The Demon's Sermon on the Martial Arts

Posted by Ali Reda | Posted in | Posted on 5/22/2015

When the famous warrior Minamoto no Yoshitsune was a young boy going by the name of Ushiwaka-maru, his father, Yoshitomo, was assassinated by the Taira clan. Taira no Kiyomori, head of the Taira, allowed the child to survive on the grounds that he be exiled to the temple on Mount Kurama and become a monk. But one day in the Sojo-ga-dani Valley, Ushiwaka encountered the mountain's tengu, Sojobo. This spirit taught the boy the art of swordsmanship so that he might bring vengeance on the Taira.

Accept Everything, resistance is suffering

It revolves around the Buddhist sentiment that attachment to one’s status in life whether rich or poor, famous or infamous is the source of suffering. "But rather, following good and bad fortune or prosperity and decline as one meets them, and calming enjoying oneself in the midst of creation and change: this is the greatest happiness under heaven". So "If I'm blown by the wind, I'll tumble along following the wind. If the winds stops, I'll stop too. And won't act contrary to things. just don't fight things and be happy with what you encounter". "I just entrust my body to the Creator and don’t intrude my own willfulness while I’m here. This is knowing the general drift of the Way." because "a person who worries over something he can do nothing about is an extraordinary fool."

In one section a dying man is talking with his family priest and says: "The ten thousand things are born from emptiness and return to emptiness." No need for sorrow of passing of anything.


"The common man hasn't cut yet through the root of confusion of life and death. This always lies concealed and acts as a cover over his spirit. When a thought stirs even a little, what has been concealed arises, emotions, attachments and desires". "When there is something in the mind, the chi is obstructed and your body can't respond with harmony".

“When you gamble for tiles, you are skillful. When you gamble for your belt buckle, you begin to hesitate; and when you gamble for gold, you get confused. Your skill is the same, but you get cautious because you value something outside yourself. When you do this you become awkward inside."

"The moon in the water, is a metaphor for when you can move and respond with no-mind, though there is a reflection, the moon reflects itself without thought. reflected in ten thousand streams or not, this doesn't add to the moon or subtract from it".

"Technique is cultivated by means of chi and chi uses the mind as a vehicle to put form into use. As you become skillful in the technique, the chi harmonizes. And when this has completely penetrated the mind and no more doubts remain, technique and principle become one, your spirit is settled, and practical application is completely unobstructed. The technique responds to the circumstances naturally". "Simply, without thinking, without doing anything, move by following your natural perception and your movement will have no form. And when you have no form, there is nothing in heaven and earth that could be your opponent"

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