Over on ZenHG's Dojo Floor blog he had been discussing how complicated we tend to make things and how complicated classifications of jin were. It got me to thinking and during the evening last night I had a bit of insomnia, which you know stimulates a stream of thinking, an old quote came to visit: "Seek not to walk in the shoes of the ancients, seek what they sought."
Are you simply going through the motions of your martial art...or are you, like ZenHG is doing, questioning, examining, tearing apart, rebuilding your artform. Are you making it your own?
There is another old Zen quote: "Don't mistake the finger for the moon". The footprints, or forms, the ancients gave us are just fingers pointing to the moon of truth. Don't mistake the footprints for the truth.
My hope for my Karate students is that they take what I have taught them and question it...tear it apart...burn it down...rebuild it. Heck, I do this on a continuous basis for what I teach. I can drive some of students nuts because I am always playing with form...but this where I am at. I am seeking what the ancients sought...I am not so concerned with their footprints...or forms.
Now this doesn't mean we disrespect their footprints. They give us direction and puts us on our own course of self-discovery and mastery. To try and stay within the form of the ancients will not lead us to the growth and inner freedom that the ancients sought. Transformation requires us to question, doubt, burn down (with respect) and then rebuild our own expression of the martial arts.
Hope this makes some sense...I never know somedays, especially since I have had only one cup of coffee this a.m. I have to go now, because my wife has a 'honey-do' list for me to tackle...and if momma ain't happy, nobody is happy :)
Thanks for visiting. My Dharma name is Shinzen. I began studying Goshindo Karate under the watchful eye of Shihan Paul Dean in 1969. Yes, I now have gray hair. I am also Lay-ordained in Soto Zen under the tutelage of Rev. Nonin Chowaney of the Nebraska Zen Center.