Welcome admin !

It is currently Sun Jul 23, 2017 3:57 am
Pathway:  Board index General Discussion Forum and Lounge Other Traditions

Zen and the Martial Arts

Discussion of other spiritual or religious traditions with Zen in mind.

Zen and the Martial Arts

Postby Ninpo on Tue May 12, 2015 2:21 pm

Hi everyone,

Firstly, I am unsure if this topic is being posted in the correct place (if not my apologies).

I am in the process of writing an essay on the history of Zen and the martial arts for a grading I am taking with my dojo.

I am looking into the Samurai and their stance on Zen Buddhism. From what I can see, not all samurai were into Zen, it's a misconception that they were all Zen practitioners.

Zen was originally picked-up on by the Japanese government at the time and taught to the foot soldiers, to help them face their fears of death and to make them more effective (unrestrained) in battle.

The Samurai however followed the code of Bushido and fought for honor, something that is tied in heavily to the ego. While Zen tried to teach detachment and that 'self' and 'other' do not exist, this puts Zen at a conflict with Zen's detachment philosophy.

---

If anyone has any interesting ideas on Zen and th martial arts I would love to hear them.

Thanks,

Ninpo
Shikin Haramitsu Daikomyo
User avatar
Ninpo
 
Posts: 19
Joined: Tue Jan 24, 2012 2:14 pm

Re: Zen and the Martial Arts

Postby desert_woodworker on Tue May 12, 2015 2:42 pm

Ninpo,

The concept, and key accomplishment within the awakening resulting from Zen Buddhist practice is "non-attachment". This is not detachment!

A practitioner is very, very engaged in everyday life, most intimately. Not "detached"!

But non-attachment instead means not abiding anywhere. Not hung-up on any development, and so, also, not telegraphing one's moves. If you're always "right in the moment", there is no "plan" being hung on to, and so there's absolutely nothing that can leak-out to be telegraphed. And one really doesn't have habits that an opponent can memorize, and take advantage of.

I think that this emptiness of mind is a key asset to fighters. One's perception is clear, because you have nothing held in mind to bias you. And, you show no leaking signs of what you will do, in your actions, because you REALLY have no plan. This is due to non-attachment, and to one's strict presence in the current moment, and only the present moment.

So, that is non-attachment in action: (1.) seeing clearly and accurately; and, (2.) acting spontaneously based on what is seen (not based on ideas, thoughts, or plans).

EDIT: Again, one cannot fake this. It is a result of Awakening, through correct Zen Buddhist practice.

Strong practice!,

best wishes,

--Joe

Ninpo wrote:
The Samurai however followed the code of Bushido and fought for honor, something that is tied in heavily to the ego. While Zen tried to teach detachment and that 'self' and 'other' do not exist, this puts Zen at a conflict with Zen's detachment philosophy.
Last edited by desert_woodworker on Tue May 12, 2015 4:26 pm, edited 1 time in total.
User avatar
desert_woodworker
 
Posts: 6468
Joined: Thu Jun 14, 2012 5:09 am
Location: southern Arizona, USA

Re: Zen and the Martial Arts

Postby Ninpo on Tue May 12, 2015 2:48 pm

Many thanks for your reply, it has certainly given me something to think about.

Would you say that detachment from material possessions is the same as non-attachment? (The affliction of abiding in ignorance? The Unfettered Mind – Takuan Soho)

I gained the use of 'detachment' from here, "Detachment, also expressed as non-attachment, is a state in which a person overcomes his or her attachment to desire for things, people or concepts of the world and thus attains a heightened perspective."
SOURCE - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Detachment_%28philosophy%29

Still, non-attachment/detachment flies in the face of fighting for honor as that is tied into the ego?

I still have a lot of research to do on this subject so apologies if I appear to be rambling, I am occasionally just 'typing out loud'.

desert_woodworker wrote:Ninpo,

The concept, and key accomplishment within the awakening resulting from Zen Buddhist practice is "non-attachment". This is not detachment!

A practitioner is very, very engaged in everyday life, most intimately. Not "detached"!

But non-attachment instead means not abiding anywhere. Not hung-up on any development, and so, also, not telegraphing one's moves. If you're always "right in the moment", there is no "plan" being hung on to, and so there's absolutely nothing that can leak-out to be telegraphed. And one really doesn't have habits that an opponent can memorize, and take advantage of.

I think that this emptiness of mind is a key asset to fighters. One's perception is clear, because you have nothing held in mind to bias you. And, you show no leaking signs of what you will do, in your actions, because you REALLY have no plan. This is due to non-attachment, and to one's strict presence in the current moment, and only the present moment.

That is non-attachment in action: (1.) seeing clearly and accurately; and, (2.) acting spontaneously based on what is seen (not on ideas or thoughts!).

Strong practice!,

best wishes,

--Joe

Ninpo wrote:
The Samurai however followed the code of Bushido and fought for honor, something that is tied in heavily to the ego. While Zen tried to teach detachment and that 'self' and 'other' do not exist, this puts Zen at a conflict with Zen's detachment philosophy.
Shikin Haramitsu Daikomyo
User avatar
Ninpo
 
Posts: 19
Joined: Tue Jan 24, 2012 2:14 pm

Re: Zen and the Martial Arts

Postby desert_woodworker on Tue May 12, 2015 3:24 pm

Ninpo,

You're welcome!

I don't know anything about "detachment". It's not a word that's used in a Zen Buddhist context. Can we just not use it?

I don't know what "detachment from material possessions" is. Is this important in fighting?

"Non-attachment" is a simple concept, and a wonderful development. But, one cannot fake it (nor "practice" it). It is the result of practice, not a practice in itself, and, in particular, it is the result of genuine awakening. This is the sphere and function of Zen Buddhist practice, with Teacher and sangha.

That Wiki definition is faulty. It does not give a Zen Buddhist "take" on it at all. First, "detachment" is never used. Second, non-attachment is a feature of the awakened mind, the awakened person. Non-attachment does not develop by "overcoming" anything. It flowers only when one truly awakens. This is where Zen Buddhist practice comes in, and is necessary.

I can't answer about the attitudes of the Samurai, nor within Bushido. I know nothing about them. And I'm not clear on their ancient understanding of "honor". I think "honor", anyway, is something of a phony concept, and it is not Zen Buddhist. If one is Awake, one simply behaves correctly: there is no "honor" held in mind. Holding anything in mind would be "attachment".

When one is awake, one does not "attach", and, in fact, one CANNOT attach.

...and if one does attach (to anything... ), that is then a clear sign that one is no longer awake.

Awakening is not permanent. Awakening also takes (requires... ) continuing (Zen Buddhist) practice, of the right kind, in order to maintain it, and to "take good care" of it. Otherwise, the awakened-state "erodes" rather quickly.

Ninpo, careful! of on-line sources. Many of them -- or most of them -- have no pedigree, no real quality-control, and may not address matters in the way that you are pointedly interested in. Some sources are too, too, "general" (like the Wiki quote). Some are just plain wrong. Caution!

Books may be a little better. But no guarantee there, either! I'd suggest a book directly on the subject you are interested in. There may even be a book or two with the same TITLE as your subject-line of this thread. :)

Good luck,

--Joe

Ninpo wrote:Many thanks for your reply, it has certainly given me something to think about.
Would you say that detachment from material possessions is the same as non-attachment?
User avatar
desert_woodworker
 
Posts: 6468
Joined: Thu Jun 14, 2012 5:09 am
Location: southern Arizona, USA

Re: Zen and the Martial Arts

Postby Meido on Tue May 12, 2015 4:48 pm

Ninpo wrote:Hi everyone,Firstly, I am unsure if this topic is being posted in the correct place (if not my apologies).

I am in the process of writing an essay on the history of Zen and the martial arts for a grading I am taking with my dojo.

I am looking into the Samurai and their stance on Zen Buddhism. From what I can see, not all samurai were into Zen, it's a misconception that they were all Zen practitioners.

Zen was originally picked-up on by the Japanese government at the time and taught to the foot soldiers, to help them face their fears of death and to make them more effective (unrestrained) in battle.

The Samurai however followed the code of Bushido and fought for honor, something that is tied in heavily to the ego. While Zen tried to teach detachment and that 'self' and 'other' do not exist, this puts Zen at a conflict with Zen's detachment philosophy.


"Samurai" is a broad term for the warrior class that came to the fore in the late 1100's and continued to play a dominant role in Japanese society through the 19th century. What period of that epoch are you talking about it?

It is true that early Zen in Japan was patronized by the warrior class, which by that time was also the ruling class. There are several reasons for this. But "samurai" in general does not just refer to the lords, government officials and other high-class/influential sorts. It refers to any warrior who carried feudal obligation. In some periods, many samurai were not much more than farmers who picked up swords and spears when called upon to do so.

Of course it is a misconception that all samurai were adherents of Zen. Some were. Most were not. In terms of religious expression and desire for practices that could protect and help one deal with the pressures of military life, is likely the case that Pure Land and Mikkyo practices were more popular among the rank and file.

Zen was not ever broadly taught to samurai in any institutionalized way, nor was it used by the feudal authorities in the manner you describe. It was one Buddhist sect among many. Some famous feudal lords valued Zen. Some valued Shingon, Tendai, Pure Land sects. Some were Christian. Some valued and supported several of the above simultaneously.

Post-samurai history: during the period following the usurpation of the Japanese government by the militarist faction before WW2, there was in general an official policy of restricting Buddhist institutions in favor of state Shinto. This is not to say that Zen rhetoric, and Zen institutions, were not co-opted to support the war effort along with the rest of Japanese society. To understand this one needs to look not just at Zen or romanticized, archaic warrior culture, but also the realities of that time including the growing role of violence in the political sphere, a general perception that Japan was threatened by Western colonization and exploitation (along the lines of what happened in China) and so on.

The samurai did not fight for honor or a code called "Bushido" (really, a term used most heavily beginning in the 19th century, when the age of the samurai had passed). They fought primarily to fulfill the responsibilities of feudal relationship, which in fact required a negation of the individual ego. More simply, they also fought when called upon out of simple loyalty to their homes and clan affiliations (Japan was a collection of small countries, essentially, for much of this history), similar to the way many soldiers in the American civil war fought for their states. The value of honor and face in Japanese culture is another thing, of course, but this has nothing to do with Buddhism or non-attachment as expressed in Takuan's Fudochi Shimmyo Roku: that text, in fact, was written to Yagyu Munenori, and so it is an attempt by Takuan to relate the experience of Zen cultivation to the experience of severe mental/physical training undertaken by Yagyu who was a swordmaster, lord and influential person in government.

Really, to experientially grasp what is meant by the dual cultivation of Zen and martial arts, you'd have to do both in a very severe manner (for most, this means 4 hours or so of daily martial art practice for a decade or more, in addition to Zen practice). But to research this subject in general, I recommend you look into the life of Yamaoka Tesshu: he was a person who straddled the end of the samurai era and the Meiji restoration, was widely acknowledged to be a gifted martial artist (as well as calligrapher), and who mastered Zen as a layperson...all while playing a key role in overseeing the fall of the Tokugawa Shogunate (the last "samurai" government). His life might give you a sense of how Zen "detachment" can manifest in someone who is actively engaged in the times...and difficult, violent times at that.

~ Meido
明道禅徹
The Rinzai Zen Community: http://www.rinzaizen.org
Korinji monastery [臨済宗 • 祖的山光林禅寺]: http://www.korinji.org
Madison Rinzai Zen Community/Ryugen-ji [機山龍源寺]: http://www.madisonrinzaizen.org
http://rinzaiheartland.blogspot.com
User avatar
Meido
Teacher
 
Posts: 932
Joined: Wed Nov 18, 2009 12:22 am
Location: Madison, WI - USA

Re: Zen and the Martial Arts

Postby Bodhidharma on Tue May 12, 2015 6:41 pm

Does the paper have to be exclusively about Japanese Zen? I feel you can write more if the topic can be about Chinese Chan, Gung Fu and the history of Shaolin.
User avatar
Bodhidharma
 
Posts: 102
Joined: Tue Apr 03, 2012 7:17 am

Re: Zen and the Martial Arts

Postby littletsu on Wed May 13, 2015 9:17 am

Watching classical Japanese samurai movies can also give some insights. Of course with a grain of salt as the industry is mostly a post-modern reflection in itself. But as far as I can tell, they hardly ever deal with Zen training. If you have Zen monks they are some disguised government agents, most likely, or the warrior monks, or the shakuhachi players...it is all really just for the gig.
In the Musashi trilogy we meet Hakuin as Musashi's mentor, which is historically unadequate, as they lived in different centuries (unless there was another Hakuin).
合うは別れの始めだ。
有燈就有人。
User avatar
littletsu
 
Posts: 534
Joined: Wed Jan 04, 2012 9:58 pm
Location: Europe

Re: Zen and the Martial Arts

Postby Meido on Wed May 13, 2015 2:58 pm

littletsu wrote:In the Musashi trilogy we meet Hakuin as Musashi's mentor, which is historically unadequate, as they lived in different centuries (unless there was another Hakuin).


Not Hakuin. Takuan Soho. They were contemporaries and may well have met. I don't know the current scholarship regarding the possible extent of any relationship they may have had.

The Eiji Yoshikawa Musashi novels, upon which the trilogy of movies was based, contain a great deal of fictionalizing, of course.

~ Meido
明道禅徹
The Rinzai Zen Community: http://www.rinzaizen.org
Korinji monastery [臨済宗 • 祖的山光林禅寺]: http://www.korinji.org
Madison Rinzai Zen Community/Ryugen-ji [機山龍源寺]: http://www.madisonrinzaizen.org
http://rinzaiheartland.blogspot.com
User avatar
Meido
Teacher
 
Posts: 932
Joined: Wed Nov 18, 2009 12:22 am
Location: Madison, WI - USA

Re: Zen and the Martial Arts

Postby skyblue on Wed May 13, 2015 5:34 pm

Zen and Martial art have a very unique relationship. Zen or Meditation is used to understand
The relationship between body and mind and martial art is used to quide that understanding
Toward the relationship or the understanding of how violence plays out in this world.

One of the big problems in this world is the simple understanding that it is a violent place.
You may be a person who is very nonviolent and passive and never seeks to be violent – problem is there are a lot of people in this world who have no problem at all with being violent.

So the question arises, what do you do if you are attacked? What do you do if someone breaks into
Your house? How do you deal with violence? That is the martial side of the equation.
The Zen side of the equation seeks to ask the question, how do you deal with the violence that
Arises within yourself.

So anything that disrupts the harmony of body and mind that Zen seeks to achieve could be considered to be violent to some degree.

Killing people is something that Zen says is a bad idea: so the whole crux of the situation in this world
Is what to do when someone is trying to kill you?

Zen seeks understanding, martial art seeks understanding. Is it right to let someone kill you because you
Don’t want to be violent?

My understanding of martial art is that it is used to protect yourself initially at a physical level and as your training develops at a more mental and then spiritual level. To study violence is to study the consequences of violence. There is no shortage of examples of violence in the world today. So you will hear masters of the arts say that everything is martial art or everything is Zen, there is no separation.
Life and death, the two big opposites, the ultimate reference point.

Marital art will teach you how to win and how to kill. What do you do when you can easily kill anyone?
How do you live your life after the killing is finished? Have you seen the movie “American Sniper”?

There was a famous confrontation between a samurai swordsman and a zen master.
The samurai told the zen master he could kill him in the blink of an eye and the zen master said he
Could die without blinking an eye. The part of the story that is difficult to get is what did these two guys do after that conversation.
skyblue
 
Posts: 41
Joined: Thu Jan 13, 2011 12:29 am

Re: Zen and the Martial Arts

Postby Meido on Wed May 13, 2015 6:08 pm

Something else for the pot: some time back I was asked to create some Zen materials for a martial art (Aikido) organization. Here is one doc which gives some general background on Zen and martial arts:

http://www.birankai.org/publicDocuments ... undDoc.pdf

~ Meido
明道禅徹
The Rinzai Zen Community: http://www.rinzaizen.org
Korinji monastery [臨済宗 • 祖的山光林禅寺]: http://www.korinji.org
Madison Rinzai Zen Community/Ryugen-ji [機山龍源寺]: http://www.madisonrinzaizen.org
http://rinzaiheartland.blogspot.com
User avatar
Meido
Teacher
 
Posts: 932
Joined: Wed Nov 18, 2009 12:22 am
Location: Madison, WI - USA

Re: Zen and the Martial Arts

Postby littletsu on Wed May 13, 2015 8:00 pm

Meido wrote:
littletsu wrote:In the Musashi trilogy we meet Hakuin as Musashi's mentor, which is historically unadequate, as they lived in different centuries (unless there was another Hakuin).


Not Hakuin. Takuan Soho. They were contemporaries and may well have met. I don't know the current scholarship regarding the possible extent of any relationship they may have had.

The Eiji Yoshikawa Musashi novels, upon which the trilogy of movies was based, contain a great deal of fictionalizing, of course.

~ Meido



Oh! Sorry for my ignorance. I watched the movie way before I first came across Hakuin's name, so I created a false memory, I guess.
合うは別れの始めだ。
有燈就有人。
User avatar
littletsu
 
Posts: 534
Joined: Wed Jan 04, 2012 9:58 pm
Location: Europe

Re: Zen and the Martial Arts

Postby Meido on Wed May 13, 2015 8:26 pm

That's alright, as long as you don't mix up who gets credit for the pickle :)

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Takuan

~ Meido
明道禅徹
The Rinzai Zen Community: http://www.rinzaizen.org
Korinji monastery [臨済宗 • 祖的山光林禅寺]: http://www.korinji.org
Madison Rinzai Zen Community/Ryugen-ji [機山龍源寺]: http://www.madisonrinzaizen.org
http://rinzaiheartland.blogspot.com
User avatar
Meido
Teacher
 
Posts: 932
Joined: Wed Nov 18, 2009 12:22 am
Location: Madison, WI - USA

Re: Zen and the Martial Arts

Postby desert_woodworker on Wed May 13, 2015 9:12 pm

Skyblue,

Good to see you here again.

Well, wherever there's "hot water", there can be "tea".

If they were honorable Gents, then the next chapter would be "tea". And why not? And plenty laughter... . :tongueincheek:

:Namaste:,

--Joe

skyblue wrote:The part of the story that is difficult to get is what did these two guys do after that conversation.
User avatar
desert_woodworker
 
Posts: 6468
Joined: Thu Jun 14, 2012 5:09 am
Location: southern Arizona, USA

Re: Zen and the Martial Arts

Postby skyblue on Thu May 14, 2015 2:53 am

thank you desert_woodworker. I was attempting to throw a few concepts out there for the sake of conversation.
Zen and martial arts were designed to compliment each other.
Martial Art came out of a background of meditation. The original bone marrow washing exercises were designed to help monks
strengthen their bodies which had become lethargic from too much mediation and not enough exercise.
My understanding of martial art is that it is designed to protect your meditation. I know telling people that meditation is dangerous
is a no- no for most zen practitioners, my experience has been that if you don't know how to protect yourself you can run into trouble.
When you meditate and get more sensitive to people, that sensitivity works both ways and their are a lot of people of low moral
character that like nothing better than finding someone they can easily dump on. And you would be amazed at the response when
you block those attempts. Out comes the samurai sword and the swinging ensues.
You will always get the same response from people when you block their attacks. "Who do you think you are, blocking my garbage?"
Like Tai Chi says: "I am not a shelf so don't put your dead meat on me" that is a cute way of saying that their are problems with people
dumping their energy on you. Zen has a lot of tips on how to protect yourself from people who like to do everything except mind their own
business and martial art teaches you how to deal with people in a way that deals with the problem and the problem doesn't return.
The main goal of both systems is to increase your understanding. Understanding is everything, if you don't understand what you are doing
or what you are involved with, you run the risk making mistakes.
So the person asking the question about the relationship of Zen and Martial Art asks a very interesting question and a question that is extremely
important. Martial Art grew out of a need to protect a person who is meditating.
It is one thing to go to a monastery and practice meditation with a group of people who have similar interests and a fairly private place to practice and
it is another matter again to attempt to do these things out in the world where there are a lot of people who don't agree that you should be doing
those things, especially the people who think no one can see what they are up to.
So a Samurai Swordsman is someone who can kill you in an instant. So can a bad choice.
skyblue
 
Posts: 41
Joined: Thu Jan 13, 2011 12:29 am

Re: Zen and the Martial Arts

Postby Avisitor on Thu May 14, 2015 4:57 am

skyblue wrote:... my experience has been that if you don't know how to protect yourself you can run into trouble.
... and their are a lot of people of low moral character that like nothing better than finding someone they can easily dump on.
And you would be amazed at the response when you block those attempts. Out comes the samurai sword and the swinging ensues.
You will always get the same response from people ... Martial Art grew out of a need to protect a person who is meditating.


I didn't know.
OMG, I better learn Martial arts. :peace:
Disclaimer: There is no intent to be offensive in my posts. None was intended and none should be interpreted as such.
Sorry, got a message that I was not being PC.
User avatar
Avisitor
 
Posts: 1671
Joined: Mon Jun 04, 2012 2:43 pm
Location: Albany, NY

Re: Zen and the Martial Arts

Postby skyblue on Fri May 15, 2015 4:57 am

Think about this for a minute Avisitor.
The biggest con on this planet is that you own something.
I am pretty sure you could walk up to most of the people on this planet and kill them no problem any time and any where you want to.
You know, slide right up to them with a big smile on your face and a friendly greeting and stab them right in the neck. Happens every day.
It is an illusion that you are safe.
So if you don't even own your own body, how can you say you own anything. As soon as someone decides to take you out, your gone.
Are you above reproach, are you invincible. There is a reason why heads of state travel with plenty of security.
there is a reason why martial art and zen have stood the test of time.
A couple of hundred people are going to die tomorrow in car accidents, do you think any of them know about it before hand?
skyblue
 
Posts: 41
Joined: Thu Jan 13, 2011 12:29 am

Re: Zen and the Martial Arts

Postby Avisitor on Fri May 15, 2015 5:33 am

skyblue wrote:Think about this for a minute Avisitor.
The biggest con on this planet is that you own something.
I am pretty sure you could walk up to most of the people on this planet and kill them no problem any time and any where you want to.
You know, slide right up to them with a big smile on your face and a friendly greeting and stab them right in the neck. Happens every day.
It is an illusion that you are safe.
So if you don't even own your own body, how can you say you own anything. As soon as someone decides to take you out, your gone.
Are you above reproach, are you invincible. There is a reason why heads of state travel with plenty of security.
there is a reason why martial art and zen have stood the test of time.
A couple of hundred people are going to die tomorrow in car accidents, do you think any of them know about it before hand?


Wow that is a gruesome view of the world.
And I am pretty sure I could never walk up to a person and kill them.
That is me though

It is an illusion that I am safe??
Guess it is if one wishes to see the world that way.
For example, maybe for someone who is paranoid that the world would seem to be dangerous.
Maybe for someone who is about to get married that the world would seem to be a happy place.

"All that we are .. is the result of what we have thought." ... Buddha
Disclaimer: There is no intent to be offensive in my posts. None was intended and none should be interpreted as such.
Sorry, got a message that I was not being PC.
User avatar
Avisitor
 
Posts: 1671
Joined: Mon Jun 04, 2012 2:43 pm
Location: Albany, NY

Re: Zen and the Martial Arts

Postby desert_woodworker on Fri May 15, 2015 5:49 pm

S.,

skyblue wrote:Martial Art grew out of a need to protect a person who is meditating.

I think opinion among the public is probably divided on that.

But among Historians, I think it is unanimous that the activities at Shao Lin, for example, developed because of a need of monks' bodies to do something other than sit. Anyway, in a closed community of a monastery, there is no need for self-defense. Even when the monks would go out during ritual begging into the towns, they are afforded general deference, and they carry nothing of value anyway that a thief might want: a pair of straw sandals? A big sun-hat? A begging bowl? A robe made of sewn-together cloth strips?

My own teacher, a Chinese Ch'an monk, taught us physical techniques to help our bodies and our health, and thus to help our Ch'an practice. No fights ever broke out in 7-day Ch'an retreat (though, we can't reveal what happens in the Interview Room when we visit our shifu). :tongueincheek:

--Joe
User avatar
desert_woodworker
 
Posts: 6468
Joined: Thu Jun 14, 2012 5:09 am
Location: southern Arizona, USA

Re: Zen and the Martial Arts

Postby Shunyata on Wed May 20, 2015 8:26 am

Ninpo wrote:If anyone has any interesting ideas on Zen and th martial arts I would love to hear them.
Thanks,
Ninpo


Secrets of the Samurai (1999), by Ratti & Westbrook has about 8 pages dedicated to your topic.
Training the Samurai Mind (2008), by Cleary has a good intro and lists advise from Hakuin Ekaku who was a famous Zen monk from a Samurai family.
Kyudo - the way of the bow (2002), by Feliks F. Hoff.
Another example at http://www.shuitsukankyudojo.de/publica ... manual.pdf "When the technique is assimilated and the not-aiming is reached, KYUDO and ZEN meet."

Although movies are often cliche, The Last Samurai starring Tom Cruise used the concept of "Mu-shin" during sword practice. Tom had "too many minds", rather than a "mind without mind".

Even Miyamoto Musashi - Book of Five Rings discusses the style of "no-style". This reminds me of Bruce Lee's "be like water" philosophy. (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=APx2yFA0-B4)

Good luck with your assignment.
Shunyata
 
Posts: 7
Joined: Tue Nov 12, 2013 11:12 am

Re: Zen and the Martial Arts

Postby Guo Gu on Thu May 21, 2015 2:06 am

Ninpo wrote:
The Samurai however followed the code of Bushido and fought for honor, something that is tied in heavily to the ego. While Zen tried to teach detachment and that 'self' and 'other' do not exist, this puts Zen at a conflict with Zen's detachment philosophy.


ninpo,
this question is a theoretical/philosophical one, not grounded in history. of course it is valid in so far as a hypothetical question goes but to what end does it serve? that's a more interesting question when you write.

there are some scholarly ink spilled to confirm what meido has commented about the fact that bushido code as a late 19th century construct. notions of bushido emerged as part of japan's nationalism, militarization, imperialism, and modernization. bushido as a term first appeared in a work by a japanese person writing in english for an english audience (mostly romanticizing the japanese way). his name i believe is nitobe, who was actually a christian!

part of the romanticization of bushido is connected to a 19th century japanese work, privately circulated (never meant for pop consumption) called hagakure, therein promoted notions of bushido to dying honorably. the modern stuff, scholarly mostly, focus on bushido as emerging out of the negative warrior culture and ww2 stuff (as you seem to have found so far). what is not often noted is that bushido was strongly influenced by contemporary 19th century european ideals of chivalry. it was a japanese nationalistic and militaristic response to the west. if you plan to write a paper on it, best to examine this further. have you read these books?

inventing the way of the samurai: nationalism, internationalism, and bushido in modern japan.
taming the the samurai, which is about ethical codes in 1500 to 1800--no zen or buddhism in there; mostly just confucian stuff on how to be a person.

be well,
guo gu
Founder and teacher of Tallahassee Chan Center of the Dharma Drum Lineage of Chan Buddhism
http://www.tallahasseechan.com/
Received inka from Master Sheng Yen (1930-2009) in 1995
User avatar
Guo Gu
Teacher
 
Posts: 1300
Joined: Fri Apr 12, 2013 8:52 pm
Location: Tallahassee, FL USA

Next

Return to Other Traditions

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest

 
RocketTheme Joomla Templates

Who is online

In total there is 1 user online :: 0 registered, 0 hidden and 1 guest (based on users active over the past 5 minutes)
Most users ever online was 157 on Mon Sep 19, 2016 8:44 am

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest