Tuesday, May 5, 2009

The strong is not strong because his strength. Zen - 7

Today I would like to talk about another oxymoron "lose to win". In more Zen Discussion form like, "If you want to win, you lose. If you lose, you will win." I do not know if this is a fiction or true story, but there is a sword master in 15th century. And this is a story about the master and his student boy. The boy asked this master to teach him sword skill to defeat his clan's enemy who killed the boy's father. The master moved by the boy's enthusiasm, taught him skill for about a year. One day the master called the boy and told him "You are not strong enough to defeat your father's enemy. But there is just one way you can defeat him. It is not easy. Do you like me to teach it to you and try it?"

The boy asked how he could. The teacher said "Plan to fight against him twice. The first fight you will inevitably lose. But do not to be killed in the first fight. You will win the second one." The boy was puzzled but he fought the first fight as taught. The boy lost, badly wounded, but survived. One year later, the boy asked his enemy to fight again. His enemy was surprised the boy is still alive, but agreed to fight the second time.

In his second fight the boy successfully defeated his father's enemy. The boy told his teacher that his enemy was not even half the man in his first fight, still puzzled. The teacher told the boy that his enemy was in his half way defeated because he was shocked by the boy survived and still want to fight despite of the first fight. The teacher continued "You acquired stability of mind by lost and almost being killed in the first fight. Instead, your enemy is so relieved by the fight won, and lost his mental stability shocked by your survival and intention to fight again. Your mind stability reached to the point that the skill cannot overcome. I knew you won."

I know the teacher is "Itto-sai Itoh" the boy is "Tenzen Mikogami". Both are legendary masters in Japanese sword art, Ken-do. Again I do not know this story is true or fiction. Even fiction, it still tells us importance of mind stability and the mechanism how one can gain or lose it.

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Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

Hi Shaw .. I like your use of the word oxymoron!

That's an interesting story .. about surviving one challenge, recovering and re looking at the challenge and seeing if it can be beaten this time.

Thanks Shaw .. I enjoyed this post ..
Hilary Melton-Butcher
Positive Letters

Marketing Unscrambled, learn to earn 14 said...

Shaw, thank you for teaching about peace of mind, that is so important in so many ways. Very nice post.
Dan and Deanna "Marketing Unscrambled"

Shaw said...

Hi Hilary,

I thought what is always more important is mind status than skill level. This is why less skillful people win against strong. How important to keep improving our mind status.

Thank you for your comment.
Shaw Funami
Fill the Missing Link

Shaw said...

Dan and Deanna,

I totally agree with you that mind is more important than skill. Just brushing up skills does not make sense if we do not improve our mind.

Thank you for your comment.
Shaw Funami
Fill the Missing Link