Here at the frontier, the leaves fall like rain. Although my neighbors are all barbarians, there are still two cups at my table.

Ten thousand flowers in spring, the moon in autumn, a cool breeze in summer, snow in winter. If your mind isn't clouded by unnecessary things, this is the best season of your life.

~ Wu-men ~

Monday, November 13, 2006

Fudoshin and Zanshin

Fudoshin 不動心, and Zanshin 残心 are to key concepts in understanding Budo. Below is an excerpt from an article linked to If you click on the title of this post, you'll be directed to the full article.

The presence of combat integrity develops fudoshin, or "immovable mind." Fudoshin is one of the major tenets of budo and refers to a state of mind that is impenetrable and immovable. In this case, immovable requires some explanation since it is being used in a Japanese philosophical context and therefore has a more elevated meaning than we would normally expect or associate in English.

Fudoshin does not indicate a state of mind that is inflexible, but rather, it points to a condition that is not easily upset by internal thoughts or external factors. "This mind that remains unruffled and calm is imperturbable, unattached and unfettered mind... It is the ultimate mind of mastery, achievable only through rigorous training, and equally rigorous soul-searching and spirit forging (seishin tanren, in Japanese) through the confrontation and overcoming of our own fears and weaknesses" (Fabian).

Fudoshin is directly related to another Japanese concept known as zanshin, or "continuing mind." Zanshin refers to a state of constant and continuous awareness or alertness. Zanshin applies to your awareness of the world around you. You notice the people around you how they stand, how they carry themselves, what is in their eyes because you need to be prepared to interact with them. You are present in the moment. Much of the reigi, or "methods of respect" in budo, particularly bowing (standing and seated) and other forms of etiquette are design with zanshin in mind.

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