The Martial Ideology Of Mushin Extended To Daily Life-Part 1

21 Dec
An integral component of my methodology and ideology of Jiriki Kata-Do (The way of (attaining) inner salvation by Kata) is to incorporate methodologies and ideologies that were previously thought to extend solely to the martial arts to daily life.

The methodology is the physical movement of certain unique Kata. This methodology is designed to improve one’s overall physical health and well being. The ideological component is designed not only to enable one to spiritually function in an environment that contains factors that attack one’s sense of well being, but also to awaken one to our interconnectivity with the physical universe and the universal consciousness. The extension of these ideologies to daily life will be the subject of various continuing articles.

Prior to discussing the manner of ideological extension, a seemingly simple point needs to be addressed. Initially, it must be noted that the ideologies are not meant to develop the “brain”. I use the term brain to identify a specific organ of the human body designed to monitor bodily functions and enable a human to think rationally, interpret sensory inputs and act accordingly. A higher result of the function of the organic brain is the mind or spirit. The mind or spirit is that function of the brain that gives a human a sense of self, and a sense of that self as a component of the physical world in which the human dwells. The mind or spirit also fosters within the human a quest to ascertain the human’s purpose and function within the consciousness of the universe both while existing on this physical plain we call “life“ and on the next plain of existence accurately called “afterlife“. It is the mind or spirit that is cultivated and nurtured through the meditative performance of the rites of Jiriki Kata-Do.

The first martial ideology that should be extended to and incorporated into daily life is Mushin (pronounced “Moo-shin“). Mushin is an abbreviation of the phrase “Mushin No Shin” which refers to a mental state described as “Mind, No-Mind”. Mushin is taken directly from my training in Goshin-Do Karate-Do. Mushin is the omnipresent state of mind in all the dynamic meditation rites, or Kata, of my methodology of Jiriki Kata-Do.

Mushin is a unique state of mind wherein one actively experiences one’s environment with the totality of one’s senses. The sensory inputs are transmitted to the brain. The brain processes these sensory inputs and accordingly transmits reactionary impulses to the body and simultaneously creates a state of mind, or spirit, attendant to the inputs received. Invariably, an undeveloped spirit will focus on what it believes to be the most pervasive of the sensory inputs, to the exclusion of the other sensory inputs, and evolve a mental or spiritual state to meet the situation transmitted via the sensory inputs. This state of mind is characterized as “clouded”.

The Mushin state of spiritual being is “unclouded”. Instead of focusing the mind or spirit onto a specific sensory input to the exclusion of the others, Mushin perceives all inputs from the sensory world and absorbs them totally. Prior to contrary belief, the Mushin perception does not necessarily focus the mind onto one specific sensory or mental inputs to the exclusion of all other sensory or mental inputs. Rather, a specific input is perceived within the context of all other perceptions. Thus, the spirit is uncluttered by a single exaggerated sensory input. The spirit is uncluttered so as to experience and accept all sensory inputs for exactly what they are. In my Karate Dojo, I use the following as a means of describing the mind/no-mind state of perception found in the dynamic meditation rites.

Focus and the leaf and see the tree, Focus on the tree and see the leaf, Perceive all and none.

Again, the point is that no one sensory input, or object thereof, is focused upon to the exclusion of another. All sensory inputs are perceived within the physical, environmental, sociological and ideological context of the others.

Mushin distinguished from traditional forms of meditation:

 Traditional forms of meditation seek to either “quiet” the mind or intensely focus it. One may sit in meditation for prolonged time periods and seek to actively think of nothing in an attempt to quiet the mind. This is not the Mushin state of mind. Mushin and the dynamic meditation rites of Jiriki Kata-Do recognize that the natural state of the organic human being is an active state that tends towards motion. Like all other aspects of the human body, the organic brain naturally tends towards action. This is true of the higher state of mind, which is incubated by the organic brain. To willfully direct the brain, and thus the mind, to a state of inactivity is unnatural and therefore, requires the exertion of one’s energy so as to overcome the mind’s natural tendency. This is inefficient and a waste of one’s mental capacity. Thus, Mushin rejects the unnatural exertion of energy and embraces the natural state of the organic brain, and higher mind, by embracing and enhancing the natural state with an omnipotent heightened sensory perception.

The opposite of the quiet mind is the focused mind. One may sit and meditate so as to focus the mind on a single physical object, such as a candle flame, or on a thought such as a sutra, or on another mechanism, such as a chant. Again, focusing one’s mind expands energy for an unnatural effect. Mushin, as a heightened natural state, does not seek to focus or direct the mind to one specific arena. Rather the mind flows naturally to all.

Mushin allows one to welcome and embrace all sensory inputs so that each input is perceived within the context of all other inputs received from the five senses. Once attained and maintained, Mushin allows one to experience life in a fully enraptured state of being.

Future submissions in this series will discuss:

1. Mushin as it relates to the mythology of Bodhidharma;

2. Examples of how Mushin is incorporated into daily life;

3. Mushin as a sacrament to spirituality.

For additional information, please feel free to visit my website at WWW.Dynamic-Meditation.Com.

An expanded discussion of Mushin may also be found in my new book The Dynamic Meditation Rite Of Sanchin: Gateway To The Three Battles To The Plateau Of Human Serenity.

You may also find additional information on Jiriki Kata-Do, by reading my article herein dated December 15 , 2009. Entitled “Kata evolves into a methodology and ideology …”

2 Responses to “The Martial Ideology Of Mushin Extended To Daily Life-Part 1”

  1. aikidonebraska December 22, 2009 at 8:52 pm #

    An excellent primer on the concept of Mushin. I believe that students of many Martial Arts would benefit from the understanding of Mushin, and would allow them to progress with greater efficiency. Thank you for your insights.
    Todd Roberts
    Aikido of Nebraska,LLC

    • senseijohn December 23, 2009 at 5:52 am #

      Sensei Roberts: Thank-you for taking the time to view my blog and post a comment. I wish you continued growth and inspiration in your Akido journey.

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