Meditation is key in Karatedo, no matter if we're following our daily practice or if we have to fight for our life.
The speed of a Karate fight doesn't allow thinking. Proper thinking takes a lot of time, makes us slow and inefficient during our daily practice, yet we're not up to the speed of a Karate fight.
To be able to do our daily practice efficiently, to cope with the speed of a Karate fight, we need to learn to act from our medulla and from the spinal cord (the way we move after our doctor hits our knee with his little hammer).
So, make sure, there are no thoughts.
But how ?
As soon as we're used to meditate, we won't be disturbed or manipulated by thoughts, not during our daily practice and not in a fight.
But how can I get rid of my thoughts ?
Well, we can't get rid of our thoughts just by thinking "I don't want to think", as this is a trap, but we can choose to either give
attention to these thoughts and emotions, follow them and fade away, or just notice them coming up and right away see them fading away
just like clouds moving at the blue sky, as long as we're not following these thoughts.
By this, we become one with the blue sky and no cloud will ever disturb.
The is called "empty mind" or "mu shin" (jap. empty mind) in Karatedo.
OK, OK, this does not happen right away (can though) but might take years and decades of ongoing training - exactly what we're doing in Karate-do!
In other words, we all start with a "monkey mind", busy like a cloudy sky, but we can either - as a beginner's approach - give the monkey mind something to do, or completely let go monkey mind if we can.
So, beginners often sit down and stare at a flame in a dark room to keep the monkey mind busy, or just observe the breath, observe air coming in and observe air going out. There's nothing more to do but to "be in" and observe.
On the other side, that approach is quite boring.
Karatedo is much more fascinating, leading to the same goal!
As long as we're not used to meditate, we have difficulties to come back to such routines or restart such routines when ever we get lost.
When we're comfortable with meditation, we can come back to such routines at any time and keep them going for hours without getting lost.
If we get used to that state of meditation, we stay connected with ourselves permanently, don't loose ourselves anymore. Awareness is permanent and our eyes are permanently connected to awareness and we see 180 degrees even if other people think we do not watch. So, we start to see things happening we basically might not want to see but we have to get along with it and find a way with it.
With permanent awareness and movements incorporated into our spinal cord, we can stay relaxed in a fight as the body sees and acts depending on what's to be done, much faster than the fastest thinker.
Yes, we do not use candles in training. And yes, there are several routines and breating techniques, plus there is a set of body work
in Karatedo to achieve that state of meditation step-by-step.
Come to our classes, follow our routines and you will be amazed how much the routines of daily traditional Karatedo will change life, change mind, change breathing, change emotions, change character and being.
As long as we keep up the good work, we will enhance our potential and let's be honest, there's no limit as long as we don't limit ourselves.
When visiting Chief Monk Minamoto of ZEN Buddhism at Hieizan on Mount Hiei, he uses to say: "ZEN and Karatedo are one".
The result of our good work of our daily practice is the same. Mu Shin, empty mind, health and happyness.