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” 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?