Author Archives: peterjohnstill

….yama wa hana…

All over the mountains: – flowers…
…just… …everywhere…
on this happy day…

Sunny or cloudy,
skylarks are singing…

Tobun,  Kakei,  from Haru no Hi


Using a rounded piece of wood, know the moon on the water!
- – - the dream of Muso Gonnosuke Katsuyoshi

Do not think about hitting your opponent,
Move without thinking, like moonlight into a leaky cabin.
- – - Yamaoka Tesshu

A man knows for sure:
However hard he hits the flow of a river,
The simple fact of a trace in the water:
-   doesn’t happen.
- – -  Hoshina Chikanori

Musashi on martial practice as a ‘Way’…

The Scroll of Emptiness

…otherwise known as The Book of the Void, The Scroll of the Void, The Book of Emptiness – from the GoRin no Shothe Book of Five Rings

This being the Scroll of Emptiness, I must now set down plainly in writing [the manner in which] Ni-To-Ichi-Ryu Martial Practice is a ‘Way’: -

The heart of what is called ‘emptiness’ has [traditionally] been seen as the place where there is nothing, [and as] a thing that is not known [in the way that other things are known]. [Well,] of course emptiness is where there is nothing! [But] to know the place of “there is” while also knowing the place of “there is nothing”, that indeed is emptiness.

In the world at large, there is a mistaken view that sees the state of mind where you do not discriminate as emptiness. This is not true emptiness, it is the common, confused heart [that we all share]…

read more…

…ko no ma ni miyuru…

…spring rain…
…in a gap between the trees you can see
a trail that goes to the sea…

- – - Otsuji


Dwelling in Aiki,
set to work
the myriad powers: -
create peaceful harmony:
a world where everything is beautiful

Being firmly grounded
in the world of creation,
alive at its center:
the kamae of ai
is irimi: the Way of the Mountain Echo.

Forging in yourself whole heaps of courage,
And finding
the Floating Bridge,
Thanks to  true emptiness,
opened up by [gratitude for] the gifts of the Gods.

To left and to right
cutting and sweeping blows
go straight towards
the human heart…

- – - O’Sensei

…the sword of sho-chiku-bai (2) …

O’Sensei called “the sword of sho-chiku-bai”  sword movements that are performed as a misogi.  This is directly related to a certain Omoto-Kyo teaching, and they should allow whoever performs them to become awakened. But that is a task and a concern for the individual.

- – - Kato Hiroshi Shihan

- – – French language interview on the Budo no Nayami website

…ki-work and misogi…

Ki techniques of the body
calm the spirit -
Misogi techniques
give us guidance : -
the heavenly – and earthly – kami…

- – - O’Sensei

On martial learning and acting (2) – Suzuki, Kigaku, Budo, Shugyou

…a conversation between Kimbal Anderson Sensei and Dwayne Blackaller of Boise Contemporary Theater about the classical Japanese budo practices preserved in Suzuki acting training – and about the intersecting philosophies of the traditional Japanese martial arts and contemporary theater practice .  A student of a student of a student of Tesshu talking to a student of a student of Marcel Marceau.  The conversation is  here.

…from the Sand and Pebbles Collection…

the fresh
sprouting reeds
in the burned over field
are  a “mandala”!!!
- so the people say – - -

- – - Muju

…ume no hana!!!…