Sunday, March 27, 2016

Shindo Muso Ryu Jo Jutsu

Not easy to locate good instructional videos... Here are 2 great Jodo videos with Masayuki Shimabukuro Hanshi.



Enjoy, Practice 


Thursday, February 25, 2016

Zen, Budo and Flying.

Back to the Pilot analogy

You can try to learn everything about the theory of flights. You'll never will be able to fly. 

Buddhism and Martial Arts are the same.  If you spend your life trying to understand, you will become a Buddhist or a Martial Arts Scholar. You won't have acquired any useful skills and all you'll have learned won't really help you when you need it. 

On another hand, some believe they practice Zen by spending hours in a row sitting without moving or thinking at all. They are like someone who would sit in the cockpit of the plane, close their eyes, and believe they really are flying. 

Some other people practice and teach crazy things (Yes, you can become a certified light saber fighting instructor !) and believe they could actually fight. 

Buddhism and Budo first and for all are practices. 

Find a teacher, learn how to fly ! 


Wednesday, February 24, 2016

Zen Monkeys

In regions populated by many monkeys, one can see them seated in a meditative posture – eyes closed and hands resting on their lap, but they are sleeping. 


Just sitting like that and thinking one is meditating is rather useless and helps no one at all...

Tuesday, February 16, 2016

Practice and Understanding.

If I have to fly across the desert, I'd rather be flown by a guy who's been flying all kind of birds for 30 years than by an aeronautic engineer, who knows  theory of flight and could explain to anyone how an airplane flies, but has never flown one once in his life. 

How about you ? 

When it comes to real life, actual practice and experience are more important than mere intellectual knowledge. 

However, if the plane breaks down and the pilot lands it safely in the middle of nowhere, the presence of an engineer aboard might be a blessing. After all, I might be able to fix it.
That's why in the old times of the Aeropostale, each plane was manned by a pilot and a mechanic. 

Trying to understand things has its benefits,  but - in my opinion - it should come second. 

Sunday, January 10, 2016


There’s nothing intrinsically wrong with trying to stay informed of current events, but you have to be sensitive to the effect that too much attention to the news can have on your mind. 

The basic message of the news is that your time is unimportant, that the important things in the world are what other people are doing in other places. 

This is the opposite of the message of meditation: that the most important thing happening in your world is what you’re doing right here, right now. 

Sunday, January 3, 2016

Knowing and Doing

There are basically 2 questions you can ask about things :
  • What can I do with this  ?
  • How does this work ? (How is it built)

As far as survival is involved, "What can I do with this" is better than "How does this work?"

You can drive a car without having any idea how it works. However, if you have a mechanical problem in the middle of the desert, it maybe handy to know how to disconnect the thermostat to make sure the fan stays on and keep cooling the engine (trust me on that one, personal experience...)

So again, it is interesting to know both about things, 

  • what you can do with them, and 
  • how they are built and work, 

And this is true for every domain. If someone comes at you and you find a stick, it is a good idea to whack them with that stick, without trying to have the perfect stance and style. You have no need to know exactly how to fight with a stick: just whack them quickly and strongly.  

If later on more people get in the habit of coming at you, it could be a good idea to learn how to use your stick more efficiently. That is what martial arts are about.

Now in Buddhism, we have a number of teachings. They are meant to be USED. If you try to understand them before you practice, you'll be in the situation of a guy who having been shot with a poisoned arrow wants to know everything about who shot it and the kind of material used to make the arrow, the bow and the string before pulling the arrow out of his thigh. Basically the guy would die before he'd know the answers to these questions. 

This story was told by the Buddha 2500 years ago,  and was recorded in the Cula-Malunkyovada Sutta.

"It's just as if a man were wounded with an arrow thickly smeared with poison. His friends & companions, kinsmen & relatives would provide him with a surgeon, and the man would say, 'I won't have this arrow removed until I know whether the man who wounded me was a noble warrior, a brahman, a merchant, or a worker.' He would say, 'I won't have this arrow removed until I know the given name & clan name of the man who wounded me... until I know whether he was tall, medium, or short... until I know whether he was dark, ruddy-brown, or golden-colored... until I know his home village, town, or city... until I know whether the bow with which I was wounded was a long bow or a crossbow... until I know whether the bowstring with which I was wounded was fiber, bamboo threads, sinew, hemp, or bark... until I know whether the shaft with which I was wounded was wild or cultivated... until I know whether the feathers of the shaft with which I was wounded were those of a vulture, a stork, a hawk, a peacock, or another bird... until I know whether the shaft with which I was wounded was bound with the sinew of an ox, a water buffalo, a langur, or a monkey.' He would say, 'I won't have this arrow removed until I know whether the shaft with which I was wounded was that of a common arrow, a curved arrow, a barbed, a calf-toothed, or an oleander arrow.' The man would die and those things would still remain unknown to him."

In the West, we love to understand everything before we act. At times, it is a good idea, but not always. 

Intellectual analysis sometimes delays or even prevents actual experience.

Don't waste your time, Practice...


Wednesday, December 23, 2015

Clarification about the 'Self'

All forms of Buddhism teach that all dharma or phenomena have 3 universal characteristics :

All phenomena are Impermanent
The teaching of ANICCA
All phenomena are Unsatisfactory
The teaching of DUKKHA
All phenomena are Not-Self
The teaching of ANATTA

The teachings of Anicca and Dukkha are common to all religious or philosopHical traditions, but the teaching of Anatta is unique to Buddhism.

According to Anatta there is nothing that can be identified as 'self', all the things that we take to be ourself, to be I and mine, are really 'not-self'.

Buddhism holds that these notions are deceptive delusions that lead us into conflicts and suffering. To stop this suffering we have to realize the nature of all phenomena. This is achieved by intellectual understanding and through insight.

Because almost all of our thoughts and activities are centred around the idea of "I", "mine" and "myself" Anatta is the deepest and the most difficult of the 3 characteristics to realize. To grasp its exact meaning we have to clarify what it actually does and does not deny. 'Anatta' meaning literally 'not-self', what really is this 'self' denied by it ?

The word "self" can be used in three senses :

  • (a) A reflexive sense, as when when we speak of "myself", "yourself", "oneself". (French “moi-meme”, “toi-meme”, “soi-meme”). Buddhism accepts such use of the word "Self". You have to train yourself, one must purify oneself, you have to make the effort yourself and so on.
  • (b) "Self” as one's own person, the compound of body and mind or psycho-physical personality. Here the word 'self' is used to refer easily and economically to what really is a complex process. Buddhism accepts such use of the word "Self".
  • (c) A substantial and lasting ego entity, core of the compound of body and mind. This idea of a "Self" is categorically rejected by the teaching of Anatta, for it is this assumption that draws us into suffering.