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PaulM
1st October 2005, 09:30
Why do Martial Artist train in meditation?

I am asking this question because meditation seems to be an important part in Buddhism. Buddhist monk meditate in order to gain Satori.

I wanted to know do meditation help martial artist to gain Satori or is it just so that the martial artist can gain focus.

In my opinion, to gain focus is not what meditation is all about. I think many martial art and martial artist misuse the reason for meditation.

renfield_kuroda
1st October 2005, 23:06
Why do Martial Artist train in meditation?

I am asking this question because meditation seems to be an important part in Buddhism. Buddhist monk meditate in order to gain Satori.

I wanted to know do meditation help martial artist to gain Satori or is it just so that the martial artist can gain focus.

In my opinion, to gain focus is not what meditation is all about. I think many martial art and martial artist misuse the reason for meditation.
Not all Buddhism does zazen to achieve satori (enlightenment) -- in general Rinzai does but Soto does not.
As for budo, Buddhism is not as common as most think; Shinto is generally more commonly associated w/budo. But a few arts, Mugairyu in particular, are intimately linked to Buddhism. Tsuji Gettan said that his "sword IS zen"; training in Mugairyu is like doing zazen.

Regards,

r e n

Tom Karazozis
4th October 2005, 00:11
Not all Buddhism does zazen to achieve satori (enlightenment) -- in general Rinzai does but Soto does not.

Um, From where did you get your faqs? -Fisher price, my first ZEN book-?
In Rinzai-shu the main practice for attaining satori is with KOAN not ZA-ZEN.
Soto-shu on the other hand IS by the practice of ZA-ZEN!


As for budo, Buddhism is not as common as most think; Shinto is generally more commonly associated w/budo. But a few arts, Mugairyu in particular, are intimately linked to Buddhism. Tsuji Gettan said that his "sword IS zen"; training in Mugairyu is like doing zazen..

Buddhism is more common than you think in bujutsu schools alot of the old ones are influenced by mikkyo(esoteric buddhism) and not ZEN. Even SHINTO itself has alot of buddhist mikkyo influence as for a particular style of kenjutsu that has ZEN buddhism how about YAGYU SHINKAGE RYU, way before MUGAI and got their teachings directly from the great Rinzai monk Takuan Soho.

get your faqs straight before you post inaccuracies like that Kuroda.

nicojo
4th October 2005, 02:33
Um, From where did you get your faqs? -Fisher price, my first ZEN book-?...get your faqs straight before you post inaccuracies like that Kuroda. You know, there could have been a nicer way to spark a discussion. :)

Well, this should be enlightening.

Brian Owens
4th October 2005, 04:32
Um, From where did you get your faqs? -Fisher price, my first ZEN book-?

...get your faqs straight before you post inaccuracies like that Kuroda.
I think you mean "facts" not "faqs" -- "FAQs" (in upper case) is an acronym for "Frequently Asked Questions."

As Nicojo said, generally we try to be polite in our discussions. Not always, of course; some threads that start off in Baffling Budo or The No Holds Bar & Grill can be pretty acrimonious from the get go. But in general we follow the rules that say "Treat your fellow E-Budo members with respect."


In Rinzai-shu the main practice for attaining satori is with KOAN not ZA-ZEN.
Soto-shu on the other hand IS by the practice of ZA-ZEN!
I used to use a simple nmemonic device to remind myself which was which: "Soto" sounds kind of like "Seated."

Rinzai's emphasis on koan reminds me of the story of the men who saw a Rinzai adherent on a bridge, and in a teasing manner asked him "How deep is the river of Zen?" He promptly threw one of them over and said "Find out for yourself!"

cguzik
4th October 2005, 15:55
In Soto zen, zazen is not practiced in order to attain enlightenment. The practice itself, just assuming the zazen posture, is enough.

renfield_kuroda
4th October 2005, 21:48
Um, From where did you get your faqs? -Fisher price, my first ZEN book-?
In Rinzai-shu the main practice for attaining satori is with KOAN not ZA-ZEN.
Soto-shu on the other hand IS by the practice of ZA-ZEN!

Thanks for keeping the discussion civil.
Anyway, any attempt to summarize several centuries of zen buddhism in one sentence is bound to be less than complete. That being said, my two main sources are:
For Soto, Brad Warner, student of Gudo Wafu Nishijima.
For Rinzai, Sensei Keith Moore in Chicago and Niina Gosoke in Tokyo, plus Omori Sogen's seminal text "Ken to Zen", which includes one of the most in-depth analyses of the relationships -- explicit and implicit -- between Japanese sword arts and zen buddhism.



Buddhism is more common than you think in bujutsu schools alot of the old ones are influenced by mikkyo(esoteric buddhism) and not ZEN. Even SHINTO itself has alot of buddhist mikkyo influence as for a particular style of kenjutsu that has ZEN buddhism how about YAGYU SHINKAGE RYU, way before MUGAI and got their teachings directly from the great Rinzai monk Takuan Soho.
Reread what I said. What you have stated above doesn't appear to nullify my general statement, so I'm not sure why you are so vehement. I certainly didn't say Mugairyu is the only art with an explicit zen buddhist link.


get your faqs straight before you post inaccuracies like that Kuroda.
Obviously I am out of my league debating the finer points of zazen buddhism, and budo with you. My experience and knowledge pales in comparison.
We all thank you again for being the defender of the truth in a civil, respectful manner.


Regards,
r e n

Brian Owens
5th October 2005, 06:54
I think we strayed a bit from the original question:

Why do Martial Artist train in meditation?
...I think many martial art and martial artist misuse the reason for meditation.
There are many reasons why Budoka may meditate -- many reasons, in fact, for anyone to do so.

So when you say we "misuse the reason [singular] for meditation" it doesn't seem possible to answer your first question satisfactorily; you seem to have self-limited "acceptable" answers.

Jim Wilson
9th October 2005, 01:23
The term "meditation" covers a number of practices. It is a huge topic.

One aspect of meditation is "concentration" or one-pointed mind. My observation has been that this is the primary focus of meditation practice in budo. And it makes sense: having a one-pointed mind definitely gives the martial artist and advantage. Other things being equal, the budo practitioner who is concentrated will will out over the one whose mind is scattered.

Best,

Norman Dehm
9th October 2005, 21:27
At the beginning of each class at my dojo, I have all my warriors sit in Seiza and engage in Mokuso (quiet thought) just for a few minutes to center themselves and shed the burdens of the world outside the dojo. Beyond that I ask that they find what they are trying to accomplish as a warrior and focus on that endeavor. Sometimes I make suggestions and try to stimulate their imagination with different dieties and creatures like FudoMyo-o, Oni, Tengu, and so on. I am trying to remove mental fixations from our minds and to temper the spirit into the acceptance of violence and peace being forever married...In and Yo. So my two cents as to why we meditate as martial artists in my school. Thanks for reading

PaulM
22nd October 2005, 07:32
The nature of the mind is non-arising,
What need is there of knowledge and views?
Originally there is not a single dharma;
Why discuss inspiration and training?

Coming and going without beginning;
Sought for, it is not seen.
No need to do anything;
It is bright, still, self-apparent.

The past is like empty space;
Know anything and the
Basic principle is lost,
Casting a clear light on the world,
Illuminating, yet obscured.

If one-mindedness is impeded,
All dharmas are misunderstood.
Coming and going thus,
Is there need for thorough investigation?

Arising without the mark of arising,
Arising and illumination are the same.
Desiring to purify the mind,
There is no mind for effort.

Spontaneous wisdom
Throughout time and space
Nothing is illuminated;
This is most profound.
Knowing dharmas is non-knowing;
Non-knowing is knowing the essential.

Using the mind to maintain quietude,
Birth and death forgotten;
This is original nature.

The highest principle cannot be explained;
It is neither free nor bound.
Lively and attuned to everything,
It is always right before you.

There is nothing in front of you;
Nothing, yet everything is as usual.
Do not belabor wisdom to examine it;
Substance itself is empty and obscure.

Thoughts arise and pass away,
The preceding no different from the succeeding.
If the succeeding thought does not arise,
The preceding thought cuts itself off.

In past, present, and future,
There is nothing;
No mind, no buddha.
Sentient beings are without mind;
Out of no-mind they manifest.

Distinguishing between profane and sacred,
Their vexations flourish.
Splitting hairs deviates from the eternal.
Seeking the real, you give up the true.

Discarding both is the cure,
Transparent, bright, pure.
No need for hard work or skill;
Keep to the actions of an infant.

Clearly knowing,
The net of views increases
Stillness without seeing,
Not moving in a dark room.

Wakeful without wandering,
The mind is tranquil yet bright.
All phenomena are real and eternal,
Profuse, yet of a single form.

Going, coming, sitting, standing,
Don't attach to anything.
Affirming no direction,
Can there be leaving or entering?

There is neither unifying nor dispersing,
Neither slow nor quick.
Brightness and tranquility are
Just as they are.
They cannot be explained in words.

Mind is without alienation;
No need to terminate lust.
Nature being empty, lust will
Depart by itself.
Allow the mind to float and sink.

Neither clear nor clouded,
Neither shallow nor deep.
Originally it was not ancient;
At present it is not modern.

Now it is non-abiding;
Now it is original mind.
Originally it did not exist;
"Origin" is the present moment.

Bodhi has always existed;
No need to preserve it.
Vexation has never existed,
No need to eliminate it.

Natural wisdom is self-illuminating;
All dharmas return to thusness.
There is no returning, no receiving;
Stop contemplating, forget keeping.

Wisdom from the Zen Classic Xin Ming"
Translated by Master Sheng Yen

jailess
14th November 2005, 14:48
My impression from what I had learned from other martial artists and Zen books was that Budo martial arts were supposed to be a kind of moving Zen meditation: Certainly the practice of Shorinji Kempo is supposed to be a "Moving Zazen": how close I or anyone else in my Dojo ever gets to that is another question altogether.

I think the idea is that the best thing for meditation and combat are an empty mind: one without expectations. If you're consciously thinking about how you'll block a punch and then he kicks or throws you, well then you weren't all that prepared, were you? The key is in expecting nothing, so your mind doesn't have to wipe itself of 'fist-block' thoughts before it can load up 'kick-block' thoughts.

And, as with Zazen, that's really bloody tricky!

Cufaol
17th November 2005, 11:47
I totally agree with you on this Jailess. Having no expectations is indeed really difficult. Theory is ofcourse, that the techniques you've learned have become reflexes afters hours and hours of repetition, so that they can take it over once you've shut your active brain down.
I suppose that's why they don't teach traditional martial arts in the military. They need to have combat-ready troops on short notice. It takes years to master a traditional art so...you get the point.

cheers, C.

breen
17th November 2005, 13:49
Hi,

As Jim pointed out above, concentration is essential to survival. This week I learned of several studies related to this topic, from the National Academy of Sciences, University of Kentucky, Yale (Jeremy Gray) and Massechusetts General Hospital (Sara Lazar, Journal: NeuroReport, Nov.)

These studies relate to psyiological (physical) changes in the brain as a result of meditative practice. It looks like they are studying traditional Buddist meditative practice, but I'm not sure what type specifically - the results seem to apply to meditation in general, but you'll have to read the reports to make that decision yourself.

Here are some choice quotes from the reviews:

"Brain imaging of regular working folks who meditate regularly revealed increased thickness in cortical regions related to sensory, auditory and visual perception, as well as internal perception the automatic monitoring of heart rate or breathing, for example"

"Activity in the left prefrontal cortex (the seat of positive emotions such as happiness) swamped activity in the right prefrontal (site of negative emotions and anxiety), something never before seen from purely mental activity."

This research will continue, but it already looks like meditation improves attention, concentration and vigilance, while counteracting some of the effects of aging on the brain (loss of brain mass and memory).

This strongly suggests that there is a physical as well as spiritual benefit to meditation.

http://home.att.net/~meditation/monks.brains.html

Regards,
David

allan
17th November 2005, 16:55
Hi David,

I heard a radio segment about this study last night. As for what type of meditation, apparently it is "mindfulness meditation" as practiced by the Dalai Lama's sect.

This was on Canadian Broadcasting Corporation (CBC) last night.

Regards,