trickling down the willow’s branches…
wet plum petals scattered on the ground…
- – - Shoha
CHINKON KISHIN NO HO: the method for calming the spirit - – -
Most practioners of aikido still begin each practice with exercises combining body movement, the chanting of names, and breathing associated with vizualisations, similar to those which the Founder of Aikido used to practise.
These exercises are, in Japan, designated by the term “CHINKON KISHIN NO HO” – which translates as: “the method for calming the spirit”. This definition will come as a surprise to many aikido practitioners, who undoubtedly have no suspicion that such is the goal of these exercises.
But what are these exercises? Why are they still practised today? What utility do they have?
* The CHINKON KISHIN NO HO exercises and their origin
We owe these exercises to a Shinto/Buddhist [sic] monk, KAWATSURA BONJI (1862-1929). It was he who brought back into current usage a system of self-purification (misogi) which had existed in pre-Nara Shinto practice: at a time when it had not yet been influenced by Buddhism or Confucianism. This system consisted of a series of exercises with names that are difficult for a Westerner to pronounce: FURUTAMA – OTAKEBI – OKOROBI – IKUBI NO HO – AMA NO TORIFUNE.
FURUTAMA: this exercise is done sitting seiza. After reciting the NORITO SOJO,…
…at 7:30pm – for the poetry reading series, Ghosts and Projectors, door opens at 7pm.
The Cabin is at 801 S Capitol Blvd., Boise ID 83702.
…with his sound design: the Idaho Shakespeare Festival’s Shakespearience schools tour of Romeo and Juliet. Touring Idaho March 2 to May 3 – public performance in Boise at the Library! downtown in the childrens’ section, Thursday April 3, 6:30pm.
Aikido is a gem of many facets – sometimes it seems that every one of O’Sensei’s students remembered a different teacher, and of course, many, many different styles have been preserved and developed – but here is one facet that clicked into focus for me recently:
what if O’Sensei spent his time away from Iwama and Tokyo coherently pursuing what he felt to be his “mission in life”?…
what if he spent his time away from Iwama and Tokyo creating and nurturing a network of dojos run by Omoto-Kyo, ex-Omoto-Kyo and Ko-Shinto believers – and ex-Kamikaze pilots (!) – often with his own name on the sign - in places – and close to shrines…