Hello

I don't know about anybody else here, but I'd just like to say that meditation 
in silence and the practise of a martial art(any one) go quite well together. 
With my health issues, I'm not really able to attend regular karate classes 
anymore but I do continue to practise on my own with kihon and kata

I consider (Shotokan) karate to be most apt when it comes to following a 
'zenful' life, so to speak. Direct and straight to the point, and perhaps with 
some similarities in principle to the WingChun style.To me, Zen is about 
directness and practicality whilst avoiding unecessary complications. I avoid 
getting too wordy or mystical when it comes to my own words on Zen itself, and 
how it relates to anything outside of the meditation hall, or temple. Like the 
late Shunryu Suzuki, I consider Zen as something that has to relate to everyday 
life itself. I don't find it hard in picking any everyday situation where some 
of that Zen essence may play a part. This is most obvious during karate(or some 
other martial art) training, where concentration as required in zazen is a 
prime factor. However, we're not in the dojo(Zen, or karate) all the time, and 
most of our life deals with normal, everyday issues eg. paying bills, shopping, 
work, leisure, etc. How to get better with such everyday issues is my concern, 
and what most interests me..not rituals or mysticism. On a side note, a young 
Thai boy once advised me to take my Buddha statue to the monks for blessing so 
that it(the statue) may bring me blessings and good fortune...or at least 
that's how I understood it from him. A lady from Laos also said something 
similar. Personally, I find the whole idea of it to be quite ridiculous

Zen and the martial arts complement each other..very well. Each side reinforces 
the other. Whilst one may strike or move in a circular manner from the 
Bagua-zhang or Shaolin styles, the Shotokan school teaches directness...and to 
use an old quote..'the shortest distance between 2 points is a straight line'. 
To be direct and straight to the point..that is also from Zen. It's like 
another old quote I heard a long time ago...'when it's dark, light a candle'..

Having said the above, how can then something as changing a baby's nappy be so 
difficult, or complicated. One is faced with a soiled nappy, and so one changes 
it for the child. In karate, one strikes and the other blocks or avoids, and 
counter-strikes at the same time. You're low on finances, and you therefore 
tighten expenditure. When one is sick, one goes to the doctor. Pretty much 
like....'when it's dark, you light a candle'..

The book ZEN MIND BEGINNER'S MIND is really a good book to follow by. I'm not 
going to quote from it the way they do in bible or Islamic forums. With such in 
mind, I wonder these days if my attendance of Quaker meetings (services which 
are based on silence) had been nothing more but an extension of my  past Zen 
practise

Mel



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