re: Funekogi undo/ Ame-no-torifune-no-gyo:
"When the founder of Aikido, Venerable Morihei Ueshiba, visited Tsubaki O Kami Yashiro - head shrine of Sarutahiko-no-O-Kami - and made special prayer, the secret of waza was brought forth through the divine revelation. Since then day and night he practiced Misogi Shu Ho to reach the state of unity between the Kami (divine beings) and human beings.
Venerable Morihei Ueshiba cultivated spirituality so profoundly that he created Takemusu Aiki, and he taught the great power and wisdom of Sarutahiko-no-O-Kami to students of Aiki. Later he was able to show Jintsuriki, special divine power. Jintsuriki means that Shinriki - or the ki of the Great nature - is transformed to Jinriki or, actual power or waza, which will be delivered by man after being absorbed and accumulated by man's spirit, mind and body. "
written by Honorable High Priest, Rev. Dr. Yukitaka Yamamoto in August of 1997 about Shinto & Aikido.
Sometimes called Fune-kogi-undo. Ame-no-torifune is one of the Misogi Jumbi Taiso or exercises to prepare the mind/ body/ spirit for the activity of Misogi Shuho. These exercises have been widely adopted as Aiki Jumbi Taiso.
Torifune (Bird Rowing)
1. Stand straight and put your left leg forward
2. Clench both fists with your thumbs inside
3. Lean forward and move your arms as though rowing a boat starting from your left knee and ending near your *armpits. As you "row," shout "Yie".
4. Perform this 20 times and then repeat Furitama
5. Changing to a right leg stance, repeat the Torifune shouting "Ei" and "Ho" alternately. Do this 20 times and then repeat Furitama
6. Return to the left foot forward stance and remake the clenched fists as before and bring the hands up to the chest to a shout of "Yie" and thrust them down and forward with hands opened and fingers extended to a shout of "Se" After this, once again repeat the Furitama
The Object of Torifune-no-gyo
The basic purpose is to introduce a dimension of physical calisthenics along with the spiritual. Since misogi is a psycho-physical experience, both types of preperatory exercises are necessary. " Torifune-no-gyo (done properly) is very grounding and invigorating. The kiai organizes the hara… centripetality/contraction and centrifugality existing simultaneously while grounding relates very directly to the organization we want to manifest during Aiki waza.
TAMA FURI/ Furitama-no-Gyo
Tama (soul) Furi (shake) basic meaning is the self Chin-kon and relates directly to the furube-no-kamu-waza of Chinkon Saho.
Furitama ( Soul Shaking)
1. Stand with your legs apart about shoulder width .
2. Place your hands together with the right hand over the left. Leave space between them big enough for an imaginary ping pong ball.
3. Place your hands in that position in front of your stomach and 0shake them vigorously up and down.
4. While shaking them concentrate and repeat the words: Harae-do-no-Okami - an invocation to the kami of the place of harai.
The Object Furitama-no-gyo
The purpose of shaking the soul is to generate awareness of it within yourself. Kon, (the soul), in Shinto, is one of the four important elements along with Mei (life), Rei (spirit) and Ki (which means Spirit in its causal aspect - Ki is a kind of energy source). Kon is the most important of the four since human beings can also be described as Waketama (separated individual souls), which is another way of saying "children of the kami".
Chinkon kanji can also be read as Mitama Shizume..the basic meanings are:
1) to reintegrate the elements of self/soul into the current moment
2) to quiet or pacify the soul
3) to invigorate the soul
4) The kanji of Chin-kon can also be read Sho Kon and carry the nuance of pacifying and assisting the raising of vibration for the Mitama of a person who has left this life
Tama-furi aims at the reception of strong spiritual waves/higher spirit/ refined vibration.
The aim of activities of Shinto Gyo (tuning practices) Misogi Harai (self purification) is to quiet and reinvigorate the very soul these activities can be called
1) misogi harai
4) mitama shizume
all these are written with the same kanji these activities relate directly to the function of I-buki-do-nushi-no-Ou kami who is one of the Harae-do-no-Ou-kami and deals directly with purification by out breath.
IKU TAMA /TARU TAMA/TAMA TAMARU TAMA
During the Misogi Jumbi Taiso (preparatory exercises) the Otakebi (shouting) begins with: Ikuuuuuuuuuuu Tamaaaaaaaa/ Truuuuu Tamaaaaaaaa/ Tama Tamaruuuuuuuuuuu Tamaaaaaaaaa…
In KAMI-NO-MICHI Sendai Guji, Rev Yukitaka Yamamoto wrote:
Shouting Iku-tama activates the soul which is just coming to awareness. Taru-tama affirms the awareness that you can realize the infinite in your soul. Tama-tamaru-tama confirms both and keeps the soul activated at its quantum level.
When we shout together by the riverside and our voices echo into: 1) the distance 2) the earth and 3) into the sky it is a really profound human experience that simultaneously elevates and grounds us (centralized expension).
As we examine the meaning of the kanji (Chinese characters/pictographs) we can gain further insight………………
IKU TAMA (shouted out horizontally) comes from the verb Ikeru (to live- exist) Tama is from tamashii (soul) IKIRU TAMASHII means Life-soul… this relates to the triangle shape..to exist
TARU TAMA (shouted towards the Earth) Taru can be read ashi (leg) implying to stand on the Earth in the current moment…Taru also comes from tairu (enough/sufficient) implying fulfillment/support and relating to the circle shape………….life
TAMA TAMARU TAMA (shouted in ascending manner) comes from Tama (jewel), Taru (pool), and Tama (soul) implies deep nourishment, setting-sealing and relating to the square shape which implies continuous echoing
All these types of Gyo, Furitama-no-gyo, Torifune-no-gyo, Otakebi as well as Chinkon Gyoho activities have real power to activate our KI.
Effects of Gyo:
1. True understanding of our lives as Kami-no-Ko children of Divine Nature.
2. Cultivation of the the Heart/Mind/Spirit of service to society.
3. Transcending Ego and greed and understanding the Mission of Human. Beings. Understanding of Kyoson Kyoei principal of mutual co-existence and co-prosperity.
4. Health benefit of increased circulation of blood and KI and spiritual revitalization.
5. Strengthening overall constitution to become more genki.
6. Sharpen the intellect (mind).
7. Tamashii (soul) is renewed…you can feel Inochi (life principal).
8. Bring new creativity to daily life.
9. Misogi purifies the three temporal worlds: past/present/future…you receive KI of Divine Nature and give KI to others.
10. Power to improve KI of Family.
11. By raising spirituality you increase your contact with OKami and your ability to feel the heartbeat and breath of OKami.
Of course everyone is warmly invited to Tsubaki Grand Shrine of America to personally experience these activities with the shrine staff.
Tsubaki Grand Shrine of America