Meditation

Think
From The Speederlink.                    Illustration by David Orange, Jr.

 

Traditionally, martial artists start and end each training session with a period of meditation, sometimes called mokuso, other times zazen.

MochizukiSeiza
Mochizuki sensei sitting in seiza (correct sitting).

One sits in seiza, upright and still, breathing calmly and seeking a mind like a mirror, seeing everything just as it is.

One cultivates this same still mind in the sudden action of hand to hand combat.

This is “movement within stillness and stillness within movement.”

In this way of meditation, we learn to observe our own mind and become objective about its activities, rather than feeding more energy into pointless mental patterns.

Martial arts training becomes another kind of mediation, to bring the mind and body into deep congruency, allowing one’s spirit to fully inhabit one’s body.

Shunryu_Suzuki_by_Robert_Boni
Shunryu Suzuki

Budo yoseishin meditation is not formal Buddhism but the meditation form I have developed over more than four decades in martial arts and associated meditative forms.

At the grave of Shunryu Suzuki about 1991 with his son, head of Rin So In, the temple Suzuki roshi founded, in Yaizu, Japan.

The basic practice of yoseishin meditation is zazen in seiza rather than in lotus posture. The attitude is guided by  Shunryu Suzuki’s comments in Zen Mind, Beginner’s Mind, emphaizing sincerity and compassion to live in constant awareness of the miracle of human life.

Here, Suzuki roshi speaks about the nature of self within the living world.

Mochizuki sensei was not a Buddhist priest, but in the entry to his dojo was a sign reading

初心忘るべからず

 never forget the beginner’s mind

a traditional Zen saying, reminding us always to live in the present moment and see with fresh eyes.

This is the purpose of meditation within budo yoseishin.

We Sat
From The Speederlink.                                      Illustration by David Orange, Jr.