View Full Version : Your Budo is no more than vanity. Discuss

Tripitaka of AA
16th September 2003, 07:47
Bodybuilding. Fashion. Make-Up and Tattoos. Custom Cars.

The pursuit of an ideal, for no deeper purpose than self-gratification. Dedication and determination, even a certain amount of self-sacrifice, all for what?

Is your study of Shorinji Kempo going to help anyone else? Can you identify ways that you have changed your behaviour in a positve way, as a result of your studies?

Have you thought about these things recently? There comes a time for analysis of your own motives. You shouldn't be fooling yourself into accepting Shorinji Kempo as a part-time hobby that you switch off as you leave the Dojo. The attitude and the ideals are there in the Howa, so use them.

So, to quote a couple of songs;

"What have you done for me lately?" Janet Jackson
"What have you done toaday to make you feel proud?" M People

David Dunn
16th September 2003, 09:16
Originally posted by Tripitaka of AA
Can you identify ways that you have changed your behaviour in a positve way, as a result of your studies?

Don't know about 'behaviour', but character certainly David. A point I sometimes talk about in Howa is 'junjun shuugaku', because I can clearly identify this as a point where Kongo Zen has had an effect on my way of thinking. Literally (I think) it means 'learn things in the right order', so it's from the eight requirements of training. However Sensei talks in terms of the concept more than its literal meaning, i.e. step-by-step, day-by-day. If you realise that you have a large ambition or project, then a sure way to get towards that goal is by constantly taking little steps. In that sense I am less daunted.

Also I think Sensei has inscribed the characteristics he expects in a budoka on my thinking. You should be sensitive to other people. You shouldn't seek revenge or retribution. You shouldn't humiliate other people. You shouldn't harbour a grudge, you shouldn't make enemies, you should be reliable to your friends and family. If ever you feel like complaining about someone or something, first examine yourself - perhaps you're the problem. Moreover, the stronger you become, the more important it is to be like that. If you realise that you've made a mistake, demonstrate that you're ashamed by your actions, not your words. You should leave your 'imaginings' about the nature of things aside and analyse their true nature. If I'd never encountered Kongo Zen, then surely I'd have a different worldview to this.

Whether I live up to it is a different matter, but I'm not Tony Adams, so I'll leave the public confessional well alone :D

tony leith
16th September 2003, 12:16
Complete the well known aphorism above in three words.

One reason I've stuck with Shorinji Kempo is that the other physical disciplines I've tried were essentially just for my benefit, there was no larger good being served, and this eventually made me wonder why I was spending so much of my time pounding pavement, lifting lumps of metal up and down etc. Your practice of Shorinji Kempo directly and immediately benefits the people you train with - hopefully as much as yourself.

As to changing my behaviour, I have quite self consciously utilised the disciplines of Shorinji Kempo as a means of trying to modify my behaviour and attitudes - I'm maybe not in the best position to evaluate the extent to which this has been successful.

Tony leith

Tripitaka of AA
17th September 2003, 08:23
Thanks guys, I love it when you manage to put things into words so clearly.

I know that as I stand right now, people may not be able to see how Shorinji Kempo helped me. But I know it has, as I have had many of the concepts mentioned above, in my mind while I have been going through my life. So although I've not achieved any remarkable successes, nor become my ideal super-being, I know that my heart I had a certain purity of intent...

Oooh-err, this could sound a bit sentimental, or even vaguely vomit-inducing, but here goes;

Shorinji Kempo, and the instruction from my Sensei, helped me to be stronger, more determined and more dependable than I might otherwise have been. For that I am grateful and will always be so. I also recognise that my study of Shorinji Kempo made me selfish, moody and detached from the real world. I neglected a whole part of my responsibility to myself and others because I was enjoying my part in the Shorinji Kempo world so much. I stayed at this self-centred self-obsessed stage until too late and had to be dragged into the real world kicking and screaming. Enough Public Confessional, Iím not Paul Merson. ;)

With all the focus on personal development, it is essential for each Kenshi to keep an eye on their own motives and actions. Become a better Kenshi, by all means, but also a better Person. I think Kaiso might agree with that, after all, he started teaching the techniques as a way of attracting the students and helping them improve as people, not the other way around.


So at a personal level, we try harder. At a Federation level, the BSKF does some stuff for charity. Yes?

Do any clubs have something they do, which has a tangible benefit for their community? Anyone have a story to tell?

David Dunn
17th September 2003, 09:22
Originally posted by Tripitaka of AA
So at a personal level, we try harder. At a Federation level, the BSKF does some stuff for charity. Yes?

That's right David. Martial Aid. Sensei has gone to Africa right now, and is going to report back to us and hombu about how we might provide some kind of realistic and enduring help to those kenshi.

I said in another thread that I think a lot of charity has become too entwined with politics. This is my personal argument, not anything to do with Kongo Zen.

tony leith
17th September 2003, 10:14
Tripitaka does raise a valid point about the potential risks of becoming so monomaniacally preoccupied with training that we lose sight of larger objectives/aspirations of Kongo Zen. There is a tendency for the dojo almost to become a world unto itself, rather than hopefully an instructive microcosm of the real world - the activity just is that absorbing. I think we have to recognise that our efforts in the dojo in themselves are not likely to do all that much to bring about an 'ideal world'.

At the same time, the core activity of Shorinji Kempo is the vehicle for the philosophy of Kongo Zen, and the means by which its practioners can strive to make themselves better people. Even if the only beneficiaries of this are the people we rub along with each day, then that's a real gain.

Japanese kenshi have 'Kaiso day' - I don't know whether this could be transplantd wholesale, but obviously it is possible to mobilise ourselves as a collective resource to do some good. At the risk of seeming self congratulatory though, I do beklieve that by and large we are also doing some good by practising Shorinji Kempo.

Tony leith

Tripitaka of AA
17th September 2003, 15:45
Oh, I agree :)

I raise some points for discussion. I don't always share the miserable view that I describe.... it is something to be discussed though, sometimes, just to establish a perspective.