人心看破術 Jin Shin Kan Pa Jutsu

dragonfly

Visitor at the Kasumian.  Even though the dragonfly has two big eyes, They won`t help him with Jin Shin Kan Pa Jutsu.  Which eyes do you see with?

The other day I was in the dojo training when a friend who has not been in Japan came in and greeted me. His boyish good looks still evident but under a layer of new chubbiness. (Hopefully due to a good life overseas) My initial thought was “Wow, he`s gained some weight!”. Of course, as learned etiquette demands, I did not mention it and we began training. About five minutes later Hatsumi Sensei comes walking over and greets him with a hearty “Hello! Good to see you” and “Oh I see you have gotten fat!”. Well I almost fell over and the three of us burst out laughing. As I was catching my breath I hear my friend say to Sensei, “Yes it`s true, I have gained weight and my hair is changing to gray. I wasn`t sure that you would recognize me.”. Sensei replied, “of course I know you!”. What he said next was very interesting. He pulled us together and speaks, ” I may forget a face, and I may forget a name but I never forget the mood or feeling of person. This is important, to understand someone`s mood or the feel of that person.”.

Instantly, I am thrown back in time to last October (2015), Halloween, I had dressed as Harry Potter and came to the dojo early to joke around with my friends. After having a nice laugh with everyone in the dojo and before Sensei arrived, I changed into my dogi but kept the wig and wire rim glasses on; thinking I might fool Sensei. Some Japanese say all foreigners look alike anyways! A few minutes pass and Sensei enters the dojo and barely glances at me as he walks by. Immediately I know he knows. For he would have certainly greeted a new comer more warmly. I ask “Sensei, how did you you know it was me?”. He looks back over his shoulder at me and says “Of course, I know it`s you. I don’t look at the outside, I look at the inside of everyone.”.

A few days later, I am thinking about these two events when again I am thrown back in time to about ten years ago when Sensei used to tell us the importance of the art of Jin Shin Kan Pa Jutsu. The art of reading, seeing, sensing the heart, intent, feel of a person. To know a person instantly, know his intent, his heart, clear or dark. The importance of not being fooled by outwardly appearances. If you are always taken with the outwardly shapes, forms, colors of the people and things around you will often miss their truth, their intent, their nature – good or bad. This can lead a multitude of troubles, from being swindled in love and money, to more perilous, dangerous or even life threatening situations. The ninja often used the opposite of this, henso jutsu (disquise) to hide in plain sight. Often in our training, we enjoy the practice of the more outwardly and sometimes fun henso jutsu practice but forget about the this equally important inner ability. With consistent practice to nurture a calm clear heart, the art will naturally and surely take root. The ninja must endeavor to master both the inner and outer arts to ensure a safe and a happy return.

中今(Naka Ima) Here and now are the only realities.

 

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When my good friend Willy Iglesia went to Japan at the tender age of 18 to train with Ninja Master Hatsumi Masaaki, his first lesson was an unexpected one.  Hatsumi Sensei took him to a restaurant and ordered two plates heaping with vegetables for the two of them.  Willy, being a young man from Argentina, (people form Argentina eat a lot of meat! How much? Well, think of a whole hell of a lot of meat and then think even more!) So Willy, looking at the plate of greens, says “Sensei, I don`t eat vegetables.”. The reply from Ninja Master Hatsumi, “First lesson, now eat vegetables!”.

We often forget the foundation upon which our Ninpo is based.  A healthy body/mind organism.  In his very first books on Ninpo, Hatsumi Sensei stresses the importance of proper nutrition and exercise.  Yet often we are controlled by our senses, eating and partaking in activities solely to please the greedy senses. My yogi teachers would say, “you are eating donuts to please the tongue while the liver dies in silence.”. These words I can never forget.  If you look deeply at this one sentence, you may grab the essence  of the Rokon Shojou 六根清浄  (禄魂笑浮)teachings of several years ago as well.

I  train a small Bujinkan group in Yokohama and have had the good fortune to meet Matthew Dons who became an ardent supporter, student and good friend. Matthew was recently diagnosed with stage four cancer having spread to many systems in his body. He is 36 years old with two small children. The prognosis is that he most likely has only a few months to live.  We live our life as if we have an unlimited amount of time.  Once I was speaking with Hatsumi Sensei about the later years of life. He said, “Don`t think about the later years, right now, these are the later years of your life.  live now. this is naka ima! (中今).”. Be in the middle of right now. The Buddha once said, “life is but a single breath.” How deeply can we live and love in this moment.  Often we feel, when I get there, I will be happy then.  Remember, there and then are only fictions. Here and now are the only realities.

If you are able and would like to help, here is a link  to help Matthew fund his treatment and other expenses in this difficult time. We are hoping to extend his life for a few more moments to be with his family.  Wishing you all health and happiness, Now!

https://www.gofundme.com/2hk6vqk

 

 

 

 

Yoga Retreat at Kasumi An Study Center (July17-18, 2016)

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Rejuvenate body and mind on an yoga retreat in Chiba on July 17 – 18. You will take three yoga classes and have some healthy food. This retreat is for sharing Paul and Tomoe’s experiences and practice ideas from India. You can expect to sweat a little, laugh a lot, meet new friends, have a great time, and with a little luck, discover something awesome! This retreat is open to students of all levels.

* Drop in is welcome! 2,000 yen per class.

【The Daily Schedule】

July 17(Sun)
15:30 Arrival
16:00 – 17:30 : Opening + Yoga(Paul)
18:00 – 19:30 : Hot spring & Relaxation
20:00 – : Dinner


July 18(Mon)

9:00 – 11:00 : Asana + Pranayama(Tomoe)
11:00-12:00 : Pick up Vegetables at our garden
12:00 – 14:00 : Lunch
14:00 – 14:50 : Yoga Philosophy(Paul)
15:00 – 15:50 : Meditation(Tomoe)

【The Cost】
The price of the retreat includes;
3 Yoga Classes
1 night accommodation in Kasumi An Study Center
Lunch & Dinner
Snacks
Total price is 14,500 yen.

【Payment】
You can pay when you arrive at the Center.

【Accommodation】
You will stay in a private room or share a room with another friend. We will prepare towels, shampoo, and conditioner.

【Address】
6-94 Miyazaki Noda-shi Chiba
Access

1439787221595

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1439787219017

Zen Tai 全体

When you come to Japan, you may often hear the expression `zen tai`.  Simply translated, it means 全 whole/complete and 体 body/essence.  In the dojo, Hatsumi Sensei uses this to describe the movement to which we should aspire in our taijutsu, moving with our whole body, integrated and one.  In the beginning it is natural that we move our hands and feet in a disconnected and often awkward manner.  Think of it as puberty!  We are always a bit embarrassed when your family pulls out a picture of us from our awkward years.  So it is natural to go thru an awkward puberty again in taijutsu! Maybe this is what keeps us young on the path.  It seems I am constantly going thru puberty in my taijutsu trying to keep up with my teacher! But once we pass thru puberty, we begin integration.  Learning to move as an adult, as a human, from the essence of humanity.

In my dojo in Japan, Kasumian Study Center, I often use a trick my teacher taught me.  I strap the arms of my students to their sides to force them at first to move physically from their center and whole.  Look at the word holy, when you are moving from the whole as one, from your very essence, you become holy.   Your movement can take on a sacredness.  But don`t get caught in religion here.  Think of it more naturally, when standing near a waterfall, small droplets of water hitting your cheeks can feel refreshing.  They are individual drops separate from the stream, they have broken away and become separate.    Now stand under the waterfall and feel the crushing force of all the drops that are moving as one.  Even a small waterfall can effect enormous  power because it is moving wholly.

onamiThis reminds me of a zen parable about a great wrestler named OoNami (Big Wave)  He was of great build unstoppable in practice, throwing all opponents with ease. Even his teachers could not keep up with him during training, such was his ability and stunning techniques. But before every match, without fail, he would get so nervous and cowardly that he could barely stand and he would lose every competition. He would even lose to his students. He was fractured, not moving as one, he was disconnected. Just a bunch of moving parts, not crystallized as one.  He was so frustrated that he went to a Zen master for help.  The Zen master told him, “if your name is big wave, don’t think of yourself as a cowardly wrestler. But imagine yourself to be a great huge wave! A tsunami that engulfs and washes away all in your path! If you can see that, you will become instantly the number one wrestler in the country. You will beatable!”. In the temple that evening, he tried hard to envision himself a wave but his thoughts were disturbing him. Then slowly he started to feel the wave growing in him. As it grew later in the evening, the wave grew too, washing away the flower vases around him. The wave grew stronger still and washed away the statues of the deities in temple. And yet it grew bigger, washing away the temple and finally it engulfed the whole grounds of the temple washing everything away.  At that moment, the master spoke, “You have done it! You will be unstoppable like this wave now.”. From that day on he moved as the ocean, with the force and power of great waves, like a tsunami.  He became the number one wrestler in the land, sweeping away his opponents with ease.  He became the tsunami.  He became integrated and whole, each cell and fiber moving as one.  Hatsumi Sensei would often tell us to become like a tsunami. A series of unconnected attacks or techniques will not defeat an opponent. But a connect whole, a flow, a wave like a tsunami will fell the toughest opponent.  Zen Tai, whole essence, whole body, imagine you are the tsunami, and flow with natural power and rhythm!

Shin Shin Shin Gan 神心神眼

Shin Shin Shin Gan is an expression you may hear during your training in Japan.  It can be translated as the heart and the eyes of the divine.  Shin 神 (kami, sacred, divine) Shin 心 (heart) Shin 神 Gan 眼 (eyes). Shin Shin Shin Gan.  shinshinshingan

Your eyes can be easily deceived.  In fact, all of our limited senses can be easily deceived.  Just think of the magician that makes a tiger appear in an empty box.  The tiger is not appearing out of the air, it is skillfully hidden in the unseen compartments of the box or stage.  But we are very surprised.  We pay a lot of money to see magicians fool our eyes and senses.  Sometimes it is pleasant to be fooled and sometimes not so pleasant.  The ladyboys in Thailand love fooling the love hungry military boys coming in off the ships! Maybe it is best they never know the truth!

It reminds me of a story.  In the honbu dojo in Noda, Hatsumi Sensei has a picture in the dojo of a woman putting on makeup.  He once told me it represents Yamato Takeru No Mikoto, a Japanese legendary prince of the Yamato Dynasty. To kill a very powerful enemy, he once dressed as a woman maid attendant at a drinking party and successfully assassinated his opponent.  Yamato_Takeru_at_16-crop

Even a picture in the dojo fooled me. You can be looking at something directly for many years and not know what it is!

A true ninja cultivates the heart and eyes of the divine.  Not seeing with just the eyes, not listening with just the ears, not tasting with just the tongue, not smelling with just the nose, not feeling with just the hands.  If you don`t cultivate yourself, you will be fooled over and over.  You will continue to chose poorly and find yourself at the point of your opponent`s blade.  This is true for choosing teachers as well, if you choose wisely, you will have a wonderful experience. Choose poorly, and you will find yourself on a dark and perilous road.  But don`t worry, in the end, both will die!

Those that have cultivated the heart and eyes of the divine are like sunflowers.  They don`t choose any more.  They just move.  When the sun rises in the easy, they turn their faces to the light, when the light moves to the west, they turn their faces westward.  Moving with the light, they don`t choose, they just move in the direction of light naturally, without thought.  A true ninja is like a sunflower, it is hard to judge him because we are always fooled choosing this or that, but he is always moving naturally with the good.Sunflower-Sunset-HD-Images-Wallpaper1