Chan/Taiji/Kyudo – SANMAI-ITTAI practice…

4 03 2010

I have noticed I am writing a lot these days. Reason, one of is, I am digesting, sorting and assimilating Kyudo and it’s Sanmai -ittai into my spirit/mind and future Kung Fu/Tai Chi teaching, which was part of my reason for starting Kyudo. The writing helps me do so, and perhaps helps someone else. One day I’ll look back on this an day, yeah. I was so much older then , I’m younger than that now… ( from an old song). Anyway all this will not continue, so if you are enjoying and getting something out of this, great. After Japan, things will slow down, I’m guessing. Hopefully I will be working and not have as much time to write as often. Until we head out for Japan to relocate, then it will be all on the sailing blog until we make land fall in Nihon. That will be a another big adventure, settling in a new country at my age. Most who do restart in Japan are in their 20’s. I should have a different perspective on things coming from a different background. Anyway, that is Zen, this is now. It also helps me not think about not be able to find a job yet. Thank God there is another extension to EDD benefits forthcoming and that Baka person in the senate did not have his way with punishing the struggling now non-working people who gave him a job. ok, ok, deep breath  Om ommmmmm..

So Weds. I went to RSD for Kyudo practice. I was thinking about the surprising and positive feedback I got from the “principals” post. So I was thinking more about principals something that Fong Sisuk always talks about when speaking about Kung Fu  to us. “Understand the Principals” he says, that is what makes the art not the application. When you understand the principals you can flow and adapt the application to the moment.

Sanmai – ittai in Kyudo is :

1. The body

2. Spirit and mind

3. The Bow

I have said before I really think Bow should be part of Physical, but that is not what this is about.

Sanmai – ittai in Chan, we consider there are three parts to our makeup or three levels to our being ( so we train on three)

1. Physical ( Kung Fu)

2. Mental ( Meditation)

3. Spiritual ( Chakas/Chi)

So I’m thinking ok, Principals and SanMai-Ittai, what principals are the same in Chan as with Tai Chi and Kyudo.Right off there is the ” sit like a bell, stand like a pine”…but more I’m seeking, I have explored Taiji and Kyudo , what about Chan ( ZEN)  Chan has San Mai ittai, Kung Fu/Tai Chi has San Mai -ittai, Kyudo, blah blah.  Master Awa said that the Universe is a large Human (San mai-ittai, The sky, planets, us or other life) we are small universes, or something like that. Anyway that is the general idea. As everything is made up of Yin and Yang, everything also has San Mai-ittai. It is just a matter of seeing it, finding it. Stay with me… So this lead to another thought. Suppose I take, three, in a non-Chan sense separate things and make them into my SanMai-Ittai practice today and see how that goes. An experiment. Three things that one has to have good Sanmai-ittai ( each with it’s challenges)  to have wholeness in doing them and do them to make a greater Sanmai -ittai. Todays Chan/Kyudo practice, I’ve done sailing as a Chan practice, this is closer , yet different. Three realms to travel and embrace, One of stillness with inner motion, another of motion with inner stillness, one which flows from motion to stillness, stillness to motion. Stillness in it’s core ( meditation), motion within that core ( Chi)…Yeah, kind of like sailing and life ( already blogged on that).

So, I started with some Chan ( outer stillness/inner motion) sitting meditation once I got things organized at RSD. It started raining, nice, I like rain, more so when I’m not outside in it. There was a piece of loud machinery that was running when I started to sit, which stopped. Cool! I thought. The Tao is with me, this maybe easy. It was a nice 10 -15 min. Rain beating on the roof windows, ground, white noise, hearing it, but not hearing it. Hearing it, but not attaching to it. Like holding the Yumi at Hanare.

Next up Tai Chi ( outer motion /inner stillness), the portion changed, the focus, the environment changed. There was still the rain however now one of the company workers came. He was doing something down stairs, something which had to do with a two cycle motorcycle, A small two cycle bike with which he needed to rev. the engine…a lot! Practice took on a new face, dealing with detachment. A higher level of training was need, more concentration, more detachment. Like being in Kai…interesting to go backward. Now there was pressure to deal with, tension…Yet maintaining the spirit, calm, centering of the sitting. Spirit/Mind, Body… 2 of 3

Next up…Kyudo ( Yin/Yang, Yang /Yin), the bow. The final section. Another test of focus, carrying the “spirit’ ( Chan , Tai Chi ) from one area to another ( Kyudo)… A mini life exercise, carrying the spirit/training of the dojo into the outer world, real life …doing the Tai Hai, shutting out the noise, staying centered, recalling all the parts, sending the Ya. Expelling the spirit, with calm, focus, power, purpose, beauty, truth, Shin Zen Bi…Oneness…hitting the target.

Within this context I also did a mini exercise someone mentioned they do. Once in Daisan I closed my eyes and shot…1 of 6 ya

How did I do…?

six shots, six ya...which was blind...

Well, it was a good practice day. Sometimes it is more the journey ( and fun ) than the destination. Hahahah

Practice makes a  Sho-dan! 🙂

Ganbarimasu !



2 responses

5 03 2010
Rick Matz

My own approach would be to keep each practice strictly separate in my practice, and let them sort themselves out with each other in my subconcious.

5 03 2010

Each is separate, but the Mind & Chi is the common link always. Only the Physical can remain truly remain strictly separate…or is it? 🙂

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