vineri, 30 octombrie 2009

Martial arts and Spirituality. (Christopher Hein)

Martial arts and spirituality.

Martial arts and spirituality. What does that even mean? This is a question almost all of us ask. But few of us ever get any real answers. Some say it’s mixing religions such as Christianity or Islam with martial arts. Some think it’s dressing up in flowing clothes, spouting koans, and seeming esoteric. Some say it’s simply, “a bunch of crap”.
However I believe It isn’t any of these things.

To understand the relationship between Martial arts and spiritually, you must first understand what each of them are on their own. Most of us pretty much understand, or at least have a clear concept of what the martial arts are. I’ll define it here as the study of physical conflict. But there are lots of reasonable definitions. Most of us have spent enough time with the martial arts, that we have a pretty clear definition, at least for ourselves. It’s spirituality that many of us have a hard time with.

To many, spirituality is simply going to church and reading the bible. While these things are spiritual things, they are part of a religion, and not the spirituality itself. A religion is a school of spirituality. The main goal of these schools is to put people in touch with their spirituality. The practices of a religion (prayer, bible reading, church services, worship etc.) are designed to put you in touch with your spirituality, but they are not the spirituality itself. By adding the practices of your religion to your martial arts, you are not working with spirituality, you are simply adding more practices. Which most martial arts systems already have more then enough of. Religion’s are to spirituality as Martial arts are to fighting. They are schools that point to a thing, but not the thing itself. Mixing the practices of a religion into your martial arts doesn’t train your spirit.

The trappings of spirituality are not the spirit. While different physical objects can help evoke your spirit, they are not the spirit itself. Wearing a Zen masters robes certainly does not make you a Zen master. Reciting words and incantations that you don’t understand does not make you a spiritual person. Seeming aloof and exotic to other people doesn’t do a thing for your spirituality either. It starts with you.Your spirit is at the very core of what you are. So how could you find it in things outside of yourself?

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