Essays From The Master

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The black dance of the nine spheres

Many in the Komuso Ryu embody the consciousness of the Kokoro as the Kami Susano also known as Tengu-San as the ryu understands it. Some in the ryu prefer to embody that same consciousness in the form of the “demon” Mara which in many respects is the shadow of or the anti-Buddha. Where Susano for the ryu is divided into Raiden as an avatar of the Ku or mind-body continuum of the Kokoro and Orochi as the Wu or the power-image continuum of the Kokoro, Mara has both the Ku and the Wu as one whole. Mara is in a sense the shadow of the innate spirit or divinity within the Komuso adept projected outward so that the adept can become aware of it. Mara is seen as the source of the Kuroi Kaze or “black wind” because Mara expresses the Kalachakra aligned with the will of the Komuso adept making that Kalachakra a personal one and isolated from the cosmos; showing a cosmos within the cosmos. Mara is often shown with many arms showing the movement of his hands through the spheres manipulating and maintaining that movement at the same time symbolic of the Kokoro. Because this concept of Mara is so particular there is no standard image though images of Shiva are often used to stand in for Mara, changed in some way to show that is not Shiva.

In martial terms the black dance of the nine spheres is the Komuso Nin Do answer to the Kata Dante or “dance of the deadly hands” used by the Kokuryukai or “Black Dragon Fighting Society.” The nine spheres of this dance are the circles of the Black Lotus Mandala with the center being the Kia Point of the humanoid form, the upper most being the head of the humanoid body and the others being the places of the legs and hands. Each of the nine fists of Dim Mak is to be applied to each of the nine circles or spheres of the Black Lotus Mandala. The footwork of this “dance” or kata stems from moving around the lines and curves of the Black Lotus Mandala the same as the fists. Where one strikes the target using the map of the Mandala to the target one would move in the reverse with the feet; backed by feinting and dodging using the idea of mirroring the target. In combat one see’s the target as Mara and one moves as if one is Mara to the target, a shadow facing a shadow. Acting as a shadow to one’s own shadow should negate the violence in the situation and allow the Komuso adept to control the situation or otherwise disrupt the ebb and flow of events that result in combat on a small scale or war on a large scale.

The eight circles that represent the head and limbs of the humanoid form correspond to Chi or external life energy while the circle that represents the Kia point corresponds to Ki energy or personal power. What Ki and Chi as one are to the individual and the world that the individual inhabits the Kokoro expresses on a collective level and is transpersonal to the individual be it the Komuso Adept or the target. This dance or kata is a means of harnessing one’s shadow and making it an ally and making the shadows of others into one’s weapons.

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