Kata, besides being a Karate series of self-defense moves, has a deeper meaning for us to learn. Kata means 'how you behave'. How you behave moment by moment is very important if you wish to feel the bubbling of the universal waters that give us life.
When performing a Karate Kata, paying attention to the details of the moves are paramount. It is an exercise in Zen mindfulness. At the beginning of each Kata performance, the name of the Kata is announced. For instance, if you are doing Sanchin, you say, "Sanchin Kata". If you are doing a weapons Kata like Kusanku Sai, you say, "Kusanku Sai"...and so on. Then you perform the kata.
Karate practice of your Kata does not end when you leave the Dojo. When leaving the Dojo you are practicing 'leaving the dojo kata' and then 'driving home kata'. Everything you do is a kata...it is how you behave...and just like a Kata in the Dojo, you should announce what kata you are doing and then pay attention, mindfully.
When brushing your teeth, announce to yourself, 'brushing teeth kata' and then pay attention to your taking off of the toothpaste cap, squeezing it on your brush, putting it in your mouth, brushing and so on until you move onto your next kata.
Whatever activity you are doing, announce it to yourself as a Kata. Then pay attention with full mindfulness of what you are doing, especially the small habits you do automatically, like throwing trash out, or taking a piss, or getting out of bed. With practice, over time, you will begin to see and feel a change in your life. Subtle at first, but then later you will feel the stream of life...the flow of Tao if you will.
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.