David Burmeister’s Speech on Jiro Murai for the 100 Years of Jin Shin Jyutsu Celebrations
100 Years of Jin Shin Jyutsu, 1912 to 2012 Dear Friends, it’s good to be here with all of you to share in this special occasion, 100 years since Jiro Murai’s first experience of Jin Shin Jyutsu in his family’s cabin located in the mountains of Western Japan. At the young age of 26, Jiro Murai was on the verge of dying from a disease that was described by his doctors as incurable. Not wishing to die in a hospital where he would be constantly examined and where his wish to be left alone would not be respected, or even at his home surrounded by family and friends hovering over him, Jiro asked to be taken to his family’s cabin where he could spend his few remaining days in solitude and tranquility. Since Jiro was not able to make this trip on his own, he asked friends to carry him up to the cabin and leave him there for 7 days, after which they could return to retrieve his body. This decision to be left alone during what everyone thought were the final days of Jiro Murai’s life, gave him the opportunity to practice sitting Zen, breathing, meditating and holding some of the many Mudra’s he had observed on the statues of the Buddhas found throughout the islands of Japan. During the first six days Jiro experienced his body becoming colder and colder and each day he wondered if this would be his last. Then on the seventh day, Jiro’s body became so hot, that he later described it feeling like steam was surging through his body. Eventually, he cooled back down and to his amazement, knew that he was completely healed, as though he had never been sick at all. As you can imagine, his friends and family were equally surprised to see him walking down from the mountains on his own, looking strong, healthy and vital. Not only did Jiro Murai’s decision to be left to die alone enable him to restore his health; it also gracefully led him to his life’s work. It was during this time that Jiro first experienced the keys to unlock the secrets that would allow him to understand and develop what would become the Art of Jin Shin Jyutsu. What began as Jiro’s final request became the beginning of a life long journey and the beginning of the Art of Jin Shin Jyutsu.
Of course Jiro Murai was as surprised as anyone that he was alive and well, but he felt certain that the reason he survived and thrived was because of the things he had practiced as he approached death. It had been many days and perhaps weeks since Jiro had eaten and then retreated to the mountains. Jiro contemplated the great sages of the past. He remembered the Buddha and how he had fasted and meditated before he attained enlightment under the Bodhi tree. He thought of how Jesus went into the desert for 40 days without food and returned in communion with the Creator. Jiro believed that the answers he was looking for, the reasons for his own healing, could be found by repeating the same process of fasting and meditating while practicing the Mudra’s. During the next several years Jiro Murai conducted a number of 3 weeks fasts enabling him to purify and quiet his body so that he was able to experience the many energy pathways. Eventually he could illustrate these pathways in great detail. Jiro repeated these 3 week fasts a total of 12 times during the course of his life until he was able to clearly identify the precise pathways of the Jin Shin Jyutsu flow patterns. Through his experience of extreme fasting and holding the Mudra’s in meditation, Jiro theorized that other people in ancient times had also learned about the energy pathways using the same methods. He knew that similar illustrations dated back nearly 5000 years, as found in the Yellow Emperor’s Classic of Internal Medicine and believed that this knowledge could have been gleaned in many cultures throughout the centuries. For the remainder of his life, Jiro Murai continued to develop his knowledge and the basic principles of Jin Shin Jyutsu. He was a true scientist and researcher utilizing every method available to him to learn all he could about Jin Shin Jyutsu. He worked with countless people to test his theories and observe the results. Two groups that he found to be willing subjects were the homeless people in Ueno Park, a large city park in Tokyo and another group who were considered untouchables. These people worked in the meat and leather industry and had been treated as outcasts by most of Japanese society. During the Edo period of Japan, which lasted from 1603 to 1868, until the Meiji restoration when Japan became a unified country, it was frowned upon to eat anything with four legs. Even though the Edo period was long over, anyone who worked in the livestock industry were treated with prejudice and were forced to live in separate districts. In Tokyo, this district happened to border Ueno Park.
Jiro Murai would help these people and they in turn helped him with his research. On a given day Jiro would request that everyone with a particular condition, such as a hearing project or a respiratory illness, for example, gather so that he could examine and treat them and record his findings. When some of them died, Jiro would also pay for their funerals giving him the opportunity to dissect them before they were cremated. To this day Japanese law requires that everyone except the Emperor be cremated after dying. It was very rare in Japan to have cadavers for the purposes of dissection, so the local medical school was very happy when Jiro would provide them and they were willing to allow him to participate in the procedure. We know that Jiro had assisted in at least 18 human dissections, which explains his intimate understanding of human anatomy. Jiro Murai also found value in dissecting the heads of cows fresh from the slaughterhouse. He thought this was extremely beneficial because of their large size, which enabled him to observe things on a much larger scale. This also allowed him to observe and examine them at the moment of death, something he could not do with humans. Unfortunately, this became an issue that caused great difficulties between Jiro and his family. The cow heads were very expensive, something like $500 each in today’s currency, and he purchased many of them. Over time, Jiro Murai’s family came to think that he was not in his right mind, so they cut him off from the family fortune leaving Jiro to fend for himself. Like many early scientists, Jiro Murai conducted self-experimentation: For extended periods of time he would eat only one specific food for several weeks at a time, for example, he would eat only rice, or fish or cabbage, to observe the effects. This helped him to understand how different foods influenced the circulation of energy in his body. It was in the mid 1930’s, after losing his family‘s wealth that Jiro Murai needed to begin working to earn income for his daily expenses and to continue funding his ongoing research. He quickly gained a reputation for his ability to help people suffering from all kinds of illnesses and was soon practicing with the highest levels of Japanese society, including members of the Imperial family. This work was essential but it was also a burden because when they called, Jiro would need to drop everything to tend to his important clients at a moment‘s notice. Jiro Murai, who was not at all wealthy, was one of the few people outside of important government officials and the very rich, to have a telephone. This was arranged by some of his important clients so that they could contact him whenever they wished.
During this same period, Jiro Murai continued his research with the homeless and the untouchables, knowing that they lived in such completely different circles from his wealthy clients, and would never be discovered. It was a full 34 years from the time of his initial discovery of Jin Shin Jyutsu in 1912 before Jiro Murai began to teach others. Realizing that he would not be around for ever Jiro began standardizing the complicated information he had complied through the years into basic understandable principles for those interested in learning them. In his early years, when Jiro practiced on his clients, there were no established routines and no Safety Energy Lock locations. Basically, he would work on the left and right supervisory pathways Kamurogi and Kamuroni, in accordance with the needs for that particular body, utilizing the left and right mediators, Izanagi and Izanami, whenever he wished to guide the flow of energy to the opposite side. Each Jin Shin Jyutsu session was customized and unique for that one individual. Jiro Murai began teaching in the homes of his students, to small groups in Tokyo and Oiso, a small town to the west of Kamakura. The lectures would be held once a month and would take about three years to complete one full series. After each lecture, Jiro would leave a copy of his illustrations that would be hand copied by one student and then passed along to the others for them to copy, as well. This process would be completed during the subsequent month, in time for the next lecture. For various reasons, these lectures were a well- kept secret. Only a small number of students were allowed to attend. The prize at the end of each lecture was to be treated by Jiro. No one wanted to share what precious little time they had with Murai Sensei. It was said that many of his students endured his complicated lectures just so they could receive his powerful touch at the end. His entire teaching career spanned only the final 14 years of his life. It was late in 1946 at the home of a Mrs. Sato that Jiro Murai met one of his most prominent students, Mary Mariko Iino, later to become Mary Burmeister. While Mary was at the Sato home teaching English to a group of students, she was told that Sensei was coming. Mary recalled that there was great excitement in the home because this was an unexpected visit. She had heard her English students speak of their mysterious Sensei with reverence but didn’t know much about him. She asked to excuse herself but was told that Sensei knew she was there and wanted to meet her.
When Jiro arrived and first met Mary, he said that he had a gift for her and asked if she would bring it back to America. Not knowing what was being offered, and without hesitation, Mary said yes. And thus began the journey that Mary would embark upon and cherish for the rest of her life. Mary soon joined the Jin Shin Jyutsu lecture series that was about to begin and with the same commitment, love and excellence that were the hallmark of her life, she studied and embodied the teachings of Jin Shin Jyutsu over the next 6 years. Not long after Mary began to study with Jiro Murai, her father Uhachi Iino, who had been detained in a US internment camp during the war, returned to Japan and he also became a student of Jin Shin Jyutsu. Together, Mary and Uhachi Iino developed a deep and lasting friendship with Jiro Murai. In 1953 Mary Iino returned to the United States to marry Gilbert Burmeister, a man she had worked with during her years in Japan following WWII. Mary had not planned to leave her teacher as long as he was living, wishing to learn all that he had to share, but one day she mentioned to Jiro that Gilbert had proposed marriage to her. Jiro had met Gilbert a few years before when he treated him for a serious illness. Jiro asked Mary if she loved him and the answer was yes. The advice that Jiro then gave to Mary came as quite a surprise. He said that the life of a mother and householder was of great importance and would help to complete her training. Jiro also said that he would stay in correspondence with Mary and that she could continue her studies of Jin Shin Jyutsu. So it was that Mary left Japan and returned to America, to bring the gift that she had been earnestly studying for the past 6 years. Uhachi Iino remained in Japan for a couple more years, working on clients; many sent to him by Jiro Murai and continued his studies of Jin Shin Jyutsu. Uhachi was instrumental is keeping Mary up to date with any new discoveries from Jiro, who constantly developed his theories and created more standardized flows. He also named and located the Safety Energy Locks which he called Kamurogi and Kamuroni points, later renaming them KiTen locations. When Mary left Japan there were a total of only 15 Safety Energy Locks identified. Safety energy locks 16-23 were developed between 1953 and 1956. Finally, Jiro created Safety energy locks 24-26 before the beginning of his final lecture. The first time all 26 safety energy locks appeared together were in 1957 during his final lecture series.
By the time the 1957 lecture began, Jiro was no longer speaking very much about the Mediator function because it had been well incorporated into all the Safety energy flows. One of Uhachi Iino’s clients was a young man by the name of Haruki Kato, who was also deeply interested in learning the Art of Jin Shin Jyutsu. Mary’s departure opened up a rare space in Jiro Murai’s study group allowing Kato-san to begin attending the lectures. He also became a prominent student, who studied with Jiro until the end of his life. Haruki Kato corresponded with Mary for many years helping her to continue her studies and stay current with Jiro’s ongoing research and developments. Kato Sensei has continued to share Jin Shin Jyutsu in Japan throughout his lifetime. Over the past 20 years he has traveled to the US many times, first to meet Mary in 1992 and then to work with the faculty of Jin Shin Jyutsu, Inc. Kato Sensei also conducted two seminars for our students, one in Honolulu and one in Osaka, Japan. More recently, Sadaki Kato, Haruki Kato’s son, has played a significant role in perpetuating the work of his father and hopefully will soon be teaching classes for Jin Shin Jyutsu, Inc. After Mary’s return to the US she began the next phase of her life as a mother and wife. In addition to raising her young family, she studied her Jin Shin Jyutsu materials constantly and soon began to work first on family then on friends. It wasn’t long before the word got out in Los Angeles, about a little Japanese woman who had an amazing gift for helping people alleviate their illnesses. Before long Mary found herself working from early in the mornings until late in the evenings sharing her healing hands with the many people who found their way to our home. No one was turned away. Then in 1965, 12 years after her return from Japan, Mary began to teach Jin Shin Jyutsu to others. Her first class was taught to a group of Chiropractors who learned of Mary from her neighbor, May DeFont, whom she had treated for migraine headaches. Mary’s purpose in life was now being realized as scores of students flocked to study with her. Southern California in the 60’ became the setting where Jin Shin Jyutsu first took hold in America. This was a very unique time in the United States with so much growth in consciousness, much of it coming from the east. So the popularity of Jin Shin Jyutsu seemed very natural and fitting for the times.
Mary’s students spanned the spectrum of lifestyles and perspectives. I remember her working with Lama’s and with Nuclear Physicists, with Movie stars and with hippies and Mary evolved and learned from them all. This was the dawning of the Age of Aquarius and Mary’s students wanted to know how Jin Shin Jyutsu related to a vast array of subjects. Certainly Jin Shin Jyutsu has close ties with modern science and Traditional Oriental Medicine. However, through the questions and interests of her students, Mary also discovered Jin Shin Jyutsu’s interconnectedness with astrology, numerology, Kabala, the Tarot and many forms of ancient wisdom. All of these things are relationships that Mary would mention to her students, often saying “for those of you who are interested, you can simply day dream about them”. Over the years, however, this message became somewhat misunderstood and many people now believe that these things are Jin Shin Jyutsu, which they clearly are not. However, they reflect the convergence of truth in all great teachings. Mary was truly a pioneer of higher consciousness and this was one of her greatest contributions to the Art of Jin Shin Jyutsu: her deep awareness of the significance of the “Now”, of this “breath that I am”, and how she embodied this wisdom and was able to convey it to her students. She loved to speak about the “No Thing”, the ancient concept of emptiness and then bring it to life for her students through words and actions. Like Jiro Murai, her studies and developments in Jin Shin Jyutsu never ended. Some of Mary’s other great contributions to the Art of Jin Shin Jyutsu includes developing the Theory of the Depths, enabling us to view the human being and understanding its connection to the divine, and then show us how to utilize this awareness to help any project within the body. Mary also placed considerable emphasis on the practice of self-help and spent many years developing this knowledge and creating flows for the simple application of Jin Shin Jyutsu for Myself, so that each one can be their own source of healing and their own testimony. In 1987, thankfully, mom indulged my wishes to begin training instructors. Muriel Carlton, Philomena Dooley and Wayne Hackett were selected as the first group to begin their apprenticeship with Mary. This decision proved to be very timely because in March of 1990 Mary fell at home sustaining a serious head injury which abruptly ended her career as our loving and gifted teacher. This immediately initiated our new teachers into presenting Jin Shin Jyutsu and they continue to inspire our student to this day.
Besides being a profound example of balance and harmony to all who met her, Mary was a most excellent mother and friend. She was very blessed, as were we all, to be able to share her jumper cables, her joy and laughter and her amazing smile until she left us in January of 2008. The many treasures that Mary Burmeister and Jiro Murai left behind are what we are here to celebrate today and throughout 2012. It has been a supreme privilege for me to share some of what I know about these two exceptional human beings. As Mary loved to say, “We are all divinely guided”. Today with reverence and humility, we give thanks for the blessing of finding our way to the beautiful living legacy that is the Art of Jin Shin Jyutsu. Arigatou Gozaimasu, Thank you very much… David Burmeister