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Old 01-03-2007, 08:29 AM   #51
Mike Galante
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Cool Re: Zazen necessary for training

Thanks,

Looking forward to enlightening discussions. This has been a lot of fun so far.
Best,

Mike
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Old 01-04-2007, 04:26 AM   #52
Thalib
 
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Re: Zazen necessary for training

Mike,

What you wrote is excellent... basically I'm on the same wavelength with you on this one. Though the practice and implementation is a bit different, but the principle is the same. Then again, we all walk a diferent path.

I like what you wrote here,

Quote:
For me all the spiritual practices boil down to, surrender to God, allow the grace, ki, whatever to permeate deeply throughout the entire being.

When I have to die by the sword, I will do so with honor.
--------
http://funkybuddha.multiply.com/
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Old 01-06-2007, 01:19 PM   #53
Mike Galante
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Re: Zazen necessary for training

You guys are great. Wish we could train together.
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Old 01-14-2007, 07:52 PM   #54
Erik Calderon
 
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Re: Zazen necessary for training

I've read several books about Zazen, and must confess that only have had one class.

Many times before a class, I'll sit in Zazen and focus on my breathing. I've always felt more energy and clarity during a lesson after I did some Zazen.

There have been many physiological studies on meditation and breathing, all coming back with positive results. So scientifically, I must agree that Zazen in very beneficial for training, but maybe not necessary.

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Old 01-15-2007, 08:59 AM   #55
Kevin Leavitt
 
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Re: Zazen necessary for training

I like this story....

One of the early Zen Masters Ma-tsu

When he went to study with his teacher, whenever he had free time he would go into the zendo and meditate. Somebody noticed this and drew it to the attention of his teacher Nan-yueh. So he went down and questioned him and said:

Oh, great one what are you aiming at by sitting there in
meditation like that? What do you want?

Ma-tsu said: I want to become a buddha.

The teacher then picked up a ceramic tile and began to rub
it on a rock very vigorously in the dojo, right there. This
got the student's attention and Ma-tsu asked him:

What are you doing?

He said: I'm polishing it to make it into a mirror
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Old 01-15-2007, 10:34 AM   #56
Mike Galante
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Cool Re: Zazen necessary for training

I love those Zen stories. What people often miss is that these students have put much energy and time into reaching the point where the teachers words can sink in.
They have dug the mine to the point where the gold is just below the surface and the teacher brings then the next few inches to paydirt.
How foolish the student appears when the teacher corrects him but many are willing to sacrifice to get to that point ?

I love it when people say you are already enlightened! All you have to do is ... whatever. Even the buddha spent years to achieve what he did. Usheiba certainly did. And he was an exceptional person.

I like the one where the student is raking up every last leaf under a lone tree. "Perfect" said the young student. The teacher comes over and shakes the tree, with some leaves falling, saying
"that's better!".
Milarepa had to go through years of trial and tribulations under his teacher to burn out his karma. See my reply to you on Ki ball of energy thread from today.
All the Best,
Mike
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Old 10-20-2007, 04:26 PM   #57
JonathanPhillips
 
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Re: Zazen necessary for training

How does one reasonably start the discipline of zazen? I have the bench but have done nothing about the practice. Advice? Thoughts?
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Old 10-22-2007, 06:52 PM   #58
Mark Uttech
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Re: Zazen necessary for training

sigh... as with any other worthwhile thing, you have to find a teacher. You can begin with the question: "what is zazen?" and the you can continue with the question: "what is zazen?"

In gassho,

Mark

- Right combination works wonders -
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Old 10-22-2007, 11:00 PM   #59
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Re: Zazen necessary for training

Great answer,
Thank all for your expiriences,
I'll love start learnig Kotodama,
how I do that,

Best
Manu
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Old 12-06-2007, 11:32 AM   #60
Paul Milburn
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Re: Zazen necessary for training

I think what we have to achieve is some sort of distinction between bodily practice and the zazen issue. Clearly aikido as a practice is very difficult to do as a form of pure zazen specifically because we work through the body to reach the mind and the body trains hard and noisily and with some degree of discomfort to reach higher levels of discipline.... whereas in zazen per se we still the body and are quiet. I think personally, aikido is a way of training the mind through the medium of physical bodily techniques, it is not really a way of stilling the mind as in zazen. Aikido has to be preserved from the danger of over spiritualisation and kept firmly on the tatami. Extend the principles into daily life most definately, but rooted always in the physical techniques of the tatami.
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Old 04-03-2008, 10:54 PM   #61
Bill Danosky
 
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Re: Zazen necessary for training

Rinpoche asked the other day what we thought "meditation" meant. I thought about it over the weekend and decided my answer was, "existence apart from our thoughts".

Bruce Lee had a statement to the effect that conciousness of self was the biggest obstacle to a proper physical performance. I think he was referring to a state of mind removed from the usual jabber of human brain activity.

The truly rewarding feelings like love and happiness seem to originate from a level of being beyond what we consider "thought". It probably makes for better Aikido, too.

Last edited by Bill Danosky : 04-03-2008 at 10:56 PM.
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Old 11-22-2008, 04:39 PM   #62
Ana-Maria Trandafir
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Re: Zazen necessary for training

Quote:
Bill Danosky wrote: View Post
Bruce Lee had a statement to the effect that consciousness of self was the biggest obstacle to a proper physical performance. I think he was referring to a state of mind removed from the usual jabber of human brain activity.
Osu!
I feel "consciousness of self" can mean different things, according to the context in which it's being used.
If "self" means our knowledge (limited / mind based, in most cases ), then being conscious of this is something hindering to any sort of a training.
It may be more appropriate, though, to understand the "self" as our true nature or spirit. The English language makes it here a bit easier than other languages, because you have the difference between conscious and aware.
Being aware of your body, for instance, means to be able to coordinate it / control it / tune it up to subtle spiritual energies. Being conscious of it it's something totally different.

I'd rather say that you can be conscious of your body, emotions, intellect, etc. But you cannot be conscious of your self (if one understands "self" as our deep / spiritual existence) - because being conscious simply does not touch, does not have any common ground with that self. What one can do about the self is to slowly become aware if its subtle patterns and functionality and gradually realize it in its completeness and oneness.

This also melts down thoughts into a reality based perception. It's not so effective to go around thoughts and try to find behind them something higher. You can only do this using again your mind, using and producing other thoughts. It goes faster if one deeply desires this subtle spiritual awareness to manifest - like this you surrender your energies not to the thoughts, but to this unknown yet perception. And stay receptive to it, as it starts manifesting, and get to know it.

Zazen is meditation in sitting position (za), as being differentiated from the meditation in movement (= acting to achieve good deeds / to get good karma, living in harmony with the divine laws, trying to lead a normal live but keeping your attention in union with the divine, etc). I guess all religions, from Hindus to Catholics, mention these both sides of meditation.

For me Aikido practice is definitely meditation in movement, because I feel we achieve a state of being and clarity of perception very similar to those obtained through sitting meditation. (I've been practicing Sahaja Yoga meditation and it's been quite fun to notice similarities under different expression forms, in yoga and aikido practice.)
In our dojo we do a little bit of mokuso in the beginning and it makes a difference - when I arrived at the dojo a few minutes later and skipped the short mokuso session I had some difficulties tuning up to what was going on there . But anyway, throughout the training I will feel that the meditation state is getting deeper and there is sort of a balancing and purification going on, beside the physical training. So the meditation is going on, in a different manner. I'm a beginner in a Yoshinkan club, so what I'm being taught is pretty much about physical correctness , you can imagine. Still, if the persons leading the training are in balance and in tune with their spiritual energies, they might not talk at all about it, but the result is a meditation in movement .

It's probably different from one dojo to another, and very much according to your sensei and the rest of the group. If their attention goes too much on the physical side, then it's probably quite necessary to counter balance this tendency through some zazen or a meditation / devotional practice appropriate to your own believes or culture. If they are too meditative, (is this possible? ), then I don't know .

Best of luck!

Ana-Maria
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Old 11-22-2008, 04:47 PM   #63
Ana-Maria Trandafir
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Re: Zazen necessary for training

Quote:
Bill Danosky wrote: View Post
Rinpoche asked the other day what we thought "meditation" meant.....
I just noticed that your dojo is also a Yoshinkan one.
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Old 11-22-2008, 05:23 PM   #64
Stefan Stenudd
 
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Entry and exit

We always do zazen, or mokuso, in our aikido classes. I like to have a rather practical approach to it in aikido practice. It encircles keiko.
Before starting the practice, we do a short meditation, mainly to empty ourselves of everyday life distractions and to begin budo breathing and such. At the end of the class, we finish with a just as short meditation to bring ourselves down to everyday life rhythm and power.
So, mokuso becomes a kind of on and off switch for keiko.

Of course, it can become much more - but that sort of happens by itself, given time.

Stefan Stenudd
My aikido website: http://www.stenudd.com/aikido/
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Old 02-02-2009, 07:42 AM   #65
Bagua
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Re: Zazen necessary for training

ho everyone

I really don;t like sitting meditation it really husts my legs and knees as i have quiet large thighs, i find standing meditation much better for me, i have been doing ti for just over 4 years and it continues to be a source of teaching for me

I am still to find out if there is a reason to sitting that goes beyond standing, maybe it is only for a time thing i.e. you can sit for longer than you can stand

on the occasion that i do sitting i use a chair, softy i know hehhe

i would say that to do aikido well yes you should do some form of meditation but i would recommend that for all types of martial art
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Old 02-02-2009, 08:22 AM   #66
Tony Wagstaffe
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Re: Zazen necessary for training

Quote:
Michele Galante wrote: View Post
Hi, am new to the Forums, and wanted to say emphatically that Aikido in it's outer form is marital, in it's essence is transcendental. How can one expect to achieve the oneness that O Sensei seemed to have by just practicing dynamic technique? It is hard enough to sense this when sitting quietly. Sit Zazen ideally before class to achieve what our master had to offer!

All the Best,
Mike Galante
I for one am not of a spiritual nature, I do not believe in spirits, religion etc and have a rational outlook towards martial arts, aikido included.... this has not affected or improved my ability in achieving effective waza....
However I do find that sitting quietly and using my own method of deep breathing helps one to "centre" and clear ones mind.... which can be done anywhere at anytime.... just for health reasons alone is fine

Tony
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Old 02-02-2009, 10:23 AM   #67
John Matsushima
 
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Re: Zazen necessary for training

I don't find zazen necesary for training. I think that Zen philosophy has some similar points in Aikido, and I find it interesting, but it seems to be a different road. Spiritual transcendence in Aikido , i believe, is found not only with how we connect within, but in connecting to the world outside. Live, dynamic Aikido practice helps me to put it all together; if one part is out of place, then everything is. I also think that much of Ueshiba's writings point in this direction as well. In my experience, I think i have grown more spiritually when I practiced compassion and kindness towards others, thinking of others and the outside world, than when I had practiced prayer, meditation, and was more introspective. Getting whacked by a monk sure did "clear" my mind, though, ha ha.

-John Matsushima

My blog on Japanese culture
http://onecorneroftheplanetinjapan.blogspot.jp/
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Old 06-06-2011, 01:46 PM   #68
Chris Evans
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Re: Zazen necessary for training

Yes.

Zazen, (sitting meditation with full awareness of self, focusing on the danger or opportunity, and everything around you at the same momment -- a paradox, such as: you are unique, just like everyone else --), could be beneficial if your mind would like to improve perception so to instinctively, to know what to do without seemingly 'knowing" and without distracting delusions, esp. when split second(s) could determine the nature of life and death of a contact.

Our community's fortunate to have several zendo to choose from to practice with, to complement our movement phase of martial arts in various dojo/gyms.

Osu.

p.s. zazen is not worshiping nor praying, zazen is not a religion, although, just like Aikido, regular and qualitative practice under a wise teacher can help you to make best use of precious time.

Last edited by Chris Evans : 06-06-2011 at 01:57 PM.

"The state that separates its scholars from its warriors will have its thinking done by cowards and its fighting by fools."
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Old 06-06-2011, 05:21 PM   #69
sakumeikan
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Re: Zazen necessary for training

Quote:
Peter A Goldsbury wrote: View Post
Hello Paul,

Good. You guessed who my teacher was. His father-in-law was M. Sekiya Sensei, who studied kenjutsu.

Best wishes,
Dear Peter,
Sekiya Sensei, a wonderful man , great aikido and so benevolent.
He and his wife were such warm hearted people.It was due to Sekiya Sensei and his advice to me I had a better understanding of Aikido.His sword work was wonderful.To this day I miss him badly.Hope you are well.Cheers, Joe.Ps Watched some dvds of him today.Great stuff.
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Old 06-09-2011, 09:42 PM   #70
Benjamin Mehner
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Talking Re: Zazen necessary for training

Quote:
Mark Uttech wrote: View Post
sigh... as with any other worthwhile thing, you have to find a teacher. You can begin with the question: "what is zazen?" and the you can continue with the question: "what is zazen?"

In gassho,

Mark
Aren't you likely to get a knock to the noggin for asking such questions? My Iaido instructor told us to beware those bald guys in the robes. He said they were dangerous. This may have something to do with the fact that his sensei is a Zen monk. He's also the monk that performed my marriage.

Let silence be my mantra.
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Old 07-21-2011, 01:28 PM   #71
Chris Evans
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Re: Zazen necessary for training

zazen, sitting zen (being mindfully aware while sitting), is not worshiping nor praying. zazen, samadhi, or shikantaza is direct experience, has nothing to do with being devotional. matter of fact, being devotional can evoke a lot of delusions.

zazen is unnecessary to be a fighter, might even detract from physical, weapons, or group-tactics training.

zazen improves awareness and instinctive-wisdom thus a handy practice to be a more enlightened warrior. not the only way, but a way. my way.

in balancing all that i am grateful in life, i'd like to do more zazen, karate, jiu-jitsu, and surfing. so, I watch less T.V. & less on internet.

Osu

"The state that separates its scholars from its warriors will have its thinking done by cowards and its fighting by fools."
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Old 03-14-2012, 09:50 AM   #72
Chris Evans
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Tongue Re: Zazen necessary for training

Quote:
Chris Evans wrote: View Post
zazen, sitting zen (being mindfully aware while sitting), is not worshiping nor praying. zazen, samadhi, or shikantaza is direct experience, has nothing to do with being devotional. matter of fact, being devotional can evoke a lot of delusions.

zazen is unnecessary to be a fighter, might even detract from physical, weapons, or group-tactics training.

zazen improves awareness and instinctive-wisdom thus a handy practice to be a more enlightened warrior. not the only way, but a way. my way.

in balancing all that i am grateful in life, i'd like to do more zazen, karate, jiu-jitsu, and surfing. so, I watch less T.V. & less on internet.

Osu
these days... more zazen (shikantaza/samadhi), not enough karate, and moving towards less clutter and fewer hobbies.

activities picking up again are gardening, shooting, and hunting preparations and still look forward to resume aikido training... Hopefully, beekeeping, providing home for honeybees do not take up much time.

I did manage to watch all of "Downton Abbey."

I view Zen (Ch'an) Buddhist zazen practice as an indispensable aspect to wiser martial arts (combat prevention or survival) & life training.

Last edited by Chris Evans : 03-14-2012 at 09:56 AM.

"The state that separates its scholars from its warriors will have its thinking done by cowards and its fighting by fools."
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Old 03-15-2012, 09:28 AM   #73
mathewjgano
 
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Re: Zazen necessary for training

Quote:
Chris Evans wrote: View Post
these days... more zazen (shikantaza/samadhi), not enough karate, and moving towards less clutter and fewer hobbies.

activities picking up again are gardening, shooting, and hunting preparations and still look forward to resume aikido training... Hopefully, beekeeping, providing home for honeybees do not take up much time.

I did manage to watch all of "Downton Abbey."

I view Zen (Ch'an) Buddhist zazen practice as an indispensable aspect to wiser martial arts (combat prevention or survival) & life training.
This really rings familiar to me, particularly the part about having less hobbies and focusing more on the few activities I'm choosing. I don't know zazen meditation, but I would descrbe the ones I have experience with as promoting similar effects. Misogi and Chinkon Gyo both seem to apply to that idea of instinctive-wisdom you described and, for me, they have been central what little practice I've managed to make happen.
That's cool about the bee-keeping! I've trained with a couple guys who do that and it seems fascinating, never mind delicious! Also, considering I recently heard the honey market is aparently full of bogus non-honey (no pollen, etc. in the sugar), it's a good way to ensure you're actually eating real honey.
I view meditation as a means of promoting autonomy through refining the conscious and subconscious perceptions. My first exposure to meditation came when I was a kid. During tough times in particular, I would find a quiet place and just sit and focus on breathing and then think about whatever was bothering me, always returning periodically to calming my breath. It would always help, even if just a little...either I would come up with logical answers (that invariably helped) or I would at least calm down so I could engage the problem without the emotional tension. It provided a calm center to some fairly chaotic situations and I'm convinced made a big difference in how I turned out today compared with some of my friends growing up. Having an organized mind is just as important as having an organized body.

Gambarimashyo!
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Old 03-15-2012, 11:28 AM   #74
OwlMatt
 
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Re: Zazen necessary for training

I have a few problems with OP:
(1) Aikido is not Zen training.
(2) A few minutes of sitting before class is not zazen.
(3) Zazen needs to be taught, and most aikido instructors are not Zen masters.

If OP had said that a few moments of quiet and clarity of mind are necessary for aikido, I might agree.

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Old 03-15-2012, 11:49 AM   #75
sakumeikan
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Re: Zazen necessary for training

Quote:
Stan Baker wrote: View Post
The question is what is zazen?

stan
Dear Stan,
Just sitting.Cheers, Joe.
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