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Kuji-in practice is an essential part of the initiatory practices in the Fellowship of the Ghost Dragon Samurai. Jack Williams, in a recent conversation, suggested that I read the book, Kuji: A Spiritual Path by James Clum. Shortly after speaking with Brother Williams I purchased an ebook version of the text, which seem like a perfect read on my morning train ride to work. Wow! I am happy to say that this book provided so much more than expected.
Author and martial artist, James Clum, has written a very clear and concise description of Kuji-in practice, its history, and some of the tools needed to really understand its gnosis. One of the things that I really enjoyed about this book is that it is not based on any particular dogma. Most Kuji-in teachers and writers, such as the benevolent Francois Lepine, agree that the approach of this mystical practice varies with the tradition and school of its instructors. Clum, however, is able to keep the interpretation of the Kuji-in open while providing the core meaning of the system by understanding its origins in esoteric Buddhism.
One does not have to be an expert or an adherent of Buddhism to understand Kuji: A Spiritual Path. In fact, it is quite the opposite. Clum does an excellent job in translating essential Buddhist principles for the layman of the western society. One of my favorite passages of this book deals with varying forms of consciousness that is so prevalent in modern society, due to the different backgrounds of people who make up our society and etc. On this topic, Clum writes:
“Each perspective can make sense to a person who thinks in these terms. Rather than asking who is right and who is wrong, perhaps more can be gaining from seeing what different points of view have to offer.”
Clum’s presentation of the Kuji-in as a spiritual path and practice is written from the perspective of someone values what they learned from it and how it has affected their lives. The book’s description also provides an outline of the material that is covered:
“Discover the power of the mysterious Kuji syllables in this in-depth guide covering the history, practice and meaning of this fascinating system of self-protection and mystical affirmations. This book explores how the Kuji-In have changed and adapted throughout their history as they have been adopted across Asia. Find out the hidden meanings of the Kuji-In mudra and their mantra. Discover how to adapt the profound symbolism to your own personal spiritual practice.”
I highly recommend this book for anyone seeking to gain an understanding of Kuji-in and its associated sciences. Clum’s clear writing style easily warms the mind of the novice and adept alike. Kuji-in: A Spiritual Path is a classic, as very few writings cover this subject. It is a priceless source of information and worthy of five out of five stars. Thank you Sensei James Clum!