Kokyu Ryoku – The power of breathing: The spacing (ma) between people when practicing should be like the space between two proper breaths. Concentrating your breath at the opponents weak spot is not like pointing a gun and having the bullet do the job. It is like shaking hands and having your feeling conveyed without words. Tensing your abdomen and breathing through the node is not a special kind of breathing. It is the kind of breathing that we do when doing martial arts. Breathing opens the gateway to relaxation. Be careful the gate can close or it can be open for too long. Our one-point is not the fist punching or the foot kicking. It is rather the center of our physical being — we concentrate on that point, not the ball of the foot or the first two knuckles. To connect breath with movement, you must have proper posture at all times and you must stay grounded when moving in hanmi no kamae.
Before class begins, it has already begun. Count your breaths if you want something to do. Connect breathing with the movement of sweeping, the throwing away of the trash, the removing of cob webs, wearing your uniform etc. Breath power is just words that describe our ability to unite our intentions with our intensity. Do, so modestly and with radical humility.
Tanouye Tenshin Rotaishi
Tanouye Tenshin Rotaishi, Archbishop of Daihonzan Chozen-Ji, talks about training this way: Zen training and the Ways aim at the maturity of the human being. Maturity means being the state of mind, which can see harmony in disharmony, unity in opposition.
Human life is full of activity which becomes automatic and can only be performed perfectly with practice, but where do we find training aimed at developing the inner life and not particular accomplishments? Because a person has more or can do more does not mean that he is more. But in any pursuit, besides the prospect of developing skill, apart from any specific achievement, there is a chance to broaden one’s outlook and attain a greater degree of maturity. Then a person’s effectiveness comes out of his essential being. This is not due to the possession of certain abilities but to the releasing and cultivating of his personal nature.
“Gather yourself in Oneness – physical, mental, spiritual. We provide the method and training; you provide the willpower and effort”