Welcome to AikiWeb Aikido Information
AikiWeb: The Source for Aikido Information
AikiWeb's principal purpose is to serve the Internet community as a repository and dissemination point for aikido information.

Sections
home
aikido articles
columns

Discussions
forums
aikiblogs

Databases
dojo search
seminars
image gallery
supplies
links directory

Reviews
book reviews
video reviews
dvd reviews
equip. reviews

News
submit
archive

Miscellaneous
newsletter
rss feeds
polls
about

Follow us on



Home > AikiWeb Aikido Forums
Go Back   AikiWeb Aikido Forums > Spiritual

Hello and thank you for visiting AikiWeb, the world's most active online Aikido community! This site is home to over 22,000 aikido practitioners from around the world and covers a wide range of aikido topics including techniques, philosophy, history, humor, beginner issues, the marketplace, and more.

If you wish to join in the discussions or use the other advanced features available, you will need to register first. Registration is absolutely free and takes only a few minutes to complete so sign up today!

Reply
 
Thread Tools
Old 10-27-2003, 09:43 PM   #1
Paula Lydon
Dojo: Aikido Shugenkai
Location: Colorado
Join Date: Jun 2002
Posts: 427
Offline
Freaky! mushin...zanshin...

~~If mushin mean 'no mind' and zanshin means 'lingering or continual awareness' then aren't these states mutually exclusive? Or is there a higher state where the two merge? Or is the awareness somehow without the mind, as we think of it in the West?

~~Oh dear, I seem to be at it again...

~~Paula~~
  Reply With Quote
Old 10-27-2003, 11:27 PM   #2
Clayton Kale
Dojo: Nihon Goshin Aikido Academy
Location: South Carolina
Join Date: Jun 2003
Posts: 36
Offline
Lightbulb

I've always thought of mushin and zanshin to be two different things, and they come from two different parts of the mind. There's the human brain, that takes a lot more meaning from its surroundings than, say, a reptile's brain, such as advertising, traffic sounds, and other people walking around. The way I've always thought of mushin as the ability to filter all the background out and focus on things that affect you and calmly deal with it. Such as: That maniac on the highway changing lanes without using a blinker or checking his blind spot. You could lay down on the horn, hoist a finger to the sky and teach your kids some new words. Or you could adjust your speed and evade him. Just like that fellow holding the pool cue like a baseball bat walking toward you. Do you freak out, or block, blend and take the weapon and leave?

Zanshin, on the other hand is the reptile brain. It's the fight that comes from "fight or flight." Mushin becomes zanshin when that nut swings the pool cue at you. You block, blend and take away the weapon without thinking, but you could also dislocate two or three joints if he keeps giving you trouble. It's that hyper awareness that allows you to protect yourself with control, but also gives you the ability to protect yourself with great power.

That power requires the responsibility to recognize whether the guy is just trying to pick your pocket, or brain you with a club... which goes back to Mushin ... But that's a topic for another thread, another day.

What do y'all think?

"Pefect practice makes perfect." -Steven A. Weber Godan Nihon Goshin Aikido

  Reply With Quote
Old 10-28-2003, 12:18 AM   #3
PeterR
 
PeterR's Avatar
Dojo: Shodokan Honbu (Osaka)
Location: Himeji, Japan
Join Date: Mar 2001
Posts: 3,054
Japan
Offline
Hi Paula - not really.

Mu shin - No (empty) mind just means that you have no expectations with regard to what your opponent will do and how you will counter. You are NOT saying to yourself - hm I bet he is going to rabbit punch my nose so I better cart wheel over hime ala matrix and kick his butt (litterally).

Zan shin is a little tougher. I suppose the closest English equivilent could be Attitude. Normally we display Zanshin at the end of technique but you could just as well display it when you walk into a crowded room or at the beginning of a confrontation. In a Judo match (at least in my sorry case) I somehow know I am going to win or lose even before contact and this depends on who out zanshined who.

Peter Rehse Shodokan Aikido
  Reply With Quote
Old 10-28-2003, 12:54 AM   #4
Kevin Leavitt
 
Kevin Leavitt's Avatar
Dojo: Aikido of Northern Virginia
Location: Stuttgart, Baden Wurttemberg
Join Date: Jul 2002
Posts: 4,376
Germany
Offline
Sort of the ole...think about not thinking!!!

  Reply With Quote
Old 10-28-2003, 07:19 AM   #5
Chuck Clark
 
Chuck Clark's Avatar
Dojo: Jiyushinkan
Location: Monroe, Washington
Join Date: Jun 2000
Posts: 1,134
United_States
Offline
I would add awareness to the mix for zanshin.

Many people think it is just at the end of a technique. No. It should be focused with a sort of "follow through" and total awareness of both the opponent and everything within sensory range of all your senses.

Chuck Clark
Jiyushinkai Aikibudo
www.jiyushinkai.org
  Reply With Quote
Old 10-28-2003, 07:40 AM   #6
Paula Lydon
Dojo: Aikido Shugenkai
Location: Colorado
Join Date: Jun 2002
Posts: 427
Offline
~~So, Peter R., if I understand your explaination (simple and direct, thank you, something I can follow before coffee)one may exhibit mu shin by holding a mental state of being detached from any and all outcomes in life,in general; also maintaining zan shin--presence, awarness, 'attitude'. Then not mutually exclusive and maintainable states 24/7(?) Fill in any gaps, please

~~Paula~~
  Reply With Quote
Old 10-28-2003, 10:39 AM   #7
Yann Golanski
 
Yann Golanski's Avatar
Dojo: York Shodokan Aikido
Location: York, United Kingdom.
Join Date: Aug 2003
Posts: 406
United Kingdom
Offline
I do not think that mu shin means being detached. It means (at least to me) to be reactive and not expecting of anything.

Zan shin is (at least to me) being aware of what happens around you.

Maybe an analogy would help... If I am standing in hamne and uke is about to attack me. I must not expect a certain attack or consentrate on what technique I want to do. I must let uke attack and react to his attack with whatever is appropriate to this attack. This is mu shin.

When I am throwning uke, I must make sure I am safe and do not harm him. If I thrown him, I must make sure he has room to ukemi. If I lock him, I must make sure it's not his bad wrist. I must as well make sure his mates are not around to attack me while I am watching the floor... After all, this is maybe san-nin randori. This is Zan shin.

Can you do both at the same time? ... Let me get back to you in 20 years.

Note that one of the key concept in Shodokan Aikido is mu shin mu gamae.... go and try to translate this into english...

The people who understand, understand prefectly.
yann@york-aikido.org York Shodokan Aikido
  Reply With Quote
Old 10-28-2003, 05:37 PM   #8
PeterR
 
PeterR's Avatar
Dojo: Shodokan Honbu (Osaka)
Location: Himeji, Japan
Join Date: Mar 2001
Posts: 3,054
Japan
Offline
Paula Yann is correct. Or as Monty Python says "Always expect the unexpected."

There is a strong relation between the French concept of Sang Froid and Mushin and I suppose in both cases an outside observer would see a detachment but in reality there is a very strong focus.
Quote:
Yann Golanski wrote:
I do not think that mu shin means being detached. It means (at least to me) to be reactive and not expecting of anything.
Mushin Mugamae - No mind no stance - simple eh? It really is an elegant construct and I have been meaning to ask whether the different characters used for Mu have any meaning beyond appearances.

And yes Chuck I agree awareness is an important part of of Zanshin. Dare I say displaying an attitude of being aware. It is difficult to find word for word translations.

Peter Rehse Shodokan Aikido
  Reply With Quote
Old 10-28-2003, 08:06 PM   #9
L. Camejo
 
L. Camejo's Avatar
Dojo: Ontario Martial Arts
Location: Mississauga, Ontario
Join Date: Aug 2001
Posts: 1,423
Canada
Offline
Placing these concepts into words could be a job.

To me, mushin is a state (mental) which when maintained, also encompasses the body (physical-mugamae). In this state, one is open and prepared to deal with all possibilities, whether in training, in life, relationships, whatever. It's like you are nothing, only taking form when something enters or changes your perceived reality i a way that requires you to respond.

In my practice, I try seeing myself as a sphere, no edges (i.e. no predetermined mindsets), from which I can respond perfectly with the right technique/response to fit the situation before me (whether in training or otherwise). I guess its about keeping the mind totally clear to allow the universe or your higher self to naturally tell you which is the best response at the best time. In this way mushin may even be linked to perfect timing and perfect response by maintaining clarity. Removal of the preconditioned lenses we usually see through so to speak.

To add another element of it, mushin is allowing the mind to access unlimited responses by focusing on no particular response at all (0=infinity).

Zanshin on the other hand tends to mean awareness, sensitivity (which may also be an element of mushin), attitude and focus (particular and general).

Simply put, zanshin is being aware of multiple sides of a situation almost simultaneously. Being aware of and dealing with the attacker in front of you who is about to formulate an attack, as well as simultaneously being aware of your surroundings and his friends, as well as beyond them bringing awareness to the environment that one is in and its subtleties. (Not necessarily focussing on all these things, but being aware of their place in your immediate situation).

This awareness should always be on in my book, even while sleeping. It is situational awareness and sensitivity to one's surroundings, but it is also the ability to influence one's environment based on this knowledge. I think its a combination of Chuck and Peter's ideas, and Yann's to a point. Zanshin should be maintained from the point one steps on the mat, if not always. It is not limited to the end of technique, it exists throughout as interpersonal awareness.

In my humble opinion, the right combination of mushin and zanshin brings one very close to the realisation of the Takemusu Aiki concept. So, yes they can coexist.

Of course I can also be totally wrong as well.

Just some thoughts.

L.C.

--Mushin Mugamae - No Mind No Posture. He who is possessed by nothing possesses everything.--
http://www.tntaikido.org
http://www.mushinkan.ca
  Reply With Quote
Old 10-29-2003, 05:24 PM   #10
SeiserL
 
SeiserL's Avatar
Dojo: Roswell Budokan, Kyushinkan Dojo, Aikido World Alliance
Location: Roswell, GA USA
Join Date: Jun 2000
Posts: 3,711
United_States
Offline
IMHO, nothing is mutually exclusive.

At a higher level of logic both "mu" and "zan" are "shin", or mind.

The "mushin" empty mind is used to empty the internally focused intellectually obsessing mind chatter. The "zanshin" or extended mind is an externally focused mind. Perhaps by internally emptying we can extend externally further.

Lynn Seiser PhD
Yondan Aikido & FMA/JKD
We do not rise to the level of our expectations, but fall to the level of our training. Train well. KWATZ!
  Reply With Quote
Old 10-29-2003, 06:51 PM   #11
Thalib
 
Thalib's Avatar
Dojo: 合気研究会
Location: Jakarta Selatan
Join Date: Nov 2001
Posts: 504
Indonesia
Offline
The Book of Water

Quote:
Miyamoto Musashi as translated by Ochiai Hidy wrote:
In the world of martial strategy you must maintain a normal, everyday mental attitude at all times. Wether it is just an ordinary day or wether you are in a combat situation, your mental attitude should in essence be the same. One should have the feeling of being broad and straight, without being too rigid or too soft. Through total composure you must maintain mental balance at all times. You should not lose your self control even for a moment. You must study this very hard so that you will be able to maintain a relaxed state of mind at all times.
This is the mental attitude of budo in Musashi's Book of Five Rings. Basically this is the concept of "mushin".
Quote:
Miyamoto Musashi as translated by Ochiai Hidy wrote:
When you are physically calm you must be mentally alert; conversely, when you are physically active, maintain a serene state of mind. In other words, your mind should not be be directly affected by your body and vice versa. Be attentive at all times to all things without being overly anxious. You must maintain a gentle countenance and a sturdy state of mind. Do not let others perceive your true intentions. One who serves others should be generally aware of the overall flow of things, while one who leads should be aware of everything including seemingly inignificant matters. Regardless of the social positions people hold, everybody should sincerely respect each other as equal.
In the second paragraph, Musashi states even if your mind is relaxed it also has to be attentive and focused at all times. This is "zanshin". Both go hand in hand. It's like yin and yang, though both are opposite of each other, they are still together.

My experience training with ki-no-kenkyu-kai actually made me realize this. Especially the last part of the second paragraph, respect your opponent's Ki.

The book of water actually discusses a lot of this issue, "mushin" and "zanshin". This is only a couple of paragraph.

When I have to die by the sword, I will do so with honor.
--------
http://funkybuddha.multiply.com/
  Reply With Quote
Old 10-30-2003, 03:46 AM   #12
philipsmith
Dojo: Ren Shin Kan
Location: Birmingham
Join Date: Jun 2003
Posts: 312
United Kingdom
Offline
Just a few murky thoughts to cloud the issue even further.

I have always thought of the relationship between mushin & zanshin best described as "relaxed awareness"

One way to describe this in the context of training is having no expectation of either the attack or your response (true jyu waza)but each feeding off the other.

Outside of the dojo I beleive mushin is the ability to remain calm and unruffled in any given situation (work, social, family) whilst zanzshin is knowing when to react and in what manner.
  Reply With Quote
Old 10-30-2003, 08:52 PM   #13
jk
Location: Indonesia
Join Date: Mar 2001
Posts: 245
Offline
Thalib-san, in that very same book, Ochiai puts forth the notion that Musashi was talking about "heijo-shin" (ping chang xin if you're using pinyin) in those passages. Through the lens of my very poor colloquial Chinese, it just means "ordinary heart", or equanimity. For me, this means you regard highly stressful, dangerous situations with the same mindset as you'd treat another day at the office (while producing a positive, efficient outcome, of course). This seems more elegant than trying to reconcile "mushin" (wu xin in pinyin) and "zanshin" (can xin in pinyin). But then what do I know...

Regards,
  Reply With Quote
Old 11-12-2003, 06:33 PM   #14
Largo
Dojo: Aikikai Dobunkan/ Icho Ryu Aikijujutsu
Location: Indiana
Join Date: Nov 2001
Posts: 247
United_States
Offline
Zanshin is also what is important AFTER the technique. It is the lingering awareness.(if I'm not mistaken, the kanji litterally means "remaining mind" [nokoru and kokoro]) I guess the best analogy would come from action/ horror movies. After the bad guy/monster gets knocked out, some idiot always pokes it and gets eaten. This is NOT having zanshin.
  Reply With Quote
Old 11-12-2003, 07:31 PM   #15
sanosuke
Dojo: Seigi Dojo
Location: Jakarta
Join Date: Nov 2002
Posts: 247
Indonesia
Offline
in my understanding mushin and zanshin is like petrol and car, one cannot go without the other. zanshin i think is a state of awareness to our surrounding while mushin is a state of relaxation of body and mind, resulting in automation of movements, or to some of us is called 'reflex'. Zanshin without mushin resulting in rigid, not flowing movements and mushin without zanshin is what Paul Mihalik has described above.
  Reply With Quote
Old 11-12-2003, 07:41 PM   #16
Suru
Location: Miami, FL
Join Date: Aug 2000
Posts: 453
United_States
Offline
A great topic and some very insightful replies. I'm not left with much to say, for you all have posted most of my thoughts on the matter.

I think this is where some of O'Sensei's words come in: "It is not a question of speed..." And George Leonard Sensei's "Expect nothing. Be ready for anything." And Morpheus's "Free your mind" (from The Matrix.)

With a truly unclouded mind (which I have only sometimes,) the perfect reaction to the situation naturally occurs. With more aikido training (I'm but a yonkyu,) I will not only get better technically but also mentally. I've witnessed first-hand the incredible zanshin and no-mind of some aikido masters, so I know it is possible. One day...

Drew
  Reply With Quote
Old 11-13-2003, 06:58 AM   #17
Ghost Fox
Dojo: Jikishinkan Dojo
Location: New York City (Brooklyn)
Join Date: Oct 2001
Posts: 219
Offline
Quote:
Drew Gardner (Suru) wrote:
With a truly unclouded mind (which I have only sometimes,) the perfect reaction to the situation naturally occurs.

Drew
It should be pointed out that the unclouded mind is only one part of the equation. In order for the perfect reaction to occur naturally we must train and train diligently so that our movement and techniques are natural. One reaction to a situation is limited to those responses that are seeded in the spirit.

Great topic.

Mushin - Ready for No-thing.

Zanshin - Ready for Every-thing.

Isaias
  Reply With Quote
Old 11-13-2003, 08:05 AM   #18
Thalib
 
Thalib's Avatar
Dojo: 合気研究会
Location: Jakarta Selatan
Join Date: Nov 2001
Posts: 504
Indonesia
Offline
Nice one Lost-san...

That correlates to a concept I've been thinking this past few years:

Assume nothing

Expect everything

When I have to die by the sword, I will do so with honor.
--------
http://funkybuddha.multiply.com/
  Reply With Quote
Old 11-14-2003, 03:56 AM   #19
ian
 
ian's Avatar
Dojo: University of Ulster, Coleriane
Location: Northern Ireland
Join Date: Oct 2000
Posts: 1,654
Offline
To have true perception one must not have preconceptions i.e. one must have 'no-mind' to be aware of what is happening at this very moment.

A sensei I know talks about 'dealing with what is happening now'. I used to think it was zen bu**sh*t for ages until I realised it is impossible to be responsive to uke without this (unless you know exactly the way uke is going to move or attack). I think this is a secondary stage of training (i.e. after learning techniques, it is then being able to repsond naturally without a preconception of what they are going to do).

Ian

---understanding aikido is understanding the training method---
  Reply With Quote

Please visit our sponsor:

Budo Bear Patterns - Sewing pattern for Women's (and Men's) dogi.



Reply


Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 1 (0 members and 1 guests)
 
Thread Tools

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

vB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off

Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
zanshin (awareness ) mut Humor 28 03-06-2007 03:09 AM
Article: Zanshin by Lynn Seiser AikiWeb System AikiWeb System 4 06-26-2006 07:47 AM
budoshin and zanshin? KamiKaze_Evolution Language 3 06-22-2004 05:01 PM
broken mushin Paula Lydon Training 4 10-29-2003 05:29 PM
AikiWeb News: New AikiCard Images from Zanshin Art AikiWeb System AikiWeb System 0 07-20-2002 10:17 PM


All times are GMT -6. The time now is 10:40 PM.



vBulletin Copyright © 2000-2014 Jelsoft Enterprises Limited
----------
Copyright 1997-2014 AikiWeb and its Authors, All Rights Reserved.
----------
For questions and comments about this website:
Send E-mail
plainlaid-picaresque outchasing-protistan explicantia-altarage seaford-stellionate