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Mike Sigman
08-25-2006, 09:26 AM
In order to not interrupt the other thread, I'm moving this tangent to a new thread:

Spiritualism shouldn't bother people too much if they begin from the idea that they are a living spirit. It is not Ouija Boards and Seances and things like that. There are colorful theories with sand mandalas and prayer flags and things like that. And philosophy is tough to embody. You need a practice to do that. Irimi ho and tenkan ho. These are simple practices because anyone can do them. The aiki sword is the sword that cuts things together, for example. Every baby born is interested in movement; that is the art of aikido. Well, hold on a sec. The Ouija board phenomenon, pendulums, "automatic writing", intuition, "psychic phenomena" like telepathy, etc., are actually considered a legitimate part of the whole "Ki" thing. I.e., you can't just dismiss those things because Ueshiba and many other traditional Asian martial artists would have considered all those things as bona fide ki things.

In a way, these "unexplainable" and mysterious phenomena are the weighty part of the reason why the whole "ki" scenario was bound up with the "gods" and was therefore legitimately part of the Shinto (animistic) religion.

In a lot of ways the debates between Ted Ehara and I have revolved around the idea of whether you just "relax" and the ability to perform 'ki tests' just happens (Ted's/Ki-Society approach) or whether you can do these things with mechanistic and explainable intent (my approach). In other words, Ted's position is more in the line of "relax and the mind/universal-ki/whatever will take over". My position would be that yes, a part of the normally autonomic functions will do things that you want to happen, but understanding the mechanics behind it will speed things up. But it's that "let the subconscious take over" that is really exactly what happens with a Ouija board or a swinging pendulum telling you answers or "automatic writing" or "intuition".

This partnership with the subconscious mind and the vivid results of physical ki phenomena, including ouija-board type effects, is the "gateway to the gods" that is the basis of so much of the religious aspects and sacredness of the "ki" things in the ancient times. I.e., don't throw the baby out with the bath-water, Mark. ;)

Regards,

Mike Sigman

thisisnotreal
08-25-2006, 11:05 AM
hmm ......interesting..

>>But it's that "let the subconscious take over" that is really exactly what happens with a Ouija board or a swinging pendulum telling you answers or "automatic writing" or "intuition".

The part that goes "let the XXXX take over". We/You assume that it is the subconscious that takes over. Possible. Is it possible that it is something else?

Chinkon Kishin was a process for capturing what, again?
And they stopped practice of it at Onisaburo's, why, again?

Josh

Ron Tisdale
08-25-2006, 11:10 AM
And they stopped practice of it at Onisaburo's, why, again?

Interesting...source? I just haven't heard about that that I can remember.

Another interesting tidbit...in spite of the idea of spirit possession, Chinkon Kishin is still practiced at the Yoshinkan. Even though Shioda Kancho was decidedly agnostic about the "spiritual side of aikido".

Best,
Ron

Mike Sigman
08-25-2006, 11:45 AM
The part that goes "let the XXXX take over". We/You assume that it is the subconscious that takes over. Possible. Is it possible that it is something else? Like what? I'm open to all sorts of speculations, but the decidedly most probable "thing" taking over is some part of our brain other than our conscious, rational self. So just assume that "subconscious" means "non-conscious" for the moment. It's a point though, so thanks for bringing it up. You can see how easy it would be to suggest things like "the gods". Ueshiba attributed a lot of these things to the "gods", as a matter of fact, as this interview with Tohei shows:

From: http://www.aikidojournal.com/article.php?articleID=93

Sensei said of that time, "All the many divine spirits of Heaven and Earth entered my body and I became as immovable as a heavy rock." Everybody took him literally and believed it. I heard him say that kind of thing hundreds of times.

For my part, I have never had divine beings enter my body. I've never put much stock in that kind of illogical explanation.

Once when I was with Sensei in Hawaii, there was a demonstration in which two of the strong Hawaiian students were supposed to try to lift me up. They already knew they couldn't do it, so they didn't think much of it. But Sensei, who was off to the side watching, kept standing up and saying, "Stop, you can lift Tohei, you can lift him! Stop, make them stop! This demonstration's no good!"


Tohei demonstrating in Hawaii
shortly after his arrivalYou see, I had been out drinking until three o'clock in the morning the previous evening, and Sensei knew what condition I had come home in. He said, "Of course the gods aren't going to enter into a drunken sot like you! If they did they'd all get tipsy!" That's why he thought they would be able to lift me.

In reality that sort of thing has nothing to do with any gods or spirits. It's just a matter of having a low center of gravity. I know this and it's what I teach all my students. It wouldn't mean anything if only certain special people could do it. Things like that have to be accessible to everyone if they're to have any meaning. Chinkon Kishin was a process for capturing what, again?
And they stopped practice of it at Onisaburo's, why, again?It's unclear what you're asking.

FWIW

Mike Sigman

tedehara
08-25-2006, 11:52 AM
hmm ......interesting..

>>But it's that "let the subconscious take over" that is really exactly what happens with a Ouija board or a swinging pendulum telling you answers or "automatic writing" or "intuition".

The part that goes "let the XXXX take over". We/You assume that it is the subconscious that takes over. Possible. Is it possible that it is something else?

Chinkon Kishin was a process for capturing what, again?
And they stopped practice of it at Onisaburo's, why, again?

JoshClick HERE (http://www.budodojo.com/chinkon-kishin.htm) and read about Chinkon Kishin.

Our modern perspective tells us it is the subconscious that takes over. However a traditionalist might say it is our connection with the gods, spirits or God, that are allowed access to our actions and thoughts.

Mike Sigman
08-25-2006, 12:05 PM
Click HERE (http://www.budodojo.com/chinkon-kishin.htm) and read about Chinkon Kishin.
IIRC, in regard to that webpage's claim about how the Chinkon-Kishin derives from the Kojiki, they neglect to mention that this "ancient Japanese practice" is actually a derivative of Tantric Buddhist "Shingon" practice. Chinkon => Shingon

FWIW

Mike

Alfonso
08-25-2006, 12:08 PM
Interesting...source? I just haven't heard about that that I can remember.

found a better reference

http://www.aikidojournal.com/article.php?articleID=256

Ron Tisdale
08-25-2006, 12:09 PM
Nice article.

However, in later years the practice of chinkon-kishin was abandoned in Omoto Kyo because of the profound and often surprising effect it had on its practitioners. The practice was never abandoned by O Sensei and is found mixed into aikido warm-ups in dojo everywhere today.

But he doesn't provide a source for this statement.

I liked the description of Chinkon Kishin, and recognized that version from an Aikikai dojo I visit, but it is a little different from the Yoshinkan version in the details.

Best,
Ron

Ron Tisdale
08-25-2006, 12:11 PM
This was on a Omoto website..

Thanks, I'll browse around a bit.

Best,
Ron

dbotari
08-25-2006, 12:16 PM
Another interesting tidbit...in spite of the idea of spirit possession, Chinkon Kishin is still practiced at the Yoshinkan. Even though Shioda Kancho was decidedly agnostic about the "spiritual side of aikido".

Best,
Ron


Ron,

What is Chinkon Kishin again. I'm having a bad brain day - i just can't seem to recall what it is.

Thanks,

Dan

Ron Tisdale
08-25-2006, 12:21 PM
Ted Ehara has a post about 4 or 5 up that has the link. It seems to be a good article, though it doesn't quote the source. If you read the section on Chinkon Kishin, and if you are familiar with the Yoshinkan practice at the end of warm ups where we clasp left over right with the fingers gripping, feet about shoulder width apart, butt tucked in, you'll see the similarities.

Best,
Ron

Mike Sigman
08-25-2006, 12:25 PM
the Yoshinkan practice at the end of warm ups where we clasp left over right with the fingers gripping, feet about shoulder width apart, butt tucked in, ... Hmmmm.... so if you're in a Yoshinkan dojo, it's safer to keep the butt tucked in??? ;)

Just kidding, but you realize that you're describing normally-described body postures for training in "nei jin" ("internal strength")? Of course, just doing the postures isn't enough, but it's interesting to have those traditions carry on so far down the road.

Regards,

Mike

Ron Tisdale
08-25-2006, 12:27 PM
Alfonso, Excellent link, thank you very much!

Best,
Ron (That puts the source question to rest, I think)

Mike Sigman
08-25-2006, 12:28 PM
found a better reference

http://www.aikidojournal.com/article.php?articleID=256It's a good source, Alfonso, and I'm glad this topic came up. The odd relationship to the "non-conscious mind" or to the "gods" or the "spirits" is not uncommon in Japan and China. To keep it short, I'll just say that it is always considered as part of the overall "ki" relationships. A lot of the talk about "natural" this and that also refers partially to this mind-ki-body-subconscious relationship.

FWIW

Mike

Ron Tisdale
08-25-2006, 12:34 PM
Hi Mike, yes, I do realize what I'm describing, but for the life of me I couldn't tell you if I do it properly.

One of my gripes about some of the warm ups...not the ones led by the head instructor...but sometimes it seems like we speed through them to get to the 'good stuff'. To my mind, that could be a very large mistake. Also, there is fairly little instruction on them. We all know now that stretching before activity does little to prevent injury...I don't think these "warm ups" provide much in that area anyway, even though there are some stretches involved. I think the warm ups are mostly ki exercises...though of course in the yoshinkan we would NEVER call them that. ;)

A fifth or six dan in the Ki Society, Terry Pierce, visited us at a branch dojo once. When he saw our warm ups, he said "those are ki exercises!" He seemed quite surprised at the similarities. But to do them quickly and not mindfully probably misses a large part of the purpose, and to do them without understanding some of the details is probably just as bad.

Best,
Ron

Alfonso
08-25-2006, 01:06 PM
As far as warmups in training goes, I learned mine monkey-see-monkey-do style. I've tried to learn more because I don't like doing things like that, but it seems that repetitive practice is important anyway so it isn't like I feel harmed. The finer details though are important to me too.. I would like to make the practice count..

As for spirit posession..to me it looks like O-Sensei got involved in the Omoto movement in part due to the chinkon kishin being practiced there. If the phenomenom experienced of unconscious communication is related to the body development experienced by this type of training, which would also be related to the development of internal strength, it makes it part of the whole of aikido no?

This resonates with a lot of ther anecdotes about Morihei and intuition, how he conducted his life and so on.

It also makes me wonder about what he might have learned from Takeda and why he must have been so attracted to Onisaburo, why and where he departed from Daito Ryu ..

Mike Sigman
08-25-2006, 01:28 PM
As far as warmups in training goes, I learned mine monkey-see-monkey-do style. I've tried to learn more because I don't like doing things like that, but it seems that repetitive practice is important anyway so it isn't like I feel harmed. The finer details though are important to me too.. I would like to make the practice count.. My personal opinion is that it's probably just a waste of time to do the exercises without knowing how to do kokyu, real ki-breathing, etc. But it doesn't hurt either. It's the same thing as doing an empty Taiji form without knowing how to do jin, the breathing, etc. Nice, slow, exercise and it looks cool, but..... As for spirit posession..to me it looks like O-Sensei got involved in the Omoto movement in part due to the chinkon kishin being practiced there. If the phenomenom experienced of unconscious communication is related to the body development experienced by this type of training, which would also be related to the development of internal strength, it makes it part of the whole of aikido no?

This resonates with a lot of ther anecdotes about Morihei and intuition, how he conducted his life and so on.

It also makes me wonder about what he might have learned from Takeda and why he must have been so attracted to Onisaburo, why and where he departed from Daito Ryu .. Yeah, a lot of things are becoming clearer, once I see they got into the "spirits" and "possession" side of some of the ki things. Sure, you can get ki and kokyu skills, but I think it's something most Chinese martial artists derisively shrug off, just as they do "lin kong jin" (control from a distance").

Regards,

Mike

Ron Tisdale
08-25-2006, 01:41 PM
It also makes me wonder about what he might have learned from Takeda and why he must have been so attracted to Onisaburo, why and where he departed from Daito Ryu ..

*** Warning...Gross Speculation Alert (not to be confused with Gross ExSpectoration Alerts) ***

It seems different people use different "hooks" to achieve certain mindstates, and they also may have different ways to tie those into whatever body skills they use. I've known wrestlers who would have the coach slap them upside the head HARD to get the amped for a match. You really didn't want to be the first body they had contact with after that.

It would seem Takeda was really old school, but not of a religious bent. He was known to go to a fencing school, fight everyone there, then fight the teacher. That level of competition is going to have severe benefits if you sucseed at it on a regular basis.

I don't think Ueshiba had that sort of background for a base. His bent was more toward farming and religion. So his "hooks" were of a different nature, which might explain why the two parted ways eventually. I don't think they could approach being equals comfortably, so once the student teacher relationship began to change, they had to part.

Here endith the speculation...

Best,
Ron

Mark Uttech
08-25-2006, 02:01 PM
This partnership with the subconscious mind and the vivid results of physical ki phenomena, including ouija-board type effects, is the "gateway to the gods" that is the basis of so much of the religious aspects and sacredness of the "ki" things in the ancient times. I.e., don't throw the baby out with the bath-water, Mark. ;)

Regards,

Mike Sigman

Phenomena exist, that is true. And people like to have some control in order to feel comfortable around chaos. In my post I simply returned to simple techniques such as tenkan ho and irimi ho as techniques to be practiced, simple things.
I come from an aikido background, and an american buddhist background. I also come from a small town in the middle of America. When questioned in a courtroom about the existence of "Ki" years ago, I simply raised my arm and put it back down.
"That was ki, your honor, nothing special about it..."

Mike Sigman
08-25-2006, 02:08 PM
When questioned in a courtroom about the existence of "Ki" years ago, I simply raised my arm and put it back down.
"That was ki, your honor, nothing special about it..." Ummmm.... that would be considered at best some sort of ill-informed and kindergarten-level joke if you said it in front of knowledgeable Chinese/Japanese, though. It's not a telling comment about what ki is.

Regards,

Mike Sigman

Ron Tisdale
08-25-2006, 02:10 PM
I don't know...Tohei made much the same joke... ;)

Best,
Ron (and no, I'm not suggesting that Mark is on the level of Tohei...though for all I really know, I suppose he could be...)

Mark Uttech
08-25-2006, 02:22 PM
Kindergarten was a great starting dojo! It was where i learned how to get in line, and wait.

Mike Sigman
08-25-2006, 02:26 PM
I don't know...Tohei made much the same joke... ;)Yeah, I remember. However, Tohei would not have done that except to a crowd where he could get away with it. A knowledgeable Asian forum would have been turned against him for such a puerile joke.

Did you notice, BTW, that quote I did earlier where Tohei derided O-Sensei for thinking it was the gods, but Tohei just "lowered his center" or something like that? I often wonder why he can be so explicit when he wants to be, but for public consumption he just says vagaries like "keep the one point".

FWIW

Mike

Mark Uttech
08-25-2006, 02:34 PM
The way this thread is evolving, I don't think the joke is on me anymore. Whew...

Mark Uttech
08-25-2006, 02:43 PM
What is the difference in vagaries between "lowered his center" and "keep the one point" ? See, that is why a great kindergarten teaching like " stand in line and wait" is so valuable. Even dogs and cats and monkeys can't do it without training.

In gassho,
Mark

statisticool
08-25-2006, 03:08 PM
One feels they can speak on what Tohei would or would not have done, as well as what knowledgeable Chinese/Japanese, and knowledgeable Asians would do.

One sees a claim of psychic powers, and the debate tactic to imply that those that disagree with you are stupid. Interesting.


Justin

Charles Hill
08-25-2006, 09:43 PM
http://www.aikidojournal.com/article.php?articleID=256

I was one of those people who went to Ayabe/Kameoka to try to learn chinkon kishin and was told much the same thing. The details I got were that a number of people jumped off of roofs while possessed. I also think that it is important to understand that chinkon kishin is a or has become a kind of standardized term with many kinds, similar to kotodama. From what I have understood, what one can learn of chinkon kishin from various sources today is not what Onisaburo taught.

Also, the idea that chinkon = shingon might have have a grain of truth to it, but in my opinion nothing can be made of such a connection. The two practices/philosophies are quite different in many ways.

Charles

Mike Sigman
08-26-2006, 08:32 AM
I was one of those people who went to Ayabe/Kameoka to try to learn chinkon kishin and was told much the same thing. The details I got were that a number of people jumped off of roofs while possessed. Liang Shou Yu in Canada is sort of a repository of qigong information and a long time ago he showed one of the "possession" type qigongs. To make a long story short, in my early thirties I did some research for a couple of years on the pendulum phenomenon, and other things (my reasoning was that this stuff was so worldwide that there might be something interesting there) and I learned to relax and feel a certain point when "communication" (presumably the subconscious) was there. Never learned anything worthwhile from the pendulum... I personally felt like it was interesting, but just an aspect of human consciousness. The point was that I could tell when the subconsicous "engaged".... kind of a presence feeling. I remember feeling it appear and I though "well, hello there".

So while a bunch of us were dutifully doing what Liang Shou Yu was leading us through, I suddenly felt that same "engagement" that I'd felt with the pendulum, etc.

I saw some people do some strange things while that "engagement" was taking place, but I felt like a lot of it was semi-faked.... like someone who wants badly to be hypnotized and is over-acting while they are "under", if you understand what I'm saying. Conversations privately later with Liang Shou Yu left me with the feeling that he felt there was an element of personality creating the different reactions, too.

FWIW

Mike

Mark Uttech
08-26-2006, 09:34 AM
So Mike, as in all other things, a strong personality makes all the difference in the world? Or is it that the strong personalities are the ones that get the attention? A strong personality has strong energy? Useful reflections.

In gassho,
Mark

Mike Sigman
08-26-2006, 09:48 AM
So Mike, as in all other things, a strong personality makes all the difference in the world? Or is it that the strong personalities are the ones that get the attention? A strong personality has strong energy? Useful reflections.Hmmmm, no, I wouldn't say that's completely true, if we're just talking about the "possession" type qigongs. Strong personality, yes, but if I had to try to put my finger on it more precisely, I'd say a "need for attention" (and not meaning that in either a positive or negative way). But then of course a lot of people with "strong personalities" also have a self-absorptive need for "look at me", too, don't they. And BTW, I'm not saying that in a negative way... the ego-maniacs, trying to prove how great they are, often do just that. It can be a useful motivator, as long as it doesn't get out of control.

My 2 cents.

Mike

David Orange
08-26-2006, 01:38 PM
Mike, so you like Liang Shou Yu? Do you feel like he knows his stuff where qi is concerned?

Mike Sigman
08-26-2006, 04:06 PM
Mike, so you like Liang Shou Yu? Do you feel like he knows his stuff where qi is concerned?David, have you ever seen my posts where I deliberately separate out qi and jin? Bearing that in mind, Liang Shou Yu knows more about qi generally than any other Chinese person I know.

Regards,

Mike Sigman

Ron Tisdale
08-28-2006, 02:34 PM
Wow, high recommendation. I take it he doesn't use facets of ki to 'source' his power? Hmm, maybe a search is in order...

Best,
Ron

thisisnotreal
08-28-2006, 09:57 PM
As for spirit posession..to me it looks like O-Sensei got involved in the Omoto movement in part due to the chinkon kishin being practiced there. If the phenomenom experienced of unconscious communication is related to the body development experienced by this type of training, which would also be related to the development of internal strength, it makes it part of the whole of aikido no?
..

dude - this thought *is* crazy.
but i've thought this before too.
I was also thinking that; you know, there are people in this world who would sell their souls for ultimate marshall skill. There are people who would seek the council of demons; *no matter the cost* (/not in Aikido, tho). In history there must've been people willing to *do anything*.
And what worries me is that a lot of the secret hidden things they did, are similar/(can be arguably similar in concept to some of the deeper things/internal pursuits/alchemy) to some of the knowlege that is coming out to general public consumption. This internet thing is really unlike anything the worlds' seen so far.

If this *is* part of the 'whole of aikido', then what do *you* think?

For myself, I find Aikido, as designed, is the pursuit of a transformative experience meant to tap the 'infinite-potential' (proffered by /secular/ humanism). Ultimately it is as a Japanese Yoga path. A yoke-ing of the mind and spirit. Becoming one with the cosmos. In harmony with the Tao. Ki no musubi. A slave-to-the-mind-till-wakeup-then-the-Embrace-that-Smothers - dissolution-(hence; spirit posession/channelling) if taken to the logical extreme. One objection a Christian could have about this practice (*Aikido*, And here I mean only the physical exercise; *not* the ChinkonKishin/deeper-mystery-mikkyo things, (of which Ki-I believe, is one, and there are potential *traps* everywhere!)) is that completely allowing this transformative practice to take a 'pervasive influence' on you; and being pervasively influenced by it (u know who), means a (conscious) conscious exertion of will-power, which will choke out the Word and cares of the things of God. Attention is like time; Sincereity is the quality.
The main objection a Christian could have about the practice of ChinkonKishin itself is that this is directly forbidden in the Bible as a cultivation (paraphrasing) of relationships with familiar spirits.


another question I have; is that if O-Sensei said this of enlightenment:

Enlightenment or delusion?
Who is to say which person has which
Like the evening moon they appear and fade
Not one knows exactly when.

Then if this is the nature of the knowledge of the (this/) inner path (e.g. which personally was my experience of these things: bewildering, and uncertain), what does that say about the inherent *Quality* of these truths proffered by the system?

..typed too much today..

whatever.

[edit] ps Alfonso - after rereading; i realize i may have missed the mark and did a complete misread of your post...if so; (1)let me know, and (2)i'm sorry. i probably just wanted to rant for some time...

Joe Bowen
08-29-2006, 09:10 AM
...an american buddhist background...When questioned in a courtroom about the existence of "Ki" years ago, I simply raised my arm and put it back down. "That was ki, your honor, nothing special about it..."

Mark,

Two things in your post make me ask the following questions:

What is distinctive about an "american" buddhist background?

And, what's the story behind testifying in a court of law about Ki?

Truly that must have been a curious event in middle america :p ?

joe

Alfonso
08-29-2006, 10:24 AM
dude - this thought *is* crazy.
...
[edit] ps Alfonso - after rereading; i realize i may have missed the mark and did a complete misread of your post...if so; (1)let me know, and (2)i'm sorry. i probably just wanted to rant for some time...

Well I'm sure I wasn't exactly on the same track as you , just brining up a question about the psychology of aikido maybe.

I'm not a Religious person so I wasn't seeing this side of the issue

Mark Uttech
09-02-2006, 10:24 AM
Mark,

Two things in your post make me ask the following questions:

What is distinctive about an "american" buddhist background?

And, what's the story behind testifying in a court of law about Ki?

Truly that must have been a curious event in middle america :p ?

joe

Buddhism in China and Japan became distinctly Chinese and Japanese. Although Buddhism was introduced in America more than a hundred years ago, it is becoming more visible in the mainstream now.
The court story I told was actually a case where I was being challenged with corrupting my children during visitations by my exwife, who was a fundamentalist christian. She told the judge that the aikido dojo was a buddhist temple that taught the mysterious power of "ki". Anyway, the judge saw my side and even ok'd bowing as a practice. Of course, the exwife then went to the catholic priest of my parish, but he also blessed the bowing practice.

In gassho,
Mark

Astig Kamao
09-04-2006, 05:29 PM
When I was a kid growing up in Manila i saw possessions. They did not do the 360 turn with the head, no white eyes, and the dead (zombie) looking face. However they have the voice change and multi lingual thing happening. It was oh so scarey.

I think it is in the belief. We were surronded by faith healers and believers. I think if there is actually someone out there passionately believing in it, they feed that belief enough energy to actually manifest itself.

Mike Sigman
09-04-2006, 07:14 PM
However they have the voice change and multi lingual thing happening. It was oh so scarey.

I think it is in the belief. I pretty much agree, Michael. One of my teachers had studied biology in college when he grew up in China and he was also quite skilled in martial arts and qigongs. When we asked him one time how in the world he did a certain demonstration, he said, "Some people call it qi. But really it is just that the human body can be conditioned more than most people understand it can be".

A lot of the "possessions" and dramatic phenomena, IMO, simply represent the odd things the body is capable of doing when more of its innate skills are understood".

FWIW

Mike Sigman

Joe Bowen
09-06-2006, 04:14 AM
Buddhism in China and Japan became distinctly Chinese and Japanese. Although Buddhism was introduced in America more than a hundred years ago, it is becoming more visible in the mainstream now.
The court story I told was actually a case where I was being challenged with corrupting my children during visitations by my exwife, who was a fundamentalist christian. She told the judge that the aikido dojo was a buddhist temple that taught the mysterious power of "ki". Anyway, the judge saw my side and even ok'd bowing as a practice. Of course, the exwife then went to the catholic priest of my parish, but he also blessed the bowing practice.
In gassho,
Mark

I see you point about the Buddhism, but I would not think that we (meaning Americans) have progressed so far as to have a unique flavor of Buddhism all of our own. Surprisingly, both Korean, and Thai Buddhism seems to be as prevalent in the US as Chinese and Japanese Buddhism. So, my general and probably inaccurate assessment is that we're still tasting from the many flavors, but I'll readily admit that I'm really not in a position to provide an informed opinion, that's just my intuitive feel for the situation.
My sympathies on the difficulties with your exwife. That kind of thing can be exceedingly difficult and I thank you for sharing the information.
In gassho,
Joe

Mike Sigman
09-06-2006, 09:22 AM
I was one of those people who went to Ayabe/Kameoka to try to learn chinkon kishin and was told much the same thing. The details I got were that a number of people jumped off of roofs while possessed. I also think that it is important to understand that chinkon kishin is a or has become a kind of standardized term with many kinds, similar to kotodama. From what I have understood, what one can learn of chinkon kishin from various sources today is not what Onisaburo taught.

Also, the idea that chinkon = shingon might have have a grain of truth to it, but in my opinion nothing can be made of such a connection. The two practices/philosophies are quite different in many ways.Hi Charles:

I meant to add something, but just finally remembered it. Take a look at one of the original reference pages:
http://www.budodojo.com/chinkon-kishin.htm

Look at the picture of Ueshiba doing his meditation (2 men in the picture). Notice Ueshiba's hands doing the Lin (Immoveable) Seal from the Jiuzi Miling (the Nine Esoteric Seals). I think the relationship between this "Shinto" practice and Chinese Buddhism is pretty much inescapable.

Regards,

Mike Sigman

Ron Tisdale
09-06-2006, 09:46 AM
I'm not very knowledgable in this area, but I believe the hand configurations (mudra?) are common in many JMAs, with the immediate source being Esoteric Buddhism, or mikkyo. The Skoss's site, www.koryubooks.com has several online articles that mention this here:

http://koryu.master.com/texis/master/search/?s=SS&q=mikkyo

Of course, many (if not all) of these traditions certainly can be traced back to influences from China at some point. But from what little I understand, they are certainly very contextual to their use in the various Japanese traditions in which they are found. It would take someone much more experienced than I to deliniate any differences in usage between China and Japan. Maybe Mike can read the source material on the link above, and give some opinions...

Best,
Ron

Mike Sigman
09-06-2006, 09:54 AM
Of course, many (if not all) of these traditions certainly can be traced back to influences from China at some point. But from what little I understand, they are certainly very contextual to their use in the various Japanese traditions in which they are found. It would take someone much more experienced than I to deliniate any differences in usage between China and Japan. Maybe Mike can read the source material on the link above, and give some opinions...Well, the Shingon (Tantric) Buddhist use of those seals is well-known and there is no coincidental (simultaneous) discovery of the same hand-seals in Japan and China, is there? The point I was making was not just the Chinkon-Shingon relationship, though... the point was that a lot of "this has to be pure Japanese because it's a Shinto tradition mentioned in the Kojiki" simply doesn't hold water. Much of the Kokjiki stuff, like the Chinese writing used to write the Kojiki, was of Chinese origin. Again, let me stress that I don't want to get into one of these Japan-China wars, particularly with people that are not sure what they're fighting for but they're willing to fight anyway ( ;) )... I'm simply responding to assertions that something is "traditional Japanese" when even a casual review would throw heavy doubt onto the idea.

FWIW

Mike

Mike Sigman
09-06-2006, 10:26 AM
I'm not very knowledgable in this area, but I believe the hand configurations (mudra?) are common in many JMAs, with the immediate source being Esoteric Buddhism, or mikkyo. The Skoss's site, www.koryubooks.com has several online articles that mention this here:

http://koryu.master.com/texis/master/search/?s=SS&q=mikkyo
No offense, but I simply don't have a lot of faith in the "histories" of a lot of the western 'experts'. Generally, they have a limited viewpoint and necessarily only draw from a few select, translated sources. Too often the commentaries by these people represent their collection of a few limited ideas and do not reflect any ability to do their own research into the ancient documents, any knowledge of ancient customs and idioms, etc.

I read one of the Koryu books by a western "expert" with a very skewed and poor understanding of the creative-destructive cycle and a complete miss on the "Bagua" reasoning. Someone suggested it might be the editor of the book, but on reflection I simply don't think so. The real problem is that many of the "Japanese experts" simply don't have the wideranging expertise in the rest of Asian history and background... i.e., they speak from their perception of things, as they learned them during their studies of Japanese martial arts and religions. No offense.... but if I were to write a historical analysis from such a limited viewpoint, I would be the first to make the caveats up front. When someone like William C.C. Hu comes along and actually translates the old texts, giving insight into the idiom and customs (not that I agree with all his conclusions, just to be clear), what he reveals is far more credible than the guesses by non-professional western "historians" who use their dan-grades or expertise in other fields for credentials. ;)

Regards,

Mike

Ron Tisdale
09-06-2006, 11:46 AM
Hmmm...I don't quite know what to say to any of that. I gave the references as a place to start looking at some of these usages in Japanese traditional arts...not as a Japan vs. China arguement...more as a base to start looking at differences *and* similarities. I think the China connection is obvious...and I have not yet seen David Lowry, or Colin Hyakutake say otherwise. As far as I know, neither of them are "historians"...but that in and of itself doesn't remove their work from consideration. At least not by me.

As for "dan grades"...the arts in question don't give them...so that is neither here nor there.

Best,
Ron

Mike Sigman
09-06-2006, 12:43 PM
What I was initially responding to was the Chinkon-Shingon connection, Ron (Shingon being a form of Tantric Buddhish, IIRC). Your pointing to some western-based comments is fine and I also read what they have to say, but I simply find a lot of the "Koryu" historians not all that credible, mainly because they usually only have a limited ability to really comment on history.

What I'm mainly pointing out is that the ideas of something being "Shinto" and "traditional Japanese" (even the "Koryu") can't be totally separated from the Chinese influences. So while some people spend a lot of time pointing out the "differences" in the Japanese and Chinese stuff, I tend to simply look at the similarities and borrowings. The Japanese stuff represents sometimes a terrific repository of the old Chinese stuff that can't be found in any other source. It's actually sort of fascinating.

Regards,

Mike

Ron Tisdale
09-06-2006, 01:06 PM
Completely agreed. Maybe when I'm done with the stupid computer stuff I do for a living, I'll go back to school and really delve into some of this. Or maybe, just in my next turn of the wheel... ;)

Best,
Ron