Interview with Mr.Hiroyuki Aoki (Part3)

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From Part 2

(continuation)
However, later, I started to suffer thinking that if I pass through this state even further, the only thing left for me to do would just be to renounce the world and enter the world of the Buddha and Gods. I suffered for about 2 months, not being able to come up with any ideas for martial arts, calligraphy, and work. Then one day, I started thinking, “wait a minute”. I reconfirmed to myself the commitment I had made before. Rather than to pray to Christ in front of the cross, worship Buddha statues in a temple, or send prayers to Amaterasu Omikami at a Shinto shrine, I had decided to carry all of them with me and yet turn back again, to live with the people. When I reconfirmed this, everything cleared up again as if my spiritual world opened up widely. I could see everything around me more vividly than ever. This happened very recently, around Fall 2013.

I found out soon after that this stage of one’s spiritual journey is depicted in the eighth picture of Jugyuzu (Ten Ox Herding Pictures), “Ningyugubo (Both Bull and Self Transcended”. This is the world of Mu, where both the Bull and Self have disappeared. Nothing remains… And after that comes “Henpon Kigen (Reaching the Source)” with only flowers in full bloom, symbolizing pure nature. And in the final tenth picture, a young ox-herd boy is talking with the Hotei (a god with a potbelly who is one of the seven Gods of good luck). My guess is that this picture has 2 meanings: “To become a Hotei” and “To go and be with the people as you have become a Hotei”.

In other words, to renounce the world or to return to society to join the common people. When I thought in the beginning that my only option is to renounce the world, I couldn’t bear the pain, and couldn’t see anything at all. However, when I chose not to look up at the altar but instead decided to pick up the altar, cross, and Buddha statue on my back and turned back, I saw the common people very clearly. I knew this is the path for me to take from now. So now, I’m in this tenth stage, mingling with the people. And just for your information, this Jugyuzu was illustrated by a Zen monk named Kakuan about one thousand years ago. I’m impressed such a noble monk existed at the time.

What I want everyone to know is that even if you are not enlightened, if you can mingle with the people, live with the people, and help the people, you are just the same as one who has attained profound enlightenment.

*From Wikipedia: Ten Bulls or Ten Ox Herding Pictures

Eight Picture: “Jingyugubo” (Both Bull and Self Transcended) – Everything is now forgotten and gone back to Mu (nothingness). Even the enlightened practitioner is not a special being but realizes who he really is by nature.

Ninth Picture: “Henpongengen” (Reaching the Source) – The original beauty of nature manifests. True Satori lies in such primordial nature.

d0255328_1125114.jpgTenth Picture: “Nittensuishu” (Return to Society) – Into town…the practitioner (the boy has become a Hotei) who has attained enlightenment goes back to town, plays with the children, and guides the common people.


When I was young, I entered, or in other words, came out into the stage depicted in the eighth picture. I could clearly notice my change myself at the time, as my techniques totally changed all of a sudden and many strange things started to happen. For example, even when I blocked my students’ attacks very lightly, they would get bruises, or just a slight touch of my hands tore their keikogi (practice uniform). At other times, when I reached my hands on a branch, many leaves fell from the tree all at once. These are all stories from many years ago though.

I was shocked by the world of Mu. In the beginning, I even felt I had entered the wrong place and was struggling to come out of it. These were things I had never been taught in Christianity before. However, I found out that in Zen, they did teach these kinds of stages of a practitioners’ progression. Rinzai Shu (Linji school) had already established a well-organized system like a school curriculum, illustrating the spiritual progression of a practitioner. In fact, if you read Mr. Suguru Arai’s “Evangelium according to Thomas” carefully, you will find it written there too.

I was 31 years old when I entered this world of Mu, and then 76 when I transposed into another world from there, into a beautiful world filled with full-blown flowers. After that, I made the decision to go back to the streets and mingle with the people when I was 77.5 years old.

Interestingly, every time I enter a new stage, my techniques would also change. Many strange techniques were born. Yes, our techniques change when our hearts and minds change.

Although the Ten Ox Herding Pictures end here, my opinion is that there is another eleventh stage after this, which is breaking out into another realm, or attaining a kind of super-consciousness, and these states also have stages of development in itself.

Let’s go back to talking about techniques and trainings. As you know, there is a word called “Tongo (sudden enlightenment)”. When I was in my 20s and 30s, I was always thinking that there must be a way for people to develop themselves both spiritually and physically, cleanse and relax themselves internally and externally, and be in a sublime state or achieve enlightenment in just a second through Shintaido. I was wondering if there is a way to achieve such state of awareness in an instant, without having to train for years.

*Tongo: A Buddhist term. Achieving enlightenment suddenly without training for years.

With this in mind, one day, while I was doing Kumite (partner practice), receiving my partner’s attacks and throwing him again and again, my partner started moving at a furious speed. When the intensity of his movement reached the climax, it ended all of a sudden, and he entered a totally liberated state. All his movements had stopped, leaving him in a state of pure ecstasy and euphoria. Whenever my partner enters such a state, I would just let them lie down and rest, and their faces usually shine beautifully like a Buddha.

Do you remember that in the black and white video, we were doing this practice on the beach? I would let them lie down like that after they reach the height of the practice, do it with another student, and then let that student lie down afterwards too. Then, they would eventually fall asleep on the beach so pleasantly. I guess they break free from their straitjackets. And of course, even if it’s not Budo training, with any other exercise, if you lay down with both hands wide open on the beach after intense training, you will enter a very similar state.

Us humans tend to achieve a very liberated state all of a sudden when we reach the peak of a particular movement. And if we repeat it many many times, we will be able to reach that height instantly. So advanced practitioners are usually able to reach that state in 20 to 30 seconds or so, whereas not-so-advanced practitioners or those who are stubborn are never able to reach that state no matter how hard I try to guide them.

The human body is very interesting. Whether it be “runner’s high” or intense martial arts training, there is a certain point where you enter a liberated state of awareness. I created an exercise called “Meiso Kumite (Meditation Partner Practice)” for people to experience this state more easily through simple movement.

NM:
Is it “Wakame Taiso (Seaweed Exercise) ”?


HA:
Yes, it’s “Wakame Taiso (Seaweed Exercise)” and “Hikari Taiso (Light Exercise)”. It works better if your partner also initiates movements actively rather than just receiving in “Wakame Taiso”, so this combination of “Wakame Taiso” and “Hikari Taiso” works very well. Your partner tries to follow your movement actively in “Hikari Taiso” (you pull), and just fully receives in “Wakame Taiso” (you push). The pushing and pulling are polar opposites and therefore good to do both to create balance.

*Wakame Taiso (Seaweed Exercise)


One time, when I was 39, I was doing “Wakame Taiso” and “Hikari Taiso” with a British lady. And in a moment, she reached the height of the Kumite and entered a highly enlightened state. It was just about 20 or 30 seconds after we had started. I didn’t know what had happened to her, but the same thing happened to the next lady I did Kumite with again. And at that moment, I realized I had completed creating what I had been working on for over 10, 20 years. And at the same time, everything had finished. Everything I had been building and accumulating collapsed all of a sudden, and I totally burned out. This was right after I turned 39.

It was as if a woman that was impossible to get told you, “Okay, I will marry you” all of a sudden, but you fell out of love as soon as she accepted you (LOL). In other words, I was totally burnt out after I reached the goal I was seeking for years, just as a person who had only been dreaming of climbing Mt. Everest all his life reaching the summit. The writer Ryunosuke Akutagawa writes about a similar situation in his novel “Imogayu (Potato gruel)”.

I can speak normally like this now, but at that time, I couldn’t even show my face whenever the order-taker came to me. That is how much my heart was exhausted, and I didn’t know what had happened to me. Now, I know we call it burnout syndrome, but at that time, these syndromes weren’t as common as they are today. So I was suffering from burnout for many years, not being able to feel any self-confidence nor able to socialize with people.

NM:
So this is when you were already teaching as Founder of Shintaido?


HA:
Yes, of course. So I went to San Francisco to take a rest, after organizing the training program and telling my students what to practice. Since there was a Shintaido group in San Francisco already, all the students welcomed me with much respect and gathered around me all the time. However, I could not stand being surrounded by people although they were my beloved students, and decided to go to Los Angeles instead. But even there, I had many students coming to me, and finally decided to run away to Mexico.

Before I left Japan, I told my wife I will be back in about a month and a half to 3 months. But since I realized I don’t speak any Spanish, I started going to a Spanish Language School for a short term while in Mexico, and then went to visit Guatemala. Before taking off though, I got very ill in Mexico and lost 12kg. Becoming skin and bones, I was thinking whether I would be dying today or tomorrow, but in fact, I didn’t die that easily. So I decided why not die while traveling then, and started traveling around Central America without any plans.

After traveling in Central America for about 3 months and when I was about go back to Japan, people were excited with the news on Panama Canal handover. So I decided to go visit the Panama Canal before going back, and found out that just across the canal is South America. South America seemed vigorous and attractive, so I decided to fly to Colombia by plane. And this is how my long journey began. I visited Ecuador, Peru, Bolivia, Chile, Argentina, and stayed in Brazil for 4 months. I had many friends in Brazil from when I was teaching Karate, so I started teaching Shintaido to Brazilians there, and even went on TV. As time passed, little by little, my heart, mind, and body started to recover and I was finally ready to go home.

NM:
Did you also teach Shintaido while you were traveling in Central and South America?


HA:
Not really. I was just traveling around because my spirit was totally weak and wanted to run away. This is strange, but at the time, I thought that martial arts is not a very nice thing to practice. You pretend to pull but push, pretend to move right and attack from the left, or thrust into the opponents’ unguarded area, and so forth. There’s so much deceiving in martial arts. Nothing is more odious than practicing how to deceive each other in martial arts (LOL). You find someone’s weak part and try to cut into that area. Normally, you would offer help to the weak, right? But in martial arts, you try to attack the weak unguarded areas, or deceive your opponent in order to attack. So I thought I have done so much bad in my life…just kidding. However, around this time, I was creating a system of practice for Bojutsu (Stick Fighting) based in Shintaido.

My opinion is, and I also say this to myself, that martial artists must be more worthy of gaining respect. As you know, chief priests and temple masters of big temples are highly respected, and people join their hands in prayer naturally toward somebody who has completed a 1000-day Circumambulation. In China, there is a Calligraphers Association run by professional calligraphers in every province, and the Director is highly respected and worshiped by the people.

However, even with years of severe training, martial artists are rarely respected in the same way. Even if a Judo medalist, Olympics medalist, or Karate World Champion walks on the street, who would clasp their hands together in prayer towards them? Nobody would. Why? I think us martial artists should take this more seriously. All the bad news we’ve been hearing on the news concerning the Judo world between last year and this year has been very disappointing.


To Part 4

# by legacyofcayce | 2015-01-10 12:02 | Interview

Interview with Mr.Hiroyuki Aoki (Part2)

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From Part 1

NM:
Would you say that if you practiced Shintaido hard, you will be able to develop such kind of body, or in other words, that the main purpose of Shintaido is to develop such kind of body? I can’t fully define “such kind of body” I’m mentioning here but…


HA:
Yes, you could define “such kind of body” in many different ways, but the most important thing is “to be such kind of body”. For that, we need to continue to flex our body on a regular basis and train it softly. We all have a self-defense instinct that tries to protect ourselves reflexively by stiffening and hardening against things that are foreign to us. But when we harden our bodies, our techniques become ineffective both in martial arts and sports. On the other hand, when we keep our bodies soft, our bodies respond more freely and produce more effective techniques.

As you know, shells, crabs and other crustacean animals have hard shells to protect themselves, and this is a kind of evidence that we need a hard body to defend ourselves from our enemies. However, stretched, expansive movements are lost when we stiffen our bodies. Even athletes, singers, and actors often stretch their bodies or meditate and release all tensions before they do their work, right? They know that they will perform better if their body is soft and relaxed.

NM:
Does this mean that we need to soften our muscles surrounding our bones?


HA:
That's right. We need to soften our muscles. However, only softening our muscles is not enough. Please touch my arm. It's soft, right? We also need to be as hard as steel if necessary. But normally, my body is soft as a konnyaku or a marshmallow! Even when I’m doing Kenbu, my muscles are in a marshmallow state.

When we carry heavy objects, of course our muscles tighten. However, when you get used to keeping your body soft, you will be able to lift up heavy objects while still keeping your body and muscles in a soft state.

NM:
Really? Is that true? I cannot imagine that soft muscles could really lift up something heavy.


HA:
Do you know Yokozuna Taiho? Some Sumo wrestlers that have fought with him mention that his body was incredibly soft, and that no matter what part of his body they pushed, they couldn't find any tight or strained parts. And because his body was always so soft and relaxed, they felt that they didn't have any chance to win against him no matter how hard they pushed. Taiho was the master of the masters of Sumo.

He had a very soft body free of stiffness. We must train our bodied as hard as possible, but at the same time, we must train it so that it becomes very soft and relaxed. In addition to developing a soft, relaxed body through warm-up exercises, we also need to have a soft and flexible mind to truly relax our muscles from the core. We really have to make ourselves extreeeeeeemely soft.

NM:
Do you ever have stiff shoulders?


HA:
Basically no. I sometimes do, but generally no, even at this age (78 years old/as of October, 2014). Here, touch my arm.

NM:
(Mr. Aoki puts his arm out for me to touch. Then I touch his arm muscles.)
Wow!!! So soft! Really soft like a marshmallow! How on earth can you have muscles like marshmallows even though you are a karate master?! My arm is so skinny, but mine is much harder than yours.


HA:
The person I’m receiving Shiatsu from now is in his 70s and is a great Shiatsu master, and he also said he has never touched such a soft, relaxed body in his experience. So even when he massaged me with deep or hard strokes or stepped on me as part of the massage, I didn't feel any pain.

NM:
Can I touch your stomach area too?


A:
My stomach area is also soft, but if I clench my stomach muscles, it turns like steel. However, as soon as I release it, it becomes soft and marshmallow, like a baby's body. My ideal body is one that could move truly soft with marshmallow muscles!

NM:
I read your books and magazine articles to learn more about you before this interview. From your teenage years you have been involved in very hard training, challenging the limits of your physical and spiritual capacities. It’s incredible how you could still maintain such marshmallow softness despite mastering such hard training that went on for hours every time.


HA: I’m sure everyone imagines that my body would be muscular and hard like steel after 60 years of martial arts practice. But no! It’s the exact opposite! I have been aiming for a soft, relaxed body for decades.

Snakes have an extremely soft, loose body. Do you know the python snake? They kill their prey by wrapping their body around animals and suffocating them. I experienced that when I visited a country in Southeast Asia and wrapped a python snake around my body too. It was like steel, and the snake didn't move at all, not even a millimeter. There was no way I could get it off of me. However, it could start moving soft the next minute. My ideal body is just like that. I want to be able to choose how I use my body—sometimes I need the marshmallow body and sometimes the hard steel body.

I also want to add here that in martial arts, students are often taught, “gather all your energy in the lower abdomen!” But this is really wrong. It’s just a worldwide superstition to believe it’s effective to gather energy in your lower abdomen and watch your opponent vigilantly. The fact that all players with martial arts background get knocked out easily proves how ineffective it is.

NM:
By the way, I heard that the reason why you started practicing martial arts was for theater, to develop your body to become an actor.


HA:
Yes, that’s right. However, while practicing both theater and martial arts, I realized I like drawing the most. Let’s say martial arts gives me 70 – 80 % satisfaction and theater 90 %. But drawing gives me 100% satisfaction. I was so happy whenever I drew. So at that time, I was thinking of becoming a painter and debating whether to work at the National Museum or Tokyo Museum.

Here are the 3 pillars I want everyone to be aware of in understanding who I am and where I’m coming from. First, I had strong faith in Christianity even before becoming a university student. Also, I was strongly drawn to art, such as theater and visual arts. So it would be difficult to understand me wholly unless you understand these 3 pillars of mine: Christianity, Karate, and Art.

What happened though was that I was recommended for the highest rank in my Karate school that I had joined to develop my body for theater. After that, my master asked me to be apprenticed to him to serve him for 1 year as assistant after I graduate from university, and I did for a year. To be honest, I wanted to study visual arts right after graduating from university, but I couldn’t say no seeing my own master making a deep bow to me. I think my master was willing to teach me a bit more, but I ended up being his assistant for 7 years. I had married right after graduating from university, but throughout the 7 years, I worked to the fullest for my master. I declined the offer to receive the highest rank with all due gratitude though.

Then finally when I was ready to concentrate on drawing, I realized that there exists a world that is Art, Martial Arts, and Faith, in and of itself, even without the actual “doing” of it—a world beyond drawing, beyond Christianity, and beyond martial arts.

You don’t necessarily have to go to church to get baptized or attend Sunday mass. By going beyond that, we can just “be with” God in our “being”, as wild flowers in the fields and birds in the sky. Similarly, in terms of martial arts, I was then able to knock down the attacker without striking or kicking them with a scary face, but by just using the same movements I would when reaching out to grab something. In terms of visual arts, if I were to think of my body as a piece of art, I came to an understanding that just the existence, presence, or “being” of it can become beauty and nature itself.
I had transcended Art, Religion, and Martial Arts, and entered the world of Ku (emptiness). I was 31 years old then. I had already gone to 3 different art schools before reaching such state of consciousness. I practiced nude drawing very hard too. Since I didn’t have much time to practice drawing, I tried to draw whenever I could, like drawing people practicing in the dojo, sketching rough drafts of passengers on the train, and so forth.
For theater training, I was a member of the inaugural class at the Volksbühne Theater Institute in Yokohama created by Mamoru Kato Sensei from Haiyuza Theater. To fulfill my responsibility as leader of my Karate group, I practiced Karate day and night uncompromisingly. And as for Christianity, I belonged to the KGK, a protestant student association.

At the same time though, I had passed through and gone beyond Art, Christianity, and Martial Arts already. I literally passed through all of them and there was nothing more.

Speaking from an arts perspective, the ultimate frame to set your painting must be a frame you made by yourself, like Rouault. The wall to hang that frame must be a wall you made. That wall has to be a part of your house. That house must be a house built totally in harmony with the rest of the town. And the town must be this and that and…you can keep on going like this. But of course, this is impossible, right?

That’s when I started to realize that it doesn’t have to be a frame I made, a wall I made, or a house I made. Just placing it here is already good as it is.

At that time, I used to go fishing a lot in Kenzaki in Miura Peninsula. Just watching the waves there was absolutely stunning. Waves too beautiful to draw, just coming and disappearing in an instant. Like that, nature generously creates and destructs, and continues to do so. Sunsets are so beautiful too, and that beauty can’t fully be expressed with paint. I really have no chance against nature. Nature has the world of beauty and a world that touches us deeply, just by its very own existence. And yet, nature ungrudgingly wipes off even the most beautiful things. When I realized this, my persistence towards art started to fade. I started thinking there must be life that is art in and of itself, just by living it.

Speaking about faith, it’s not about going to mass every week, reading the old & new testament, memorizing which phrases are written in which volume and chapter of the bible, and etc. What’s more important is to realize that God, the creator of all life, heavens, and the whole universe, is everywhere in the bible, and just to become one with God, praising and thanking the Lord, and living a happy life to our fullest. In Christianity, things that get in the way of realizing such happy life is called a sin, but we can simply get rid of them and invite the spirit of God to enter us.

What we must be careful of though is that people tend to create sects according to their beliefs, like what teaching, what religion, and what sect. As you know, currently, Muslim people are fighting against each other. In Christianity, Catholics and Protestants had a big war against each other too. However, the secret lies in how to get rid of our egos and selfish minds called sin, and simply receive the life force of this great universe and love of God. Then, we wouldn’t have to go to church or read the bible anymore out of obligation or guilt, and be able to go beyond separations of sects and religions.

We sometimes strike each other intensively in martial arts training. On the other hand, even in our daily lives, whenever we reach out to grab something, if there happened to be someone standing there, we might hit him/her hard to the point where he/she falls unconscious. It also hurts so much when you accidentally hit your elbow somewhere. If there was someone behind you then and your elbow hits that person’s face, he/she would fall on the floor. This proves how much power our bodies could generate, and this is why I realized that we can just move naturally, and be who we are.

Then, all “---ism” in art disappears, as well as all sects and religions. In terms of martial arts, whether the techniques are effective or not and even how to create force also disappears, as the opponent would be knocked down lying on the floor just by reaching my hands out. Art had disappeared, religion had disappeared, and martial arts had disappeared, leaving nothing left behind. I had entered a world of absolute Mu (nothingness).

In the beginning when I entered such world of absolute Mu, I was wondering what had happened to me. It was as if I’d entered a horrifying abyss. Yet gradually, I came to realize that this is the world of Muso (no-form, formless) and Ku (emptiness) as taught in Zen. This state continued for a very long time. I refer to this state as Zero-ka (becoming Zero), and it lasted for more than 45 years.”

NM:
45 years!?


HA:
Yes, 45 years, until last February. I was in the world of absolute Mu for 45 years. However, when I was meditating in a snowy mountain last year, the “Mu” disappeared all of a sudden. It doesn’t even make linguistic sense to say “Mu (nothingness) disappeared” since it contradicts itself, but I entered a state where I was completely covered with full-blown cherry, plum, and peach blossoms all over and everywhere around me. I could even smell the scent of flowers flowing out of me both inside and outside.

The flowers were stunning bright yellow, and I was all covered with those bright yellow flowers in a gorgeous flower garden. After being in the world of absolute Mu for 45 years, I had come out of that world and had entered a world filled with nature, with full-blown flowers. Before then, I had thought that the state of absolute Mu is the ultimate state in the walk of our Michi (Do, Tao, Way), so I was totally flabbergasted. It was really so purely beautiful and sweet.


To Part 3

# by legacyofcayce | 2015-01-10 12:01 | Interview

Interview with Mr.Hiroyuki Aoki (Part1)

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There are so many important principles in martial arts, and one of them is that we can live life while being fully surrendered to death. We can also go beyond life and death, and even die for others anytime with love. Furthermore, our bodies can become natural once again. All of us are born 100% natural. However, although our bodies are still natural, our consciousness makes our bodies unnatural. This is why we want to release those parts.

Hiroyuki Aoki Profile
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Born in Yokohama, Japan in 1936. Graduates from Chuo University with B.A. in Law. Studies Japan Karatedo under Master Egami Shigeru. Creates Shintaido, a modern physical practice for body and mind development based in Judo, Karatedo and Aiki Jujutsu. Also creates a complete practice system of Japanese Bojutsu (Stick Fighting) spread worldwide today. Receives degree of Doctor of Literature from the California Graduate School of Divinity for his research on Religion and Philosophy. In 1994, starts providing educational support for children living in poverty in the Philippines. In 1998, receives the “The Order of the Grand Knight For The Distinguished Service of the World Peace” from the International Academy of the United States. Opens Tenshin Shoho Juku (Tenshin Calligraphy School) in 2001. Establishes NPO Tenshinkai in 2005.
Creates Kenbu Tenshin Ryu in 2008. Opens the first Kenbu Tenshin Ryu class, and guides students in their pursuit of the Do (Way) by building a healthy body and spirit, promoting purification of the world, and praying for world peace through Kenbu. Establishes Tenshinkai (General Incorporated Foundation). Creates Team Tenshin in May 2011, a volunteer group to provide support to the Great East Japan Earthquake victims through health exercise workshops, shiatsu, and bodywork on a regular basis at temporary housings in Fukushima and Minami Sanriku.
Also visits China, Philippines, Czech Republic, Italy, and France to promote international exchange through calligraphy and Kenbu.

Currently is the Representative Director of Tenshinkai Foundation, Tenshinkai Inc. Director, Director of Tenshin Calligraphy School, Founder of Kenbu Tenshin Ryu, Shintaido Honorary Chairman, Japan Mind-Body Science Director, and Japan Yojo Gakkai Supervisor.

Main Books:
“Karada wa Uchu no Message” (puhlished by Jiyu sha)
“Shin Karada Shugi Sengen” (published by Business sha)
“Shintaido” (published by Shunju sha)
“Shizen na Karada Jiyu na Kokoro” (published by Shunju sha)
“Un wo tsukamu Meiso ho” (published by Seishun Shuppansha)

Calligraphy Profile:
“Chugoku Shoho Gakuin (Chinese Calligraphy Institute accredited by Shanghai University)” master course graduate
“Chugoku Shoho Ten (Chinese Calligraphy Exhibition)” judge
Bokuseki Research Group “Hitsuzenkai” former adviser
“Chinese Santon Province Sainan Private Seika Shoho Gyoko (Calligraphy School)” honorary professor.
Also have been active as guest artist in various international calligraphy exhibitions.

Shintaido
Tenshinkai
Tenshinkai Facebook Page

Japnese Interview Page


Naoko Mitsuda(NM):
Since I was a child, I had very poor sports ability. I was the kind of child that would enjoy reading books all day long, and sports were not a part of my vocabulary at all. So today, this might be a totally reckless interview by an interviewer with no sense of sports, challenging a martial arts master. I hope you will bear with me today.


Hiroyuki Aoki(HA):
Feel free to ask me anything. I consider everything I have a wealth for all humanity to share together, as they were all passed down to me by my teachers and masters. I’ve learned not only from martial arts but also from pioneers in various fields. I exist here today as who I am, thanks to all the teachings I’ve received from nature and people, so my duty is to polish up those teachings the best I can and give something back to the world. Therefore, I am willing to answer anything I can today, so please don’t hesitate to ask me any questions.

NM:
The first thing I’d like to ask you is about the “Old Shintaido Video” I watched on youtube. I couldn’t understand what was going on in the video. My mind went blank, and I just repeated watching a little bit, then pausing for a few minutes, and then playing it again for a while, and then pausing again. Can you tell me what was going on between you and your students there?




HA:
That video was from more than 40 years ago. Although they look very similar in movement, two different kinds of body practices were demonstrated there: one martial arts like, and the other a very special kind of training. To answer your question in sum, here’s what it was.

Let’s say you are trying to strike me with your fist or Tanto (short katana) with blinding speed. Before blocking that, what I would do is, I would actually strike a counterattack the moment you step forward, and then block and throw you. However, most people say it’s too fast and therefore, they can’t catch it with their eyes. They tell me “It’s just not visible”. I tried demonstrating this very carefully on a TV show before, but even at that time, Mr. Danshi Tatekawa (Rakugo artist who was one of the guests) asked me, “Aoki Sensei, what did you do just now?” Even top class businessmen and performers/artists have asked me the same thing. They still couldn’t get it after giving them a detailed explanation.

NM:
For me, all I could see was that a student fell on the ground just after he ran towards you. Then, after grabbing your hands, he started to shudder all of a sudden in ecstasy. Then he fell by himself and moved ecstatically again…
I did understand that some kind of change must have occurred either in his body or consciousness. Something was definitely going on, but I couldn’t quite figure out what it was.


HA:
Broadly speaking, there were two different kinds of body practices demonstrated there. One was block and counterattack against a powerful attack, and the other was control of Ki (energy), which goes beyond the physical level of blocking and attacking. This is called “Meiso Kumite (meditation partner practice)”. What you saw in the video was a mixture of these 2 kinds of practices, so I can imagine how difficult it was to understand what was going on.

Simply put, it’s like showing people before the beginning of Showa period a computer—they would have no idea what it is. They’ll just be wondering what’s hidden inside the box.

I read a book on songs composed by Beethoven before and it was filled with musical terms. It said he was a very studious man and that when he fell into a slump, he went back to studying the classics again diligently and created a new kind of music after that…However, I still couldn’t understand the significance of it at the time, as it was such a different world from mine.

So it’s no wonder why it’s so hard for others to understand the kind of practice I created, even for people in the martial arts field.

It seems that all people could see there is the attacker running with all his might to strike me, but gets blown away for some reason. However, I’d already given him a strike even before his attack. I didn’t actually strike him physically, but I showed my intention to counterattack him by moving my hand. Since he still continued to attack me, I blocked that while giving him another strike, and then threw him afterwards. These 4 kinds of techniques must have been hard for people to visually see with their eyes.

The second Kata (form) is called “Meiso Kumite (meditation partner practice)”. Generally, people’s bodies become stiff if you try to force it down, but if you let it release all the tensions until it gets totally loose, your partner’s body will reconnect to its natural rhythm.

NM:
So was that all happening in an instant there in the video? It’s when he grabbed your hands that your student started to shudder in ecstasy, right?


HA:
Yes, it all happens in a blink of an eye. They (in the video) have reached a level of practice where they could attain such state of consciousness just in a second, whereas it may take more than a few minutes for an average practitioner to reach the same state. It may even take days for someone that has never practiced these things before. So those you saw in the video are highly advanced practitioners that don’t even need any preparation to warm up. They are capable of sensing my physical and mental movements instantly. This technique is not about warming your hands gradually with a hot-water bottle, but about creating intense fire all of a sudden with a burner. In this sense, it’s a technique that could burn your hands in an instant.

NM:
Can those students moving in ecstasy in the video go back to their daily lives without a problem after that kind of deep training? Can they get on the train, go home, and work properly like they usually do?


HA:
That’s a very important point. They look as if they’re in a trance state, but in fact, they’re very sober inside. Hence, even while moving in a deep meditative state, they could come back to reality right away.

NM:
It looked as if they’ve surrendered themselves entirely to the point where they’ve lost willpower and self-control.


A:
They’ve really surrendered themselves to me entirely and are in the state of Mu (nothingness), but can nonetheless understand everything around them, like “Aoki Sensei is doing this now, I’m feeling this, and others around us are thinking this way.” It’s indeed a very sober state of consciousness. A state of total drunkenness and clear alertness coexisting simultaneously.

NM:
Both you and your students?


HA:
Yes, that’s right. Especially those moving the most intensely. Oh in fact, why don’t you ask one of my students here?
(Aoki Sensei calls one of his students in.)

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(to student) You know how you move intensely when doing “Hikari to Tawamureru (playing with light)”, right? Well, Mitsuda san is concerned that whenever you do that practice, your spirit is pulled into a trance state, unabling you to go back to your daily life afterwards. Can you explain to her what kind of state you’re actually in when practicing that?

(student)Well, you can actually perceive your surroundings with great sensitivity. “Perceive” not only in the visual sense, but able to feel many things all at once. However, because our consciousness becomes so open and free right after that practice, it might be difficult to talk logically right after.”

HA:
So as I said, it’s an extremely sober state. No intoxicated at all.


To Part 2

# by legacyofcayce | 2015-01-10 12:00 | Interview

To catch a wave

While Mark Ainley, our Feng Shui teacher, was in Tokyo, I asked him how many students and consultants have trained with him in Canada? And he replied that he needed to focus on his father during the last few years while he was sick. He also had to cancel some classes when his father was ill so he could only teach a few students in Canada. Also, in western countries, only a few people know about Feng Shui. He said that in Japan he has had his biggest classes compared to other countries around the world. He told me that he needs a promoter like Naoko (me) in Canada and around the world.

For me, I always find it very strange and wonderful the people that we meet in our lives!

Looking back it seems to me that there was only a small chance that I would end up holding Mark's seminars on an ongoing basis in Tokyo.

In the beginning, my English teacher introduced Mark to me, and I had a consultation at my home and at the Temple Beautiful shop. At that time, I had no idea that I would hold his workshops in Tokyo. We need a lot of energy and work to hold seminars by foreign speakers in Tokyo, and at that time I didn't have a lot of energy to put into the project of holding a foreign speaker's workshops.

What changed was when I attended his workshop, there was a registration limit of 10 people in this small workshop. It was held in Daikanyama and Mark's client was hosting the workshop.

When I received the information about the workshop, I had no intention of attending it because it was being held on a Saturday afternoon, and at the time it was really hard for me to take time off from my shop on a Saturday afternoon, so I thought it would be impossible to attend his workshop.

Then just two days before, for some reason, I felt that I should go, and so I decide to join the workshop. The capacity was just 10, it was a very small workshop, but when I went there, there was only 2 students! Myself and a young woman in her twenties! That means that until two days earlier, there was only one person planning to attend the workshop! I cannot imagine that now!

After the workshop, I told Mark that next time you hold the workshop in Tokyo, please let me know and I will support you - I will help you gather attendees for the workshop.
I didn't mean that I wanted to host his workshops, I just wanted to help him gather students, because it was so bad that there were only two students in his workshop!

However, maybe he misunderstood my English because the next time, I'm not sure why, but we ending up holding his workshop. So at that time, I thought "It's OK, just this one time" and so we held his workshops.

Everything started from that moment! The first workshop we held was an evening workshop... and I remember it sold out in 3 hours, 75 seats.

As you know, now Mark's workshops is one of our most popular workshops. Every time his workshops fill up within 24 hours of advertising them. These workshops are usually for about 100 people at a time and they always fill up they are so popular. And he now comes to Japan three times a year to give his workshops and we started to do training, not only workshops, so that people could become trained as Feng Shui consultants.

In fact I became a Feng Shui consultant this year.

Everything that has happened is so far beyond what we ever imagined! For me, this is really weird and wonderful! Our life flow is so interesting! If I hadn't thought, just two days before his workshop, "Oh I can attend" then none of this would ever have happened.
It was a terribly hot day, and I didn't want to travel in the heat. But that day is so interconnected with where we are now. Life is so interesting!

As for Mark's workshops, sometimes I get a cancellation. The message I usually get is that the person has suddenly got to work on that day and can no longer attend. When I get these messages, all I can think is how unlucky it is for that person to not be able to attend. The only reason we are able to have such big workshops these days is because I made attending the workshop a priority rather than working. Work is important of course, but if we go to work instead of attending the workshop, nothing changes, our day will be the same as it was every other day.

When the wave of change comes, we should ride that wave! Even if that means skipping work for the day. Who knows, attending the workshop that day could be the beginning of a new life.

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# by legacyofcayce | 2014-12-24 17:56 | article

Interview with Mr.Takanori Fukuda Part3

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From Part2

NM: Thank you so much. After becoming free of pain, I continue to ask questions. I’m interested in your daily life. How do you usually spend a day?

TF: I like walking in mountains. So I live near mountains now. Since Cayce advises to bring up our children in nature, we moved when our kid was born. I’m a Cayce specialist at any rate.

NM: I’m interested in your daily life from waking up, as a model of Cayce specialist.

TF: I’m so happy to hear that. So, listen. I wake up in the morning. The beginning of the day is “I’m wonderful Takanori Fukuda, living in a wonderful world. How happy I am!” Did you see that I fully express joy now?

NM: Yes, I did.


TF: I also do it when going to bed. “I’m wonderful Takanori Fukuda, living in a wonderful world.” Look carefully. “How happy I am!” (Mr. Fukuda fully expresses joy raising his both hands and twisting his body.) Did you watch it? Though people don’t carefully look, did you notice that every part of my body was absolutely delighted?

NM: It is like all of your cells are fully delighted.


TF: Yes, it is. I express using my whole body, “I’m wonderful Takanori Fukuda!” This is clarifying our “ideal” that Cayce says.

Besides, I never do what goes against my ideal self every day. Take a look; I don’t get my elbow up even when having some tea. Also, I don’t reach for something there. I never put my elbow up for anything, and always move using my pelvis.

NM: Oh, I always reach for something.

TF: That’s why your shoulders are stiff. Attach an elbow on your body like this.

NM: It’s better to move using our entire bodies.

TF: It doesn’t strain your shoulders, doesn’t it? When doing something, I always use the center of my body. When taking stuff there, I use the center of my body and don’t put an elbow up. That’s why I don’t have any shoulder stiffness no matter how many hours to drive a car, or to use a PC.

NM: It is small difference between making a long arm and moving there.

TF: Making a long arm results in shoulder stiffness. It is a pain, isn’t it? I do nothing unpleasant. If wondering, “something bad is happening today”, you’ve chosen a bad life on that day. All of your life is your choices and experiences. So when waking up, I express thoroughly joy at any rate and say, “I’m wonderful Takanori Fukuda, living in a wonderful world.” People choosing something bad occurs, in fact they are having amazing experiences of finding bad news chosen by themselves.

Even I wrote these kind of things again and again, never be satisfied. I have a lot of things to give, so always encourage people visiting my clinic to take whatever they want to. But it is also important. People who give a lot of good things are those who also receive a lot of good things. This is a spiritual rule. So I wake up and express “I’m a wonderful existence, so give a lot of good things”, and walk in mountains for celebration.

According to Cayce’s advice, I have the breakfast of either citrus fruits or brown rice. Because I’m old and don’t eat much, usually have some citrus fruits. Then I come to my clinic.

I’ve already received some calls here today. There are many counseling on the phone. So that means that I receive life counseling for strangers on the phone. That’s why I can quickly recognize how is the conditions of your body and mind, for example.

Well, you adhere pretty much to your decision. You get easily angered, but believe that you should contain your temper. Or it’s better to say that you make a choice to do so. Cayce said 100 years ago that anger is important, you know. The repression of anger and stress causes rheumatism and arthritis. I can say all of their causes are that. Its solution is already clear. One of them is giving our full attention to the jobs and the roles chosen by ourselves. But Cayce also says that humans sometimes need to get angry.

I easily take offense so much. I become sweaty when being angry and also now. So I can’t wear a shirt under my white coat. I know it’s better to get angry, so I don’t hesitate to do so. But my wife, stuff and patients have never seen my affronted look. Everyone says that I never be upset. What? I stay angry all day long. Because anger has such a great power, people who don’t get angry have a disadvantage. So I recommend you to work with anger.

However, you can’t turn your anger on others. When you want to do so, try this. As I explained before, see yourself objectively while smelling the fragrance of your anger. Then you can feel how your anger is, and see what it is like. What I try to say is feeling the sense of unity. Enjoy the feeling of unity with your anger. Joy and anger are the opposite sides to the same coin. Because anger has such a great power, I always let myself be angry. So I can stay young except for my hair.

Finding that I’m short-tempered in my middle teens, I never do kinds of games. When playing Japanese chess or something, I was so fired up. That’s why I don’t watch sports. My wife doesn’t watch the Olympic either and our TV is silent even then. So athletes know well how to express their anger as the driving power. Ichiro acts like this every time of being up at bat. He is angry then like this, “I’ll crush the ball, for chrissake.” Who is Ichiro mad at? At neither the pitcher nor the opposing team. But he still feels and expresses his anger. Chubby sumo wrestlers also give fierce look in the match. All of those are the expression of their anger. I’m sometimes asked whom I am mad at, but can’t answer. I just see my anger objectively. People who take easily offense have all the advantages. So I don’t feel stressed at all.

However, releasing your anger on others, it is boomeranging back to you because people around the world are the same one consciousness and life. In short, we aren’t actually offended at others but at ourselves. But we can become so powerful after feeling anger inside. That’s why anger is wonderful.

As we talked about those kind of things, your shoulders have soften, haven’t they? Now you can understand that symptoms will ease up at my clinic. Once understanding it, people don’t have to come here. I spend a day like that and go home. In my neighborhood I walk in mountains for celebration. Whether celebrating God, others, or ourselves we can have exactly the same experience of celebration. That’s the life.

NM: Do you have a heap of salad for lunch as Cayce encourages?

TF: I will show you my lunch. I’m busy today and haven’t had it yet. I’m a specialist of Cayce, so this is the vegetable that he recommends. The name is mullein.

NM: And this is fleawort.

TF: I always pick some fleawort in mountains. Read the paragraph of mullein and fleawort in “Healing Arts Changing Your Life”. You can figure out I’m practicing it and still fine at 80 years old. Now you see my point.

I also have cabbages. Cayce advises to eat dark green leaves that doesn’t curl but open up. So we pick and eat cabbage leaves from outside before harvesting. Then the form of cabbage changes like this. People always ask what it is, and I answer every time.

NM: I saw this kind of cabbage form for the first time.

TF: I’m a complete specialist of Cayce.

NM: What do you have for dinner?

TF: Steamed vegetable for dinner. It’s up to date in Japan. In this season my wife steams three bunches of Japanese mustard spinach for me. I make it a rule not to eat big fish, so also have some dried whitebait and put mayo on because I love mayonnaise. And brown rice and clear soup. Of course I’ve gotten some gelatin for several decades as Cayce recommends. Gelatin is a must-eat item. This is my wonderful daily schedule.

NM: Can I ask you about your family a little bit? Do you discuss Cayce or lives with your son?

TF: I don’t talk about Cayce with him. It‘s all right for my son to live his own life. My theory is just saying to him, “turn to me when you’re in trouble.” Children of today are not only fed, clothed and housed, but also filled with entertainment. So they don’t have to worry, and be completely fulfilled. But when people are completely fulfilled, in fact not fulfilled at all. Because they don’t have any experiences not to be satisfied, also can’t realize whether being satisfied or not.

Japanese society is calm and stable compared with other countries. So young people don’t know they are really happy and rich. Most of my generation didn’t have enough foods and struggled so much to survive. It was so severe experience. That’s why I really appreciate to have enough foods.

NM: The last question I’d like to ask you what kind of feeling or hope do you have for Japanese people?

TF: I don’t request anything for whole Japanese, but have my own dream. I appeal to people to give back the Earth’s surface to other living creatures. For the purpose of that, humans don’t have to live deep underground thanks to the advance of science. People can live on greenery rooftops, develop the equipment offering beautiful scenery, and enjoy sunlight using the reflection of mirrors.

I’m curing people around the world staying here including mental problem. I sometimes receive US dollars. After curing unknown American man, he sent it to me. Being familiar with seeing ourselves objectively, anyone can become therapists. Once trying oil massages and caster oil packs, you can cure anyone else. Until shortly before death, humans can feel how the fact is and activate bodies and souls of the people all over the world. Yes, it is true.

If you have no experience feeling anxious, also can’t feel peace and easy. If you can’t feel sorrow, also can’t experience real joy. So I recommend you to feel all kinds of feelings.

In addition, you’d better realize what you’re actually doing at early stage in preparation for the second half of your life. In other words, don’t accuse, criticize or deny people including yourself.

I recently saw a tall mother on the street yelling and pulling her kid. She shouted, “Why did you do this?” This is also accusing, criticizing or denying. Since I was oldest of eight brothers and sisters, I know well that kids will do something wrong. Mothers should say, “It’s all right. I’m always on your side. You are a wonderful existence the way you are. Do well at nursery school. I’ll wait for you preparing nice dinner.”

You know Cayce’s way of manifestation. Parents said to their bed-wetting son before he goes to bed, “you are a brilliant existence, and becoming a leader when you grow up.” From that night his bed-wetting had completely cured. We should do that for all the children.

The mother whose son has stayed in his room for 13 years should enjoy caster oil pack and oil massage for herself and just express, “My life is so brilliant! So as my son.” Her son absolutely emerges from his room accordingly. My son also gripped his mother’s skirt and kept hold it when entering a nursery school. So I said according to Cayce’s way of manifestation, “My son is brilliant. He will be a person leading many people when growing up. Thank goodness.” As it turned out that my son said loudly from next morning to his teacher 10m away from him, “Good morning, teacher!”

You can do anything Cayce says, because it is all right. Thanks to continuing Cayce’s way of manifestation, I don’t mind so much about my son’s way of living. That’s why I don’t talk about Cayce with my son. I just continue to say my son is brilliant without a waver.

The same holds true for the future of Japan and the world. Ill news comes unsent for, but we have also plenty of good ones actually. In my opinion money economy is becoming stuck soon, though. In the near future all of us will understand that we can cooperate each other to live beyond the difference of origins, races or countries. When a country suffers from the shortage of foods, another makes an offer to give its surplus. Some maritime companies undertake to ship foods on their way, and other volunteers carry them to the port or something like that.

Moreover, the age of barter exchange is coming soon. In the case someone is given something, they don’t have to give back or pay. Only the records such as giving and receiving retain. When some say we’re hard up for something, others having surplus just send it. I think the world like this is coming before long. Yes, it’s true. For such occasions, we’re going to being connected by an extensive network. In that world, people worldwide share all the information of each person. Since the entire world is actually myself, collaboration and cooperation should be humans’ living experience. I hope that kind of things.

Based on this wisdom, therapies are also so easy. When someone says, “I have a stomach trouble", another offers, “I’ll apply caster oil pack on my own”. After I put caster oil pack here, 10 or 20 people on the other side of the world become well. You’d better believe it. See, all of us are living the same unitary self together.


Japanese Interview Page

Translation: Mariko Tsuno

# by legacyofcayce | 2014-10-26 14:02 | Interview