Buddhism?

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Buddhism?

Postby green_thaddeus » Mon Oct 27, 2008 4:18 am

So through my various martial arts training in the last couple of months, I've ended up reading alot of buddhist texts, and liking it. I've been an "agnostic" now for many years, kinda searching half @ssed for the answers I never got in church. I've looked into buddhism before, but never felt the same...connection...to it that I feel now.

Anyways, now that the background for my question is set up...: how does this ever so gentle and loving religion fit with Kung Fu? I know that any martial art should only be used in defence of yourself or others, but was wondering what the whole philosophy was for the ancient shaolin monks etc? Is there a loop-hole? Or is this just another case of 'do what I say not what I do?'

Thanks in advance for your thougths...
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Postby joeblast » Thu Oct 30, 2008 11:11 am

Does it seem as though there is some loop hole? Break it down and you are either following precepts, or you arent :)
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Postby green_thaddeus » Sat Nov 01, 2008 1:28 am

Exactly! That's the root of my question.

One should do no violence to another...right? So if thats the case, a true Buddhist would 'turn the other cheek' as it were right? Rather than strike back, and cause harm to another?
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Postby Balloo » Sat Nov 15, 2008 12:33 am

I have wondered about this question myself for quite some time. My personal view (for what it may be worth) is this. Violence for the sake of hurting another is against Buddhist philosophy, but violence in defence of yourself or another is justified. If you want to be very literal, Buddhism is a path to end suffering. If you were to turn the other cheek, iḿ fairly certain you would suffer, or another would suffer for it. So as I have said, I believe violence for the sake of violence is wrong, but in defence of yourself or another it does not conflict with Buddhism, nor any religion in my opinion.
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Postby Dvivid » Sat Nov 15, 2008 10:17 am

Briefly:
In ancient China/India/Nepal, there were many bandits, warlords, and competing emperors, and it was necessary to be able to defend oneself from violence.

Remember, Sidhartha Gautauma was born into a warrior-caste family. His archery is said to have been superb.http://www.lifepositive.com/body/martial-arts/marma-adi/kalarippayat-martialart.asp

Buddhists are pacifist, yes. But, Buddhist monks in some places, such as Shaolin Temple, were also trained in martial arts for self defense. In fact, the monks of Shaolin Temple, which was a place of Buddhist study, once defended the emperor, and were then rewarded land and money to expand their temple. They eventually were recognized officially as 'fighting monks' and were given jurisdiction to maintain order and defend people in the area from violence.

Kung Fu already existed in early China, but around the 1st century AD, Buddhism started to enter the country and it became very popular. It grew until about 500 AD, when Bodhidharma travelled from India to China to teach the emperor. The emperor didnt like what Da Mo had to say, and kicked him out, and he eventually ended up at Shaolin Temple to preach. He taught them body conditioning techniques that are now considered the root of the Internal Martial Arts. Buddhism spread for hundreds of years in China until at one point there were 10,000 temples, and even more places of layperson Buddhist study.

This style of Buddhism, Chan, is the root of Zen Buddhism in Japan.

More:
http://www.ymaa.com/forum/viewtopic.php?t=722&highlight=bodhidharma


http://www.ymaa.com/forum/viewtopic.php?p=10255#10255
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Postby green_thaddeus » Wed Nov 19, 2008 1:36 am

Heres something that I found helpful in my search for wisdom. On one of the various buddhist sites online, they were talking about whether or not a buddhist absolutly HAD to be vegitarian. The site said no. It said that all in all, intent, and purpouse matter more than the actual deed. It said something along the lines of it's better to be a non-vegitarian and have a pure heart, than abstain from meat while harbouring evil thoughts/intent. I kinda rewrote that in my mind to what you were just saying, self defense is ok!
So I guess, as long as you use your kung fu with a pure heart and intent the karma will have less chance of coming back to bite you. The way I see it, violence is still violence and as such still leaves a stain on your soul, but with pure intent you should be more or less ok. I also feel that this ties into the age old adage that the purer the martial artist, the purer thier martial art. Right in the Longfist book it mentions that you'll never be a 'super' martial artist without a pure mind, i think in part for these reasons.
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Postby Dvivid » Wed Nov 19, 2008 1:13 pm

Da Mo himself once said something to the effect of "You can work as a butcher, it doesnt matter, so long as you see the true nature of mind."

There are no diet rules in traditional Buddhism...

Also, karma doesn't "bite". The idea of Karma has been misunderstood in the West - as if it some point system or something...

Karma means "Action". For every action you make, there is a reaction. The concept of Karma in Buddhism is to stop all actions so you can stop all consequences, and clear your mind entirely for the purpose of looking inward to realize the true nature of mind.

I enjoy this puzzle, the first of the 'koans' (kung an), repeat this to yourself quietly:

Who is dragging this corpse around?
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Postby Ralteria » Wed Nov 19, 2008 8:11 pm

This is purely speculation (I'm not Buddhist and haven't read very much on the subject) but it would seem that a philosophy which often focuses on understanding suffering would have much to gain from a combination of hard physical labor (often seen as liberating) and the arts of war (a general reflection on the meaning of life, as it were.)

Studying an art form that is centered around causing pain, injury, and controling your opponent and ultimately making that art form a "road to the path of enlightenment (so to speak, understanding that it's not that easy or straight forward) is essentially making lemonade out of lemons. That methods of killing and maiming were/are used by practicing Chan Buddhist monks to focus their bodies and minds to "purer" vessels of spirituality seems to be essentialy Buddhist. Making a positive out of a negative, learning from suffering, the highest form of self defense being that which does not harm your opponent...all of these things seem to fit to a "T".

Padme beat down the demons of Tibet and converted them to Buddhism. The original Buddha (Siddartha?) was said to combat thousands of demons and gods in India, making them all submit. If I'm not mistaken Hop Gar and "Lion's Roar" Kung Fu were said to even originate from the Tibetan monks. What could be more Buddhist than an art form that has the potential to be incredibly liberating both for self and possibly others?

Again...mere speculation from my own perspective.
Caution...Wisdom may cause bruising.
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Postby Dvivid » Thu Nov 20, 2008 2:12 pm

Thaddeus - Side note: in many books I have read, historically, several masters have said something akin to this: when you have awakened to the path, at a certain point you will no longer want to eat meat. Your body just doesn't want to eat it anymore.
"Avoid Prejudice, Be Objective in Your Judgement, Be Scientific, Be Logical and Make Sense, Do Not Ignore Prior Experience." - Dr. Yang

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Postby penglai » Fri Nov 21, 2008 10:03 pm

I took Refuge vows a little over ten years ago (Tibetan Buddhist Kagyu). Here's what I've been taught regarding some of the above.

There are no loopholes. Killing is killing. A good intention might slightly modify the karma—but overall it's still very bad. Even accidently killing isn't a loophole. You'll still end up in a hell realm—maybe for a day, or maybe for a few eons depending on the motivation and whether you enjoyed the killing, etc.

For a lay person who's specifically taken the vow not to kill, or for a fully ordained monk who would have taken that vow plus many other vows, then the situation is even worse—because not only have you killed, but you've also broken the vow.

Just a few thoughts...
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Postby yeniseri » Sat Nov 22, 2008 12:39 am

I have found that the best outlook is to look at the thougt process!
You cannot say, for example, that you believe in choice, then force people to adapt to your way. Each will get his just reward.

Rigidity is not part of Buddhism so if you are hard and rigid regarding something then something is amiss and you start blaming others! This can never be Buddhism. If compulsion is involved, that also is not Buddhism.
Thing should be natural all encompassing wisdom!

Kindness and compassion does not mean to allow yourself to be abused!
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Postby artanes » Sun Mar 01, 2009 2:49 am

how is 'peaceful' buddhism and 'violent' kung fu reconciled? because true kung fu is not about fighting. you may start off thinking you're learning how to be violent, but those are your ideas. if you learn well and learn correctly, it will take a long time but you will see how you can use your kung fu and not be 'violent'. it might look violent to people that don't know, but how are they supposed to know the difference, just as you don't see how it's possible right now. there is a difference.

this is proven by the observation that the more moral you are, the better your kung fu is. bad people don't get as good at kung fu. they're trying to be violent. you cannot be violent and truly succeed at kung fu.
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Re: Buddhism?

Postby Josh Young » Sat Mar 07, 2009 10:30 am

green_thaddeus wrote:Anyways, now that the background for my question is set up...: how does this ever so gentle and loving religion fit with Kung Fu?

I'd like to mention that Buddha was a Kshatriya, a member of a hindu warrior caste, he rejected this social calling along with other aspects of his birthright and pursued the Sankya spiritual path found expounded by Kapila in the Srimad Bhagavatam. This resulted in him being called the sage of the sankyas or sakyamuni. However to be born a prince in that cast was to be trained in martial arts from a young age.

Buddha cut of his own hair as a part of his rejection of his social role by birth, he did this with his own sword, This image is widespread in religious iconography of many asian and indian regions. It is fair to assume he knew how to use the sword.

the 28th successor down the line from Buddha is said to be Bodhidharma chadili, in India ancient records list this man as a martial arts practitioner in the art of kalari. Kalari is at least 3000 years old and uses several animal forms. Legend has it that Bodhidharma went to China and taught at Shaolin. This journey alone requires martial type character.

Later on down the line there was a southerner who went to Shaolin after hearing the diamond sutra( a great sutra by the way) he was put to work in the kitchen and not trained like the normal monks due to racism. He received the transmission of the bowl and robe, however he was not trained in the same martial manner as the other monks. His name was Hui-Neng. At this point the close relationship between martial arts and the transmission of the robe became separated and since that time much of the decendant spiritual traditions lack martial art practices.

However in early Buddhist art and lore there is a very strong martial art presence. Moreover the teachings or early Buddhism, like the diamond sutra are almost identical with taoist and vedic concepts. Westerners can read how wandering hermetic daoist sages and their teachings are almost if not identical to the wandering hermetic muni of India who practiced martial art and prana yoga. if you translate prana into chinese you get Chi, and if you translate yoga into Chinese you get gong. In other words yoga and chigong are not appreciable different and in some cases have identical techniques.

I find early taoist teachings to be identical to specific vedic teachings as well as Buddhist teachings and I also find a martial art tradition based around 108 standardized motions that were set in statue as a means of passing them down. These postures are found in CMA and Indian dances and indian martial art, as well as being present in Silat and other non-chinese/non-indian martial arts.

I plan on writing more about this and illustrating the sacred symbolism with photographs and comparisons of temple structures so will cease for the moment to elaborate upon the topic.
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Postby Dvivid » Mon Mar 09, 2009 1:32 pm

Great post!

Interesting that the 108-count is seen in Yang and Wudang Taijiquan, as well as in the earlier Tibetan 'Yantra Yoga' (or Trul Khor) and then much further back into pre-Buddhist Hindu traditions...
"Avoid Prejudice, Be Objective in Your Judgement, Be Scientific, Be Logical and Make Sense, Do Not Ignore Prior Experience." - Dr. Yang

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Postby Dvivid » Thu Mar 03, 2011 2:54 pm

On this topic, I want to mention I LOVE the books by Red Pine:

http://www.amazon.com/Red-Pine/e/B001JP ... 041&sr=8-2

yet, without attachment. ; )
"Avoid Prejudice, Be Objective in Your Judgement, Be Scientific, Be Logical and Make Sense, Do Not Ignore Prior Experience." - Dr. Yang

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Re: Buddhism?

Postby Cotton Over Steel » Fri Nov 11, 2011 2:08 pm

Yi Jin Jing (Qi Gung): muscle and tendon washing forms originate with the Buddhist Da Mo in 527 A.D., when Emperor Liang Wu Di invited him.

Before Da Ma and Shaolin, many sects would strive for spiritual and/or high levels of consciousness by denial of the body; in order to be free of life’s mortal limitations.

Bodhidharma (Da Mo), and Shaolin found that one could be free from the attachments of the body on the dependencies of the world, by being fit, healthy and responsive. Then one could survive with the least effort or distraction.

A Buddhist meditative concept of practice, for me, would be to not concentrate on the practical application of the move to offense or defense, but to become one with the flow and energy. The move being more than it's use to the practitioner.

A posture that focuses on one's own energy flow, and the feeling of another's Chi through one's center or hand contact, would be more universal and whole. Contrast this to responding, via cause and effect to another's move, which is based on reactions, and have specific limited paths. Better to be there before the move, seeing the Yi and Chi.

In a fighting situation, movements should not be committed to, but should be dynamic and perceptive. Sometimes non-movement is the better than the response. Feints are useless on this level, for the opponent. For the attacker, a feint is not truly dynamic, since it should have the capability to become a full powered blow, depending on the state of the opponent.

When gazing at a candle, there are other angles to be seen, than from the position of the viewer. There are also many things that are missed by the eyes limited of what is around the burning part of the wick, the most obvious being the heat above the flame, and the onion effect of the areas around the center of the flame. Similarly, there is more to the candle, than how we use the candle, or how it directly influences us. Modern physics is starting to see the geomagnetic properties as well.

There is more to the moon than what we see. The classic example is the Dark Side of the Moon, that we never see, yet is part of the whole moon.
Perhaps the energy around life, is similar to the halo around a candle, some would say this is the aura.

There is more to the whole than the sum of the parts.

Doing Push Hands slowly, non-competitively, and blindfolded: will help sensitize one to these energies, as well as meditation and Chi Sao drills.

MEDITATION

I was studying with a Martial Arts Master Kenny Yuen, we were practicing, and while he was walking among us, a bumble bee flew by. The instructor grabbed it by the tip of its wing. He held it there momentarily, and then released it unharmed, and the bumble bee flew off.

A bumble bee's wings are fragile yet move at over 100 miles per hour and are beating in a very small wing space pattern; that moves with flight. We asked, how did he do it, and the master replied that he did not ‘do it’; he was just there. He did not try; it was not so much being quick, as being one with the timing. One normally cannot do this without meditation.

Some will say this is a Daoist approach also. I do not see that Buddhism and Daoism are mutually exclusive, however these are from the Buddhist perspective.

Four Noble Truths
#2) the origin of suffering is attachment.

The concept of non-attachment runs through all of the presented topics: as does introspection of ones mind/body relationships; both Buddhism tenets.

Specifically presented on not being set:
on how one steps;
on one particular application of the move; or
defending a particular position.

In the last example; Kenny did not separate himself from the bee or the move; he was one with it. He did not strive; he was there. The silent observation of all that arises and passes away in one’s body and mind in an open spirit of ‘letting go’. The gentle calming and silencing of the mind is encouraged so as to create a space in which to observe the conditions of the body and mind. In particular, meditation on the body is done with a sweeping awareness of all the various sensations that arise throughout the body, for example the pressure of one’s clothes on the body or the subtle vibrations on the hands and feet. This awareness can also be concentrated in a gentle and peaceful way on any particular area of the body for further investigation. The mind, consisting of perceptions (sanna), sensations (vedana), mental formations (sankhara), and consciousness (vinnana), is also observed with a silent awareness.

Mindfulness is the observing mind, but it does not stand outside of the object of observation. It goes right into the object and becomes one with it. Because the nature of the observing mind is mindfulness, the observing mind does not lose itself in the object but transforms it by illuminating it, just as the penetrating light of the sun transforms trees and plants.

To digress somewhat; there are many concepts that are arrived at independently through different methods.

A dynamic and open minded scientist will use light theory as an example. There are experiments where it can be show that light act like a wave; and experiments that will show that light acts like a particle. One learns to use both or either theory(ies); depending on the benefits; not judging which is the best.

Plato used universal, as a concept that runs through all things that have the same essence. What makes a chair a chair; that all chairs have. All chairs have four legs for example; but I would not say a chair is four legs.

More at: http://www.jadedragonalaska.com/buddhis ... ncepts.php
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