In September 2000, Doi-sensei and some of his students finally got around to visiting Usui Sensei's home village, Taniai in Miyama-cho. I had been "encouraging" them to do so since the URRI 1999 conference in Vancouver. Having enjoyed the visit to Taniai and even having encountered an old lady who had known Usui Sensei's family, they decided to make the journey again after URRI 2000 in Kyoto.
My friends Tom Rigler, Andy Bowling and I had been asked to Kyoto to give presentations at the 2000 conference and afterwards we were invited to go to Taniai village as well. Andy and his wife had already made plans to go to Nara so just Tom and I made the trip with Doi-sensei, Rev. Hyakuten Inamoto, our good friend Yuko Okamoto and 3 other URRI participants - Viviana, Ximanes and Olivia.
The trip began with a train ride to Gifu where we rented 2 cars for the one hour journey to Taniai. On the way we stopped for lunch at a new rural monument to Kannon, passed through the town of Miyama-cho and took a small side trip to the site of a beautiful new retreat centre. Finally we reached Taniai village and our experiences there are described at my web page.
On the return journey to Gifu, I was sitting in the front seat and had turned around to discuss Medicine Buddha empowerments with Viviana and Olivia. The topic arose due to mention of Medicine Buddha empowerments in a Reiki book. Viviana is from Peru and said that she had met several Tibetan lamas there, including the Dalai Lama. He had given her a Medicine Buddha empowerment the previous year.
I began to explain how in my conscious channeling classes I teach students to invite in Higher Guides to their personal space and ask for connections (attunements) to higher energies. I suggested I might demonstrate by asking Medicine Buddha to please come to me, blend with me and offer me a connection to the energy. Immediately I began to feel a surge of energy as the process began.
Then suddenly I was distracted by a sensation on my right hand and as I turned to look I saw an inch worm moving on my hand. I had never seen one of these in person but had always enjoyed them. My children and I also used to watch Sesame Street on TV and one of the muppets was an inch worm named Slimey.
I showed my visitor to the ladies who declined to take it. Inamoto-sensei was driving so I just held it on the top of my hand, thinking to release it at the train station in Gifu. Almost an hour later I was again turning around, talking to Viviana when I suddenly felt the empowerment stop. It was quite a shift and I had completely forgotten all about it, being so immersed in the inch worm. Then I felt something change on my hand and when I turned around again the inch worm was gone.
I began to look all over, thinking it had fallen and I didn't want to crush it (note that the car windows were all up) . A few minutes later we stopped the car at the car rental place near the station. I carefully got out and looked all over for the little creature but could not find it. It was quite a mystery as to where it had gone.
A few weeks late when I was back in Canada, Doi-sensei's publishers, Isao and Mari Miyasaka visited me and I told them my story of the inch worm. They are from Tokyo and Isao asked me when this had occurred. I told him it was just a few weeks earlier and he said that inch worms should only appear in the spring, not the fall.
So our little joke about this is - how big does a Buddha have to be?
Richard (Rick) Rivard
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