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Genshin Ki Dojo Dragon

What is the sound of one hand clapping?

~ Inspirational readings, quotes and Koans ~

Page One

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A young boy traveled across Japan to the school of a famous Martial artist. When he arrived at the Dojo he was given an audience by the Master.

"What do you wish from me?" the Master asked.

"I wish to be your student and become the finest Karate-ka in the land," the boy replied "How long must I study?"

"Ten years at least" answered the Master

"Ten years is a long time," said the boy. "What if I studied twice as hard as all your other students?"

"Twenty years" replied the Master

"Twenty years!" "What if I practice day and night with all my effort?" the boy said

"Thirty years," was the Masters reply

"How is it that each time I say I will work harder, you tell me that it will take longer?" the boy asked.

"The answer is clear. When one eye is fixed upon your destination, there is only one eye left with which to find the way."

~ Text from: Zen and the Martial Arts (1979 edition)
    by Joe Hyams



















“Knowing others is wisdom… Knowing yourself is enlightenment….”
~ Lao Tzu ~




"Not to borrow the strength of another, nor to rely on one's own strength; to cut off past and future thoughts, and not to live within the everyday mind..  Then the great way is right before one's eyes."
(among the sayings of Priest Bankei)
~ The book of the Samurai: Hagakure (1979 edition - trans. Wilson)
(originally written in the year 1716)
by Yamamoto Tsunetomo




“Tie two birds together and they can fly if they become one”
~ Taoist Proverb ~



"The ideals of the Martial arts and Martial virtues teach us how to balance our mental and physical skills and to find an awareness of our center.  While the Martial arts revolve around the art of personal combat, it also demands that its adherents live in accordance with a certain warrior code of conduct and honor..
The Martial arts involve both physical training and mental conditioning. The devotee must train himself both physically and mentally; therefore mental discipline is both a pre-condition of learning the art and also the result of undergoing such training. The Martial artist who has trained properly overtime is a confident, tranquil person."
 ~ The Martial way and it's Virtues: Tao De Gung (2003 edition)
By F.J. Chu



A Zen Koan "Mu"
Joshu was a famous Zen Master. One day a troubled monk approached him, intending to ask the Master for guidance. A dog walked by. The monk asked Joshu, "Has that dog a Buddha-nature or not?" The monk had barely completed his question when Joshu shouted: "MU!"

"Yuri" - Master Christian's Dog

~ Yuri ~



"In the West, the 'Martial arts' are a fashion, they have become an urban sport, a technique, and have none of the spirit of the way..
True Martial arts take their spirit from Budo rather then from sport. I have nothing against sports, they train the body and develop stamina and endurance. But the spirit of competition and power that presides over them is not good, it reflects a distorted vision of life. The root of the Martial arts is not there...
In the spirit of Zen and Budo everyday life becomes the contest. There must be awareness at every moment - getting up in the morning,
working, eating, going to bed. That is the place for the Mastery of self.
~ The Zen way to the Martial Arts (1982 edition )
By Taisen Deshimaru (Roshi / Zen Master)

Taisen Deshimaru

~ Taisen Deshimaru ~



"If you try to remember you will lose.. empty your mind!
  be formless.. shapeless.. like water.."
~ Bruce lee ~



Conserve your power. Be like the expansive Ocean, which absorbs quietly the tributary rivers of the senses. Cravings of the senses deplete your inner peace; they are like openings in a reservoir through which vital waters are wasted in the barren soil of material things. The urge of wrong desire is the greatest enemy of happiness.



"The arts of peace and the arts of war are like the two wheels
of a cart which, lacking one, will have difficulty standing."

~ Ideals of the Samurai: Writings of Japanese Warriors (1982 edition - trans. Wilson)
(Text from: Notes on regulations - written in the year 1620)
by Samurai (Daimyo) - Kuroda Nagamasa (1568-1623)



"One who is good at being a warrior
does not make a show of his might;
One who is good in battle does not get angry;
One who is good at defeating the enemy
does not engage him"
~ Text from: Tao Te Ching ~
(written in the 6th century BC)
~ Lao Tzu ~



"In the Martial arts, it is futile to use acquired skills to impress others. A contest between two opponents or against others in a tournament is simply a sporting event, nothing more.  They carry little lasting value and serve to distract the Martial artist from his true mission.  The most dangerous traps for the serious Martial artist are the emotions and attitudes that might hinder his training and physical well being. These are the feelings of overconfidence, selfishness, and aggressiveness..
The Martial artist must figure how to get beyond winning and losing, success and failure, inner peace and inner conflict. If not, then the Martial arts are merely a sport, a game or a business.  As such, it contributes little to one's spiritual life and may not hold much enduring value."
 ~ The Martial way and it's Virtues: Tao De Gung (2003 edition)
By F.J. Chu



“The ultimate quest has no ending, and that fact is what gives the quest its ultimate value”
~ Taoist Proverb ~



"The ultimate aim of the art of Karate lies not in the victory or defeat, But in the perfection of the characters of it's participants."
Known as "Father of Karate"
~ Gichin Funakoshi ~

Gichin Funakoshi

~ Gichin Funakoshi ~


"Do not move unless it is advantageous.
Do not execute unless it is effective.
Do not challenge unless it is critical."
~ Sun Tzu ~



Human life is full of sorrow, until we know of the “way”, whose
“right course” may be confusing to the egoistic intelligence.
~ Chinese proverb ~



A Zen Koan RE: "Mu"
Master - "The essence of 'Mu' - what is it like?"
Monk - Without a word, the monk places both hands on his chest and stands up.



"If you mistake the way even a little, you will become
bewildered and fall into bad ways..

Perceiving the ability of my pupils, I teach the direct way,
remove the bad influence of the other schools, and
gradually introduce them to the true way of the warrior.

The method of teaching.. is with a trustworthy spirit.
You must train diligently."
~A book of Five Rings (1974 edition - trans. Harris)
Second year of Shoho - May 12th, 1645
~ Miyamoto Mushashi ~



Swallows fly in the sky, The water reflects their image
The Swallows leave no traces, Nor does the water retain their image.
~ Text from the Zenrin Kushu ~
(compiled 1429 - 1504)




* Righteousness *
Tzu Lu asked: "Does not the princely man value courage?"
The master said: "He puts righteousness first.  The man of high station who has courage without
righteousness is a menace to the state; the common man who has courage without righteousness
is nothing more then a brigand (bandit)."
~ The wisdom of the Chinese (1920 edition) (Confucius)
by Brian Brown




Wayne Roy Ninja 1983
  ~ Wayne L. Roy: Australian Ninja ~
  Written to Master Christian 1983


"... it is only when there is no goal and no rush that the human senses are fully open to receive the world"
~ Allan Watts ~




"Water will seek its own level.
It is the nature of water to do so.
Unrestricted by the opinions of rocks in the stream,
it goes where it will and is patient to do so."
~ Text from: Tao Te Ching ~
(written in the 6th century BC)
~ Lao Tzu ~



“There are no prizes worth having”
~ Taoist Proverb ~



"It is important not to be concerned with thoughts of victory or defeat. Rather, you should let the Ki of your thoughts and feelings blend with the universal.  Nonresistance is one of the principles of Aikido. Because there is no resistance, you have won before even starting. People whose minds are evil or who enjoy fighting are defeated without a fight."
~ Morihei Ueshiba ~
Founder of Aikido (originally called Aikibudo)

Morihei Ueshiba

  ~ Morihei Ueshiba ~



"To act sincerely with the insincere is dangerous."
~ Taoist proverb ~



If we look at the world we see arts for sale. Men use equipment to sell their own selves.
As if with the nut and the flower, the nut has become less then the flower.
In this kind of strategy, both those teaching and those learning the way are concerned with
colouring and showing off their technique, trying to hasten the bloom of the flower.
They speak of “this Dojo” and “that Dojo”. They are looking for profit.

Someone once said “Immature strategy is the cause of grief”
That was a true saying.
A book of Five Rings (1974 edition - trans. Harris)
Second year of Shoho - May 12th, 1645
~ Miyamoto Mushashi ~

Miyamoto Musashi
~ Miyamoto Musashi ~
Kuniyoshi woodblock print 1845



"Those who have too strong an ego cannot experience universal consciousness (source of intuition).
To obtain Satori (enlightenment) one must let go of the ego."


"In the Martial arts, one must be *Mushotoku,
without any goal or desire for profit."
~ The Zen way to the Martial Arts (1982 edition)
By Taisen Deshimaru (Roshi / Zen Master)

*without desire for gain or profit




"One should not tell a lie, no matter whom he is speaking or how little is said.
If one tells a lie, it will become a habit, and in the end he will be forsaken by others."

~ Ideals of the Samurai: Writings of Japanese Warriors (1982 edition - trans. Wilson)
(Text from: The Twenty-one precepts of Hojo Soun - written in the year 1517)
by Samurai - Hojo Nagauji (1432-1519)




A Zen Koan RE: "Mu"
Master - "The working of 'Mu' - what's it like?"
Monk - The monk stands up and, swinging his arms back and forth, walks five or six steps saying;
"When it's necessary to go, go." Sitting down again he says "When it's necessary to sit, sit."




"If you follow the present-day world, you will turn your back on the way;
if you would not turn your back on the way, do not follow the world."
The Unfettered Mind (1986 edition - trans. Wilson)
(text originally written in the 1600's)

~ Takuan Soho ~
(Zen Master to Miyamoto Musashi, Shogun & Emperor)





"Like a sword that cuts, but cannot cut itself;
Like an eye that sees, but cannot see itself."
~ Text from the Zenrin Kushu ~
(compiled 1429 - 1504)




"If one hasn't previously mastered his mind and body, he will not defeat the enemy."
~ The book of the Samurai: Hagakure (1979 edition - trans. Wilson)
(originally written in the year 1716)
by Yamamoto Tsunetomo




"Technical knowledge is not enough. One must transcend techniques so that the art
becomes an artless art, growing out of the subconscious"
~ Daisetsu Suzuki ~




* The Nature of Usefulness *
We put thirty spokes together and call it a wheel, But it is the space where there is nothing that the usefulness of the wheel depends.
We turn clay to make a vessel, But it is the space where there is nothing that the usefulness of the vessel depends.
We pierce doors and windows to make a house, And it is these spaces where there is nothing that the usefulness of the house depends.
Therefore just as we take advantage of what is, We should also recognize the usefulness of what is not.
~ Text from: Tao Te Ching ~
(written in the 6th century BC)
~ Lao Tzu ~



Cutting off all speach, all thought, there is nowhere that you cannot go.
~ Text from the Hsin-hsin Ming ~



"In the beginning study of any combative Martial Art, proper motivation is crucial. Without the proper frame of mind, continuous exposure to fighting techniques can lead to ruin instead of self-development. The skills of self protection, which should provide a feeling of inner peace and security for the Martial Artist, so often develop without a balance in the personality and lead the lesser Martial Artist into warped realms of unceasing conflict and competition which eventually consume him."
~ Master Toshitsugu Takamatsu ~
"Mongolian Tiger"
33rd Grandmaster of Togakure ryu Ninjutsu

Toshitsugu Takamatsu

~ Toshitsugu Takamatsu ~



"From the dawn of history, human beings have strived to extend the limits of their strength and wisdom,
aspiring to absolute strength, absolute wisdom.  But by what means is it possible to become both strong and wise?
In Japan, that means is the practice of the Martial arts, or Budo, combined with the way of Zen.
Together they form Bushido, the way of the Samurai (warrior)"
~ The Zen way to the Martial Arts (1982 edition)
By Taisen Deshimaru (Roshi / Zen Master)



Nin Kanji



"To win one hundred victories in one hundred battles is not the highest skill.
To subdue the enemy without fighting is the highest skill."
~ Sun Tzu ~



"If you understand, things are such as they are;
If you don't understand, things are such as they are."
~ Gensha ~



If the eye never sleeps, all dreams will naturally cease. If the mind makes no discriminations, The ten thousand things are as they are, of single essence. To understand the mystery of this One-essence is to be released from all entanglements. When all things are seen equally the timeless Self-essence is reached. No comparisons or analogies are possible in this causeless, relationless state.
~ Text from the Hsin-hsin Ming ~




"The journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step."
~ Lao Tzu ~




A Zen Koan "No understanding"
A monk said to Eimyo, "I have been with you a long time, but have yet to grasp your way of looking at things."

Eimyo said "Understand that you don’t understand!"

The monk said "If I don’t understand, how can I understand anything?"

Eimyo replied "the womb of a cow gives birth to an elephant, and the blue sea produces yellow dust."



“It has all happened before. Everyone and no one has been here before, and no matter how obscure it may seem to you. 'the universe is... unfolding as it should', or more precisely, as it cannot help but do"
~ Taoist Proverb ~



"Martial arts without compassion and honor promises only violence. Stripped of it's spirituality, it threatens injury and suffering to both it's victims and it's practitioners.  In the end, this higher ideal is what separates the warrior from the predator."
~ The Martial way and it's Virtues: Tao De Gung (2003 edition)
By F.J. Chu




"To hide a spear within a smile. It can't be swallowed, it can't be spitted out. "
~ Text from: Zenrin Kushu (compiled 1429 - 1504) - book: The Zen Koan ~
Trans. Isshu Miura & Ruth Fuller Sasaki (1965 edition)





"When the blind lead the blind, they both fall off the cliff!"
~ Chinese proverb ~




"Like everyone else, you want to know the way to win! But.. never to accept the way to lose!
To accept defeat.. to learn to die is to be liberated from it.  You must free your ambitious mind
and learn the art of dying!"
Philosopher & Founder of Jun Fan Gung Fu (Jeet Kune Do)
~ Bruce Lee ~

Bruce Lee

~ Bruce Lee ~



If there is righteousness in the heart, there will be beauty in the character,
If there is beauty in the character, there will be harmony in the home,
If there is harmony in the home, there will be order in the nation,
If there is order in the nation, there will be peace in the world.
~ Confucius



"The Martial Arts should strive to recapture their original dimension.
People who do not want to follow the teaching of Zen, the true foundation
of Bushido, do not have to… They’re simply using the Martial Arts as
playthings; to them they are sports like any others and sports are amusement…
There is no wisdom in this approach and it is no use at all in the business of
managing one’s life…"
~ The Zen way to the Martial Arts (1982 edition)
By Taisen Deshimaru (Roshi / Zen Master)



"Sitting quietly, doing nothing, Spring comes, and the grass grows by itself."
~ Text from the Zenrin Kushu ~
(compiled 1429 - 1504)



"The best soldiers are not warlike; the best fighters do not lose their temper.
The greatest conquerors are those who overcome their enemies without strife.
The greatest directors of men are those who yield place to others.
This is called the virtue of not striving, the capacity for directing mankind;
this is being the compeer of Heaven. It was the highest goal of the ancients."
~ The wisdom of the Chinese (1920 edition) (Lao Tzu)
by Brian Brown




"To float in totality, to have no technique, is to have all technique"
~Bruce Lee ~




"The biggest challenge facing Martial arts students today is that many are not willing or able to make the necessary investment in time, effort and discipline. As a result, they may not be able to develop the mental attitude that facilitates true learning..
Many of today's impatient students seek short cuts to accelerate the arduous and tedious aspects of their chosen style.  However, the so-called secrets and subleties of the art are complex and require time to comprehend.  This type of learning does not occur within the framework of weeks and months, but many years. The naive student cannot expect to distort, pervert and dilute the art in order to fit it into his own narrow, egotistical conception of time."
~ The Martial way and it's Virtues: Tao De Gung (2003 edition)
By F.J. Chu




Close your eyes and you will see clearly.

Cease to listen and you will hear truth.

Be silent and your heart will sing.

Seek no contacts and you will find union.

Be still and you will move forward on the tide of spirit.

Be gentle and you will need no strength.

Be patient and you will achieve all things.

Be humble and you will remain entire.
~ a Taoist Poem ~



Humility bespeaks the proximity of greatness, the near event of the emptying
of the waters of oneself into the ocean to which they belong.


Be watchful like one crossing a winter stream,
Alert like one aware of danger,
Courteous like visiting guests,
Yielding like ice about to melt,
Simple, like uncarved blocks of wood,
Hollow like caves
Opaque like muddy pools. ...
Observers of the Tao do not seek fulfillment.
Not seeking fulfillment,
they are not swayed by desire for change.
Empty yourself of everything.
Let the mind rest at peace.
~ Text from: Tao Te Ching ~
(written in the 6th century BC)
~ Lao Tzu ~


To live intelligently, man must have that buoyancy of spirit, call it courage, and willingness to accept any and every state that may confront him, which alone will enable him to live without burdens, a free man in the true sense of the term.



What is Ki Energy?


A young monk asked his teacher, "What is the true spiritual nature of life?"
His teacher picked up a bowl of water and threw it in the student's face, saying "Go wash out your mouth!"


Empty your cup!
A university professor went to visit a famous Zen master. While the master quietly served tea, the professor talked about Zen. The master poured the visitor's cup to the brim, and then kept pouring. The professor watched the overflowing cup until he could no longer restrain himself. "It's overfull! No more will go in!" the professor blurted. "You are like this cup," the master replied, "How can I teach you unless you first empty yourself?"



“Stop for charity, no matter what the cost, and there will be benefit instead of cost. It does not matter for whom”
~ Taoist Proverb ~



In the early stages of zen practice the flash of enlightenment will only last for a few seconds, while as time goes on it will become more permanent, until at last the disciple has a Satori which sweeps away every shadow of doubt and uncertainty.

Satori is a sudden experience, and it is often described as a "turning over" of the mind. It is an experience which generally occurs after a long and concentrated effort to discover the moment of Zen.

At the moment of Satori, the disciple passes not into a trance but into a new attitude towards life which reflects itself in a character of remarkable beauty.



A Zen Koan RE: "Mu"
Master - "What if the monk had never asked about Buddha nature and Joshu never had answered 'Mu'?
Monk - energetically yells "MU----- !!"



"If you regulate your body and unify your attention,
the harmony of heaven will come upon you.
If you integrate your awareness, and unify your thoughts,
Spirit will make its abode with you.
*Te (virtue) will clothe you, and the Tao will shelter you.
Your eyes will be like those of a new born calf,
which seeks not the wherefore."
~ Chuang Tzu ~

*Te (virtue) not in the sense of moral rectitude but in the sense of effectiveness,
  as when one speaks of the healing virtues of a plant. Unthinkable ingenuity and creative
  power of man's spontaneous and natural functioning




"In walking, just walk. In sitting, just sit. Above all, don't wobble."
~ Yun Men ~



"An attempt to modify Genshinryu into a sport could be compared to taking the beating heart out of any living thing and leaving a lifeless shell. It would be utterly and completely futile. Since, “The essence is the heart that gives life to this art.”
~ Master Christian Whitney ~
Founder of Genshinryu





“Kindness is cruelty, and cruelty is kindness"
~ Taoist Proverb ~





"With his staff across his back, he pays no heed to men;
Quickly entering the myriad peaks, he goes upon his way.

Fearsome and solitary in mien, he does not boast of himself;
But, dwelling gravely in his domain, decides who is snake, who is Dragon."
~ Text from: Zenrin Kushu - book: Miura & Sasaki ~
   (compiled 1429 - 1504)



They deceive the uninformed.
They agitate and disturb the public order.
They trouble and annoy many people.
They malign the righteous and dispossess the wise.
They ridicule and scorn reason and virtue.
They call crooked what is straight, straight what is crooked.
Their heart is venomous while they show a compassionate face.

From the T’ai Shang Kan Ying P’ien
** Chapter: A description of Evil - Doers **

(a Taoist compilation regarding morality and ethics. Some
text in book dates to ancient times in the 6th century BC)

Translated by Teitaro Suzuki and Dr. Paul Carus
Pub. The open court publishing co. (1906 edition)
~ see the link on readings page three for more about this chapter ~



































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