The following is from James Deacon’s excellent site.

Source:  http://www.aetw.org/jsp_ajikan.htm

One look at the letter A destroys evil passions

Ajikan is a core meditation in mikkyo (esoteric) Buddhism. Its purpose is to bring the practitioner into a state of ‘non-duality’ with Enlightened Cosmic Reality as personified in the form of Dainichi Nyorai – the Cosmic Sun Buddha.

In Ajikan, the practitioner focusses on an image of the shuji (seed character) ‘A’ (‘Ah’), as depicted in the sacred Shittan (Sanskrit: Siddham) script. This image, referred to as a honzon, often takes the form of a wall-hanging scroll.

The ‘A’ shuji, when used as a meditational focus, is usually depicted in a bubble or ‘moon-disc’ resting on an open lotus-blossom, or alternatively (as depicted above) both the ‘A’ shuji and the lotus-blossom are inside the bubble/moondisc.The moon is a sign of purity of heart and the lotus represents the desire to achieve enlightenment.

As the first letter of the Sanskrit alphabet, the ‘A’ character is considered the supreme shuji, and is seen to embody great holiness and spiritual power.The ‘source’ of all the other vowels and consonants, it is the core or essence of all possible sounds that human beings can give expression to.

A – ji (the first letter) represents the basic essence of all things: the unproduced, the impermanent, the immaterial – the void from which all creation emerges.

The kan part of ajikan implies perception/contemplation of this essence with one’s Heart-Mind (kokoro).

While ajikan is ideally learnt in an environment where the practitioner can receive direct feedback from an experienced instructor, all may benefit from even the basic form of practice outlined here.

Ajikan begins with centering yourself, and ‘watching the breath’, gradually allowing yourself to enter into a state of slow rhythmic breathing and relaxation.With eyes half open, focus your awareness on the honzon, effortlessly allowing yourself to hold the image on the honzon clearly in your mind’s eye, so that when you close your eyes, the image will still be there before you, perceived as pure bright light.

When you reach the point where you can hold the image on the honzon clearly in your mind’s eye while your eyes are closed, allow the luminous image of the shuji, moondisc & lotus to gradually increase in size, clarity and brightness.

Let the image continue to intensify and expand to the point where becomes so immeasurably vast as to fill the entire universe, being aware that it now surrounds and contains you and all beings in its almost blinding radiance – that you, all beings and the shuji-moondisc-lotus are one in essence – inseparable.

Stay in this awareness for as long as you feel you drawn to.

Then gradually become aware of the image beginning to decrease in brightness and in size, eventually diminishing and returning to its original dimensions as expresses on the honzon.

With this, the meditation draws towards its conclusion.

Maintain your state of slow rhythmic breathing for a few moments, as you gradually return your focus of awareness to the world around you once more.


Alternative version
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Centering yourself, and ‘watching the breath’, gradually allowing yourself to enter into a state of slow rhythmic breathing and relaxation.With eyes half open, focus your awareness on the honzon, effortlessly allowing yourself to hold the image on the honzon clearly in your mind’s eye, so that when you close your eyes, the image will still be there before you, perceived as pure bright light.

While visualising the shuji, recite the shingon (mantra) “a vi ra un ken” [this is one of the two primary shingon of Dainichi Nyorai] to further the process of integration with the Cosmic Reality.

When you reach the point where you can hold the image on the honzon clearly in your mind’s eye while your eyes are closed, become aware that the luminous image of the shuji, moondisc & lotus are being absorbed into the core of your being – your heart centre.

From within your heart centre, the honzon image gradually intensifies and expands – emanating out around your body, and on out beyond your aura, radiating the intense, clear Light and Grace of Dainichi Nyorai out to all beings as a source of healing, protection, and spiritual and worldly benefit.

Stay in this awareness for as long as you feel you drawn to.

Then gradually become aware of the image beginning to decrease in brightness and in size, eventually dissolving back into your heart centre, and from there out once more to its original place on the honzon

With this, the meditation draws towards its conclusion.

Maintain your state of slow rhythmic breathing for a few moments, as you gradually return your focus of awareness to the world around you once more