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Mushin

--by Vernon Kitabu Turner (Apr 18, 2005)


The idea of marital arts was that a person who is working for the good of humanity does not develop an aggressive nature but a peaceful center, and his purpose is to defend, not to attack -- to defend his own body, to defend loved ones, to defend those who are weaker than himself, and never to desire to do harm even to the one who is attacking you, never to allow yourself to become like the evil ones who would destroy you. It's when you've developed that resolve that the spiritual path reveals itself to you and begins to lead you in the right direction. You'll say, "No, I will do no harm to others. I will not be a person who is aggressive and violent. But neither will I sit here and watch someone be destroyed when I know I should reach out and offer a helping hand."

That's exactly what happened with me. When the bullies saw me sitting under a tree or reading a book, for some reason they couldn't stand that, and they'd come over and kick the book out of my hand and fight me. I used to get beat up all the time. So one day I initiated this prayer in which I said, "Teach me how to defend myself." [...] Then I went out in the backyard and I began to work out and practice, believing that I would be led into the right moves and that I would come to understand. And the result of that was that eventually the bullies couldn't defeat me anymore.

Now when you take that spiritual path, the action does not come from you. I remember the first time I became aware that my body could move but that I wasn't moving it because when a person threw a punch, my hand blocked it and threw them, and I didn't even know that move. And then as I began to let go more and more, I found out that the mastery was already there; I just had to get out of the way to let it emerge, to show itself. Pretty soon I was able to use this as a platform to teach others about spirituality as a practical reality. The Japanese call it "mushin" -- the art of no-mind. That's when there is no conscious attempt to act, and yet you move anyway, when the action comes from such a deep place that there is no one to take credit for it. The experience of this coexistence -- of this protection that is there within you -- is very powerful, and it reaffirms many of the ancient works and scriptures that say, "He who is within you is greater than he who is in the world."

--Vernon Kitabu Turner

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On Jun 12, 2006 Nipun wrote:

had mixed reactions to this thought, especially the speaking in polarities. Was reading this book called "blink" about the power of thinking without thinking. "Sometimes your joy is the reason for your smile. Sometimes your smile is the reason for your joy " Thich Naht Hanh "Be careful when you are fighting a monster, else you might become the monster" (paraphrase) Freidrich Nietzche "You must be like water, taking the shape of the container you are in" Bruce Lee Where is the line between playing the game and being an observer? "Be selfish, be generous" The Dalai Lama Everybody thinks there should not be wars, but what are you going to do about it? A key of martial arts is training yourself not to think about what the right thing to do is, but just doing the right thing. While working in the community, a few weeks ago someone twice my size decided to rush me with malicious intent. There was no thought in my mind, but my acti  See full.

  • had mixed reactions to this thought, especially the speaking in polarities.
  • Was reading this book called "blink" about the power of thinking without thinking.
  • "Sometimes your joy is the reason for your smile. Sometimes your smile is the reason for your joy " Thich Naht Hanh
  • "Be careful when you are fighting a monster, else you might become the monster" (paraphrase) Freidrich Nietzche
  • "You must be like water, taking the shape of the container you are in" Bruce Lee
  • Where is the line between playing the game and being an observer?
  • "Be selfish, be generous" The Dalai Lama
  • Everybody thinks there should not be wars, but what are you going to do about it?
  • A key of martial arts is training yourself not to think about what the right thing to do is, but just doing the right thing.
  • While working in the community, a few weeks ago someone twice my size decided to rush me with malicious intent. There was no thought in my mind, but my actions naturally tended to use his weight against him, but without hurting him, even with years of martial arts training I've had. After a few minutes he looked at my eyes and said "we will never do this again" and hugged me. We are now close friends.
  • Interestingly, mindfulness is what leads to no-mind
  • A friend of mine was killed in Iraq last saturday. She went there to serve and work with civilians who were hurt by the war. She lived the principles of this quote. Her last words were "I'm Alive" please check out her organization, http://www.civicworldwide.org
  • What is the difference between being present in something and being lost in it? When lost in it, you are fully involved, but not aware that you are. When you are present with it, you are still fully involved, but are aware that you are in it, yet still see it from a more expanded perspective.
  • Often as we get older our natural ability to be in touch with a deeper self that came so easy as a child gets assailed and covered by doubts. Mindfulness can be used as a tool to clear these doubts and allow what we already know to come to the surface.
  • Ocham's razor is a principle stating that the simplest explanation is often the correct one.
  • The founder of Aikido said when someone came to attack him, they immediately fractured their relation to the universe and his task was to take their weakness and return it into harmony.
  • Sveta & Fred are engaged!
  • "You must achieve formlessness, so you may assume all forms" Bruce Lee

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