Initiation

Footsteps through Time, Space, and Spirit…

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”

The “Three Pure Precepts” are your promise to work towards the awakening and cultivation of spiritual power.

You state your personal commitment as a Deshi, a disciple of Shugendo.

  • You promise to promote generating positive energy, doing and saying good and helpful things in the world.
  • You promise to avoid generating negative energy, purifying and transmuting 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, DVDs, internet research, classes, and workshops. Learn to meditate. Practice being morally mindful of the impact of all your thoughts, words, and actions. Join a study group if possible. Begin to work on mastering the following 3 purification challenges on your own:

Misogi purification verse (or 100-syllable Vajrasattva) 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 green wa-kesa 輪袈裟 stole over the shoulders, and receive an authorization diploma.

Practice is based on meditations from the books How To Own The World and Gyoja Recitation Handbook.

To apply for initiation, email to info@BlueLotusAssembly.org a written statement of where you live and why you want to take this initiation. Why do you want to become a Deshi of Shugendo? For Deshi initiation, minimum donation to cover materials for the ceremony is $150.

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

San-Ki-E “Promise to Live the 3-fold Vows of the Seeker”

With your San-Ki-E Three Treasures promise, you make a public promise to live every day with those three vows as your bedrock foundation for thought, speech, and action. You further purify yourself to be ready for mountain and river group gyo.

  • I believe in my potential
  • I believe in what I study
  • I believe in my guides and mentors

As one 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 7 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

回 向 文 EKO MON Dedicating Merit

Deshi-Gashira (弟子頭) Senior Disciple of Shugendo wear a green wa-kesa 輪袈裟 stole over the shoulders with a juzu bead practice counter on the left wrist, and receive an authorization diploma.

Practice is based on meditations from the books How To Own The World and Gyoja Recitation Handbook  and Action Meditation.

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, minimum donation to cover materials for the ceremony is $150.

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

Go Kai “Promise to Live the 5 Precepts”

Gyoja (行者) translates as “person committed to spiritual practice”.  You make a commitment to striving to live the 5 vows 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. No part of your personality is “off the table” for examination and perfection.

Continue to practice all rites learned so far, along with daily centering meditation, and work on mastering the following spiritual practices:

護身法  GO-SHIN-BO
…perfecting body, speech, and mind

不 動 明 王 念 珠 法  FUDO MYO-OH NENJU HO Prayer Beads Meditation
…pulling in restoring energy to build up power

ア 字 観 A-JI KAN  A-Syllable Meditation
…sending healing and protection to the universe

Gyoja (行者) Avowed Practitioners of the Path of Purification wear a brown wa-kesa 輪袈裟 stole over the shoulders with a juzu bead practice counter on the left wrist.

Practice is based on meditations from the books How To Own The World and Gyoja Recitation Handbook  and Enlightened Warrior Sen-datsu Advanced Handbook and Action Meditation and A-ji Kan and Fudo Nenju Meditations

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

The usual minimum donation to cover materials for the ceremony is $150.

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

Ju-Yon Kai “Promise to Live the 14 Precepts”

Gyoja-Gashira (行者頭) Senior Avowed Practitioner on the Path of Purification is the highest level of ranking outside vows of ordination. You take the remaining 9 vows in the 14 point ethics promises. You are regarded as an apprentice working towards qualifying to receive the formal ordination ceremony.

Continue to practice all rites learned so far, along with daily centering meditation, and as a minimum work on mastering the following spiritual practices:

九字 十字  KUJI- JUJI PROTECTION
…”nine syllable protection” process

線 香 護 摩  SENKO GOMA offering
…practice of offering benefits to the world

Gyoja-Gashira (行者頭) wear a 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 Enlightened Warrior Sen-datsu Advanced Handbook and A-ji Kan and Fudo Nenju Meditations and Action Meditation. and Senko Goma Kito Ho.

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

The minimum donation to cover gathering materials for the ceremony is $150.

Life-Work Ordination Initiations

Step 5 – Rei-bu (霊峰) Ordained Shugendo Practitioner

Has-Sho Do “Promise to Follow the Eight Fold Path”

You may find yourself so dedicated to the Path of Awakening that you want to make the practice a part of your identity. You may apply for the ceremonial step of Rei-bu (霊峰) Ordained Shugendo Practitioner through which you become a member of the order.

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

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 practice:

行者大菩薩法  GYOJA DAIBOSATSU HO KATAKU SHIKI  Aspiration
…practice of identifying with Shugendo founder En no Gyoja

Rei-bu (霊 峰) Ordained Shugendo Practitioners receive a Shugen ordination name, 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 – Rei-bu-Gashira (霊峰頭) Senior Ordained Shugendo Practitioner

Rei-bu-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 Fire Meditation Rites
…fire meditation purifying ceremony

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

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 primary 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 (袈裟頭) Ordained Shugendo Priest learn and practice the:

柱源神法 HASHIRA-MOTO SHIN-PO
… learning the foundations of the coming-into-being of the world

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:

柴燈護摩 SAITO GOMA
…grand outdoor fire ceremony

Under appointment by the Headmaster of the Order, Sho-Kesa-Gashira (正袈裟頭) Senior Ordained Priests supervise ordained Shugendo Priests under their direction at a number of temples, and are authorized to perform the ceremonies for Shugendo ordinations.

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

Bekkaku (Most High Exceptional) Ranks

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

Sho-Sendatsu (正先達) Honored Path Leaders are senior “teachers of teachers” who have dedicated many years to living Shugendo practice, know all ritual manners of rites, and have produced others who have taken the vows of  Senior Ordained Shugendo Priest (正袈裟頭) Sho-Kesa-Gashira.

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

An extremely rare title of special honor, Dai-Sendatsu (大先達) Grand Path Leader is a full teacher priest, “outside and above” all 9 formal ranks, the highest most honored rank in Shugendo.