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Re: Evil Ninjas???
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Quote:

mrdunsky wrote:
My father went through radiation therapy to his back where he had a metastatic lesion from his prostate cancer. It finally killed him a few years ago. Part of the radiation treatment was a mask he had to wear of form fitting plastic that took the shape of his face , holding it exactly in place - very tightly. He hated it and remarked about how it made him feel very clausterphobic.

I was made uneasy after he died to find out the mask fit me perfectly. I guess we have the same skull. As a memorial to my Dad, I bought a 2 dollar Oni mask at the drug store in Noda and mounted the mask on the wall with the oni mask on top. I like to think it keeps the evil spirits away from me...I hear my Dad telling me to work harder, don't waste time, do a better job. I is a very powerfull oni mask for me!

Marty


That was an incredibly moving story, thank you very much for sharing that with us, truly.

Posted on: 2005/8/19 6:30
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Dustin Alexander
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Re: Evil Ninjas???
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My personal theology is my personal theology. I discuss it with close friends. I have to say that I have seen very many religions define themselves by who they are not, rather than what they are. It is my observation that this comes from fear and desire to control. I feel if someone is afraid of another country's religious symbols without finding out the meaning behind the symbols, they are probably close minded. Japan is a very different world from the United States.

It is very possible that training in the Bujinkan can get some of the close minded Christians in the West to open their minds somewhat - but for many of them, they will have to miss out of a great training experience.

Marty Dunsky

Posted on: 2005/8/19 19:01
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Re: Evil Ninjas???
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pretty much every culture in the world has folklore and mythology in it. I mean the chinese speak of dragons (which in my opinion may have actually existed )
other cultures speak of wizards, demons, angles, etc. if we take everything so serious and make issues of everything we might as well lock ourselves in a padded room and never got out.
i have native american blood and as a christian i could try to denounce my heritage just because they believed in spirits. then i would deprive myself of family and lineage just because i'm afraid of the unknown.
the same goes with training in the booj. if we remember that we study and art that goes back thousands of years we would realize that it comes with some folklore tied to it.
i try to think of it as eating fish... eat the meat and spit out the bones... but remember to enjoy the experience of eating the fish!

Posted on: 2005/8/20 6:03
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Jeremiah Munoz
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Re: Evil Ninjas???
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Dr. Dunsky,

Yes your story is moving. I remember the first time you told me that story on the way to the Pine Club once.

If you do not mind me asking, as a man of science do you see a valid role for religion in the future?

Do you personally find the concept of faith in the western sense difficult due to your education and training?

I have always felt that faith is not enough for me. This is why I prefer different types of meditation rather than prayer. I look for a result that I can experience rather than have a blind faith in. But this is strictly just my own opinion.

Miyamoto Musashi said that it is proper to honor the gods and respect their rituals but that it is improper to ask them for favors as they know the needs of mankind. To bother the gods for personal desires is considered selfish.

This leads me to wonder is it enough to have faith that the gods exist period???


Sean Askew
Bujinkan Kokusai Renkoumyo
www.onimenkai.org





Posted on: 2005/8/20 6:11
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Sean Askew
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Re: Evil Ninjas???
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My experience in the Bujinkan has been extremely spiritual, and has been one of the major influences in my life thus far.

However, we should never confuse spirituality with religion.

Posted on: 2005/8/20 6:19
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Re: Evil Ninjas???
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Quote:

mrdunsky wrote:
...It is very possible that training in the Bujinkan can get some of the close minded Christians in the West to open their minds somewhat - but for many of them, they will have to miss out of a great training experience.

Marty Dunsky


What training experience are you talking about Marty?

-Daniel Weidman
Bujinkan TenChiJin Guy...

Posted on: 2005/8/20 6:35
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Re: Evil Ninjas???
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Quote:

mrdunsky wrote:
It is very possible that training in the Bujinkan can get some of the close minded Christians in the West to open their minds somewhat

Marty Dunsky


I wouldn't say being a Christian makes them closed minded, I think it would be better say those close minded people, generalizing that all Christians are close minded wouldn't be correct, since the fact that Christ was one of the most humble, tolerate, and loving people history has to offer. Although I agree that some Christians can be close-minded, but it isn't because of Christ, it is there own ignorance and weakness. I don't know just my 2 cents.

Posted on: 2005/8/20 7:04
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Dustin Alexander
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Re: Evil Ninjas???
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Quote:
It is very possible that training in the Bujinkan can get some of the close minded Christians in the West to open their minds somewhat - but for many of them, they will have to miss out of a great training experience.


Wow, what a strong statement... Well, as a faithful but imperfect Christian, I can only say that the reverse is also true. Misunderstandings and judgements happen to Christians on a constant basis.

From the words of Jesus:

John 12:47 (Jesus speaks) "If anyone hears My sayings and does not keep them, I do not judge them; for I did not come to judge the world, but to save the world"

If Jesus himself wasn't here judging others, who are we to do the same? Differences in culture, philosophies, religions, spirituality and so on are of a personal nature. As a Christian, I can only educate. But ultimately, it's each individuals own choice what to believe, practice, hang on their wall, etc. Real faith is something not to be downplayed and the Bible teaches real faith expresses itself through love.

If one truly studies the Bible and Christ, you will find countless similarities to other religions, philosophies, etc.

In my 20 years training in the Bujinkan (haven't been able to afford to get to Japan yet - just a career yondan!), I've never felt my faith threatened by any quote, symbol, teaching, or philosophy in these "ninjer" arts. It's the mass media and people's own fantasies that created such seemingly "evil" aspects to what we do.

I don't want to publicly debate religion (or politics!) on such an impersonal forum like this, but I would be happy to discuss these things through PM or email if anybody is interested.

Ciao!


Posted on: 2005/8/20 7:08
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Darren Dumas

I never considered a difference of opinion in politics, in religion, or in philosophy, as cause for withdrawing from a friend. ~ Thomas Jefferson
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Re: Evil Ninjas???
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Also I wouldn't consider the fact that a Christian saw an Oni mask and thought it represented something evil, as being close minded or ignorant. I mean although the Oni does not represent Satan, it does somewhat look like how is commonly illustrated. To the unknowing eye or to someone who knows nothing of Japan culture, they just wouldn't know any better. This is a great chance to educate someone when they ask what it is, on Japanese culture.

I think it was the year Soke did koppojutsu that he says on the TaiKai video that the "oni" does not represent evil, it is really the opposite, it represent scaring off evil and represent luck and the goodness in man. Something like that....

Posted on: 2005/8/20 7:10
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Dustin Alexander
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Re: Evil Ninjas???
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2. The idea behind "turn the other cheek" is all about humbleness, and in Christianity we are called to be followers of Christ's example. Christ was the ultimate example of humbleness, when he was arrest, beaten, crucified, and ultimately killed, yet never spoke out or tried to stop them. He had all this power, yet did nothing. For me if someone wished to rob me, for me to love him is to give him my money and maybe more. But the line is drawn when my family is in danger. If in the middle of the night, somebody broke into my home, I'm responsible for my family and must protect them. And I feel the Bujinkan does that and more.


Dusty is correct here. This "turn the other cheek" has been used by people to assume Christians can't be martial artists. But, if you look at the context of when Jesus made this statement, it becomes apparent he was actually talking about the concept of forgiveness. The original wording of this statement actually refers to more of an "offering" of the other cheek, not just "turning". This applies to giving the offender the option to realize their mistake, to offer peace, and be healed of those things that made them strike you in the first place. Jesus taught this in a time when old Jewish law taught "an eye for an eye", which was exacted in the literal sense, regardless if the offender offered an apology. This attitude became not just a matter of law, but a cultural attitude toward each other.

Jesus also taught that the disciples would be persecuted, assaulted and killed because of Him. To respond with angered vengeance would discredit Him and not be in Christ-like character.

However, when it comes to protecting yourself and others, this is not really addressed specifically. There is a story of how Jesus was able to slip away from an angry, violent crowd in a town center. He didn't stay and "take it", but he didn't bring destruction either.

Think about our current training, in particular about how we are working to reach a "zero" state, using space and kyojutsu ("chosi dori", "koku", etc). This "offering the other cheek" kind of plays into that as well.

Ciao!

Posted on: 2005/8/20 8:06
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Darren Dumas

I never considered a difference of opinion in politics, in religion, or in philosophy, as cause for withdrawing from a friend. ~ Thomas Jefferson
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