By Sally Lewis
On this visit, my fourth visit to Oomoto, I continued to feel a lot of energy moving through me. I feel very happy, lucky and content to attend the morning prayer service every morning. When Hilary and I would go up to drink the blessed water afterwards, it felt like “liquid light.” As I drank it, I could feel light spreading through me from the water and also through the top of my head. I feel purification was happening at a deep, perhaps cellular level. I am still having dreams in which I am meditating in very serene places. In one dream I am being given or shown a seal or symbol on my chest and/or abdomen, that is a sign of great learning and processing—that I have reached a certain level of knowledge. (I have very strong dreams at Oomoto, but not as much this time. I think it’s because I used sleeping pills for jet lag the first five nights.)
While in Ayabe, I had several experiences of light moving through me, one time especially strong in the Choseiden, I felt like my heart was opened more and felt very peaceful, vulnerable and open to God. (I did not write the experience down and the particular memory has faded away.)
I was very touched by the meetings Hilary and I had with the Spiritual Leader and with the other Oomoto people we met in the two days before the group came. We talked about Oomoto, why we joined, what it means to us and other common interests. There was much sharing, praying and crying tears of grace together. It was very moving and I carry these connections and experiences in my heart.
My strongest memory of experiences at Oomoto on this visit was the last day, the day of the monthly celebration. I was totally taken by surprise to be invited to come up with Coeleen to present the pine boughs for the community at the altar. At the moment of placing the pine bough in front of the altar, I experienced a moment of “Oh, my God, look where I am. I’m so close to the altar.” I felt a strong movement of energy from the altar… like I was caught up in a whirlwind and picked up, shaken, blown through, cleared out and placed back down. This took place in the one or two seconds that it took for me to glance up briefly, realize where I was and lower my eyes again. I felt like I was in a “daze” for a little while afterwards.
A friend of mine named Yumi invited me for a walk around the grounds after the delicious lunch, and she took me to the Spiritual Leader’s house. We went inside and said a prayer at the altar. She then took me to see Naohi’s room. I don’t think I had seen it before, but had heard about it from Coeleen. As we kneeled on the tatami mats in the hallway looking into the room, Yumi placed a pair of grass sandals in front of me. She placed my hands on one sandal, and rubbed the other one with her hands, then placing her hands on top of my hands saying Naohi. She repeated this several times—rubbing the sandals, placing her hands on mine and repeating Naohi’s name. I realized the sandals were Naohi’s.
I was overwhelmed with an incredible energy and started sobbing, crying, and I couldn’t stop. I don’t know how to explain what happened. I was overcome by the Spirit present in that place. My heart felt as if it were being “pried” open even more and I felt very vulnerable, like a child.
Yumi took me to chairs where we could sit while I hopefully recovered my composure. As we sat looking out at the gardens behind the house, I kept crying and breathing, trying to absorb what was happening to me. A very nice lady brought us a little heater so we wouldn’t get cold. I was so touched by her thoughtfulness, I cried again.
A man, to whom Yumi had talked, brought us tea and a tea sweet. It made me cry again. I felt as if Spirit was choreographing a “crack Sally wide-open and fill her up day.” Each action of friendship, compassion and generosity touched me very deep within my soul.
When we were ready to go, I had stopped crying but felt a little “wobbly” and “wide open.” We walked back along the path behind the residence, as Yumi wanted to show me the teahouse that is on that path, behind the residence. The gates were locked but I enjoyed the location and imagined how special a tea house it must be. We walked down the path through all the leaves and mulch. I was very touched by the beauty the leaves, the energy of the path and being there with my friend Yumi. We felt like two little girls without a care in the world, laughing as we ran through the leaves.
I loved my walk with Yumi, and afterwards I went to rest in my room before dinner and our goodbye party. As I was resting and trying to absorb all that had happened, the phone rang. It was Kikuchi san from the front desk. She said she had something for me and asked me to come downstairs.
When I got there, she handed me an envelope. I opened it and saw a picture of two red inked handprints. They held incredible energy. As she told me they were Onisaburo’s prints, a strong energy came into my chest and I started crying all over again. I was so moved and touched by the gift, yet again another movement by Spirit for my healing and purification.
All of these experiences are still very strong within me. I feel as though the energy is still echoing and vibrating—moving from cell to cell in the far inner reaches of my landscape. It may take me a lifetime to integrate these experiences. I know I have a very strong connection to Oomoto, probably from a past life. I have no other way to explain it, but it always feels like a coming home in many ways.
Thank you for letting me come “home.” Thank you for reminding me that I am a child of God. Thank you for the opportunities for healing an purification, and for developing such treasured friendships and connections.
May Peace be on earth and in our hearts,
Your sister in Oomoto,