The Ken I studied as a Buddhist discipline in China originated in India, and is known as the Arahan Chuan of Northern Shaolin Yihemen School. It is essentially different from normal martial arts, and does not seek to overpower and defeat one’s opponent. Rather, It is a special discipline which targets mutual development while triumphing over oneself, unifying body and mind and enjoying the techniques. It is a method of coordinating and achieving the three benefits of:
I understood that I should combine my preaching with the instruction of the Arahan Chuan, a teaching of Bodhidharma originating in India, which I practiced with great enthusiasm in my youth. This, I was being told by Bodhidharma in a vision, was the key to success. Encouraged by this revelation by Bodhidharma, I moved to establish a new discipline.
I organized this discipline as a Buddhist approach, consisting of the pursuit of unity of body and mind, and unity of strength and compassion. I adopted the name of “Kongo Zen,” the holy name of the Deva Lord (Lord Shiva) said to have founded the Arahan Chuan in ancient India.
This new discipline which I began to advocate is today’s Seito Shorinji Kempo. Kongo Zen was established to organize this as a spiritual discipline.
(Narrated by Doshin So, Kyohan)