Origins: history and variations
The 9 hand seals technique and its teachings were initiated in the Hindu religion around 1000 BC, where it was used by a few groups of the lower casts. It was a way to bring the virtues of the spirit into the physical experience. It was not as developed as today. From Hinduism came Buddhism, and with it, the 9 hand seals became more popular. The mudras remained the same, but Buddhist mantras where added. The original mantras were in Sanskrit. They seem to be invocations and celebrations of the Buddhas, but once understood, they are personal growth and empowerment contemplations that have only to do with the Self. The Buddhist movement went to china, where the tradition was passed on to the hermetic and esoteric groups. Boa Pu Zhi, a wise Chinese master, was the first to put the nine hand mudras on paper, in his work published around the 3rd century AC. Then, the technique migrated to Japan, along with esoteric Buddhism, where the mantras where translated in Japanese.
As it seems, the kuji-in technique is composed of a ritual technique containing the traditional application of the Buddhist three secrets (mudra, mantra, mandala). The true kuji-in secret lies within the contemplation of its philosophy that we use to change our attitude in life. The goal of the kuji-in technique is not to acquire strength, control, healing powers, telepathy… these are only side-effects of practicing the ritual technique and focusing a bit on the philosophy. Most people learn the technique simply to get these side-effects. They will develop only to a tenth of what they could if the kuji-in was practiced to its fullest. The real kuji-in path is the quest for knowing the truth about ourselves. It is a contemplation of higher principles, an application of noble behavior in our daily lives, and mental availability to perceive knowledge that is not studied, but revealed. Once a revelation occurs, one of the side-effects will develop rapidly without effort.
A teacher of the kuji-in will transmit the technique according to his own experience of its revelations. Since the technique was transmitted orally at many different groups, by many different masters, the organization of the knowledge remained the same, but the ritual aspect changed a bit thru time. That is not dramatic, since the true knowledge of the kuji-in is acquired thru revelation, and the different ritual techniques stimulate the mind towards the same goal, which is to acquire the revelation of the truth about the self. While the ritual practice is applied, the side-effects eventually manifest, and it is enough for the general public.
Some kuji-in practitioners are adepts of meditation, and according to them, the kuji-in technique is a way to deepen meditation. Others are adepts of martial arts, and for them, the kuji-in technique builds the profound inner powers of the warrior. The sorcerers will say it develops the ability to manifest magical phenomena. Peasants and farmers might say it is the technique used to attract good fortune and stimulate good crops! Speculators say there might be around 4000 different schools of this technique around the world, all transmitting a slightly different ritual technique. A Taoist might use a chi-gong dance along with 9 syllables, while a Buddhist would sit in meditation and use 9 longer mantra prayers. It doesn’t matter. As long as there is philosophy behind the ritual technique, a result will be achieved. The more philosophy you learn about Kuji-In, the more the technique will deliver powerful results.
The First Seal: RIN / Self-Empowerment
The following technique is the RIN technique taken from the three books of the Kuji-In trilogy. RIN is the first of nine techniques to achieve a wonderful and powerful spiritual experience. The technique is presented so that it can be absorbed in a step-by-step manner. You are highly encouraged to learn the process gradually so to provoke the most powerful effect.
RIN: From Book 1 (Qi-Gong and Kuji-In)
Combine the 3 to manifest: movement (mudra), sound (mantra), thought (mind). In each practice, make the hand signs (mudra), say the single word repeatedly (mantra), and visualize the effect of the mudra (mind). Start with one, and don't go to the next until you are comfortable with the 3 parts of a level : hand/word/thought. When you master the 3 parts of a single level, and feel that "something is going on" in the energy planes, add the full long mantra, either in Japanese or Sanskrit pronunciation.
In the following, the first photo is the good way to do it, and the second is there to show you how to place your fingers.
Middle finger extended, all others are crossed
Mantra Japanese: On baï shi ra man ta ya sowaka
Mantra Sanskrit: Om Vajramanataya Swaha
The RIN Kuji is used to strengthen your mind and body. This Kuji-in must be performed before any other Kuji-ins can truly be effective. The RIN Kuji-in acts as a sort of hook-up to the Ultimate Source of all Power. By connecting you with this Divine energy, the RIN Kuji-in strengthens your mind and body, especially in collaboration with the other practices of the Kuji-In. A stronger connection to the Divine energy source will make you stronger at every level. Please be aware that this Kuji-in may elevate your body temperature.
Visualize a red shining light descending from Heaven into your body, and lighting a flame at your Base Chakra, the region between your anus and your sexual organs. Relax and begin the visualization, perform the mudra, chant the prayer mantra calmly, slowly or quickly, as you wish, (or even at an accelerating tempo, then come back suddenly to a slower tempo. The Base Chakra is the point where the Sacred flame emerges into your energetic body.
It may be hard for you to believe, but the Universal Fire is situated at the base of your own experience: the base Chakra at the tip of your spine. You are all that there is; you simply don’t clearly understand what that means yet. On this path you will learn that, as the Sacred Flame grows brighter in you, it actually rises up your spine until it fills your entire body.
Breathe deeply and softly. Every inhalation nourishes the flame at your Base Chakra, encouraging it to fill you with Sacred Fire. Visualize the flame increasing in intensity, giving life to your entire body. As you are increasingly filled with this Sacred Fire, all the energy circuitry in your body will repair itself, becoming healthier and more alive as it receives the flow of the Universal Root energy: The Sacred Fire. This is your connection to All That IS.
Each time you make a decision, you will notice that some of your muscles tighten with fear. Muscles tighten when you have to make a decision because of the inherent biological fear that the human animal body holds. The objective of this exercise is to become conscious of the fearful nature of the human, animal part of you. Once you are aware of these fears, release them and trust yourself. Self-trust is the key to success in everything.
RIN: From Book 2 (Advanced Kuji-In)
The RIN Way of Life
You have the right to live. Every time you let yourself believe you do not have the right to live, to be, to act, you are telling the Universe that you prefer being the victim of your own life events. Stand up, be confident and declare your own right to live.
On the other hand, do not give yourself permission to act arrogantly, or to say that you are better than anyone else. If you make such comparisons, you are asserting that there are different levels of the right to live, or that some people are more entitled to life, or have more right to breathe than others. When you make those kinds of comparisons, you destroy your own right to live, to be, and to feel good about yourself.
From time to time, we all give in to the tendency to admit to ourselves that we think we are better than everyone else. Yet, this erroneous thinking reinforces the negative aspects of your ego. If you want to achieve true self confidence, you must abandon all attempts at comparing the value of human life. Thus, you may certainly express your various preferences, preferring apples over cherries, or the color pink to the color blue, but it is crucial to the development of full self consciousness that you never judge others as less worthy of life than you.
Once you start trusting yourself, practice projecting this trust into life. Say to yourself, “Life takes care of me, I trust life”. Eventually, this practice will lead you to have faith, the awareness that God takes care of you every moment, and that you can let go of your fears and worries; you are never alone and God supports all of your actions. If He did not, you would simply cease to be.
In fact, as a human being, you don’t really have any control over exactly what happens in your life, but you do have the power of choice. By following these techniques, you will gain the tools to influence the outcome of events in your life, and eventually, you will also develop the power to manifest events more as you desire them to be. You still won’t have any direct control over the outcome of events in your life; you will simply learn to trust life, and to have faith. Faith releases Divine energy into your body and fuels all other spiritual activities.
Extend your two middle fingers and interlace all other fingers.
Mantra Japanese: On baï shi ra man ta ya sowaka
Mantra Sanskrit: Om Vajramanataya Swaha
Visualize a flame at your base chakra, which grows brighter each time you inhale air and Prana (more on Prana in the books). The circulation of air and Prana into your body ignites and fans the flame. Strangely, the flame does not go out immediately, even after you stop this exercise; the process seems to be self sustaining. When you exhale, vocalize the Kuji-In prayer three times (3). It is at the inhalation that the flame flares up. Visualize the flame growing until your whole body seems to be filled with this spiritual fire. This is the first Key of RIN. With this sacred technique, 90 complete breaths (1 breath = 1 inhalation and 1 exhalation) set your body on fire. You can begin with 9 complete breaths, (that is 27 mantras), but to gain the full potential of the RIN Kuji, and start the path, you will have to perform the complete set 90 times every few days until you have completely mastered the technique, and you feel the energy strongly inside of you. In the first few breaths, the RIN fire simultaneously grows in the base chakra and fills your lower body and legs. As you complete the set, the RIN fire covers your entire body, legs, arms, and then extends a bit beyond your body (about one inch from the exterior surface of your skin). A bit of dark blue smoke may be seen when a part of your body is set on fire for the first few times. After that, you may see a very little bit of white smoke. Allow the smoke to drift up unnoticed; do not spend any energy attending to it.
RIN: From Book 3 (Kuji-In Mastery)
In the introductory and advanced knowledge of the Kuji-In, we learned that RIN was implicated in the concept of trust. We first learned that we should work to become courageous. Courage eventually leads to trust, which leads to self-trust. In time, self-trust will lead to Faith in the self, and then in a universal spiritual concept such as God or the higher self.
Each time you succeed something, you should focus on appreciating this success. This will help you build foundations for your mind to believe you can be successful. In this way, you will gain self-trust thru perseverant application of mental training practices, but also thru life experiences. Yet, whenever you fail, or believe you failed something, you should spend more energy on fighting negativity, and keeping your morale up. Use your apparent failures to build your determination to succeed by refining your future attempts. Trust in your ability to become better.
The RIN hand seal binds all fingers together except for the middle fingers, which is the fingers of experiences and events. The middle finger extends to make contact with these experiences.
This mudra brings the human and spiritual hands together, so that the human and the spiritual self can join in life’s experiences. This mudra helps to develop consciousness of each of the experiences that we are going thru, thus making them easier to accept and understand. This is the first step in becoming aware of the creative essence that leads to the manifestation of experiences and events in our lives. Knowing that there is a spiritual force creating all these experiences makes them easier to accept.
In the Transformational Approach, the RIN mudra keeps the bent fingers outside the hand, which means we are focusing on affirming our self-trust and faith. We seek to encourage it, and not only become aware of our actual level of faith.
Using this mudra will also help us trust that all will be fine. Accepting, even inviting our Spirit to accompany our human in its challenges, makes it all look like a lesson, rather than a punition. Whatever happens, if I believe that I am not alone, but steadily with myself as Sprit, it is obvious that everything will be fine, eventually. This is the faith of the Kuji-In, which has nothing to do with having faith in an exterior God. Faith is the ultimate self-trust as Sprit as well as human, as one. Breathe NOW.
Some Kuji-In traditions will express the index outward instead of the middle finger. Extending the index represents the affirmation of power, as a decree of the self. This version of the RIN mudra will be more frequently used by martial artists and people who wish to build a stronger willpower. The transformational approach encourages the experience (middle finger) of RIN at first, followed by the affirmation (index) of RIN only when much more experience has been gained. Experience and faith is essential to the true expression of power.
Rin, in Japanese, means face or meet. It has to do with meeting someone, without indication to who we are to meet; thus, we meet ourselves. To meet your self implicates to get to know yourself by observing yourself in a “third person” perspective. Such contemplation, in an honest attitude of self-acceptance, will inevitably lead to trusting yourself.
||bai shira man
||Om vajramaanatayaa Swaha
Shinto: In this kuji-in practice, the Shinto Buddhists are referring to Amaterasu, a feminine Goddess. Amaterasu is described as the Goddess from which all light emanates, and is also often referred to as the sun goddess because of her warmth and compassion for the people who worshipped her; an interpretation of "light" or "heat" as passion, or purity. She emits lightning into the body to give it life force. She is like the light of creation.
Buddhists: Here the Buddhists pray Bishamonten, guardian of the north, and thus, of material things. From the traditional Japanese Buddhism point of view, since the time of samurais and great warriors, he is said to be the god of war and warriors. Bishamonten is wearing an armor symbolizing the physical shell over his true self. He holds a spear in one hand, a symbol of the Spirit that penetrates the physical world, and a pagoda in the other hand, like a temple where wisdom resides, another symbol of our physical body.
Hindu: Most of the Kuji-In process invokes the Hindu God Indra, who is the only King of heavens, holding thunderbolts. The word swaha can be translated as glory, homage or salutations, but is used mostly when doing prostrations, offering sacrifices. Thus, this mantra is also a pledge of sacrifice offered to the God King of Heaven, Indra, know as the one who holds thunderbolts. The Hindu tend to interpret each word with all their possible meanings according to their religious structure, therefore a few Sanskrit words become much longer phrases so that they can transmit all the meaning at once. This Sanskrit mantra could mean, in Hindu terms: Om (Holy Word), I offer sacrifice by the name of the God, who carries Vajra in his hands i.e. Lord Indra.
Transformational approach: We contemplate the powerful force of creation. We contemplate the light that comes from the heavens down into the earth to give it life and movement. This Light is both feminine and masculine. At this point, we celebrate the coming of the Spirit into the human body.