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13.3: Chapter Summary

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    The way of shamanic mediation as found in Buddhism is illustrated by an account of two women practitioners of Japanese Shugendo ("the way of mastering extraordinary religious power"), Mrs. Matsuyama and Mrs. Hiroshima Ryuun. Each carries on a professional practice of shamanic services for persons in need, including spiritual diagnosis of problems, healing, exorcism, necromancy, and so forth. Each experienced a dramatic course of events that led them to their role as shaman and both maintain regular ascetic practices to build up and maintain their shamanic powers (or, to say the same thing, to free themselves of obstructions for spiritual power to flow through them) for the meeting of human needs. The shamanic power they exercise is attributed in the one case to the active presence of Fudo-Myoo (an important supernatural deity in esoteric Buddhism, believed to be a manifestation of the cosmic Buddha) and in the other to Magotaro Inari (a supernatural deity of obscure theological connections). Both make use of shamanic rituals and recite magic formulas, notably including the Mahayana Buddhist Heart Sutra. Example accounts of their practice are given.

    Shamanic mediation in Christianity is exhibited in an account of "spiritual gifts" in the Word of God Roman Catholic Charismatic community in Ann Arbor, Michigan. At the heart of the community's religious life is an experience its members identify as "Baptism in the Holy Spirit," by which they understand individuals to become supernaturally empowered by the Holy Spirit to live the Christian life, serve the needs of the Christian community, and cooperate with God in his redemptive activity in the world. Specific persons within the community (less as individuals than as members of the community) are believed to be especially gifted supernaturally with spiritual powers of prophecy, teaching, healing, exorcism, and so forth. Stories of the experience of these persons using their spiritual gifts are given. Certain ascetic practices such as fasting are apparently used to build up and maintain the ability freely to exercise these gifts. It is evident from the stories how understanding of spiritual gifts and proficiency in their practice in this specific community is evolving slowly, as there has apparently been no connection with an existing tradition from which to learn.

    This page titled 13.3: Chapter Summary is shared under a CC BY-NC 4.0 license and was authored, remixed, and/or curated by Dale Cannon (Independent) via source content that was edited to the style and standards of the LibreTexts platform; a detailed edit history is available upon request.