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Re: Christianity and Bujinkan?
Permanent Village Fixture
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Quote:

sschmidt wrote:
Ninjutsu is an art of expediency. If religion can be used for an advantage, then amen. Since areas of faith, fear, and morality, mortality and the like are highly charged emotionally, they represent opportunities for manipulation. This is a fact known to organized religion as well as to the ninja.


this is an excellent point. On the other hand, many people come to the point where they experience religion in the form that is beyond the manipulation (or "so they think" one could say) once they cut through the forest of "infrastructure" build by the religious organizations. Hatsumi sensei, has an interesting passage about this in one of his books.

And this is where we can pause to ponder that the righteous heart should determine when and what for you need "expediency" and all the "tricks". And this is where the tradition is pointing at the spiritual path (using religious references as a vehicle)... and it may seem like a circular argument. To me, at least it had seemed like that for many years until I found out why it is not.

Quote:

I don't mean to offend anyone, but one should be wary of openly displaying his weaknesses.


of course it is also possible that some people use deception and display what they want others to perceive. And the potential attacker will not know what is true and what is false unless he or she uses the ONLY ONE chance to find out (i.e. decides to attack)...
...and this also may seem again like a circular argument. To me, at least it had seemed like that for many years...

mn

Posted on: 2008/10/4 4:13
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Mariusz
San Francisco Bujinkan Dojo
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Re: Christianity and Bujinkan?
Kutaki Postmaster
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And peace be with you, brother.

Posted on: 2008/10/4 4:15
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Re: Christianity and Bujinkan?
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Posted on: 2008/10/4 4:16
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Mariusz
San Francisco Bujinkan Dojo
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Re: Christianity and Bujinkan?
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I'm a worship leader and I have found no conflicts between my training and my religion; Christianity. If anything, training in this art has brought me closer to the realization that God is real.

Posted on: 2008/10/4 6:15
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Re: Christianity and Bujinkan?
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Quote:

Leam wrote:
Glenn, follow up question on the teachings of Paul vs the teachings of Jesus. How do you see them as different? Paul considered himself an apostle of Jesus and worked with the others who had spent more time with him.

Leam


Good questions Leam. I think that Paul took the modern day church in a direction that was very antithetical to what Jesus and the Apostles were doing.

Paul seemed more interested in centralization and organization than in pursuing the more organic approach seen in the travels of Jesus and his disciples.

Paul claimed to be an apostle, but there are many who claim to be representative of someone great when they have no real basis for such claims. Haven't we seen this in the Bujinkan's history?

In relation to your first question. Bujinkan retains many mystical practices, Pauline doctrine has led much of Christianity away from the mystical relationship with its God. It is much more ritualized and bureaucratic, and concerned with proclaimed faith rather than good works. [As an aside, when was the last time you saw a Bishop at an Episcopalean, Baptist, or Lutheran Church "go into the garden" to pray? Sure some do, but many are more concerned about growing their churches and spreading the faith. This is the legacy of Paul, imo.]

Shinkin Haramitsu Daikomyo, the godan test, kuji, all of these things are a part of a mystical (this doesn't mean magical by the way) relationship to the world. These sorts of things are heavily frowned upon in many (particularly U.S.) denominations.

However, Jesus himself had a very mystical relation with God (I am purposefully avoiding the whole divinity of Jesus at this time, for ease of discussion).

So, Pauline doctrine puts many Christians at odds with Bujinkan practices. However, from the standpoint of Jesus' teachings, there isn't much conflict, imo.

These are all my opinions, of course, and I appreciate the opportunity to expound on them, as they have been on my mind as of late. Funny how things work out that way.

I have had some fundamentalist Christians ask me about training. When they ask me if our training would conflict with their beliefs, I have to answer yes, because that is the truth. Certainly my teachers have always been flexible, and I would do the same if I had someone in my group with such beliefs, but I feel it shortchanges their experiences.

Posted on: 2008/10/10 15:00
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What? Yes...that's how I do that....why...why do you ask?
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Re: Christianity and Bujinkan?
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Note that the litany we say is 詞韻波羅密大光明 - shikin - not shinkin - haramitsu daikoumyou.

This litany and the gestures (clapping, bowing) are a mix of Buddhist, Shinto and Shugendo practices (Shugendo is also informed by Taoist ideas).

If you are okay with East-West syncretism, or if you are Buddhist, you will likely have less of a problem with this religio-cultural aspect of Bujinkan practice.

Posted on: 2008/10/10 15:38
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Re: Christianity and Bujinkan?
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Quote:

Fnord325 wrote:


Paul seemed more interested in centralization and organization than in pursuing the more organic approach seen in the travels of Jesus and his disciples.


Are you sure?

Quote:

Pauline doctrine has led much of Christianity away from the mystical relationship with its God. It is much more ritualized and bureaucratic, and concerned with proclaimed faith rather than good works.


Actually you are wrong. Paul's letters were extremely spiritual and even considered more mystical, by most scholars.
He spoke of the spirit quite frequently.
His works actually provided the foundation for many Gnostic systems of early Christianity such as the Valentinians. These groups were extremely mystical.

Quote:

So, Pauline doctrine puts many Christians at odds with Bujinkan practices.


Absolutely disagree.

Quote:

These are all my opinions, of course, and I appreciate the opportunity to expound on them, as they have been on my mind as of late.


Of course. But it may be wise to research a little more in depth before spreading this information.

Posted on: 2008/10/10 15:47
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Re: Christianity and Bujinkan?
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quote]I have had some fundamentalist Christians ask me about training. When they ask me if our training would conflict with their beliefs, I have to answer yes, because that is the truth. Certainly my teachers have always been flexible, and I would do the same if I had someone in my group with such beliefs, but I feel it shortchanges their experiences.[/quote]

I recently pondered over the similarities between the spread of Bujinkan over the world and the development of the early Roman church. In my opinion, we must be like the gnostics of old christianity (those later called heretics, btw). We must strive not to fall into the "blind faith" group...

Best regards / Skuggvarg

Posted on: 2008/10/10 16:04
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Re: Christianity and Bujinkan?
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Quote:

Erizabesu wrote:
Note that the litany we say is 詞韻波羅密大光明 - shikin - not shinkin - haramitsu daikoumyou.

This litany and the gestures (clapping, bowing) are a mix of Buddhist, Shinto and Shugendo practices (Shugendo is also informed by Taoist ideas).

If you are okay with East-West syncretism, or if you are Buddhist, you will likely have less of a problem with this religio-cultural aspect of Bujinkan practice.


Hey Liz,
I have been using Bujinkan ceremony in my classes but never tought it as a religious approach. I mean sure it is religious but not like inside one religion, I take it as an approach deep inside your self whether you are Taoist, Christian, Musluman, etc.
But maybe I am wrong, if I am please enlighten me. Maybe using these words makes you belong to another religion, if it is so I want to be sure.
Ofcourse it is always about what you feel inside but a ceremony is a ceremony wright?!
I ask this not because of me but for my students who sometimes ask me about it.
Ofcourse this question goes to all people who has good knowledge about this subject.
thank you
Ercan

Posted on: 2008/10/10 17:58
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Re: Christianity and Bujinkan?
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Hmm...nothing wrong with asking questions of ourselves or of God. There are places where blind faith makes sense. I have blind faith that the earth's gravity won't quit on me. As there's nothing I could do about fixing it, I just accept what is until I can understand more and do something about it.

Paul's organization leadership was very similar to what I see in the Bujinkan. One main leader going out to diverse cultural groups and helping found hot spots where others can go to and learn from. The spread out areas were kept in some measure of contact with the others and with the central authority in Japan...err...Jerusalem. :)

Paul's apostleship was supported by the original disciples of Christ, and he submitted questions of authority to them. He also held them accountable when they stumbled.

Paul wrote about eating meat sacrificed to false gods. There is no taint in it as there are no other true gods. However, there is the willingness to abstain if it would lead others astray. If I understand correctly, bowing to the teacher and to fellow students is a matter of respect expressed culturally. I'll have to think and pray about the Bujinkan ceremony; not sure what the right answer is.

Practicing taijutsu itself is free from mystical elements. It's like going to the gym, but a lot more fun, useful, and with very friendly people. I'm looking forward to being able to travel again and visit with (get beaten up by) lots of the folks in my geographic area. In this the "fundamentalists" are us; practice what we came here for and don't mix it. Be it faith or fudoza, simple, pure, and uncluttered appeal to me.

Leam

Posted on: 2008/10/10 20:44
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