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December 31, 2014


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Very difficult topic, Zennist - you've opened a can of worms with a mention of shamanism. The Shaman is only concerned with transformation,and will use any of their lineage techniques to accomplish this (of course this is far outside of Buddhism). I practiced Aikido for 10 years, and I can tell you that it is not a transcendent discipline. what is does is get you out of your mind, into your body, and teaches you to connect with the earth energy and pay attention to your partner. I don't feel that Omotokyo has anything to do with Aikido - after all, the article you linked states that Omotokyo had ritual ties to Shinto. A deeper reading of Omotokyo (and Osensei's life) shows instances of "divine possession" which is not anything like Buddhist realization. I agree that shamanism has much to offer (read Casteneda or Dan Millman), but (as shown), you've offended the Buddhist purists.

Ha, talk about martial arts family!

The grandfather on the my mother side was a Viet Minh, fought the French colonialists fiercely and got killed. His body was never found, some of the surviving Ming komeraden said he was blew up by a French artillery around during the battle.

The grandfather on the my father side was also a Viet Minh, he fought the French troops ferociously and got captured. He was executed by an ax to the head and buried where he fell.

I do think the practicing of martial arts trains the mind to be of the Warrior mind,......it disciplines and centers the mind leading to detachment, focus, and fearlessness. All the traits the Buddha spoke about!

Ultimately, being of the Warrior mind is no easy feat. When one is under fire or under attack, or undergoing the death process......one 'thinks' like a Bodhisattva. It is not something Puthujana can do :)


Also, the Buddha did not condemn these things as 'mere superstitions.' He was not some modern-day, self-contradicting skeptic. If these things were 'mere superstitions', they would be as harmless as putting up pictures of Santa Claus at Christmas. These things are real and they are spiritually evil, therefore they all involve a degree of bad karma. (Especially Shamanism, which involves devil-possession. I used to practice spirit magic, so I know whereof I speak.)

Read the Samaññaphala Sutta, particularly The Great Section on Virtue. In it, the Buddha condemns all divinatory practices:


The Buddha called superstitions practices such as divination kotåhalamaïgalika or maïgalaü paccetinokamma (Anguttara Nikaya 3. 205). He also dubbed them ‘base arts’ (tiracchànavijjà) and expressly forbade his monks and nuns to practice them (Digha Nikaya 1. 9). In one of the most severe rebukes he ever made, the Buddha also said that any lay disciple of his who believed in or practiced these superstitions would be ‘the outcaste, the filth, the scum of the lay community’ (Anguttara Nikaya 3. 205). The Buddha was probably opposed to all these superstitions for several reasons. Firstly, the belief in luck and fate contradicts the teaching of kamma. The practice of divination and magic is inevitably related to a concern with wealth and thus reinforces ignorance and greed. Fortune telling and the hawking of magic charms and amulets usually involve fraud, dishonesty and cheating. Paradoxically, all these superstitions are widely accepted as true in most Buddhist countries today, and in fact are often practised by monks.

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