Hi Edgar,
Thanks for the reply and insight. I'm just finding it really hard to intergrate 
my understanding and experience of Zen with the importance some people here are 
placing on chi. I can appreciate that chi exists and may even be the source of 
form and emptiness, but at the end of the day I just don't believe it is 
essential to know or experience chi in order to live a Zen life. With due 
respect, I think JMJM's Chan is just a highly developed technique which allows 
a person to feel chi and so feel somewhat spiritualised and 'connected'. I've 
felt something very similar in my Vipassana meditation (Vipassana uses a 
technique which generates a lot of chi and this is then used to 'scan' the body 
to feel the most minute, subtle sensations within and on the surface of the 
body), however it is still a technique. I'm not saying techniques are a bad 
thing - after all zazen meditation is a technique . What I am saying tho' is 
that ultimately ALL techniques are just
 rafts which need to be discarded after reaching the other shore (the shore 
we're already on, of course). Zen is just simply living life fully in the 
moment and doesn't require anything extra in the way of 'energy currents', God, 
or listening to our 'inner-dolphin'. Mike.

----- Original Message ----

From: Edgar Owen <[EMAIL PROTECTED]>
To: Zen_Forum@yahoogroups.com
Sent: Thursday, 11 September, 2008 7:41:41
Subject: Re: [Zen] JUDO

Hi Mike,

An excellent post from someone who obviously has direct experience of what he's 
talking about.

The huffing and puffing type of concentration of chi is primarily useful in 
demonstrations of force in set conditions such as breaking bricks. Bricks don't 
avoid punches or  strike back! In such cases one can concentrate on 
concentrating one's chi against the unchanging chi of the bricks and take one's 
time. However in interactive situations with a live opponent things are much 
different and concentrating on one's own chi in this way is not usually the 
best tactic. 

Against a live opponent the key is emptiness, or as you say mushin. If you are 
full of concentrating on your own chi your focus and your energy will be in 
that concentration of chi, not on the total interactive situation with the 
opponent. The emptier of such concentration one is the faster and more 
appropriately one can act. The idea is to be empty of self so that you are 
maximally aware and tuned to the flow of the total situation and are able to 
respond instantly and naturally to any change the opponent makes in the unity 
of the whole situation. This too is actually chi, but not a huff and puff 
concentration of chi in one's own hara, but a maximal awareness and response to 
the total chi of the entire situation that exists between you and your 
opponent. If you erect no chi barrier to your opponent you are able to sense 
instantly any change he makes to the chi flow you share with him and respond 
optimally - assuming you have the training to do so of

This all goes to a very important point. What to do with realization, what to 
do with Zen? As Bill noted, he spends 99% of his life out of zazen. No matter 
how enlightened we exist in the world of maya where causality holds sway. With 
Zen we can realize that is illusion, but we still must exist within it. The big 
question is how to bring Zen into that world in our daily lives 24/7. 

Al points to the way here. The key is to be empty. That doesn't mean to be 
empty of chi, but to be empty of any hinderances to the flow of chi. When we 
are empty of such blockages we are continually being filled with the chi of the 
present here now which flows through us unobstructed, and out of this flow our 
own action originates naturally and spontaneously. Most people's action 
originates from their hinderances to the free flow of chi, those internal forms 
in which they try to trap chi, that is the internal forms in which most people 
try to structure and hold chi according to their particular desires, and 
thoughts, those forms which they call their self. But true Zen action arises 
directly from the free unhindered flow of the chi of the present moment through 
one's center. We see that brilliantly in the finest martial artists such as the 
aikido of Ueshiba Morihei, but it also works in every aspect of daily life if 
we just empty ourselves and tune to
 the chi of the moment, and let that originate our actions without hinderance.


On Sep 10, 2008, at 7:44 AM, mike brown wrote:

Hi Al, 
I'm a Kyokushin karate practioner and have represented Australia (actually I'm 
Welsh, but it's a long story..) at the international level. I have found Zen to 
be indispensable when fighting in competitions. If you start worrying 
negatively about the outcome of the fight, or regret not training hard enough 
then by the time you get on the mat you'll have expended too much nervous 
energy and/or react too slow to your opponents strikes and kicks. In training 
the same Zen principles applies - the kick or punch you throw NOW is the most 
important kick or punch you will ever throw in your life so put 100% into it.

 The outcome of this training is the development of mushin (or 'no mind') where 
the fear of losing and injury doesn't exist. The Japanese call this spirit 
'Budo'. Any focus on 'Chi' is minimal or non-existent although that's not to 
say it doesn't exist. It's just that focusing on the mind/ego thru zazen is 
much more  important and crucial to this development. I've often seen kung fu 
players performing intricate chi-type exercises before a competion and then 
come out and get their arses kicked by fighters who wouldn't know their chi if 
it jumped and bit them on their [EMAIL PROTECTED] Mike.

----- Original Message ----
From: Fitness63 <[EMAIL PROTECTED] .net>
Sent: Wednesday, 10 September, 2008 12:26:56
Subject: [Zen] JUDO

By the way, I learned a lot from that old Judo instructor. He is a very nice 
guy and now he is in his 80s.
I think that he felt that Judo and Zen were intertwined and that zen helped him 
focus his CHI to be better at Judo.
I think that is why the samurai also were devoted to zen. It was not because 
they were atheists who believed in nothing. I would like to hear from those who 
have experience in Judo or other martial arts and whether or not you are aware 
of CHI and if it has any relationship to zazen in your experience.



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