For the Blueberry Blintz team Relational Art/PBR assignment, I had to do two things at once — pick up my kids from school while simultaneously working on my PBRA project. This having-to-do-two-or-more-things-at-onceness is the MO of my life. My daughter had a playdate already set up for after school, but my son did not, so I proposed an impromptu one with Wesley’s dad. I had met Wesley’s dad once before, and I knew that he did something called “giving light” as a profession via Sukyo Mahikari. Nathan the light-giver accepted my play date proposal, and we went to the Sukyo Mahikari Center for Spiritual Development, where he works and where his kids hang out after school during the week.
At the Center, Diego and Wesley did homework and then played Minecraft, while Nathan and I talked for thirty minutes. Then he gave and I received light for forty minutes.
Before we started talking, I asked his permission to record our talk, explaining the project/assignment to him, and he agreed good-naturedly. When I figure out how to share the video (which I recorded using MAC’s Photobooth) I’ll share part of it. First, Nathan explained Sukyo Mahikari, which I knew nothing about; then, I asked him to talk about how he got into it, and he told me his story.
In short (and from what I cursorily understand), Sukyo Mahikari is a spiritual practice which centers around universal spiritual principles — such as gratitude, humility, acceptance — and the transmission of the “True Light” (Divine Light) from one person to another. Regarding Nathan’s story, I could totally relate to the details: growing up Catholic which resulted in an intense God-consciousness; lapsing from Catholicism at 16 years old; continuing to long for God-consciousness despite being lapsed Catholics; turning to Eastern religion/philosophy as a way to satisfy our spiritual hungers, etc.
Nathan first learned about Sukyo Mahikari when he was 18 years old, working at a Korean dry cleaners in Atlanta. In the back of the shop, while he did laundry, he would see a lone pamphlet hanging smack in the middle of the large bulletin board on the wall. For some months during his stint at the dry cleaners, Nathan had been praying to God to show him what to do with his life. He described making a fervent prayer in a public park, asking God to show him a way that he would be able to “help people.” One day, after staring at the pamphlet on the bulletin board for months, he went to the board, unpinned the pamphlet, opened it, and read the sentence about Sukyo Mahikari being a spiritual practice that helped people by giving and receiving “True Light.” It seemed an answer to his prayer. He’s been giving light for 20 years now.
After learning his story, Nathan offered to give me light. I accepted. He worked on me for 40 minutes. He suggested that while he worked on me (transmitting), I think about gratitude. I did. At the end of the session, Diego and I left to pick up Clara. I felt renewed and refreshed, feelings I’ve been longing for. I had a great evening at home with my family, something that’s been a rarity lately.
I’m going back next Monday for more light.