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Martial arts

The Art of Peace Begins with You

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Jan 9, 2018

“The Art of Peace begins with you. Foster peace in your own life and then apply the Art to all that you encounter.” ~Morihei Ueshiba

合気道Morihei Ueshiba Art Peace

The Art of Peace was written by Morihei Ueshiba, founder of Aikido (合気道) a modern Japanese martial art developed by Ueshiba as a synthesis of his martial studies, philosophy, and spiritual beliefs. Aikido is often translated as “the way of unifying (with) life energy” or as “the way of harmonious spirit.”

“The Art of Peace begins with you. Work on yourself and your appointed task in the Art of Peace.

You are here for no other purpose than to realize your inner divinity and manifest your innate enlightenment. Foster peace in your own life and then apply the Art to all that you encounter.

Everyone has a spirit that can be refined, a body that can be trained in some manner, a suitable path to follow.

One does not need buildings, money, power, or status to practice the Art of Peace. Heaven is right where you are standing, and that is the place to train.

All things, material and spiritual, originate from one Source and are related as if they were one family. The past, present, and future are all contained in the life force.

The Universe emerged and developed from one Source, and we evolved through the optimal process of unification and harmonization.

As soon as you concern yourself with the “good” and “bad” of your fellows, you create an opening in your heart for maliciousness to enter. Testing, competing with, and criticizing others weakens and defeats you.

Be grateful even for hardship, setbacks, and bad people. Dealing with such obstacles is an essential part of training in the Art of Peace.

If your opponent strikes with fire, counter with water, becoming completely fluid and free-flowing. Water, by its nature, never collides with or breaks against anything. On the contrary, it swallows up any attack harmlessly.

In our techniques we enter completely into, blend totally with, and control firmly an attack. Strength resides where one’s ki (life force) is concentrated and stable; confusion and maliciousness arise when ki stagnates.

In the Art of Peace we never attack. An attack is proof that one is out of control. Never run away from any kind of challenge, but do not try to suppress or control an opponent unnaturally.

Techniques employ four qualities that reflect the nature of our world. Depending on the circumstance, you should be: hard as a diamond, flexible as a willow, smooth-flowing like water, or as empty as space.

The Art of Peace is the principle of nonresistance. The Art of Peace is invincible because it contends with nothing.

Let attackers come any way they like and then blend with them. Never chase after opponents. Redirect each attack and get firmly behind it. Your spirit is the true shield.

The Art of Peace is medicine for a sick world. There is evil and disorder in the world because people have forgotten that all things emanate from one Source.

Return to that Source and leave behind all self-centered thoughts, petty desires, and anger. Those who are possessed by nothing possess everything.

Instructors can impart only a fraction of the teaching. It is through your own devoted practice that the mysteries of the Art of Peace are brought to life.”


~ Morihei Ueshiba ~
The Art of Peace

 

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The Kung Fu Nuns of Nepal

Buddhist nuns at the Druk Amitabha Mountain nunnery, near Kathmandu, Nepal, are the only order of nuns to practice kung fu.

Source: The Kung Fu Nuns of Nepal | Oddity Central – Collecting Oddities

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For centuries, Buddhist nuns have been banned from practicing the deadly martial art of kung fu, but a few years ago the Druk Amitabha Mountain nunnery in Nepal became the home of the world’s first first order of kung fu nuns.

Traditionally, the inherently patriarchal Buddhist monastic system has nuns performing only the most meanial of domestic tasks, while the monks can lead prayers and occupy powerful positions. Nuns are perceived as inferior to monks and usually spend their time working in the kitchens and gardens of Buddhist monasteries. Learning ancient martial arts is definitely off limits for them, so how did the nuns of Druk Amitabha Mountain nunnery come to practice kung fu up to two hours every day?

Roughly 26 years ago, members of the of the 800-year-old Drukpa order rebelled and formed the Druk Amitabha Mountain nunnery, a place where women are treated with the same respect as men. “When I was very small, I was already thinking that it was not right to suppress women in our society,” His Holiness The Gyalwang Drukpa, leader of the Buddhist sect, says. “But then when I grew up, I started to think what can I do for them? Then I thought what I can do is to build a nunnery and then give them an opportunity to study and practice spiritually.”

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Chores at the hillside nunnery just outside Kathmandu are split equally, and women get to lead prayers, practice meditation, take English lessons and classes in managerial skills. But the Gyalwang Drukpa took things even further in 2008, when he introduced kung fu to the nunnery, after seeing nuns from Vietnam receiving combat training that was previously used by Viet Cong guerrillas.

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Every day, the nuns put on the same style clothing made famous by classic martial arts movies in the 70’s and 80’s, and engage in an intense two-hour training session complete with hand chops, punches, high kicks and exagerated kicks. The benefits of training in kung fu are many-fold, according to the nuns. “It’s good for our health. Meditation is very difficult and if we do kung fu, then afterwards meditation becomes much easier,” 16-year-old Rupa Lama told the BBC.

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“It’s excellent exercise, secondly it’s very good for discipline and concentration, thirdly it arouses a sense of self-confidence which is very important for nuns, and fourthly when any young men in the area know nuns are kung fu experts, they keep away,” Buddhist nun Jetsunma Tenzin Palmo adds.

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The progressive views of the the Gyalwang Drukpa have boosted the number of young women who want to become nuns dramatically. “Many of them say, wow, if I become a nun I can study, I can practise, I can do these rituals, I can live together with all these other lovely nuns and lamas will visit us and give us teaching,” Jetsunma says. “It’s a beautiful life option to getting married, having a baby every year, working in the fields, doing the cooking, doing the cleaning. You know for them this is a huge opening up in a whole world that had previously been closed to them.”

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Indeed, the kung fu nuns of Druk Amitabha Mountain nunnery get to experience things other Nepalese women never even dream of. “His Holiness wants the nuns to be like the men, with the same rights in the world,” 18-year-old Jigme Konchok Lhamo told AFP. “That is why we get the chance to do everything, not just kung fu. “We also have the chance here to learn many things, like tennis and skating. And we have the chance also to learn English and Tibetan, dancing and musical instruments.”

“I am not saying that I am a great teacher or a great leader but the path that I have decided to take in order to promote gender equality, so as to bring about the nuns’ improvement, gives me great encouragement to work harder and live longer,” the Gyalwang Drukpa said a few years ago.