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Zen, most popular form of Buddhist thought known today, is directly related to cross-cultural interchange between Martial Arts and many philosophical systems that came together as these teachings travelled from India, across Himalayas, through China and into Japan. Ironically, many Westerners have no idea that Zen is a form of Buddhist study and practice, nor is it usually seen as much more than "seated meditation" to most martial artists - both teachers and students.
Japanese Zen Master Taisen Deshimaru often wrote about Zen and principles of Bushido, or "the way of warrior," which grew, in part, out of Buddhist thought.
The principles of:
Gi:Having right decision, right attitude, truth Yu:Bravery tinged with heroism Jin:Universal love; compassion Rei:Right action; courtesy Makoto: Utter sincerity; truthfulness Meiyo: Honor; high ethical character Chugo: Devotion; loyalty
were common ground between monk and warrior. In fact, there is no difference between two.
Deshimaru emphasized that learning and practice of these principles is a lifelong process, and needs to take place "...in body, through unconscious." The ancient tradition of Martial Arts is an internal process, a gradual connection with one's own deep-seated intuition. Deshimaru explains: "In spirit of Zen . . .everyday life becomes a contest. There must be an awareness at every moment: getting up in morning, working, eating, going to bed. That is place for mastery of self."
Jeffrey M. Miller is the founder and master instructor of Warrior Concepts International. He specializes in teaching the ancient ways of self-protection and personal development lessons in a way that is easily understood and put to use by modern Western students and corporate clients. To learn more, visit his website at http://www.warrior-concepts-online.com