A collection of parables and teaching stories from the martial arts traditions of Japan and China that emphasizes their spiritual foundation. • The teaching stories in this book are based on the lives of martial arts masters and are meant to inspire questions and insights for the student. • Written for martial artists and anyone interested in Eastern religions such as Buddhism, Zen, and Taoism. True martial arts should never be confused with simple combat techniques. Rather, martial arts are a way that an individual, after a long and difficult apprenticeship, can gain a profound understanding of the true nature of reality and one's place in it. Over time the apprentice discovers the laws governing the subtle forces of life and realizes that their mastery is only possible after one has mastered oneself. "He who has mastered the Art doesn't use his sword: he compels his adversary to kill himself." This quote from renowned sword master Tajima no Kami perfectly expresses the paradoxical nature of martial arts teachings in China and Japan. These teaching stories are not moral fables; in fact they have nothing to prove. Their purpose is actually to inspire questions and insights that will aid the student to achieve self-realization. Most of the stories in this book are based on actual events in the lives of martial arts teachers who have achieved legendary status. The almost superhuman abilities of some of the masters described here are evidence of the secret powers that can be wielded by those whose martial arts training is not simply the learning of physical techniques but involves the mastering of the subtle energies of the mind and body. Master of the Art of Archery Kenzo Awa could hit the center of a target even when shooting in total darkness. Assailants of Tai Chi master Yang Lu Chan found their blows did more damage to themselves than to their would-be victim. By reading--and comprehending--the tales in this book, we can acquire the same essential knowledge that these masters had--that extraordinary forces are within the grasp of those who have achieved inner peace and self-mastery.
Many know of the legends concerning the Shaolin Temple as the font of Asian martial arts. However, this was not the only temple with deep associations with combatives. This anthology dives deep into the historic significance of the relationship between temples, monks, and martial arts. As a transporter of culture, it seems logical that the Indian monk Bodhidharma brought more than just Buddhist texts to the Shaolin Temple. India has a wonderful tradition of martial and healing arts that he would have shared at the temple. His rich story throws light on how and why monks throughout Asia have often blended martial arts with their spiritual lives. Asian countries have unique histories and societies, but also share important elements. A major thread is religion and the mixing with ancient native shamanism and mysticism. We find a blend of Buddhism, Daoism, Confucianism, Hinduism, and Islam in Asian cultures, which are strongly based in monastic centers. The spread of religious thought is coupled with the spread of knowledge about martial arts. It is part of human nature to find sources to enforce the spiritual, mental, and physical condition. Temples and martial arts are certainly valued for these reasons. In the first chapter, Michael Spiesbach details the story of Bodhi-dharma. His piece couples nicely with Stanley Henning’s observations from a visit to the Shaolin Temple. Dr. Charles Holcombe details the historic connections Daoism has with martial arts, while Mark Hawthorne discusses the recent state of Daoism and its prospects for the future. Jerry Shine’s chapter on the sohei shows the influence these warrior monks had in Japanese history. Ken Jeremiah’s chapter looks at the extreme asceticism Japanese monks and warriors practiced to reach their individual goals. Mark Wiley’s chapter deals with mystical elements as sources of power in Indonesian martial arts. In the final chapter, Mark Kelland brings the religious and martial traditions into our present everyday lives.
A leading American aikido teacher shows how this 20th-century martial art developed from the ancient spiritual traditions of Japan, not as a fighting method but rather as a means of becoming one with the laws of universal order.
Explains how the initiatory practices of the Ninja can be used to achieve self-mastery • Uses the five human archetypes of lover, seeker, magus, soul warrior, and mystic • Shows how to access kuji-kiri, the positive energy of the Ninja Godai, to dispel fear, disempowerment, and soul fatigue The Ninja are a mysterious warrior elite said to be so spiritually advanced they knew the mind and will of God. Regarded with awe as masters of invisibility and “warriors of the shadow-self,” their legendary skills include the ability to command the elements and transform themselves into Fire, Water, Air, Earth, and Void--the nothingness from which all things stem. In this book Ross Heaven reveals the training exercises and mental discipline used by the Ninja to develop these extraordinary physical, emotional, mental, and spiritual skills. Central to Ninja philosophy is the understanding that there is no higher power than the actualized human being. The Ninja believe there are four gates to freedom, and to pass through them we must overcome four initiatory ordeals. Succeeding at these enables us to combat fear, find true power, clarify our vision, and overcome the soul fatigue that is at the root of our personal and social problems in order to embrace our positive energies and realize our talents. Ross Heaven guides us through these four gateways with exercises and initiations that utilize the energy of the lover, seeker, magus, soul warrior, and mystic as well as dealing with their shadow manifestations that may be causing problems in our lives. We learn how to break the destructive habits of the past and create a bushido, a personal code to live by. Without initiation, we cannot access and channel our energies; they remain uncontrolled or even work against us. Ross Heaven provides the key that allows us to turn these elemental forces into allies.
A collection of samurai stories, drawn from traditional sources, of battles, strategy, conflict, and intrigue--featuring some of the greatest warriors and military leaders of the samurai era. Martial artist and samurai scholar Pascal Fauliot has collected and retold twenty-eight wisdom tales of the samurai era. The tales are set in the golden age of bushido and represent the pinnacle of traditional Japanese culture in which aristocratic tastes, feudal virtues, and martial skills come together with the implacable insights of Zen. Some of the stories--like "The Samurai and the Zen Cat"--are iconic; others are obscure. They feature notable figures from samurai history and legend: miltary leaders and strategists such as Oda Nobunaga, Toyotomi Hideyoshi, and Tokugawa Ieyasu; sword masters; ronin; the warrior monk Benkei, and the ninja-samurai Kakei Juzo, among many others. These samurai stories are pithy and engaging, and include tales of battle, strategy, loyalty conflicts, court intrigues, breakthroughs in a warrior's development, and vengeance achieved or foregone. Each tale reveals a gesture or an outcome that represents greater insight or higher virtue.
The classic text on the mystical traditions of the ninja now decoded in English • The path of the ninja as an authentic spiritual discipline • Details the art of concealment and espionage, including methods of disguise, survival techniques, and face reading • A ninja response to the Samurai Bushido and the way to mind-body harmony Experts in disguise, infiltration, espionage, and counterintelligence, the ninja had spiritual values and magical traditions that distinguished them from the soldierlike samurai. Their art of ninjutsu, invisible as well as indispensable, was transmitted in secret schools and relied on only a few books, which were written in code. The Shoninki, one of the most important of these coded manuals, was written in 1681 by Master Ninja Natori Masazumi. Presenting all facets of the art of concealment, espionage, and physical prowess, including methods of disguise and survival techniques, this source text also contains teachings on spiritual meditations, psychic powers, the art of face reading, controlling the emotions, and magic spells. Revealing the connection between the ninja and the yamabushi--warrior monks who were endowed with supernatural powers--this classic text confirms the path of the ninja as an authentic spiritual discipline, one of self-realization and detachment and the way to mind-body harmony.
Master Li Ching-yun is reliably chronicled to have lived more than 250 years, during which he practiced the Eight Brocades on a daily basis. His longevity and personal endorsements attest to the Eight Brocades as the quintessence of qigong practice.
• Reveals the close relationship between the eight basic postures of T'ai Chi and the hexagrams of the I Ching. • As handed down in the teachings of the Yellow Emperor and Chang San-Feng. • Explains the physical and spiritual benefits that result from the practice of the Before Heaven T'ai Chi form. • An essential reference book for any serious student of T'ai Chi and the I Ching. T'ai Chi is a physical expression of Taoist thought--a philosophy in motion. The relationship between the I Ching, Taoist philosophy, and T'ai Chi is well established in many of the classical texts and teachings handed down by the Yellow Emperor and Chang San-Feng, yet it has essentially remained a mystery in the West. Stuart Alve Olson, a longtime student of renowned T'ai Chi Ch'uan Master T. T. Liang, shows how the hexagrams of the I Ching relate to the eight basic postures of T'ai Chi, and how together they comprise the orderly sequence of the postures in the Before Heaven T'ai Chi form. The practice of this form initiates a process of internal alchemy that allows for the stimulation and accumulation of chi through the major energy systems of the body. Physically, this process restores youthful flexibility. Spiritually, it frees the mind to roam the sublime Tao. Because the Before Heaven sequence of postures is the foundation of all T'ai Chi forms, this book provides valuable advice for all practitioners, regardless of the style they practice or the depth of their experience. An essential reference book for any serious student of Taoism, T'ai Chi According to the I Ching is an invaluable guide to how even the most esoteric aspects of Chinese philosophy are firmly rooted in a physical practice.
While Taoism centers on creating physical health that is deeply rooted in the earth's energies, individuals also require energies from the stars and planets to continue to grow and to develop their full soul potential, as addressed by this step-by-step program.
The Inner Glide presents a unique and original practice that will challenge ski enthusiasts, snowboarders, or skwallers, whether experts or beginners, to make the transition from the raw quest for sensation--itself a source of imbalance--to a more subtle and harmonious practice based on internal centering.
Authentic qi gong as practiced in the Shaolin Temple where this discipline originated centuries ago • Reveals the fundamental spiritual principles and includes both a short and long form of the daily exercises • Explains the benefits of mastering energy in the body, such as organ strengthening The great teacher Bodhidharma is credited with the creation of Shaolin Temple qi gong and kung fu in the 6th century CE. Motivated by the terrible physical condition of the monks who spent all their time meditating or copying scrolls, his two-part system promoted physical as well as spiritual fitness and became the basis for all the martial and meditative arts taught in the Shaolin Temple. These ancient practices increase physical health and vitality, enhance creativity, and can be practiced well into old age. Author Shi Xinggui, a Shaolin monk, explains the fundamental principle of qi gong--the art of mastering energy (qi) and moving it through the body--and provides clear demonstrations of all the positions and movements. In order to develop qi attentively, it is necessary to cultivate the art of slowness in both movement and breathwork. Shi Xinggui provides both a short form and a long form of the daily exercises, with lessons on heart centering, organ strengthening, and balancing the energy using the three dantians--the three energy centers of the body.
Techniques for preparing and using the Golden Elixir to achieve optimum health and spiritual vitality •Includes practical exercises and postures to produce regenerative effects in one’s own saliva •Reveals how combining saliva with the hormonal fluids released during sexual practices creates the Elixir of Immortality Golden Elixir is the fountain or water of life. It is the combination of saliva, hormonal fluids, and external essences that when mixed together become the Elixir of Immortality. Saliva has long been considered by Taoists as a key component for optimum health. Some Taoist texts recommend swallowing the saliva up to 1,000 times a day to promote physical healing. Thousands of years ago Taoists became aware of changes in the taste and consistency of saliva that accompanied meditative practices. They learned that by combining saliva with the hormonal fluids and essences released during sexual activities a powerful elixir is formed. Taoists believe that this Golden Elixir is not only a physical healing agent, but also is a major transformative agent in preparing for higher spiritual work. Golden Elixir Chi Kung contains twelve postures that develop and utilize the healing power of saliva. Ten of these involve gathering energy and forces through the body’s hair, which acts as a negative-energy filter and can also be used to store surplus positive energy. Taoists regard the hair as antennae extending out into nature and the universe. By utilizing the practices in this book, readers can develop self-healing abilities and establish a better connection to the universe as a whole.
The Encyclopedia of Women in World History captures the experiences of women throughout world history in a comprehensive, 4-volume work. Although there has been extensive research on women in history by region, no text or reference work has comprehensively covered the role women have played throughout world history.The past thirty years have seen an explosion of research and effort to present the experiences and contributions of women not only in the Western world but across the globe. Historians have investigated womens daily lives in virtually every region and have researched the leadership roles women have filled across time and region. They have found and demonstrated that there is virtually no historical, social, or demographic change in which women have not been involved and by which their lives have not been affected. The Oxford Encyclopedia of Women in World History benefits greatly from these efforts and experiences, and illuminates how women worldwide have influenced and been influenced by these historical, social, and demographic changes.The Encyclopedia contains over 1,250 signed articles arranged in an A-Z format for ease of use. The entries cover six main areas: biographies; geography and history; comparative culture and society, including adoption, abortion, performing arts; organizations and movements, such as the Egyptian Uprising, and the Paris Commune; womens and gender studies; and topics in world history that include slave trade, globalization, and disease. With its rich and insightful entries by leading scholars and experts, this reference work is sure to be a valued, go-to resource for scholars, college and high school students, and general readers alike.
This work measures a priori voting power in social choice theory, presenting a systematic and critical examination of a priori voting, and analyzing the foundations and methodological assumptions underlying the theory. At the same time, it presents case study examples.
Fairy tales contain profound lessons for those who would dive into their meaning. Von Franz draws on her vast knowledge of folklore and her experience as a pychoanalyst and a collaborator with Jung to illuminate on fairy tales and the dark side of life and human pyschology.