Lessons from a Miracle

Jiro Murai, founder of Jin Shyin Jyutsu
Jiro Murai

I’m always intrigued by stories of miraculous healing.  This is the story of Jiro Murai, a consummate over-eater, when he was on the verge of death:

“…he had a reckless nature and overindulged in food and drink – even to the point of entering eating contests, in which he was awarded cash prizes for consuming huge quantities.  By the time he was 26, he was seriously ill.  A succession of doctors treated him, but his condition only worsened until he was pronounced incurable and given up for terminally ill.  As a last request, he asked his family to carry him on a stretcher to their mountain cabin and to leave him there alone for seven days.  He asked that they return for him on the eight day.”

“There in the cabin Murai fasted, meditated, and practiced various finger postures.  During this time he passed in and out of consciousness.  His physical body grew colder. But on the seventh day he felt as if he had been lifted out of a deep freeze and thrown into a blazing furnace.  When the intense heart subsided, he experienced a tremendous calm and inner peace.  To his great surprise, he was healed.  He dropped to his knees, gave thanks, and pledged his life to the study of healing.” – from The Touch of Healing, Energizing Body, Mind and Spirit with the Art of Jin Shyin Jyutsu

In time, Murai rediscovered the healing art of Jin Shyin Jyutsu, which uses finger pressure on points along subtle meridians of the body to harmonize one’s system.  He became a prolific healer.  Although Murai never left Japan, his vision of spreading Jin Shyin Jyutsu throughout the world was later actualized by his student Mary Burmeister.

Faith

“Faith” is my “one” word focus for 2012.  It’s often said that faith can move mountains.  So as I read this story, I wondered what was in Jiro Murai’s mind as he approached death?  Was he clinging to life or surrendering to that which was unfolding before him?

Exploring the meaning of faith these past months, I have come to see that -  for me – it means acquiring an unshakeable confidence in the natural laws of the universe.  In reality as it is, rather than my deluded perception of a permanent self and outer reality.  It is understanding that – due to interdependence – our thoughts, words, and deeds have consequences.  Suffering exists, but its causes can be known and there is a path that leads to the cessation of suffering.  It means resting in the pure awareness of mind and allowing all the thoughts, emotions, and perceptions to glide by like birds in the sky. Holding on only brings suffering. It’s appreciating that all that appears – from our thoughts to our bodies to our buildings – arise from and return to emptiness.

It’s not just “knowing” all this but really integrating it into my being and living it through depenening my faith.  Just like Jin Shyin Jyutsu isn’t just a healing art but a whole philosophy of life to be lived.

Faith grows stronger through study, reflection, and meditation on the essential principles of reality.  It takes repeated contemplation to erode away one’s mistaken view of the self and the world as fixed entities and ultimately arrive at unshakeable faith.  In the meantime, old habits pull us off-track time and again, but with faith we simply return to what we know is true.

In many ways faith seems to me to be equivalent to surrender blended with clarity.  Surrendering in every moment.

“When, like Juro Murai, you walk into the cabin to meet death, will you surrender or will you struggle?”

This is a question, I am asking myself.  The answer can be seen in how I am in each and every moment.  The irony is this:  the moment of surrendering to death may be the very moment of meeting life.

What are your thoughts about faith, surrender, and meeting death?  

If you liked this article, please consider sharing the link with your friends.  And, I would love to connect with you on Google+ or the Always Well Within Facebook Page   With love, Sandra

Comments

  1. says

    Empowering article, thank you.
    When I practice the fine art of surrender, I notice that I approach death in different realms in different ways. From my experience working in the hospital, through my own physical experience of literal near-death twice, I do not fear physical death–of any part of my body’s working systems. My body is my impermanent structure and I understand and accept that.
    My challenge to surrender is within the concept of emotional death—releasing internal staleness within my self or external staleness within a connection to allow room for enlivening. As you share here, to meet that challenge, I look to nature’s cycles which model for me flow, energy, and stillness.
    As I read, I cannot help but recognize that these same principles may be applied to life; some people fear *living* as much as others fear dying.

    • says

      Joy,

      I love this idea of “emotional death” because our emotions are actually moving and dying i every moment, leave a space if we take a moment to look. This is another beautiful metaphor of life’s cycles of flow, energy, and stillness. I admire your readiness to meet death!

    • says

      It’s rare that I meet others who have literal death experiences I have twice had. Like unfoldingyourpathtojoy I no longer fear physical death. And like her my challenge is enlivening. I’m in awe of how well she expressed this.

  2. galenpearl says

    Very thought provoking article. I was immediately reminded of the Sioux warrior cry as they went into battle. “Hokayhey! It is a good day to die.” (Hokahey has been translated as something along the lines of “let’s do it.”) My word for the year several years ago was Prepare. I used it to contemplate death. Death, in an odd way, became a wise adviser, even a friend. Not that I was seeking death, but more like I was comfortable with death, not afraid. That freed me to live more fully in each precious moment.

    • says

      I love this idea of death as a “wise adviser”. That’s a great metaphor to keep in mind. I find it hard to relate to warriors rushing into battle, but if you are going to do that it seems like it’s best to do it with gusto! Thanks for sharing these insights.

  3. says

    What a great and inspiring story. I truly love your definition of faith as “unshakeable confidence in the natural laws of the universe.” Faith is a term that is so often bandied about without any real thought for what it means. And, coincidentally, it is one of my three words for the year.

    • says

      Interesting! It’s one of your words for the year too! “Faith” has some very specific meanings in Buddhism, but fundamentally it comes down to understand how the world and mind really work! Thanks for your thoughts.

  4. Noch Noch says

    i don’t know really what to add. i just find it a miracle i didn’t die even though i tried many times to take my own life. my fiance or someone was always there in time. i think it was God / the universe’s way of telling me it’s not yet my time and to have faith in my sufferings
    Noch Noch

    • says

      It is a miracle! You have courage to know there is something in the heart of your suffering. May you find your way and light the way for others.

  5. gradyp73 says

    Sometimes, I find myself bouncing back and forth between feeling I have the faith to move mountains and feeling like the world is crashing around me. I sometimes wonder how I developed the belief that everything will work out somehow, even if I can’t see how, yet this is a belief that I have developed. And usually, things do work out, even if it’s not how I expected to. I have not thought much about meeting death, though I think it is something that I should contemplate.

    Thanks for the inspirational post!

  6. says

    You’re welcome! I think most of us are in this stage of bouncing back and forth, but having the backdrop of knowing everything will be OK makes all the difference in the world. Thanks for sharing that perspective!

  7. says

    Wow Sandra, this just hit such a chord for me…as though you were inside my mind, my consciousness. So meaningful. Thank you.
    Encourage one another.
    Elle

  8. says

    Faith is something I’ve struggled with as long as I can remember. Perhaps it’s the aspect of surrendering to something greater that triggers a fear of loss of control. And I wonder, how does one cultivate faith? The doer in me wants a plan of action, which just makes me laugh because I get that faith is not something to get done. It’s simpler, and yet more elusive. Sometimes, I long for it.

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