Sunday, January 24, 2010

Mind Recovery

In my last post I discussed Sanchin and its importance in training the body and the mind to recover from an attack. Let's take a basic element of Sanchin and apply it to daily life.

Sanchin is a very simple kata in terms of physical motion. It is highly repetitive and for some almost boring. While performing Sanchin Kata, your focus is on the motion of body and of breath. When your mind wanders from your focus, the practice is to recognize this and return it to the now of the body and breath.

During testing you are being struck. Sometimes it can be very uncomfortable, if not downright painful. Your mind, upon receiving the pain, will begin to wander into reactive judgement. It gets focused on its own reaction, struggles with fight or run, and forgets that another strike is on the way...and pow...another wave of pain...and now more struggle...and pow...and so on.

Life also has a way of doing this to us as well. Your boss yells at you, yours spouse is mad at you, the kids are not doing well in school and your car is having mechanical problems which you can't afford right now. Life just keeps throwing strikes and you begin to struggle.

Sanchin training gets you to refocus on the here and now of your purpose and to detach from the discomfort. When you are here and now, the punches thrown at you actually do not hurt as much and you can recover back to ground zero of the present moment. You feel more in control. It hurts, but you can take it and move on in a non-attached manner. Your mind is in continuous recovery.

Being able to recover from your daily problems moment after moment in non-attachment will help you feel more settled and 'problems' cease to be a struggle. You begin to take life one breath at a moment at a time. Sanchin teaches and trains you in this principle of mind recovery.

One definition of a Kata, besides 'form', is 'how you behave'. Whatever you are doing, whether it be washing dishes, talking to your boss, picking the kids up from school, is a Kata. It should also be the focus of your mind. When washing, wash. When talking, talk, etc.

When life throws a strike at you...being able to recover and return your mind back to your purpose or Kata pays big dividends in terms of your emotional and mental health.

Other disciplines, such as Yoga and Zazen can also provide this type of mind recovery training.

Hope this makes sense.

Hands palm to palm,


  1. Nah, this elaborates more... I see it sounds more similar to yoga. My, then I shall learn to focus doing the assessment reports :p yes, this makes sense very well, thanks for sharing, Shinzen :)

    BTW; is that you on the photograph??? :D

  2. Yep...that's me.

    Karate, when practiced as a -do, is a microcosm of life. Karate-do has many life lessons to teach us, if we are open to learning.

  3. Ha! I'm sure I can learn very lot by visiting your Dojo. In fact, I am fascinated.

    Too bad we are halfway around the world apart :p so I have to be content with all you can share through this blog :D thanks :)

  4. Thank you for the kind words...I will continue sharing best I can.

    You keep sharing as well. It's great to get confirmation/validation of concepts, ideas and some laughs from like minded people...