Ki is Natural not Magic!


contemplation
  • (version française)
  • In the Abidharma sutra the Buddha (5th century BCE) says that “nothing is created, all is energy”.
  • At about the same period Anaxagoras, a Greek philosopher said that: “Nothing is born nor perishes, but things already existing combine and then separate again”.
  • Much later in 1789 Antoine Lavoisier, the “ father” of modern chemistry, said that “nothing is lost, nothing is created, everything is transformed”. He was beheaded (transformed?) during the Révolution Française in 1794.
  • This will lead in the 20th century to Einstein and his Theory of relativity.

But to us, martial art practitioners this is the best definition of what energy really is. It is the “thusness” of Buddhism.

Buddhists, pre socratic philosophers and scientists all agree about the endlessly recombination of everything . There is no magic here nor mysticism, only facts brought by pure observation. This “ever existent thing” is what the universe is made of. This is the “matter-energy” or “vital energy” of the universe of science and of Taoism.

is what we call “ki” or “Ch’i”; and it is “simply” the primordial emptiness or primordial existence of all things that flows infinitely and pulsates in everything. Ki is not esoteric at all and through long training we develop the eyes to see how it transforms itself and flows in order to adapt to it. I am sure that this is what sensei means when he spokes that we have to understand (or to get?) the “shinshin shingan”, the “mind and the eyes of the gods”. When the opponent attacks, our reaction must be attuned with the flow of the moment and this is why no preconceived idea must exist. The natural movement is there when the practitioner has the intuition of what to do next. Intuition or intuitus in latin means “to watch thoroughly, contemplation” it is the subtle observation of the situation that brings your body to move correctly.

There is no thinking because there is not time to think.

There is no time to think because time is relative.

During your next class try to react without thinking, you might discover a new world of possiblities.

Be happy!