Musubi 結び means connection, or knot.
During prayer, the primary focus of our energy is vertical musubi—vertical connection—between amatsu (heavenly) kami, kunitsu (earthly) kami and ourselves.
Our mission beyond this, however, is the practice of horizontal musubi—to be able to realize the connection between all beings. This begins with one’s self and immediate family, expanding outward to our extended family, our community, our nation, and to the world community. To practice Shinto with all one’s heart is to understand, to be empathetic of all human beings in this line of horizontal musubi—horizontal connection.
When we enter a sacred area, we enter through a tori gate. This gate reaches up towards the heavens, connecting the energy of heaven and earth. This is vertical musubi. When you enter through the tori, pause for a moment. Not only to pay respect the the kami of that place, but also to experience the awe of this vertical connection.
But notice, also, the strong horizontal crossbeams. These are horizontal musubi; our horizontal connection that binds us to all other human beings.
As you sit in meditation today, consider your vertical and horizontal musubi.