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Old 10-08-2007, 06:22 PM   #1
gdandscompserv
 
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Misogi

Spent some time meditating under an artificial waterfall this morning. While I realize that it hardly qualifies as real misogi, I did find it an interesting experience. Anybody else had any experience with misogi?
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Old 10-08-2007, 06:52 PM   #2
mathewjgano
 
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Re: Misogi

Hey there,
That's real misogi you described. I've done a bit of misogi. I used to practice it every week 2 or 3 times for a year or so in the Pilchuck river. It's quite refreshing! I also go through periods where I do shower misogi from time to time.

Gambarimashyo!
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Old 10-08-2007, 06:57 PM   #3
gdandscompserv
 
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Re: Misogi

While under the waterfall my thoughts didn't seem to drift as much as they do while meditating otherwise. It took some adjusting of the position of my head so that I could breathe without inhaling water as well. Afterwords I experienced a pleasant tingling about my head and shoulders.
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Old 10-08-2007, 07:43 PM   #4
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Re: Misogi

Cold water in the shower.

A secret of internal strength?:
"Let your weight from the crotch area BE in his hands."
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Old 10-08-2007, 08:22 PM   #5
mathewjgano
 
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Re: Misogi

Quote:
Ricky Wood wrote: View Post
While under the waterfall my thoughts didn't seem to drift as much as they do while meditating otherwise. It took some adjusting of the position of my head so that I could breathe without inhaling water as well. Afterwords I experienced a pleasant tingling about my head and shoulders.
I've experienced a similar focusing/calming effect. At Tsubaki America there is also a lot of chanting involved and I find my hara starts to get warm during misogi. I've heard Barrish sensei describe getting unexpected answers to questions he's been having. I assume it's rather like when you try to think of something but can't and then come up with what you're looking for as soon as you're thinking about something else.

Gambarimashyo!
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Old 10-09-2007, 03:35 AM   #6
Walter Martindale
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Re: Misogi

Quote:
Justin Smith wrote: View Post
Cold water in the shower.
Showers at Aikikai Hombu Tokyo after Doshu's class.
But seriously - if it works for you, it's good. I wasn't meditating in the shower. Have taken a dip in the rapids once, but I just can't see the value in actively pursuing hypothermia to clear one's mind, unless the waterfalls you guys stand under are in relatively warm climates. But then I don't believe in gods, and I'm not sure if this "ki" stuff exists either - despite various people telling me I have strong "ki" or "chi" or "qi" or whatever, depending on their origins.
Some things exist because we believe they exist...
If that attitude makes me a bad person - sorry.
W

Last edited by Walter Martindale : 10-09-2007 at 03:42 AM. Reason: clarification, perhaps
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Old 10-09-2007, 05:48 AM   #7
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Re: Misogi

Quote:
Walter Martindale wrote: View Post
But then I don't believe in gods, and I'm not sure if this "ki" stuff exists either - despite various people telling me I have strong "ki" or "chi" or "qi" or whatever, depending on their origins.
Some things exist because we believe they exist...
If that attitude makes me a bad person - sorry.
W
BLASPHEMY!
Stone him!
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Old 10-09-2007, 06:25 AM   #8
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Re: Misogi

How do you do misogi? I have not taken a warm shower for 3-4 months so I guess doing misogi won't be that difficult.
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Old 10-09-2007, 07:41 AM   #9
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Re: Misogi

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Paavo Nurmi wrote: View Post
How do you do misogi? I have not taken a warm shower for 3-4 months so I guess doing misogi won't be that difficult.
Heh. Sorry, that just made me laugh. As used in aikido, the term "misogi" is, AFAIK, actually short for "misogi shugyo" (just plain "misogi" is a Shinto washing purification ritual), and misogi shugyo is pretty much hard by definition. I guess the best translation of "misogi shugyo" would be something like "purification through ascetic discipline"? It encompasses many different kinds of practices, all undertaken as a form of ascetic discipline, with the ultimate goal of a greater connection to the spiritual realm. Therefore, the measure of "successful" misogi shugyo is not how long you can stand under the waterfall, or how cold a waterfall you can stand under -- it's how you carry yourself through the physical manifestation of the ascetic discipline, how the mind and the body and the spirit all help each other in the challenge to become more than they were. If the body is doing all the work, and it's easy work for the body, there's no meaningful work being done.
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Old 10-09-2007, 08:37 AM   #10
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Re: Misogi

From the Tsubaki America website:
http://tsubakishrine.com/home.html
"Since ancient times techniques for achievement of higher levels of judgement and intuition as well as mental/physical/spiritual renewal have been practiced. These activities are sometimes called Gyo (excercise, training) or more formally Misogi Harai: cleaning/purification of the body/mind/spirit.

Misogi Shuho is the Shinto practice of purifying oneself by washing away impurity/obscuring energies in a river, waterfall or sea."

Gambarimashyo!
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Old 10-09-2007, 08:45 AM   #11
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Re: Misogi

Quote:
Paavo Nurmi wrote: View Post
How do you do misogi? I have not taken a warm shower for 3-4 months so I guess doing misogi won't be that difficult.
Check out Kami no Michi by Yukitaka Yamamoto. There's a pretty extensive description of misogi as practiced at Tsubaki Okami Yashiro in the appendices, I think. It's a very very old (2000+ years old) Shinto shrine in Mie-ken, Japan. The book can be read at the Tsubaki America web page. http://tsubakishrine.com/home.html
There are many forms of "misogi" though. Aikido was described by Osensei as a form of misogi.
Take care,
Matt

Last edited by mathewjgano : 10-09-2007 at 08:49 AM.

Gambarimashyo!
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Old 10-09-2007, 08:58 AM   #12
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Re: Misogi

Quote:
Walter Martindale wrote: View Post
Showers at Aikikai Hombu Tokyo after Doshu's class.
But seriously - if it works for you, it's good. I wasn't meditating in the shower. Have taken a dip in the rapids once, but I just can't see the value in actively pursuing hypothermia to clear one's mind, unless the waterfalls you guys stand under are in relatively warm climates. But then I don't believe in gods, and I'm not sure if this "ki" stuff exists either - despite various people telling me I have strong "ki" or "chi" or "qi" or whatever, depending on their origins.
Some things exist because we believe they exist...
If that attitude makes me a bad person - sorry.
W
You bad bad person!
Heheheh...what?! Hypothermia is da coolest! ...so to speak. We actually don't stay in the water for very long...not much more than a minute or two, and that's on a fairly long "dip." Plus there are exercises which help to keep up the body temp. The coldest part of misogi isn't the water (depending on where you're doing it), it's the air, or the ground on your feet. Even in the Pilchuck river, which is glacier-fed, it's a comfort compared to the air during winter time...once a person is somewhat acclimated. I'm not sure if it's an adrenaline dump or what, but it can be surprisingly pleasant...although I imagine it's a little like smoking in that you have to have done it a few times before it becomes pleasant (in cold water at least)...though for different reasons of course.

Gambarimashyo!
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Old 10-09-2007, 11:11 AM   #13
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Re: Misogi

Quote:
Walter Martindale wrote: View Post
...But then I don't believe in gods, and I'm not sure if this "ki" stuff exists either - despite various people telling me I have strong "ki" or "chi" or "qi" or whatever, depending on their origins.
Some things exist because we believe they exist...
If that attitude makes me a bad person - sorry.
W
Good for you! Keep thinking it through. Not only in aikido but Life In General.

It is not practice that makes perfect, it is correct practice that makes perfect.
About Ki
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Old 10-10-2007, 10:55 PM   #14
Walter Martindale
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Re: Misogi

Wow.. I stirred a little, didn't I. My bad...
Asked a mentor if the content of my post made me a bad person - his reply was - of course I'm a bad person - good people don't remain his friends for very long...
Also explained that misogi can be a meditative clearing of the mind that doesn't necessarily require physical hardship like standing outside in winter with feet in glacier fed water.. (where I live now, no glaciers - well, not near enough. where I lived in Canada, in winter, no glacier fed water - only ice), and if you stood barefoot on THAT ice, you'd leave your skin behind in the same way you'd leave your lips on a metal post, although why people kiss metal posts at -30, I'll never know.

I'm a westerner, and while I have been to Japan for judo in the 70's, and very briefly for aikido in the 00's, I'm not Japanese, don't aspire to be more Japanese than the Japanese are, but I'll respect their customs and etiquette when eating and training (generally, that is, where I understand the customs and etiquette). I think it's funny, sometimes, when we westerners are trying to emulate pre-war Japanese martial arts customs... This attitude was brought about in 1977 - I was staying at a friend's house on my judo visit - he introduced his father, and all I knew to do was a formal bow and say pleased to meet you (hajimemashite, etc) - he asked his son to tell the foreigner that he was a modern Japanese businessman, and that level of formality went out with Meiji...
And the son was a member of a REALLY right wing group (whose name I can't remember)

Oh well.
Blasphemy it is...
Cheers,
W

Last edited by Walter Martindale : 10-10-2007 at 11:02 PM.
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Old 10-10-2007, 11:46 PM   #15
Ryan Sanford
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Re: Misogi

Quote:
Ricky Wood wrote: View Post
BLASPHEMY!
Stone him!
I second that motion!

"There's only one corner of the universe you can be certain of improving, and that's your own self." - Aldous Huxley
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Old 10-11-2007, 01:55 AM   #16
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Re: Misogi

Quote:
Mary Malmros wrote: View Post
Therefore, the measure of "successful" misogi shugyo is not how long you can stand under the waterfall, or how cold a waterfall you can stand under -- it's how you carry yourself through the physical manifestation of the ascetic discipline, how the mind and the body and the spirit all help each other in the challenge to become more than they were. If the body is doing all the work, and it's easy work for the body, there's no meaningful work being done.
I usually don't bother to respond to most such silly-starting threads but this is the first time I have ever seen someone writing in agreement with what I think. Sometimes, I have argued with people about the meaning of such things but then just give up. Read this post again - it is spot on, in my opinion.

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Old 10-11-2007, 03:49 AM   #17
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Re: Misogi

I think the goal with training such as this is to disrupt your current processes/paradigms/perspectives in attempt to understand something deeper about yourself.

As each person is different, it requires different things to achieve this. It might be standing under a waterfall, a personal tradegy, death of a loved one, through meditation...many different ways people change their perspective or reach deeper meaning or understanding.

The point is, that if you are not satisified with the current habits, paths, or direction, perspective etc in your life....you must change.

Misogi is one such way to change things physically in attempt to transfer it to the mental/spiritual realm.

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Old 10-11-2007, 03:51 AM   #18
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Re: Misogi

OH...if I remember correctly, Ghandi did alot of yarn spinning and cloth making as such a practice.

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Old 10-11-2007, 07:27 AM   #19
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Re: Misogi

Quote:
Kevin Leavitt wrote: View Post
OH...if I remember correctly, Ghandi did alot of yarn spinning and cloth making as such a practice.
I thought that that was a political statement. The Indian textile industry had basically vanished in the wake of cheap English imports. Gandhi and others saw political independence as being connected to/rooted in other kinds of self-determination, economic self-determination not the least. Making and wearing homespun was highly impractical in the sense that it took a long time to spin, weave and make your own clothes, and the imports were cheap, but it was a tangible expression of one's willingness to sacrifice in the pursuit of autonomy.
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Old 10-11-2007, 12:08 PM   #20
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Re: Misogi

in the old day (very old), martial arts practice usually took place in sensei's back yard where you shared space with various domesticated animals. also, in the old day, taking a bath once a week is quite cleanliness, which consisted of jumping into a river/stream and get out. after such many practices, the old sensei would come up with an idea to use on these young energetic students. "in order to increase your ki and make you great martial artists, you should try the misogi practice by standing under the waterfall or in the river. This would help purify your mind and body. oh, by the way, this bar thingy here called soap, which would help the purify process greatly!"

the old sensei would come up with other ideas to deal with these young energetic students such as carrying water up the long flight of steps and fill my tub... I meant filling the water cistern here. this would build up your endurance, strengthen your legs, and I get to do my own misogi. sort of like the water carrying scenes from the movie Kill Bill.

Yes, I have done my time in carrying the water, in the old days. And No, I have not learned the Five-Star Exploding Heart technique!

You cannot trust those old sensei. They always came up with some insane practices to make you "a better martial artist". They said age and treachery are an even match to youth and strength.
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Old 10-11-2007, 01:58 PM   #21
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Re: Misogi

Quote:
Walter Martindale wrote: View Post
Wow.. I stirred a little, didn't I. My bad...
What do you mean? Was a post deleted? I didn't read anything that took what you said as negative.

Quote:
Oh well.
Blasphemy it is...
Cheers,
W
A little blasphemy keeps things honest.
Take care,
matt

Gambarimashyo!
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Old 10-11-2007, 02:11 PM   #22
mathewjgano
 
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Re: Misogi

Quote:
Kevin Leavitt wrote: View Post
I think the goal with training such as this is to disrupt your current processes/paradigms/perspectives in attempt to understand something deeper about yourself.

As each person is different, it requires different things to achieve this. It might be standing under a waterfall, a personal tradegy, death of a loved one, through meditation...many different ways people change their perspective or reach deeper meaning or understanding.

The point is, that if you are not satisified with the current habits, paths, or direction, perspective etc in your life....you must change.

Misogi is one such way to change things physically in attempt to transfer it to the mental/spiritual realm.
Well said. For me, skiing is often the best misogi. Gliding down a mountain in a controlled fall at breakneck speed has a knack for burning off the stresses of work, etc. To me, that's a great form of misogi; an exercise to envigorate the body and mind.
Misogi doesn't have to have anything to do with spirituality or God or any gods at all...it simply has to do with creating a refreshing experience. It can also be unhealthy. It's not real useful to shock the system when you're very sick, for example...same is true in arctic, or near-arctic conditions.

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