Thread: Meditation
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Old 07-13-2002, 04:56 AM   #11
Dojo: ShinToKai DoJo of AiKiDo
Location: Brazil
Join Date: Feb 2001
Posts: 355
Thumbs down ZEN OR SHINTO?

PeterR wrote:
As I understand it - there is quite a bit of urban myth involved here helped no doubt by a very pretty coffee table book. If there was one sect of Buddhism that could be said to have a stronger connection to the samurai it is Myinkko Buddhism - not Zen.
KAMI : Excellent, as always, Peter!

I think the major influence on the samurai was Shinto : active, joyful and immersed in life. Of the buddhist sects really the Shingon or Mikkyo were most favored. Zen was a plaything of the idle Edo Samurai, like the Tea Ceremony, the calligraphy, the Ikebana...

PeterR wrote:
Points of argument:
face death with indiference the last thing you want to do on the battlefield - the victor may overcome fear of death and injury but indiference usually gets one killed.
KAMI : Exactly. In the battlefield, the samurai had little else to do than sheer survival. and he cared about death very much. After all, his top priority was defend the interests of his Lord, and to do that, he was forced to seek victory and to avoid death.

PeterR wrote:
and because it developed joriki, or single pointed concentration, vital for success in martial arts and on the battlefield.
In old battles (and most new ones) concentrating on a single point is suicide.
KAMI : Agreed. Even that old man Moritaka (also known as Ueshiba) said : "Do not stare into the eyes of your opponent - he may mesmerize you. Do not fix your gaze on his sword - he may intimidate you. Do not focus on your opponent at all - he may absorb your energy."
In this specific case, Aikido is Shinto (or Omoto-Kyo, a neo-shintoist cult) and the inclusion of Zen is a recent grafting.
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