Friday, April 9, 2010

There is No Preparation

As a white belt going through the ranks of Karate, I often disliked the warm-up and conditioning exercises. I found this preparation to kick, punch and throw people around a waste of time. Too boring, I often felt. I see this in many students as well. "When are we going to practice real Karate?", I am often asked. "We want to free-spar and wrestle on the mats," is also often heard.

What students, and myself, did not realize that this 'prep' time IS Karate. It is not preparation to do Karate, but it is Karate as well. The body and mind need to be warmed up and conditioned properly to take the vigorous activity.

In Zen, many students come to the temple to seek enlightenment through meditation. They see Zazen as prep-time for enlightenment...and it is amazing how many students quit cause they hate the prep time. Too boring is often the reason...just how I felt in Karate during warmups.

It is not till you realize that the warmups and Zazen is NOT prep time. The warmups are Karate and Zazen is enlightened activity. They are not preparations for anything. They are IT!

There is no preparation. It is an illusion and delusion of the mind.

When people ask me know how often do I practice Karate, I tell them 24/7. There is no prep time. Everything I do is Karate...just like everything I do is Zazen...enlightened activity. No prep time.

This is it!

Hands palm to palm,


  1. Very nicely put.

    When one stops distinguishing preps and goal, preps and goal become one. The journey becomes the destination, the result becomes the process.

    This is it!


  2. Thanks Narda and Rizal.

    Hey Narda...I can't get into your blog. It screens me out...and I want to read it! Take Care.

  3. I learned to do the "warm ups" as if it were one long kata, seamlessly moving from one drill or exercise to another, applying breathing and focus, learning to pace the body accordingly, facing the limitations and pain as a process. In the end, doing karate.

  4. Another great read, thanks Shinzen. Everything is it! :-)

  5. Excellence!

    And I cosign what Rizal said!