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-   -   How to defeat a samurai. (http://www.aikiweb.com/forums/showthread.php?t=20543)

torbjornsaw 11-17-2011 10:34 AM

How to defeat a samurai.
 
Once, after Bankei had given a talk at the Korin-ji, a samurai proud of his skill in the fighting arts approached him for an interview.

"I trained for many years in the art of dueling," he said. "Once I had it mastered, my arms moved in perfect accord with my mind. Now, if I face an opponent, my blade will split his skull before his weapon even moves. It's just like you possessing the Dharma eye."

"You say you have perfected your skill in your art," Bankei said. "Try to strike me!"

The samurai hesitated for an instant.

"My blow has already fallen," said Bankei.

The man's jaw sagged. "I'm astonished," he sighed. "Your stroke is swifter than the spark off a flint. My head rolls at my feet. Please, master, teach me the essentials of Zen."

torbjornsaw 11-18-2011 06:12 AM

Re: How to defeat a samurai.
 
One winter when Bankei was preaching during a retreat at the Sanyu-ji in Bizen province, laity and priests from Bizen and Bitchu assembled in great numbers to hear him. At a place called Niwase, in Bitchu, there was a large temple of the Nichiren sect, whose head priest was a learned cleric deeply venerated by his congregation. By that time, Bankei’s name was already known far and wide, and his teaching inspired great respect, so the Nichiren priest’s followers all came to attend the meetings. Resenting this, the priest told them, “I’ve heard that Bankei isn’t really enlightened. If I went there, I could give him a question I know he couldn’t answer. I could stop him with a single word.”
So saying he showed up at one of the meetings. Standing at the rear of the assembly, in the middle of Bankei’s talk he said in a loud voice, “The people here all listen to your talk and believe what you tell them. But someone like myself could never be expected to agree with the essential idea of your teaching. How can you save me when I don’t accept your teaching?”
Bankei raised up his fan and said, “Would you move forward here a little?”
The priest moved forward.
“Please come forward a bit more,” said Bankei.
The priest advanced again.
“Look how well you accept it!” said Bankei.
The priest withdrew stupidly without saying another word.

Michael Hackett 11-18-2011 11:07 AM

Re: How to defeat a samurai.
 
I attended a leadership seminar years ago that was designed for supervisory level police agents. There probably isn't a more critical group of individuals that a bunch of grumpy old patrol sergeants in a single room. The instructor asked everyone present to stand up, then face the left, then face the right, and then to sit back down. He then said "That was an example of leadership." The response was some red-faced chuckles and focused attention to the presentation.

torbjornsaw 11-19-2011 12:28 AM

Re: How to defeat a samurai.
 
Hi Michael,
Some resemblance there but I do believe Bankei was emphasizing the relationship rather than the leadership. Thanks for posting though.

Here's some more food for thought:

Some years after his ordination, while journeying to Mount T’ien T’ai, Huang Po fell in with a monk with whom he soon came to feel like an old acquaintance; so they continued their journey together. Finding the way barred by a mountain stream in flood, our Master lent upon his staff and halted, at which his friend entreated him to proceed.

“No. You go first,” said our Master. So the former floated his big straw rain-hat on the torrent and easily made his way to the other side.

“I,” sighed the Master, “have allowed such a fellow to accompany me! I ought to have slain him with a blow of my staff!”

SeiserL 11-19-2011 04:01 AM

Re: How to defeat a samurai.
 
Why defeat a samurai?
Why not join them?

torbjornsaw 11-19-2011 04:10 AM

Re: How to defeat a samurai.
 
There is a gist to the stories. Not unlike a koan or a secret waiting to be revealed. But you already knew that no? Happy quandaries.

graham christian 11-19-2011 09:56 AM

Re: How to defeat a samurai.
 
On topic a different story.

There were a group of Sohei monks relaxing in a field when they were approached by the local Daimyo. He wanted to ask how they defeated the enemy samurai who were trying to take over his territory.

He proceeded to ask how they did it for those were the so called invincible warriors of a clan that were completely fearless and feared by his own samurai.

One monk explained. Those samurai are indeed fearless and skilled and their secret is their meditation. They meditate on already being dead and thus are fearless. This is their stable point, their center, the source of their power. Thus they are unmoved and unperturbed in all circumstances. True warriors.

However, we too have a center, a stable point, a source of infinite power. We too meditate on this one thing and thus fear nothing are unmoved and unperturbed. We too are true warriors. We meditate on life.

Regards.G.

torbjornsaw 11-19-2011 10:12 AM

Re: How to defeat a samurai.
 
Parden me for saying but quite not in the same league.

Mark Freeman 11-19-2011 11:03 AM

Re: How to defeat a samurai.
 
Quote:

Torbjorn Saw wrote: (Post 297483)
Parden me for saying but quite not in the same league.

Crikey, I didn't realise that the enlightened were so competetive :(

Anthony Loeppert 11-19-2011 11:54 AM

Re: How to defeat a samurai.
 
Quote:

Mark Freeman wrote: (Post 297487)
Crikey, I didn't realise that the enlightened were so competetive :(

There is a difference in quality of parable. One which is subtle and allows degrees of freedom in ultimate conclusion. There is another kind which constructs a (seemingly to the teller) logical path which the reader must "walk" for lack of a better term.

I'm surprised you haven't noticed such a dichotomy in life.

I would like to make clear, I don't necessarily understand either view point, but there is a qualitative difference.

Ellis Amdur 11-19-2011 01:11 PM

Re: How to defeat a Buddhist.
 
Quote:

"You say you have perfected your skill in your art," Bankei said. "Try to strike me!"

The samurai hesitated for an instant.

"My blow has already fallen," said Bankei.

The man's jaw sagged. "I'm astonished," he sighed. "Your stroke is swifter than the spark off a flint. My head rolls at my feet. Please, master, teach me the essentials of Zen."
Which means that Nobunaga was clearly enlightened. Just ask all the monks of Hieizan, Nagashima, Echizen, and Hoganji. 10,000s of them roasted on fires and spitted in spears. Because, Nobunaga never hesitated.

Quote:

In 1580, when the siege of the Oda clan upon Ishiyama -- the Hongan warrior-monks' HQ -- was still effective, suddenly the warrior-monks sent an envoy to talk of peace.

In an infamous incident, Oda Nobunaga ordered his attendant to cut the head of one of the monks that came to his camp.

Toyotomi asked why, since Oda himself wanted peace.

"If I didn't kill that man, they will never know I'm serious with our threat of making Ishiyama the second Hiei!" Oda replied.

Mark Freeman 11-19-2011 01:19 PM

Re: How to defeat a samurai.
 
Quote:

Anthony Loeppert wrote: (Post 297492)
There is a difference in quality of parable. One which is subtle and allows degrees of freedom in ultimate conclusion. There is another kind which constructs a (seemingly to the teller) logical path which the reader must "walk" for lack of a better term.

I'm surprised you haven't noticed such a dichotomy in life.

I would like to make clear, I don't necessarily understand either view point, but there is a qualitative difference.

Hi Anthony,

of course I have noticed such dichotomies in life, parables are parables and some speak volumes more than others. However, they are just different fingers pointing at the moon, who is to say which finger is more important than the other?

Are there degrees of enlightenment? Are there rankings in how effective a koan or a parable is? I would have thought it is all down to what the receiver does with them. A 'high quality' koan might be wasted on a dullard, but a low quality parable might be just the thing that triggers off a productive state in a lively searching mind.

My rather flippant comment, was really to point at the "mine is clearly superior to yours" tone of response to Graham's story

regards,

Mark

Gorgeous George 11-19-2011 01:29 PM

Re: How to defeat a samurai.
 
Quote:

Anthony Loeppert wrote: (Post 297492)
There is a difference in quality of parable. One which is subtle and allows degrees of freedom in ultimate conclusion. There is another kind which constructs a (seemingly to the teller) logical path which the reader must "walk" for lack of a better term.

I'm surprised you haven't noticed such a dichotomy in life.

I would like to make clear, I don't necessarily understand either view point, but there is a qualitative difference.

True.

Anthony Loeppert 11-19-2011 01:39 PM

Re: How to defeat a samurai.
 
Quote:

My rather flippant comment, was really to point at the "mine is clearly superior to yours" tone of response to Graham's story
Understood, and yet I still hold to "yes, there are a lot of opinions on a variety of subjects, however..." There are ideas superior to others. Otherwise why bother having ideas at all...

lbb 11-19-2011 02:06 PM

Re: How to defeat a samurai.
 
A koan, a secret, a parable and a platitude are four different things.

Anthony Loeppert 11-19-2011 02:23 PM

Re: How to defeat a samurai.
 
Quote:

Mary Malmros wrote: (Post 297507)
A koan, a secret, a parable and a platitude are four different things.

And they all come together in this splendid combination which is this conversation. Your point?

torbjornsaw 11-19-2011 02:27 PM

Re: How to defeat a samurai.
 
I knew the danger of commenting but sometimes it's good to state a subtle truth even if it hurts someone's sentiments. I want to promote deep truths above superficialities. Bringing to light the vast differences of knowledge hoping to create a desire or thirst toward the subtle and profound. We need to be challenged sometimes and it's not bad to be reminded when we take things for granted.

Demetrio Cereijo 11-19-2011 03:03 PM

Re: How to defeat a Buddhist.
 
Quote:

Ellis Amdur wrote: (Post 297499)
Which means that Nobunaga was clearly enlightened. Just ask all the monks of Hieizan, Nagashima, Echizen, and Hoganji. 10,000s of them roasted on fires and spitted in spears. Because, Nobunaga never hesitated.

And the monks were "asking for it" since mid 8th century.

graham christian 11-19-2011 07:04 PM

Re: How to defeat a samurai.
 
Quote:

Torbjorn Saw wrote: (Post 297483)
Parden me for saying but quite not in the same league.

Your league is pardoned. Ahh, how sweet the strawberry tastes.

graham christian 11-19-2011 08:08 PM

Re: How to defeat a samurai.
 
Grasshopper: "Master, I saw a samurai today being punished. He was beaten and disrobed and cast out like a beggar for not bowing low enough to his master. The punishment was way too harsh and the scene troubles my thoughts. Is there something I am not seeing?"

Master: "Grasshopper, was that man guilty?"

Grasshopper: "Well, he was guilty only of breaking a code of conduct master."

Master: "Then it is your false view that is the source of your troubled mind for there are no guilty people on this earth Grasshopper."

Grasshopper: "Then you believe the person who does harm is not guilty???"

Master: "Indeed Grasshopper."

Grasshopper: "How so Master?"

Master: "The person doing harm is innocent of doing good. There are indeed many types of innocence Grasshopper. Innocence of understanding and thus you have a confused person. Innocence of the way and thus you have a selfish person. Innocence of the truth and thus you have a stupid person. Innocence of loving compassion and thus you have an ignorant person.

There are many more too Grasshopper. The prisons are full of innocent people.

Should you therefore punish the innocent???"

G.

torbjornsaw 11-19-2011 09:08 PM

Re: How to defeat a samurai.
 
Prison is punishment but for the more severe innocents, but the scale have no end.

phitruong 11-19-2011 10:04 PM

Re: How to defeat a samurai.
 
i thought the way to defeat a samurai is to use geisha and sake. and the way to defeat a buddhist is using drunken monkey which was why such kungfu invented in the first place. :)

Janet Rosen 11-19-2011 11:23 PM

Re: How to defeat a samurai.
 
Quote:

Phi Truong wrote: (Post 297529)
i thought the way to defeat a samurai is to use geisha and sake. and the way to defeat a buddhist is using drunken monkey which was why such kungfu invented in the first place. :)

So does one defeat a Buddhist samurai with a drunk simian trained in the arts of the geisha?

Nicholas Eschenbruch 11-20-2011 02:23 AM

Re: How to defeat a samurai.
 
Autumn outside my windows,
a scent of Zen through cyperspace.
Dharma combat, dharma posturing?
Who can tell...
The MacBook hums indifference.

Nicholas Eschenbruch 11-20-2011 02:38 AM

Re: How to defeat a samurai.
 
So much need to teach,
who is this listener?
The great sky
is devoid of samurai.

;)


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