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An empty mind

Kawaraban No. 68


by the Head of Tendokan, Kenji Shimizu

We who practice Budo should always try to stay fit and at the same time develop courage and spirit through skill.

This is the motive that drives us to daily training. Of course in training we break a sweat, loose breath and often feel our bodies aching but to progress we must continue Aikido as it's training consists primarily of repetative training. The repetative training backs onto boredom and the boredom is our enemy. This is the difficulty of conitinuous training. As we find ourselves in training we must overcome our weaknesses.

A long time ago, the Samorai had to be able to sense danger instantly and react to a situation at any given time otherwise it could have cost them their life. With even limited or little strength they could survive but with a weak nerve they wouldn't.

Aikido is the Martisl Art that joins 'ki'. We must build up 'ki' to catch wind of our surroundings.

The old saying is: 'When you engage in training, you must empty your mind and be natural'.
This means we'll absorb nothing without emptying our mind. It is the state of mind in which we have no obsession or fear. One must possess a strong mind to create true kindness and compassion. As Ghandi stated, 'Strength does not come from physical capacity. It comes from an indomitable will.'

Thus I believe the healthy body dwells in the healthy mind, because the body complies with the mind. However it is not so easy to empty ones mind. Rueful as this may be we are devils of greed, so the harder we try to empty our minds, 'mu' the state of nothingness becomes harder to reach. Therefor we are better off being natural.

We drink water when we want to drink and sleep when we want to sleep. Oddly enough, even in conflict we can be strong as we stay being natual. If we try to go against reason, we loose truth. An empty mind does not mean 'no mind' but it indicates a mind that is not caught up on something.

If we strive to be strong in Budo training, then strength will adversely escape us. As we continue training consistantly, we realise that strength comes to us naturally.

© by Tendokan