Ajikan – Meditation on the Syllable “A”
Ajikan is a meditation method taken from the Shingon school of esoteric Buddhism that the founder of Jigen-ryu Togo Chui found useful to achieve the right mindset for practicing swordsmanship. The idea is to break through the barrier separating us from the external world and to become one with all around us. The teaching encompasses the morality of Buddhism and allows the practitioner to respond calmly and naturally to any situation that might arise.
The practice has many forms of varying complexity, emphasizing different techniques and aspects of Mikkyo doctrine, but in all cases centres on the sound, the form, and the meaning of the syllable A as a way to experience supra-personal reality. A combination of mudra (hand gestures), mantra (spoken words), and mental states are used to realize the true nature of the mind.
The Meaning of “A”
Ajikan practice takes place in the Jigen-ryu dojo. Enter the private back room of the dojo and be seated on a zabuton cushion before being guided through the meditation. The honzon hanging scroll used during Ajikan meditation features the Sanskrit letter “A” resting on an open lotus flower imposed over the full moon. The moon disk represents purity and light, the lotus raises out the dirty water that surrounds it and blooms into a beautiful flower representing our potential for enlightenment, and the Sanskrit letter “A” is a tantric seed syllable representing the entire universe and the cosmic Buddha Mahavairocana (Dainichi Nyorai in Japanese).
Sit in kekka fuza (full lotus), hanka fuza (half lotus), in seiza (knees folded), or on a chair and be guided through the meditation practice. The meditation will be guided by a student of Jigen-ryu trained in Ajikan who will explain the process and some of the mudra and mantras used. There will be time for questions following the meditation.