Fudo Myoo - the immovable one from Shingon Buddhism

Fudo Myoo - the immovable one from Shingon Buddhism

I speak very little Japanese and read even less, but find the layers of meaning in the language quite beautiful. The character shin(心), for example can mean heart, mind, spirit, vitality, or inner strength. The word “fudoshin” (不動心) means somewhat literally “immovable heart”, but carries the connotations of imperturbability, an unshakable calm, and courage without recklessness.

Fudoshin is a state of equanimity that is a goal for advanced martial artists (and which should be the goal of everyone).

In this age of road rage, workplace and domestic violence, and other losses of emotional control, it is not hard to see how development of fudoshin can make the world a better place.

With a Western mind, it can sometimes be difficult to grasp the concept of a warrior without rage. We see images in our media of characters like Rambo screaming and firing his machine gun, or bezerkers who get fed up and charge the enemy with their sword. After all, it can be hard to reconcile the ideas of violence and a calm mind.

There are (perhaps apocryphal) stories of the samurai burning incense in their helmets so that, if they lost their head to an opponent, it would be a pleasant smelling gift. It is this acceptance of whatever happened (including their own death) that made that samurai so effective.

One of the books I recommend reading is called The Sedona Method by Hale Dwoskin. Dwoskin was a student of a man called Lester Levenson who embodied fudoshin (he called it imperturbability). The Sedona Method lays out an easy technique for ridding oneself unwanted emotional baggage – which is the source of a disturbed heart and mind. Levenson literally saved his own life with these techniques.

Regardless of how you get there (and there are many paths) – fudoshin will help in every area of your life. An initial benefit will present itself as an increase in discrimination (not the negative kind). That is freeing up your capacity to make the best choices by being unclouded by programmed emotion. But also benefits to health and psychology will come, and you will be happier and at peace.

Good martial arts practice leads to emotional control, and will send you on the way to fudoshin.

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