View Full Version : Kata as meditation...

George Hyde
14th December 2000, 15:39
Hi All,

I'm wondering what observations there are on the meditative qualities of kata...

In practising kata (in Shorinji Kempo) I'm aware that there is a whole lot more to it than simply tuning form. The goal I focus on is to unify thought an action 'til they evolve into something indivisible and therefore 'other than' thought or action and to find physical and mental freedom in what is by definition, a restricted limited discipline. However, these moments are fleeting, few and very far between.

When practising with the 'bo' (staff), a much more repetitive and limited practice, these moments are more frequent, though still quite fleeting.

Assuming that my ham-fisted attempt to explain manages to strike a chord with somebody out there, does anyone have any advice as to how to make progress? Are there any books out there that shed light on the subject?

Thanks in advance.


14th December 2000, 17:03
I'm not a fan of pre-arranged Kata (which I believe Shorinji Kempo uses), however, in Jiyu Kata (free-form, not pre-arranged) I have found that the best way, besides simply doing a *lot* of Kata, to work on the "oneness of thought and deed", the other than action and thought that you mention, is through continued visualization of the Uke in the Kata as if it is an Embu.

It is difficult enough at the beginning to merely visualize the intended target for your strikes and the weapons for your blocks, however when you can move past this to being able to visualize the entire body of your attacker (and beyond that to the entire setting of the situation) then you begin, at least in my experience, to really start to experience that "oneness" at something approaching regularity.