The Book of Dō-in, Spiritual Exercises
Michio Kushi was a Japanese man who came to the United States in the 1950's preaching the "macrobiotic diet" and the philosophies of his teacher George Oshawa. He claimed the diet could cure all sicknesses and diseases though obviously not poor eyesight. He was well known in the 1960's counter-culture due to the diet and the excellent (by alternative press standards) East West Journal and his Boston based Erewhon "natural foods" distributor. The diet was based, unsurprisingly, on Japanese traditional foods. While I have never enjoyed wholemeal rice, millet and barley I love the miso, tofu, tempeh and tamari which he promoted.
The Dō-in Way was published in 1979 and contained a range of exercises for physical and spiritual development among which were the "secret 4 techniques" taught by Prem Rawat that he claimed was the Knowledge of God and Divine Light. Kushi's claims were not quite that extreme but the methods are certainly very similar. Kushi always had a fervour for world peace and has actually spent many years promoting world peace without owning a private jet. In 1995 his daughter Lily died of cervical cancer. In 2001, his wife Aveline died of cervical cancer at the relatively young age for a Japanese woman of 81 and in 2004 Kushi himself developed a cancerous tumor in his colon and had it surgically removed. His claims that the macrobiotic diet cured or prevented cancer seem disproven.
Kushi's version of the Nectar or 4th Technique is much closer to Rawat's revised technique of the late 1980's rather than the Indian version which required full tongue extension around the uvula. While Rawat would never have read the book (or any book he boasted) maybe he saw page 136 and went "Whoops."
DSE. 7 Ten-Ro: Drinking the Heavenly Dew
Upon the completion of the exercise of Beating the Heavenly Drum, keeping the same posture, return to natural breathing in order to begin the exercise of Drinking the Heavenly Dew. The eyes are to be kept either lightly closed or naturally open, looking into the far distance.
Using the tongue, collect the liquid in the mouth and the saliva from the inner, upper region of the mouth. the area of the palate. After gathering a mouthful of liquid and saliva, drink it down deeply, as if we are able to hear the sound of drinking, and we feel it going down through the esophagues toward the stomach. At the time of drinking, if we bend the head slightly downward and then lift it slightly upward, this can be more properly exercised (Fig. 104).
Repeat this drinking of liquid and saliva three times, each time collecting a mouthful of liquid and saliva by using the tongue.
DSE. 8 Kan-Ro: Tasting Nectar in Meditation
After the exercise of Drinking the Heavenly Dew (DSE 7), Tasting Nectar in Meditation naturally follows. The purpose of Tasting Nectar in Meditation is to experience the sweetness of breathing air, when it is charged by the force of heaven entering through the spirallic center of the head, charging the inner region of the mid-brain and descending to the hanging uvula which is located in the inner mouth. (See Figs. 105 and 106.)
Keeping the same posture of meditation, hold the tongue slightly tighter and withdraw it toward the inner region, lightly attaching it to the inner upper jaw—the palate region (Fig. 107). Then, begin the long inhalation of breath through the slightly opened mouth, with the exhalation which naturally occurs as the result of inhaling. Repeat this breathing about ten to fifteen times.
During the long inhalation, regularly performed. we experience a sweet taste at the area of the root of the tongue on both sides, which gradually spreads, covering the whole tongue and mouth cavity. At its most intense degree. we experience a taste as sweet as honey, or even much sweeter.
Together with our tasting of sweet breath, we meditate that the grace of nature and the infinite universe is far sweeter in spiritual nature than we can possibly imagine.
The experiencing of The sweet taste in Tasting Nectar in Meditation depends delicately upon the technique of managing the tension and location of the tongue, as well as the intensity of inhaling. Those who may not taste the sweetness in the beginning will be able to experience it as they repeat the exercise.
DSE. 9 () Ten-Gaku: Listening to Heavenly Music
Keeping the Natural Right Sitting Posture as in the previous exercise, dissolve the hands from the meditating position on the lap, and lift them toward the ears. Deeply insert each thumb into each ear and fix them to prevent any external sound from entering from the surroundings, The four fingers of each hand should lightly hold the forehead, which is slightly bending down toward the front. (See Fig. 108.)
Together with the Breathing of Harmony (page 43), repeated as slowly and gently as possible, listen to the musical sounds which are arising in the inner and front regions of the brain as well as deep in the inner ear. The musical sounds vary, including the sounds of drums beating in the air, the music of ocean waves coming and going along the shore, the stream of flutes sharply echoing in the sky, the melody of harps singing harmoniously in the clouds—all of which are composing the heavenly orchestra.
By listening to these musical sounds and melodies, we meditate in the understanding that nature and the universe are nothing but musical vibrations of an orderly nature, composing a grand orchestra which is beginningless and endless, infinitely complex. All phenomena appearing and disappearing in this universe are something like musical notes specifying certain sounds arising within the grand orchestra of the infinite universe.
DSE. 10 Ko-Myo: Seeing the Inner Light
Sitting in the Natural Right Posture (DSE 1), and practicing the Natural Breathing of Harmony (page 43), slowly lift up the right arm (the left arm for a left-handed person) and place the index finger at the area of the third eye or at the center of the forehead with the thumb at the outer edge of one closed eye and the middle finger
138 / Daily Spiritual Exercises (DSE)
(the third finger) at the outer edge of the other eye. Begin to gently squeeze the thumb and middle finger toward the inner corners of both eyes, with pressure slightly applied toward the inside (Fig. 109).
As the pressing of the fingers gradually increases bright light starts to shine, covering the whole inner darkness. Lightening may illuminate all directions from the center, or may circle out spirallically. Dazzling brightness may form a ring-like circle with colors changing beautifully. Let your consciousness be absorbed into the fullness of bright light, meditating that the creation of the universe has begun with the light, and the light of creation endlessly continues. When we look up slightly, seeing far under the covered eyelids, the brightness of light would become increasingly intensified.
After the experience of Seeing the Inner Light for a few minutes, gently loosen the pressure applied by the fingers and finally detach the fingers from the eyes and forehead. Continue to keep both eyes closed and continue to meditate with the remaining light until it completely fades away.
Physically, this exercise for Seeing the Inner Light gives an intense stimulation in the area of the midbrain, gathering nervous activities together; and spiritually, it enables us to experience the world of radiations, the basic forces of all phenomena.