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Genshin Ki Dojo Dragon

What is the sound of one hand clapping?

~ Inspirational readings, quotes and Koans ~

Page two

Inspirational Readings - page one
Inspirational Readings - page three
Inspirational Readings - page four
About the Inspirational Readings section
Genshin Ki Dojo - home page














"There is such a thing as training in principle, and such a thing as training in technique.
Training in principle, when you arrive, nothing is noticed. It is simply as though you had discarded all concentration.

If you do not train in technique, but only fill your breast with principle, your body and your hands will not function.
Training in technique, if put into terms of your own Martial art, is in the training that if practiced over and over again
makes the five body postures one.

However, even though you may wield the sword that you carry with you well, if you are unclear on the deepest aspects
of principle, you will fall short of proficiency.

Technique and principle are just like the two wheels of a cart."

"Not understanding the principle of things, people often put on knowing faces and criticize those who do understand."
The Unfettered Mind (1986 edition - trans. Wilson)
(text originally written in the 1600's)
~ Takuan Soho ~
(Zen Master to Miyamoto Musashi, Shogun & Emperor)




"See the Sun in the midst of the rain;  Scoop clear water from the heart of fire."
~ Text from the Zenrin Kushu ~
(compiled 1429 - 1504)




"Although attempting to bring world peace through the internal transformation of individuals is difficult, it is the only way.  Wherever I go, I express this, and I am encouraged that people from many different walks of life receive it well.  Peace must first be developed within an individual. And I believe that love, compassion, and altruism are the fundamental basis for peace. 

Once these qualities are developed within an individual, he or she is then able to create an atmosphere of peace and harmony.  This atmosphere can be expanded and extended from the individual to his family, from the family to the community and eventually to the whole world."
~ H.H.14th Dalai Lama of Tibet

H.H. 14th Dalai Lama

~ H.H.14th Dalai Lama of Tibet ~




"When one drop of water falls into the Ocean,
when one mote of dust falls upon the Earth,
Then the drop of water is no longer a drop of water,
it becomes the Ocean;
And the mote of dust is no longer a mote of dust,
it becomes the whole Earth."
~ Zen related ~



 Japanese folk tale "Hana Saka Jiisan"
~ The old man that made withered trees to flower ~
Click above to read this story




"The true wise man has no ego, no particularity, whereas madmen and fools have powerful egos that they are unable either to govern or abandon.  Your mind must be non-mind, nothing in it, even if you have doubts. That way, you will not suffer from the demon of other people's criticism and the folly of fools.  Sometimes friends influence for the worse and pull us into the wrong way.  These friends become our demons."
~ The Ring of the Way (1983 edition)
By Taisen Deshimaru (Roshi / Zen Master)




"perceiving what is right and doing it not, argues lack of courage”
~ Confucius (analects: bk ii., c. xxiv, v. 2)




A Zen Koan
Joshu asked the teacher Nansen, "What is the True Way?"

Nansen answered, "Every way is the true Way."

Joshu asked, "Can I study it?"

Nansen answered, "The more you study, the further from the Way."

Joshu asked, "If I don't study it, how can I know it?"

Nansen answered, "The Way does not belong to things seen: nor to things unseen. It does not belong to things known: nor to things unknown. Do not seek it, study it, or name it. To find yourself on it, open yourself as wide as the sky."



"Not knowing how near the truth is, people seek it far away..
They are like him who, in the midst of water, cries out in thirst so imploringly."
From 'Song of Meditation"

~ Hakuin Ekaku (1686-1768) Zen Master
(Translated by Daisetsu Teitaro Suzuki)



The Moon’s reflection on the surface of the water moves incessantly.
Yet the Moon shines and goes nowhere; it stays but it moves..



A Zen Koan RE: "Mu"
Master - "The whole of 'Mu', how far does it reach?
Monk - Stands up and points to the sky with one hand and says "it extends from the summit of Mt.Shumi (the top of the universe).
Then stomping his foot once, he points to the ground with the other hand and says;
"... and down to the bottom of the lowest layer in Hell"



"For the uncontrolled there is no wisdom, nor for the uncontrolled is there the power of concentration;
and for him without concentration there is no peace. And for the unpeaceful, how can there be happiness?"
(Text from: The Bhagavad Gita)




The wise man when he stands alone is without fear...
if he must renounce the world, it does not matter..

~ Text from the I Ching ~



"Order in the nation begins with one person. If one promotes violence and has a belligerent mindset, that assists greatly in causing disorder, confusion and negative principles in the nation. Now multiply one by millions. What happens to the nation?  No peace..

Intense desires to fight and extreme egos do not only cause problems in local communities, they can destroy order in a nation given time.

These individuals need to seek and learn the way of the dragon..
Despite the popularity of Martial sports in the world today, it is a impediment to anyone who seeks the true essence of the Martial arts."

~ Master Christian Whitney ~
Founder of Genshinryu




"Sitting in Zazen is like fishing the moonlight and plowing the clouds.
The mind opens wide, everything grows calm,
you can become close to yourself."
~ The Ring of the Way (1983 edition)
By Taisen Deshimaru (Roshi / Zen Master)




“You, yourself, are your only teacher”
~ Taoist Proverb ~



"The urge for instant gratification associated with the pursuit of money, power and fame has threatened to reduce the Martial arts into a pastiche of fancy techniques, glittery gimmicks, arrogant pseudo-masters and tournaments.  In a world increasingly dominated by celebrity and salesmanship, those who devote themselves to the true virtuous path are, for the most part, unknown and unheard."
~ The Martial way and it's Virtues: Tao De Gung (2003 edition)
By F.J. Chu



A Zen Koan RE: "Mu"
Master - "Hand 'Mu' over to me."
Monk - Takes whatever object is on hand and hands it over to his Master.



"My movements are different not for the sake of being different,
They are different for the sake of being effective.."

~ Robert Bussey ~
Master Togakure ryu Ninjutsu
"King of Combat"
Reknown Self Defense / Protection Expert



"Competition tends to make us hard and ruthless, intent on overcoming those who are after the same prize as we, reinforcing ideas of our seperateness rather then our connectedness.  Concerns centering on achieving self-realizaton often are relegated to insignificance in this environment."

"Recognition of the detrimental effects of competition should influence us to try to avoid it so we may gravitate toward a Martial Art in which competition is absent.  It is necessary to study with a teacher who sees Martial Arts training as meditative if we are to embark on the right path at the outset.  If we practice at a club or school where the emphasis in training is on learning to fight or on sport, we may experience considerable delay, or fail altogether, in developing ourselves to the degree or in the manner we desire."
~ A path to Liberation (1992 edition)
By Herman Kauz



"Enwrapped in billows of white clouds, I do not see the clouds;
Absorbed in the sounds of flowing water, I do not hear the flowing water."

~ Text from: Zenrin Kushu - book: Miura & Sasaki ~
(compiled 1429 - 1504)



A Zen Koan RE: "Mu"
Master - "Cut 'Mu' into dice form and bring it to me."
Monk - Says "Please have some 'Yakkodofu' (bean curd cut in cubes & served with soy sauce)"
Then makes a gesture of offering it to his Master.


The greatest object of the wise man is to preserve peace and tranquility..
he takes no pleasure in winning battles, for if he did so, he would be finding gratification in the pain of others..
He believes that he who takes delight in the defeat of others does not follow the Tao..
That which is not the way of the Tao will not endure..
~ Taoist meditation ~




If there is the slightest trace of this and that, the mind is lost in a maze of complexity.
~ Text from the Hsin-hsin Ming ~




"The Martial way is a discipline devoted to the perfection of character. It’s a very personal pursuit in which the student turns his attention inward. He evaluates the strength of his spirit and sets about polishing those facets that need work. Outward displays of finery expose an individual who needs external reinforcement to reassure him of his self worth. Even public displays of skill and prowess, when motivated by the desire to impress others, demonstrate and intensify fundamental weaknesses within. And there lies the pitfall of tournament competition."
~ Living the Martial Way (1992 edition)
By Forrest Morgan




“Love, in the pain of its loss, is finally gained, for the first time”
~ Taoist Proverb ~




Follow your nature and accord with the Tao;
Saunter along and stop worrying.
If your thoughts are tied you spoil what is genuine...
Don't be antagonistic to the world of the senses,
for when you are not antagonistic to it,
it turns out to be the same as complete awakening.
The wise person does not strive (wu-wei);
The ignorant man ties himself up...
If you work on your mind with your mind,
how can you avoid an immense confusion?
~ Text from the Hsin-hsin Ming ~



A Zen Koan RE: "Mu"
Master - "Make 'Mu' walk seven steps in a circle".
Monk - walks one circle around the room.



"It is not good to settle into a set of opinions. It is a mistake to put forth effort and obtain some understanding and then stop at that. At first putting forth great effort to be sure you have grasped the basics, then practicing so that they may come to fruition is something that will never stop for your whole lifetime.  Do not rely on following the degree of understanding that you have discovered, but simply think, 'this is not enough'.  One should search throughout his whole life how to best follow the way. And he should study, setting his mind to work without putting things off. Within this is the way"
~ The book of the Samurai: Hagakure (1979 edition - trans. Wilson)
(originally written in the year 1716)
by Yamamoto Tsunetomo




"The true does not conceal the false; The bent does not hide the straight."
~ Text from: Zenrin Kushu (compiled 1429 - 1504) - book: The Zen Koan ~
Trans. Isshu Miura & Ruth Fuller Sasaki (1965 edition)




"Do not try to make conscious thoughts apply to the realm of wisdom, and do not try to achieve wisdom;
because true wisdom is *Mushotoku.

*Mushotoku is total abandonment of self, thoughts, goals, the whole mental structure that is the foundation
for the development of the ego.  True compassion is this abandonment; it begins with and ends with it.

Annihilating the attached mind, adhering to nothing,
expecting nothing, chasing nothing, wanting nothing:
that is Mushotoku."
~ The Ring of the Way (1983 edition)
By Taisen Deshimaru (Roshi / Zen Master)



A man who has attained mastery of an art reveals it in his every action.



"The consciousness of self is the greatest hindrance
to the proper execution of all physical action."




Understanding comes to those who have realized their true selves.
Realization of their true selves come to those who have gained understanding..



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.


A Zen Koan RE: "Mu"
Master - "Now that you've seen 'Mu' what will you do?
Monk - Says "get up in the morning, wash my face, clean up, eat.. (enumerates the daily routine)"




When you seek it, you cannot find it.



* Choice and Discrimination *
"The five colors blind the eye.
The five tones deafen the ear.
The five flavors dull the taste.
Racing and hunting madden the mind.
Precious things lead one astray.

Therefore the sage is guided by what he feels and not by
what he sees. He lets go of that and chooses this."
~ Text from: Tao Te Ching ~
(written in the 6th century BC)
~ Lao Tzu ~



A Zen Koan "Help me up!"
One day Joshu fell down in the snow, and called out "Help me up! Help me up!"
A monk came and lay down beside him.
Joshu got up and went away.



"Be like the cobra, remain coiled in a loose but compact position. Your strike should be felt before it is seen."
~ Bruce Lee ~


The wise man embraces the one (Tao) and sets an example to all.
not putting on a show,
he shines;
not justifying himself,
he is distinguished;
not bragging,
he receives recognition.
Because he is no competitor,
no one in all the world can compete with him.
Should he find himself in the company of loud and aggressive persons,
he is like a lotus flower growing in muddy water; touched but not soiled.

~ Text from: Tao Te Ching ~
(written in the 6th century BC)
~ Lao Tzu ~





"A violent man shall die a violent death.
This will be the essence of the teaching.”
~ Chinese proverb ~





"One should judge good and evil well.  In 'the San Lueh' it says,  ~ If one good deed is disregarded,
the good acts of all will decline. If one evil deed is praised, all will return to evil .. "

~ Ideals of the Samurai: Writings of Japanese Warriors (1982 edition - trans. Wilson)
(Text from: Opinions in Ninety-nine articles - written in the year 1558)
by Samurai - Takeda Nobushige (1525-1561)





Spotless, the moonlight reflected in the waters of the mind.
Even the waves break against it and shatter into light.




"There are those misguided persons in the world who would see you harmed.
They will confront you with fists or await you in the darkness with their blades drawn.
Do not fear them or become angry with them.
Allow your heart to hold the emptiness of purity.
Your receptive spirit will hear the sadness and rage of your attackers intentions
and your body will flow with the winds of their hatred.
You will take them to the destruction they seek."
~ Ninja vol.II: Warrior ways of enlightenment (1981 edition)
By Stephen Hayes (Master Togakure ryu Ninjutsu)




A Zen Koan RE: "Mu"
Master - "Put 'Mu' through a strainer and bring me the strained 'Mu'..."
Monk - Says "Please have some wheat flour" and makes a gesture of offering it to his Master.




The mirror of the Mind brightly shining, unobstructed,
passes transparently through everything in the universe.
~ Text from the Hsin-hsin Ming ~




Dragon Window

"In China there was once a man who liked pictures of dragons,
and his clothing and furnishings were all designed accordingly.
His deep affection for dragons was brought to the attention of the Dragon God,
and one day a real dragon appeared before his window. It is said that he died of fright.
He was probably a man who always spoke big words but acted differently when facing the real thing."
~ The book of the Samurai: Hagakure (1979 edition - trans. Wilson)
(originally written in the year 1716)
by Yamamoto Tsunetomo




“Death is nothing to one who does not fear death”
~ Taoist Proverb ~




"In this moment, there is nothing which comes to be.
In this moment, there is nothing which ceases to be.
Thus, there is no birth-and-death to be brought to an end.
Wherefore the absolute tranquility is this present moment.
Though it is at this moment, there is no limit to this moment.
And herein is eternal delight."
~ Tan Ching ~



"Let us all gain happiness by expelling grief, sorrow and distress from our hearts.
Happiness is the supreme satisfaction that this life offers.
Dispel dissatisfaction and sorrow, rethink the source to find happiness."
~ Master Toshitsugu Takamatsu ~
"Mongolian Tiger"
33rd Grandmaster of Togakure ryu Ninjutsu



"Flow with whatever may happen and let your mind be free:
Stay centered by accepting whatever you are doing.
This is the ultimate."
~ Chuang Tzu ~


I dreamt I was a butterfly, fluttering here and there. I followed only my actions as a butterfly, and was not conscious of being an individual. Then I found myself awake, once more in my body. Was I a person dreaming about being a butterfly or am I a butterfly dreaming that I am a person? There is necessarily a distinction between a butterfly and a person. This transition is called the transformation of material things.
~ Chinese meditation ~



 Japanese folk tale
~ The Tongue Cut Sparrow ~
Click above to read this story



A Zen Koan " A bottle is a bottle"
When Master Isan was still a pupil under Master Hyakujo, he was in charge of cooking. At that time, Hyakujo founded a temple on Mt.Daii and was about to choose the monk to become the chief priest of this temple. He asked the head monk to call those qualified enough to apply for this position. Then Hyakujo picked up a bottle and put it on the ground. He asked "If you weren't allowed to call this a bottle, what would you call it?"  The head monk replied "you cannot call it a wooden log." Then Hyakujo asked Isan. Isan kicked the bottle over and walked away. Hyakujo laughed and said, "The head monk lost to Isan." Thus he appointed Isan to be the chief priest of the temple on Mt.Daii.



"When the dark seeks to equal the light
there is certain to be a struggle.
If the dark element
seeks to maintain a position
to which it is not entitled
and to rule instead of serving.
it draws down upon itself
the anger of the dragon."
~ Chinese meditation ~




What is;is not
What is not;is

~ Text from the Hsin-hsin Ming ~



"The heart of a virtuous person has settled down and he does not rush about at things.  A person of little merit is not at peace but walks about making trouble and is in conflict with all."
~ The book of the Samurai: Hagakure (1979 edition - trans. Wilson)
(originally written in the year 1716)
by Yamamoto Tsunetomo



A Zen Koan RE: "Mu"
Master - "If you've seen 'Mu', fill the 'Mu - mind' in a bottomless bowl and bring it here"
Monk - Spreads his arms out and recites "a bottomless bowl";
Then uses both hands as if forming a concrete object, he recites "Mu - mind".
On top of that, as if raising a huge bowl high into the air, he recites "Fill it and bring it".




No thinking, no reflecting, perfect emptiness;
Yet therein something moves, following its own course.



* The Persons of the Way are humble *
He who stands on the tips of his toes cannot be steady.
He who takes long strides will not maintain the pace.
He who displays himself is not enlightened.
He who brags achieves nothing of worth.
He who boasts will not endure.
These people do not bring happiness.
Followers of the Tao avoid them.
~ Text from: Tao Te Ching ~
(written in the 6th century BC)
~ Lao Tzu ~



"Things are produced around us, but no one knows the whence. They issue forth, but no one sees the portal.
Men one and all value that part of knowledge which is known. They do not know how to avail themselves of
the unknown in order to reach knowledge. Is this not misguided?"
~ Chuang Tzu ~




The eye sees it, but no hands can take hold of it ~
The moon in the stream.




"No matter how lacking a man may be in humanity,
if he would be a warrior, he should first of all tell no lies.
It is also basic that he be not the least bit suspicious,
that he habitually stand on integrity, and that he know a sense of shame "

~ Ideals of the Samurai: Writings of Japanese Warriors (1982 edition - trans. Wilson)
(Text from: The recorded words of Asakura Soteki - written in the year 1553)
by Samurai - Asakura Norikage (1474-1555)




“Laugh at the cleverness of the beast and the beast will defeat itself”
~ Taoist Proverb ~




"The highest form of proficiency in the Martial arts is to be able to walk away from a fight without having to fight.  Fighting often only perpetuates more fighting; although when confronted with recurrent evil, there may be no other choice.  Like an animal backed into a corner where retreat is no longer possible, it braces itself for the final ultimate confrontation."

"The true Martial artist has enough inner strength and confidence to know that he never has to demonstrate his ability for the sake of showmanship or even to gratify his own ego needs."
~ The Martial way and it's Virtues: Tao De Gung (2003 edition)
By F.J. Chu



A Zen Koan RE: "Mu"
Master - "Joshu, on another occasion, when asked whether a dog has Buddha nature or not, responded in the affirmative "U".
               What do you think of that?"
Monk - "Even if Joshu says there is Buddha nature in a dog, I'll simply yell 'Mu------!' with all my might."




"...We may not have knives, so make every finger unto a dagger.
Our maces our confiscated, so make every fist unto a mace.
Without spears, every arm must be unto a spear.
and every openhand unto a sword!"

~ Bohidarma ~





A Zen Koan "Three pounds of Flax"
A monk asked Master Tozan, "What is Buddha?"
Master Tozan said "Three pounds of Flax"




Victory is for the one, even before combat, who has no thought of himself,
Abiding in the no-mind-ness of great origin.





 "Avoid rather than check,
  check rather than force,
  force rather than injure,
   injure rather than maime,
maime rather than kill."



A Zen Koan RE: "Mu"
Master - "If I say that a dog does not have Buddha nature because of his Karma, how about that?"
Monk - yells "Mu------!" with all his might.




  The way out is the way in;

  The way in is the way out.



“There are no secrets”
~ Taoist Proverb ~




"Dying or fighting because someone is vexed at being insulted resembles right-mindedness, but it is not that at all.
This is forgetting oneself in the anger of the moment.
It is not right-mindedness in the least. It's proper name is anger and nothing else."
The Unfettered Mind (1986 edition - trans. Wilson)
(text originally written in the 1600's)

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





"One should always be genteel in speaking. A man shows his inmost self by a single word."
~ 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)



“Follow the heart”
~ Taoist Proverb ~



A Zen Koan - Given to Master Christian in 1975.
A man went to Master Nansen with the following problem that confused him: "A man once kept a goose in a bottle, feeding it until it grew too large to get through the bottle neck. Now, how did he get the goose out without killing it or breaking the bottle?"



The Yellow Devil

Devils are no good, you know that don’t you?

Some two hundred years ago a gentleman, who lived by himself in a large house, saw a devil in a cage when he was visiting the market: A devil with a tail, yellow skin and two long sharp fangs. He was about the size of a large dog. The devil sat quietly in a strong bamboo cage and gnawed on a bone. Next to the cage a merchant was watching the crowd and the gentleman asked him if the devil was for sale.

“of course”, the merchant said. “otherwise I wouldn’t be here. This is an excellent devil. Strong, diligent and able to do anything you want him to do. He knows how to do Carpentry, he is a good gardener, he can cook, mend clothes, read you stories, chop wood and what he doesn’t know he can learn. And.. I don’t ask much for him, if you give me 50,000 yen (aprox. $430) he is yours.”

The gentleman didn’t haggle and paid in cash. He wanted to take the devil home at once.

“one moment” the merchant said. “because you haven’t bargained with me I want to tell you something. Look here, he is a devil of course, and devils are no good, you know that, don’t you?”

“and you said he was an excellent devil.” The gentleman said indignantly.

“sure, sure!” the merchant said. “and that’s true as well. He is an excellent devil, but he is no good. He will always remain a devil. You have made a good buy, but only on the condition that you keep him going all the time. Every day you’ll have to give him a routine. From this time to that time – you have to chop wood, and then you can start preparing the food, and after dinner you can rest for half an hour – but then you really have to lay down and relax, and after that you can dig in the garden, etc. etc..” “If he has time to spare, if he doesn’t know what to do, then he is dangerous.”

“If that’s all” the gentleman said. Then took the devil home. Everything went beautifully. Every morning the gentleman called the devil who would kneel down obediently. The gentleman would dictate a daily program and the devil would start his chores and work right through the day. If he wasn’t working he rested or played, but whatever he did, he was always obeying orders.

Then, after some months, the gentleman met an old friend in the city and because of the sudden meeting and the thrill of seeing his old buddy again, he forgot everything. He took the friend to a café and they started to drink sake – one little stone jar after the other, and then they had a very good meal and more to drink. Finally, they landed up in the willow quarter. The ladies kept the two friends busy and our gentleman woke up in a strange room late the next morning. At first he didn’t know where he was but gradually it all came back to him and he remembered his devil. His friend had gone so he paid the bill to the women, who looked quite different from what he remembered the previous evening, then rushed home.

When he reached his garden he smelled burning and saw smoke coming from the kitchen. He stormed into his house and saw the devil sitting on the kitchen floor. He had made an open fire and was roasting the neighbor’s child on a spit.
































  Reccommended Reading

  Living the Martial Way
  by Forrest E. Morgan

  Zen in the Martial Arts
  by Joe Hyams

  The Martial Way and it's Virtues: Tao De Gung
  by F.J. Chu

  The Zen Way to the Martial Arts
  by Taisen Deshimaru

  Beyond the known
  by Tri Thong Dang

  Toward the Unknown
  by Tri Thong Dang

  The Tao of Pooh
  by Benjamin Hoff

  The Te of Piglet
  by Benjamin Hoff

  Surfing the Himalayas
  by Frederick Lenz

  The Way of Zen
  by Alan Watts

  The Eye Never Sleeps
  by Dennis Genpo Merzel

  The Way of the Samurai
  by Richard Storry

  The Tao of Jeet Kune Do
  by Bruce Lee

  Bushido: The Soul of Japan
  by Inazo Nitobe

  The Ring of the Way
  by Taisen Deshimaru


The above books have been selected from Master Christian's Library as reccomended reading.  They are some of    the most enlightening and inspiring books written that give great insight on how to live the Martial way and a    peaceful lifestyle.



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