Way of the Fist and The study of 'Sen'

14 June 2015
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14 June 2015, Comments: 0

The moral code of self-restraint and non-violence is expressed in Kongo school of Zen in its emphatic teachings of the fist way (ShorinjiKempo – Fist way of Shaolin Temple).

In Shorinji Kempo, the practice emphasizes meditation, both in static (Za-Zen) and dynamic movements (Ido Zuki) of the body.  That special training aspect that develops the spirit of compassion and a natural state of peace is called “Sen”.  The Tokuhon states that “Shorinji Kempo is a discipline for completing one’s humanity and a path that aims to improve one’s character.”

The practice of ‘Sen’ is a practice of self introspection with a partner. It is a responsible way of studying our thoughts and actions within and without the self.   The word ‘Sen’ is literally translated as ‘Initiative’.

Fields Consciousness Formation Perception Sensation Form
Elements Ether Air Fire Water Earth
Sen Heijo Shin Sen no Sen Go no Sen Tai no Sen Ki no Sen

The first state of Sen: Heijo Shin

In this we learn the principle of Wisdom and Knowledge. In other words, a Fearless state.  Ignorance is the mother of Fear.  Fear can only be banished by Knowledge and Wisdom.  The knowledge that we are an integral part of the Universe and that every thought affects and effects this universe at large, makes us responsible and the knowledge is indispensable.

The second state of Sen: Sen no Sen

In this we learn the principle of Tactic through the focus and concentration of our thoughts.  The practice of Chinkon Gyo (Martial Spiritual Breathing) is vital to this state of Sen.

The third state of Sen: Go no Sen

In this we learn the principle of Courage through the combat practice ‘kumite Shutai’.  Focusing the energy is key and to attain this, the body and mind must be united as one (Ken-Zen Ichinyo).

The fourth state of Sen: Tai no Sen

In this we learn the principle of Fluidity.  Fluidity is the state of being mobile and stable.  Confidence arises in this state of mobility and stability.

The fifth state of Sen: Ki no Sen

This is the fundamental training at its highest form.  In this level, the human body disappears and the Absolute truth is realized, that matter is energy.  Ki no Sen can be mastered only through Kihon-Zuki (Basic Practice), the foremost importance of which is Gamae (stances).  Gamae is nothing but fixity of energy in a solid form (body). Thus, it also means fixation of the mind in a standstill position. Singularity of thought.

Gamae: Taking a proper Gamae refers to the essential practice of energy locks.  This is performed at the Uro-Genital level of the body.  The navel lock and the Anal lock.  First effect the navel lock and the anal lock will automatically follow.  But, if you perform the Anal lock first, you will not be able to lock at the navel. refer video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=J3BaOrnm4xA

P.S: Further reading on Sen, refer WSKO, Tokuhon, Chapter 4, Page 64

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