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I am writing this message the day after Victory Day of Navaratri, which we celebrated together here in Scottsdale and with our San Diego community through Skype. I am continuously heartened by the expansion of our family, whether that be new locations or individuals, or new masters and light beings we learn about and experience. So much is present for us in the spiritual path, whether form or formless.

I just returned from a true example of this expansion: a trip that many of us took to Japan to be in Tokyo with Maa and the Japanese community for Darshan and Mystical Journey, then in Kyoto, Koyasan, and Nara before our return home. You can see many photos on my Facebook page at: http://www.facebook.com/swamijiauthor.

We are all blessed by the growing numbers of our Japanese community. They are so open, devoted, focused, disciplined, and serve as models of how to offer seva (selfless service). Whether you were present with them during this recent trip, or other visits, or not yet, we are a close family devoted to the spiritual path, our transformation, and service to humanity. Our collective power grows through our combined practice, energetic work, and time spent together.

As was so evident during this recent trip to Japan, masters and deities are waiting to offer us energetic support for our spiritual evolution. These include: Master Kukai (a Buddhist saint and founder 1200 years ago of the Shingon school of Buddhism and Koyasan, a sacred mountaintop site with 117 temples); Amaterasu (a Divine Mother in the Shinto tradition and Goddess of the Sun and Universe); and Fudo Myo-o (a powerful, wrathful Buddhist deity who, like Shiva, transforms what does not serve us). During our time in Japan, Sai Maa initiated us as we recited mantras to these deities.

The relationship and work of Sai Maa and Master Kukai, with these deities, continue as plans move ahead for another October trip to Japan next year, including a 3-day yagya (fire ceremony) on October 21-23 in Muroto city on Shikoku island in the south of Japan, where Master Kukai was born and moved into a state of enlightenment. The site of the yagya (with 108 Indian priests and 27 fire pits) is right next to the grotto where Master Kukai meditated and became enlightened.

In addition to our physical presence in Japan, we can always access the love, compassion and Shakti (energy) of Maa, Kukai, and these deities, whenever we go within, focus, and invoke them with all the love and devotion in our hearts. Such is the power of our spiritual practice and commitment to transform and evolve consciously. For me personally, remembering the presence of these masters, deities, and energies reinforces and enriches my practice and thereby its benefits.

We have available to us the power and energy of our expanding community and our enriched practices. I add to this the presence of daily “miracles” that occur when we are aware, when we decide to pursue opportunities that come to us for our spiritual upliftment. I remember Maa saying that so-called miracles are natural when we are aligned with Self, in a state of being all that we are. I also call this “perfect design”.

Here’s one example. When our bus was maneuvering the many curves on the narrow roads going to Koyasan, overlooking dense trees and rolling hills on the way, I remembered a similar path and experience many years ago as our bus drove through the middle Himalayas going to the ashram of Guruji called Binsar Mahadev. Guruji was the first Guru I met with Maa who was like Maa’s spiritual father. He would not eat unless Maa ate at the same time; he and Maa would walk hand in hand on a dirt path at the ashram, surrounded by very high pine trees. During this trip to Koyasan, two days after our arrival when Maa was speaking to me and several others, Maa mentioned thinking about Guruji which Maa had not done for a long time. I mentioned to Maa about my bus experience, and we realized we were both thinking of Guruji at exactly the same time.

A second example. When I first arrived in Japan, I had the desire to purchase a decorative fan to place on a small table in my home on which I have three statues of Bodhisattvas (enlightened beings who decide to serve humanity to be enlightened). The statues are of a meditating Bodhisattva, of Avalokiteshvara (the Bodhisattva of Compassion who wishes to free humankind from suffering), and of Tara (Bodhisattva and Mother of Liberation).

I looked at a few fans and could not find any until the final day in Koyasan. On my way to the program, I passed a store that had a fan in the window, and I decided to look at it again on my way back after the program before taking the bus to Nara. As it turned out, I was able to rush to the store and found the fan on a back shelf. I purchased it and persuaded the owner to sell me its stand so the fan would stand upright behind the statues.

As I showed the fan to others in our group waiting for luggage to be placed in the busses, one of our guides saw it as she was speaking to two community members (Julianne and John) about the heart sutra. This sutra describes the experience of liberation of Avalokiteshvara as a result of deep meditation. It turns out that the Japanese writing on the fan I purchased is the heart sutra! Also, the final two lines of this sutra is a mantra that Maa taught me years ago in Dharamsala in India, which had come to me to recite to myself on the bus on the way to Koyasan!!!

John and Julianne rode on what we called “bus 1” with English speaking participants, and they had decided to speak to everyone on the bus about the heart sutra and to recite the mantra which I had recited to myself several days earlier. During the second leg of our trip to Nara, they came on our bus (“bus 2” with mainly French speakers) to do the same. I told everyone about “the coincidence” of the fan I purchased, and also spoke of Maa’s and my thinking about Guruji at the same time. I used these examples to demonstrate how miracles, coincidences, are part of a perfect design always available to us, and that this awareness can reinforce our commitment to our practice and to being in alignment.

I share with all of you the mantra from the heart sutra that activates the love and compassion of Avalokiteshvara:

OM GATE GATE PARAGATE PARASAMGATE BODHI SWAHA

Now, as we all reflect upon these miracles, and our expanding family of community members and masters and deities from different traditions, I invite us to feel gratitude for the fact that many of us will be together in Naples in less than two months for “The Becoming of Us”. Even though the becoming of us actually occurs in every moment, we can rejoice that we will create this becoming in physical form together, when we look in each other’s eyes, and appreciate the fact that we have incarnated at the same time to serve each other as the planet moves through this critical time in its evolution.

Please join us at this gathering in Naples, and come to our local Scottsdale bi-weekly Enlightened Living Group meetings. Also, contact me if you have any questions or wish to share about your spiritual path and practice (swamijip@gmail.com).

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