya Shin Gyo “Heart of Transcendent Wisdom Sutra” recitation, in original Japanese and in English, contemplating the meaning of Emptiness and Interdependence. Do 1,000 recitations!

Go-Tai-To-Chi kneeling vow salutes to self development potential, reciting San-Rai “Is-shin Cho-rai Jup-po Ho-kai Jo-ju Sam-bo” verse of commitment, contemplating the meaning of the 3 treasured keys to spiritual awakening. Do 1,000 kneeling salutes!

Deshi Disciples of Shugendo wear a wa-kesa 輪袈裟 stole over the shoulders with a juzu bead practice counter on the left wrist, and receive an authorization diploma from the original founder family temple in Japan. Practice is based on meditations from the books How To Own The World and Gyoja Recitation Handbook and Koryu Shugen Honshu Sutra Recitation Service.

To apply for initiation, email to info@BlueLotusAssembly.org a written statement of why you want to take this initiation. Why do you want to become a Deshi of Shugendo? For Deshi initiation, usual minimum donation to cover gathering materials from Japan for the ceremony is $135.

 

Step 2 – Deshi-Gashira (弟子頭) Senior Disciple of Shugendo

Ju Kai “Promise to Live the Precepts”
You have recited the Ku-Jo Shaku-Jo promises, lived the 14-Point Code of Mindful Action, developed yourself through the 8-fold Personal Accomplishment Plan, recited the Fudo Myo-Oh and Kannon verses, and thoroughly practiced mind and spirit centering meditation. Now you feel pulled to make the ideals and practices of the Path of Awakening a dedicated part of your identity and life. You just have to go further and ask to be held accountable for living up to what were trial options before.

Through the Ju-kai ceremony, you make a public promise to live every day of your life from that moment on with those self-realization practices as your bedrock foundation for thought, speech, and action. You further purify yourself to be ready for mountain and river group gyo.

As a Deshi (弟子) wishing to become a Deshi-Gashira (弟子頭) Senior Disciple of Shugendo, continue to practice all rites learned so far, along with daily centering meditation, and work on understanding and practicing as a minimum the following 9 spiritual practices:

帰 敬 文 KI GYO MON  Commitment Affirmation

懺 悔 文  SAN-GE MON  Purifying Affirmation

四 聖 諦  SHI SHO TAI  Noble Ones’ 4 Truths of Life

八 聖 道  HAS-SHO DO  Noble Ones’ 8-Fold Path

十 四 戒  JU-YON KAI  14-Point Mindful Action Code

九 條 錫 杖 KU-JO SHAKU-JO 9-Stanza Ringed Staff Verse

不 動 明 王 FUDO MYO-OH Sutra Verse

観 音 KANNON KYO GEMON Sutra Verse

回 向 文 EKO MON Dedicating Merit

Deshi-Gashira (弟子頭) Senior Disciple of Shugendo wear a wa-kesa 輪袈裟 stole over the shoulders with a juzu bead practice counter on the left wrist, and receive an authorization diploma from the original founder family temple in Japan. Practice is based on meditations from the books How To Own The World and Gyoja Recitation Handbook  and the textbook Koryu Shugen Honshu Sutra Recitation Service.

To apply for initiation, email to info@BlueLotusAssembly.org a written statement of why you want to take this initiation. Why do you want to become a Deshi-Gashira of Shugendo? For Deshi-Gashira initiation, usual minimum donation to cover gathering materials from Japan for the ceremony is $135.

 

Step 3 – Gyoja (行者) Avowed Practitioner on the Path of Purification

These practices bring you so much inspiration and so define your life that you are compelled to provide a living example of these spiritual benefits to every person you encounter. You just have to ask your mentors to witness your public promise to be held accountable for conducting every moment of every day in a way that encourages and inspires every living being to take the Path of Purification in pursuit of liberating their inner potential.

Gyoja (行者) translates as “person committed to spiritual advancement practice”. You make a commitment to striving for personal advancement as an example for others. You make a promise to be as authentic and thorough as possible in your own personal study and self-perfection. You will learn much for yourself in your role of inspiring others.

As a Deshi-Gashira (弟子頭) Advanced Disciple aiming at Gyoja (行者) vows, continue to practice all rites learned so far, along with daily centering meditation, and work on mastering the following spiritual practices:

不 動 明 王 念 珠 法 FUDO MYO-OH NENJU HO Prayer Beads Meditation

ア 字 観 A-JI KAN  A-Syllable Meditation

Gyoja (行者) Avowed Practitioners of the Path of Purification wear a dark brown wa-kesa 輪袈裟 stole over the shoulders with a juzu bead practice counter on the left wrist, and carry a 錫杖 shakujo 6-ring-staff. Practice is based on meditations from the books How To Own The World and Gyoja Recitation Handbook and the textbook Koryu Shugen Honshu Sutra Recitation Service. You should also make a commitment to attend spirit-building mountain training once a year. The usual minimum donation to cover gathering materials from Japan for the ceremony is $135.

 

Step 4 – Gyoja-Gashira (行者頭) Senior Avowed Practitioner on the Path of Purification

Gyoja-Gashira (行者頭) Senior Avowed Practitioner on the Path of Purification is the highest level of ranking outside Koryu Shugen Honshu vows of ordination. You are regarded as an apprentice working towards qualifying to receive the formal ordination ceremony.

As a Gyoja (行 者) Avowed Practitioner on the Path of Purification, continue to practice all rites learned so far, along with daily centering meditation, and as a minimum work on mastering the following spiritual practice:

線 香 護 摩 SENKO GOMA offering

Gyoja-Gashira (行者頭) wear a dark brown wa-kesa 輪袈裟 stole over the shoulders with a juzu bead practice counter on the left wrist, and carry a 錫杖 shakujo 6-ring-staff, and carry a 独鈷 tokko-sho single-pointed vajra. Practice is based on meditations from the books How To Own The World and Gyoja Recitation Handbook and the textbook Koryu Shugen Honshu Sutra Recitation Service and Senko Goma Kito Ho. You should also make a commitment to attend spirit-building mountain training once a year. The usual minimum donation to cover gathering materials from Japan for the ceremony is $135.

 

Life-Work Ordination Initiations

 

Step 5 – Reibu (霊峰) Ordained Shugendo Practitioner

You may find yourself so dedicated to the Path of Awakening that you feel a responsibility to assist others in taking up the practices. Once you have explored with your teacher all considerations and commitments needed in guiding others in the practices you are following, you may apply for the ceremonial step through which you become a member of the order and make a promise of personal commitment to bringing others to these truth-discovery practices.

The English words “member of the order” best describes this role, although words like priest or monk are often used in the West to describe the ordination level of commitment – even though one might not lead a congregation or live in a monastery as a possessionless celibate.

Reibu (霊 峰) Ordained Shugendo Practitioners continue to practice all rites learned so far, along with daily centering meditation, and receive personal instruction in the vajrayana practice of deity-identification yoga, working on mastering the following spiritual practices:

護身法 GO-SHIN-BO

九字 十字 KUJI and JUJI PROTECTION

行者大菩薩法 GYOJA DAIBOSATSU HO KATAKU SHIKI Ritual Aspiration

Reibu (霊 峰) Ordained Shugendo Practitioners receive a Shugen ordination name and ketsumyaku teacher lineage chart, wear a full kesa cloak stole over the left shoulder with a juzu bead practice counter on the left wrist, wear a Jikitotsu 直綴 robe as ritual clothing, and possess a set of vajra wand and bell. The work begins with personal instruction in the vajrayana practice of deity-identification yoga.

The usual ordination fee is $500.

 

Step 6 – Reibu-Gashira (霊峰頭) Senior Ordained Shugendo Practitioner

Reibu-Gashira (霊峰頭) Senior Ordained Shugendo Practitioners continue to practice all rites learned so far, along with daily centering meditation, and work on mastering the following spiritual practice:

不動明王供私記 FUDO MYO-OH KU SHIKI…as foundational manner of the rites for main five deities.

 

Step 7 – Kesa-Gashira (袈裟頭) Ordained Shugendo Priest

To take ordination as Kesa-Gashira (袈裟頭) “Advanced Kesa Wearer” Ordained Shugendo Priest means to serve the order full-time, making the spiritual life your identity. For those very few persons who will take this step, the process leading to Shugendo Priest ordination is demanding and designed to clarify what life as a teacher-minister is. Remember – once you don the robe of Shugendo Priest, everyone in your community will be watching you every minute of the day to see what a life of spiritual commitment looks like. You will never again ever have a “day off”.

Candidates for ordination as Kesa-Gashira (正袈裟頭) Ordained Shugendo Priest learn and practice the:

十一面観音 11 FACE KANNON

大黒天 DAI-KOKU-TEN

薬師如来 YAKUSHI NYORAI

毘沙門天 BISHAMON-TEN

You should also make a commitment to attend spirit-building mountain training once a year.

 

Step 8 – Sho-Kesa-Gashira (正袈裟頭) Senior Ordained Shugendo Priest

Candidates for ordination as Sho-Kesa-Gashira (正袈裟頭) “Honored Advanced Kesa Wearer” Senior Ordained Shugendo Priest learn and practice the:

神道護摩 SHINTO GOMA

柴燈護摩 SAITO GOMA

柱源神法 HASHIRA-MOTO SHIN-PO

 

Bekkaku (Most High Exceptional) Ranks

 

Step 9 – Sho-Sendatsu (正先達) Honored Path Leader

Sho-Sendatsu (正先達) Senior Ordained Shugendo Priest Teachers know all ritual manners of Koryu Shugen Honshu collection of rites, and have produced others who have taken the vows of Shugendo Priest. Under appointment by the Headmaster of the Order, Sho-Sendatsu (正先達) Honored Path Leaders supervise ordained Shugendo Priests under their direction at a number of temples, and are authorized to perform the ceremonies for Shugendo ordinations.

 

Step 10 – Dai-Sendatsu (大先達) Grand Path Leader

A title of special honor, Dai-Sendatsu (大先達) Grand Path Leader is full teacher priest level, the highest most honored rank Koryu Shugen Honshu can bestow.