Essays From The Master

Archive for July, 2014

To Grasp the Sphere of Emptiness: A Meditation on the Koura No Kaze or Black Wind

If we transfer the Black Lotus Mandala from two dimensions to three and place the Heaven Trigram at the Crown Chakra and the Earth Trigram is placed where the root Chakra would link to the Earth then we find three places for the feet and hands that sync with the remaining trigrams. By transferring the Mandala from two to three dimensions the individual becomes the fourth dimension of time or rather movement animating the universe of the sphere. In the Black Lotus Mandala the eight trigrams are given twice, once in the outer and again in the inner reflecting the outer; showing the counterbalance of the inner and the outer. The tension between the inner and outer trigrams, the energies they represent, creates a third ring of the 8 manifested elements of nature. The eight elements are air, water, fire, earth, wood, metal, jewel and matter with the tension of them creating and sustaining energy. The 8 trigrams represent the flow of Chi or external energy broken into eight types the interaction between them creating the flow of Ki or internal energy. The fusion of the flows of Chi and Ki, each being the fuel and tool of the other is known as Shuken i.e. the sphere or the supremacy. The sphere or supremacy is on the microcosmic level what the Kokoro is on the macrocosmic level, the Chi of Shuken being equal to the Ku or mind-body continuum of the Kokoro and the Ki of Shuken being equal to the Wu or power-image continuum of the Kokoro. To balance the Chi and Ki is to forge the Shuken which can then be aligned with the Kokoro making the individual the guiding force of the Kokoro as it applies to that individual and those within that person’s sphere of influence.

We can relate these ideas to four types of movement that are applied two ways. Wind relates to feints or dodges, water to blocks, fire to strikes and earth to holds with wood relating to reversing the feint, metal to reversing blocks, jewel to reversing strikes and matter relating to reversing holds. Throws relate to energy whether one is giving or accepting the movement which can occur from any of the eight types of movement showing how the totality of the nine is the basis of all things echoing nature. Air or feints also relates to logic or thought, water or blocks also relates to emotion or misdirection, fire or strikes also relates to will or to direct action while earth or holds relates to the body or the sensory realm. Each element and all that goes with it has its own answer to its self and its opposite which can feed or defeat it. Air can feed fire but if air is taken from fire the fire ceases to be; fire is put out by water and earth but if air is combined with water rightly it can draw fire from the Earth as lightning. Each element interacts with, feeds or blocks, each of the elements and so to with the personality types linked to the elements. It is important to hold to the understanding that each element of nature and all that goes with it has its place, its advantages and its disadvantages none is unimportant; none is better than any other. The other idea to hold to is that while harmony and balance are possible and natural equality is a myth used by the weak to manipulate the strong or those they think to be strong.

Observe nature air moves water, air and water draw out fire, fire creates earth. From the earth grows wood, wood with time and pressure becomes metal. Metal and the other elements create jewels all of which are elaborations of matter. With all of nature in motion and the self aligned with it one should become aware of the Kokoro and when the entropic part of the cycle starts i.e. when matter starts to break down to become energy the black wind is revealed. Koura Kaze or the black wind is the “wind” of the movement of all things in the void producing what seems to be, to the mundane world, an anti energy. To gather the Koura Kaze into one’s individual Shuken is to grasp the sphere of emptiness which embodies limitless potential as energy.
The sphere of emptiness, once grasped, can be channeled into any act within the path evoking the concept of the unity of thought, word and deed or Saiminjitsu taking the same beyond use as mental warfare and defense into allowing insight to guide action in the realms of energy and the organic at the same moment. Each of the elements is synced with each of the levels of power in Kuji Kiri so that by performing the cuts one is evoking the Shuken which can be furthered by performing the motion that is synced with the mudra of Kuji Kiri. The same motions used in a martial sense can be done as a form of slow moving meditation i.e. an individualized form of Tai Ki Do or Tai Chi. To observe the cycle of ebb and flow in the world and in one’s self is to be able to feel the same flow and ebb in others if one perceives the ebb and flow in others as being a counter balance to the ebb and flow between one’s self and the world. The sphere of emptiness relies on the tension between all things as they ebb and flow that others avoid because they view it as too harsh or as the force of decay. In aligning one’s Chi to that of the world and forging the Ki and balancing them in Shuken forming the third ring of the Black Lotus Mandala one finds offense and defense as well as empowerment, enlightenment and restoration which includes but is not limited to healing. When one strikes in this way one is pushing a sphere into the target, when one is blocking one is using a sphere to deflect the force coming toward one. When one is feinting one is moving from one sphere in the diagram to another and once in that sphere making it a shield or shelter. When one is using a hold one is entrapping the target in one sphere in the Mandala while standing in another; when one throws one is generating a sphere to cast the target out of one’s range.

As a diagram of combat the Black Lotus Mandala is divided between the individual and the target with the goal being to cast the target from the Mandala or to entrap them in that diagram once the individual escapes it. The Black Lotus Mandala stands between the individual and the target and the Mandala also surrounds the two in combat when it is taken from two dimensions to three. In motion if one is met with action along the curves of the Mandala one would answer with one of the strait lines in the Mandala. If one is standing in relation to one of the eight outer trigrams the target would be on one of the strait lines so that one would use one of the curved lines to evade them. By studying the Mandala in both two and three dimensions the individual can find all needed movements and how to counter them. The space of the “sphere of emptiness” is the space between the second and third dimensions showing that Shuken or “supremacy” is a matter of self control because the individual is the fourth dimension of time or motion. Points of tension that do not sustain the ebb and flow are weaknesses that one can use to manipulate to do one’s will or do away with in order to restore the ebb and flow. This idea can be seen in healing by restoring the ebb and flow or in arresting the flow of the target by grounding it or by redirecting it away from one’s self.

The aim is to treat reality as being a sphere of water in which sound causes motion and using one’s own motion to use the “water” to push and pull the target. The sound that causes motion is the Om-Mo of the Kokoro and just as one pushes and pulls one’s target one should use the same “water” to repel one’s self or float around the target. Kokoro as the Heart of all things is paralleled by one’s own heart or spirit and it is from one’s own heart or spirit that one draws the blade which always reflects the nature of the one that uses it. This is why Nin which means “to endure through stealth and thus prevail” is composed of the Kanji for heart and blade. Heart or Shin is also Kokoro showing the link between the way and its source; blade or Ken can be read as “to sharpen or study” making the whole the study of the spirit or heart or the honing of a blade.