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An eastern approach to motor skill acquisition and performance Canic, Michael J. 1983

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AN EASTERN APPROACH TO MOTOR SKILL ACQUISITION AND PERFORMANCE by MICHAEL J. CANIC B.P.E., The Univ e r s i t y of B r i t i s h Columbia, 1981 A THESIS SUBMITTED IN PARTIAL FULFILLMENT OF THE REQUIREMENTS FOR THE DEGREE OF MASTER OF PHYSICAL EDUCATION i n THE FACULTY OF GRADUATE STUDIES (School of Physical Education and Recreation) We accept this thesis as conforming to the required standard THE UNIVERSITY OF BRITISH COLUMBIA October 1983 © Michael J . Canic, 1983 In presenting t h i s thesis i n p a r t i a l f u l f i l m e n t of the requirements for an advanced degree at the U n i v e r s i t y of B r i t i s h Columbia, I agree that the L i b r a r y s h a l l make i t f r e e l y a v a i l a b l e for reference and study. I f u r t h e r agree that permission for extensive copying of t h i s thesis for s c h o l a r l y purposes may be granted by the Head of my Department or by his or her representatives. It Is understood that copying or p u b l i c a t i o n of t h i s thesis for f i n a n c i a l gain s h a l l not be allowed without my written permission. Department of Education (School of P h y s i c a l Education and Recreation) The U n i v e r s i t y of B r i t i s h Columbia 1956 Main Mall Vancouver, Canada V6T 1Y3 Date October 11, 1983 ABSTRACT This thesis investigates an Eastern approach to the a c q u i s i t i o n and performance of motor s k i l l s . Zen Buddhism, due to the influence that Indian, Chinese and Japanese thinkers have had upon i t s development, i s representative of a general Eastern world view. The epistemological and metaphysical foundations which underlie an Eastern view provide a context for s k i l l a c q u i s i t i o n and performance that i s uncommon for most Western thinkers. In the Zen context, the only goal of phenomenal existence i s to r e a l i z e the Un i f i e d Ultimate R e a l i t y . The "Zen S k i l l " i s an approach to l i f e that i s l o g i c a l l y consistent with the ph i l o s o p h i c a l assumptions which underlie Zen. The prac t i c e and performance of a motor s k i l l i s merely an avenue through which one may acquire or express the Zen S k i l l . Thus, an Eastern approach i s more than just a method f or acquiring s k i l l , i t i s an expression of a d i s t i n c t world view. The role of the learner, i n th i s context, i s to acquire the Zen S k i l l by p r a c t i c i n g the motor s k i l l with a "detached mind". The ro l e of the i n s t r u c t o r i s a subtle one; i t i s simply directed towards the learner's r e a l i z a t i o n of the True R e a l i t y . The Zen S k i l l i s not "acquired" through a learning process since an Eastern view precludes the recognition of temporal d i s t i n c t i o n s . Rather, the Zen S k i l l i s r e a l i z e d . The d i s t i n c t i o n s suggested i n the structure of t h i s thesis - namely, the s k i l l , the learner, the i n s t r u c t o r and the learning process - are - i i i -only one representation of r e a l i t y , and further, an i l l u s o r y representation to one who has become " s k i l l e d " i n the Eastern context. - i v -TABLE OF CONTENTS Page ABSTRACT i i TABLE OF CONTENTS Iv ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS v i ABBREVIATIONS v i i Chapter 1 INTRODUCTION 1 Or i g i n of the Topic 3 Rationale 4 Limit a t i o n s 5 Notes • 8 2 THE DEVELOPMENT AND FOUNDATIONS OF ZEN 9 The Development of Zen 9 The t r a d i t i o n a l account 12 The scholarly account 14 Phi l o s o p h i c a l Foundations of Zen 17 Summary 24 Notes 26 3 THE NATURE OF THE SKILL 28 " S k i l l " i n the West 28 The Zen S k i l l 29 Results of Performance 30 Technical and S p i r i t u a l S k i l l 35 The M a r t i a l Arts as an Expression of the Zen S k i l l . . . 36 Summary 38 Notes 39 4 THE ROLE OF THE INSTRUCTOR 40 What i s Taught 40 How i t i s Taught 41 The Evaluation of Performance 46 The Instructor/Student Relationship 47 Summary 51 Notes 53 - v -Page 5 THE ROLE OF THE LEARNER 54 The Detached Mind 54 The Process of Centering 58 The Learner's Approach to the M a r t i a l Arts 59 Summary 62 Notes 63 6 THE NATURE OF THE LEARNING PROCESS 64 Temporal Considerations 64 Learning as a Process 67 Learning as a Process of "Elimination" 67 Ch a r a c t e r i s t i c s of the Learning Process 69 Learning as a Process of "Returning" 71 Summary 72 Notes 74 7 CONCLUSIONS 75 Notes 77 REFERENCES 78 - v i -ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS I would l i k e to express my gratitude to those who have guided me, a s s i s t e d me and supported me throughout my current academic program. My thesis committee members, Dr. Morford, Dr. Iida and Dr. Brown have each provided me with guidance, support and the kind of open-minded attitude that i s prerequisite for a thesis of t h i s type. To them I o f f e r my sincere thanks and appreciation. My thesis committee chairman, Dr. Bob Sparks, has endured countless hours of discussions, reading and r e v i s i n g so that t h i s f i n a l product may be r e a l i z e d . His continual support has helped me to overcome the doubts that i n e v i t a b l y a r i s e during the preparation of a thesis such as t h i s . My gratitude and debt to him are beyond words. F i n a l l y , I wish to express my appreciation to my family who have offered t h e i r unconditional support throughout my academic career. - v i i -ABBREVIATIONS Ch., Chinese Jap., Japanese Skt., Sanskrit - 1 -CHAPTER 1 INTRODUCTION My use of the designation, "An Eastern Approach", i n the t i t l e of t h i s t h e s i s , implies that there i s no sing l e approach which may be said to be representative of Eastern world thought. Hinduism, Buddhism, Confucianism, Taoism and Shintoism for example, each possess a d i s t i n c t view of the world. With this i n mind, I have chosen i n this thesis to inv e s t i g a t e a Zen Buddhist approach to s k i l l a c q u i s i t i o n . Zen, h i s t o r i c a l l y , has been a l l i e d with physical a c t i v i t i e s (e.g., the martial a r t s , swordsmanship, archery) and i t does serve to represent general Eastern views as a whole. The seeds of the Zen school are found, of course, i n Indian Buddhism. Aft e r Buddhism was introduced into China, the "Ch'an school" (which was the Chinese precursor of Zen) emerged and began to carve an i d e n t i t y for i t s e l f . The subsequent i n t e r a c t i o n of Ch'an with the Japanese culture ultimately yielded the Zen Buddhism that we know today. Thus, perhaps more than any other system of thought, Zen i s t r u l y an "Eastern" philosophy having been influenced by Indian, Chinese and Japanese thinkers. Any "approach" to motor s k i l l a c q u i s i t i o n i s dependent upon underlying p h i l o s o p h i c a l assumptions. These assumptions r e f l e c t how we structure and represent the world around us. More s p e c i f i c a l l y , they help to provide us with some type of answer to fundamental questions such as, "What i s the nature of r e a l i t y ? " , "What i s the nature of the universe", "What i s the nature of being?", "What i s the nature of - 2 -knowledge?", and "How i s i t that we may acquire knowledge about things?" Accordingly, the task of t h i s thesis i s to investigate these assumptions i n the area of s k i l l a c q u i s i t i o n within the context of Zen. This thesis i s directed towards an audience that i s concerned with theories and approaches to performance. A "Zen approach" assumes a p a r t i c u l a r paradigm within which motor s k i l l a c q u i s i t i o n and performance takes place. To d i r e c t t h i s thesis towards an audience concerned with s k i l l a c q u i s i t i o n and performance i n i t s own right would be to r e a l i z e the danger of presenting the content to those who might not adopt a s i m i l a r paradigm. In his landmark work, The Structure of S c i e n t i f i c  Revolutions, Thomas Kuhn writes, ". . . the proponents of competing paradigms practice t h e i r trades i n d i f f e r e n t worlds." » The assumptions which underlie opposing paradigms are simply unacceptable to one another. Thus, there i s no common s t a r t i n g point from which communication may develop. The famous Taoist text, the Chuang Tzu, helps to i l l u s t r a t e : Jo of the North Sea said, "You can't discuss the ocean with a well frog - he's l i m i t e d by the space he l i v e s i n . You can't discuss i c e with a summer insect - he's bound to a single season. You can't discuss the Way with a cramped scholar - he's shackled by his d o c t r i n e s . 3 Therefore, I am d i r e c t i n g t h i s discourse not to those who are engaged i n any of the paradigms for s k i l l a c q u i s i t i o n and performance, but rather, to those who have stepped outside of those worlds and are w i l l i n g to examine d i f f e r e n t paradigms for what they are. - 3 -Although the focus here i s on "motor s k i l l " a c q u i s i t i o n and performance, i t w i l l be shown that the r e a l s k i l l being acquired i s the "Zen S k i l l " - an approach to l i f e i t s e l f . A Zen approach i s ultimately concerned with the r e a l i z a t i o n of a s p e c i f i c view of r e a l i t y . The performance of a motor s k i l l i s only one avenue by which t h i s higher understanding may be attained and subsequently expressed. To provide a f a m i l i a r and e a s i l y understood framework, the to p i c i s systematically structured according to common d i v i s i o n s i n the f i e l d of motor s k i l l a c q u i s i t i o n . These include: the nature of the s k i l l , the role of the i n s t r u c t o r , the role of the learner, and the nature of the learning process. Of course, i t w i l l be demonstrated that the d i s t i n c t i o n s suggested by t h i s structure are only one representation of r e a l i t y , and further, an i l l u s o r y representation to one who has become " s k i l l e d " i n the Eastern context. O r i g i n of the Topic The impetus for the s e l e c t i o n of t h i s thesis topic comes from my i n t e r e s t i n s k i l l a c q u i s i t i o n , my i n t e r e s t i n Eastern philosophy and the m a r t i a l a r t s , and my discontent with the l i t e r a t u r e that a l l e g e d l y explains or i n f e r s an Eastern approach to acquiring s k i l l . From my i n t e r e s t i n s k i l l a c q u i s i t i o n and the research methods i n s k i l l a c q u i s i t i o n has developed the b e l i e f that our Western world m a t e r i a l i s t / r e d u c t i o n i s t approach to i n v e s t i g a t i o n , while providing us with objective and q u a n t i f i a b l e measures of performance and underlying processes, i s l i m i t e d i n that i t ignores c e r t a i n l e s s q u a n t i f i a b l e processes that may also a f f e c t performance. - 4 -My study of Eastern philosophy, on the other hand, has helped me to r e a l i z e some fundamental problems with the body of l i t e r a t u r e , most commonly the Inner Athlete l i t e r a t u r e , that claims to provide us with an Eastern approach to s k i l l a c q u i s i t i o n . The major f a u l t , as I see i t , i s that the suggested approaches conveniently p a r t i t i o n out the "method" of an Eastern approach and apply i t to s k i l l a c q u i s i t i o n while abandoning the epistemological and metaphysical foundations upon which that method i s based. In other words, this amounts to i n s e r t i n g an Eastern methodology into a Western context while disregarding the underlying assumptions that provided the basis for that methodology. The pragmatic u t i l i z a t i o n of an Eastern method i s not wrong i n i t s e l f but by necessity f a i l s to grasp what i s central to the Eastern context. My intent i s to describe and explain an Eastern approach to s k i l l a c q u i s i t i o n . This does not mean just to describe the methodology of an Eastern approach but, i n conjunction with that, to explain the philosophical foundations upon which that methodology r e s t s . This thesis w i l l i n no way attempt to compare or evaluate an Eastern approach i n a Western context. The task that i s outlined here addresses f i r s t order questions. It i s necessary to investigate these before we proceed to higher order questions dealing with comparisons and evaluations. R a t i o n a l e There are several purposes i n pursuing this t o p i c . F i r s t , i s that we may become aware of and understand an Eastern approach to s k i l l a c q u i s i t i o n f or i t s own sake. In the midst of growing sporting i n t e r a c t i o n between East and West, i t can help us to better understand - 5 -those i n the Far East who have been influenced by th i s system of thought. Second, by sheer contrast alone, i t may help us to become aware of and better understand the philosophical assumptions which underlie our dominant Western paradigms. The assumptions which underlie the Western view are not the only ones which may be adopted. Although e f f i c a c i o u s i n t h e i r own context, they are i n fac t s e l f - l i m i t i n g . This, of course, i s true f or any set of ph i l o s o p h i c a l assumptions. Third, as a spin-off, the research can provide a base l i n e from which others w i l l be able to compare and/or evaluate an Eastern approach. F i n a l l y , the i n v e s t i g a t i o n w i l l add c l a r i t y to the Inner athlete l i t e r a t u r e which has at best hinted at, and at worst misconstrued an Eastern approach to s k i l l a c q u i s i t i o n . L i m i t a t i o n s There are several l i m i t a t i o n s inherent i n a paper of this type. Perhaps the most obvious i s that the mode of communication I am using ( i . e . , writing/typing) i s a d i r e c t product of r a t i o n a l thought. This i s pre c i s e l y the mode of thought that Zen regards as i n v a l i d i f one wishes to aspire towards the Ultimate Truth. A famous Zen verse i l l u s t r a t e s t his point: A s p e c i a l t r a d i t i o n outside the sc r i p t u r e s ; No dependence upon words and l e t t e r s ; Direct pointing at the soul of man; Seeing into one's own nature and the attainment of Buddhahood.4 - 6 -Thus, I cannot say or write what the Ultimate R e a l i t y of Zen i s . I can only report the descriptions of those who have r e a l i z e d this Ultimate R e a l i t y . It i s i n e v i t a b l e that the reader of this thesis w i l l be r a t i o n a l l y i n t e r p r e t i n g a r a t i o n a l expression of a subject which may only be t r u l y understood through a n o n - r a t i o n a l i z i n g awareness of firs t h a n d experience. In my defence, I would note that P a t r i a r c h s , masters and scholars have recorded written works about Zen for well over one thousand years. Shotaro I i d a , i n his book, Reason and Emptiness: A  Study i n Logic and Mysticism, deals with this issue quite appropriately: Nevertheless, the l i m i t a t i o n s of the conceptualization of the yogic experience do not necessarily indicate the t o t a l uselessness of such l i n g u i s t i c l o g i c a l endeavours. There are only degrees of accuracy of i t s d e s c r i p t i o n and depth of Its penetration. The r e a l touch with the ultimate r e a l i t y silences the words, on the one hand, and moves the tongue of the mystics, on the other. Here l i e s the silence of the Buddha and Bodhidharma as well as the vast jungle of T r i p i t a k a and Zen l i t e r a t u r e . 5 The second major l i m i t a t i o n of this paper i s that I, the author, am not one who i s a master of nor even a devoted d i s c i p l e of Zen. Any f i r s t h a n d , e x p e r i e n t i a l knowledge of Zen that I have (which i s , of course, e s s e n t i a l for true understanding) i s derived from a mere dabbling i n meditation and Chinese ca l l i g r a p h y , and from several years of martial arts i n s t r u c t i o n . Thus, i n the s t r i c t e s t sense, I am not q u a l i f i e d to speak. However, i t i s my hope that even this l i m i t e d experience w i l l help to y i e l d an i n t e r p r e t a t i o n of the subject matter that i s accurate and meaningful. - 7 -F i n a l l y , we must r e a l i z e that there i s more than one Zen approach to s k i l l a c q u i s i t i o n just as there i s more than one Zen approach to Enlightenment. What I w i l l try to do i s to i d e n t i f y the underlying essence of Zen teachings, the common thread, and to use this thread as the basis for my discussion. - 8 -NOTES 1Thomas S. Kuhn, The Structure of S c i e n t i f i c Revolutions, 2nd ed. (Chicago: The University of Chicago Press, 1970), p. 150. 2 An approach to s k i l l a c q u i s i t i o n and performance may be considered a paradigm since i t comprises underlying assumptions, values and methods. It follows then, that the existence of paradigms i s not r e s t r i c t e d to the realm of the natural sciences alone, even though this i s the focus of Kuhn's work. q Burton Watson, trans., The Complete Works of Chuang Tzu (New York: Columbia University Press, 1968), pp. 175-176. ^Cited by: Daisetz T. Suzuki, Essays i n Zen Buddhism, F i r s t Series (New York: Grove Press, Inc., 1961), p. 176. Shotaro Iida, Reason and Emptiness: A Study i n Logic and Mysticism (Tokyo: The Hokuseido Press, 1980), pp. 275-276. - 9 -CHAPTER 2 THE DEVELOPMENT AND FOUNDATIONS OF ZEN Before an Eastern approach to s k i l l a c q u i s i t i o n can be outlined, i t i s f i r s t necessary to make cl e a r the h i s t o r i c a l development and the phil o s o p h i c a l foundations of that approach. This s h a l l be the task which I undertake i n this chapter. It w i l l be shown that there are two accounts of the h i s t o r i c a l development of Zen - a t r a d i t i o n a l account, which traces Zen back to the l i n e of Patriarchs o r i g i n a t i n g from the Buddha himself, and a scholarly account which i d e n t i f i e s the seeds of the Zen school i n the works of Buddhist thinkers who l i v e d i n the fourth and f i f t h centuries A.D. In addition, the phi l o s o p h i c a l foundations of Buddhism i n general, and the Zen school i n p a r t i c u l a r , w i l l be presented to complete the necessary background which w i l l provide the context f o r the i n v e s t i g a t i o n of motor s k i l l a c q u i s i t i o n i n the subsequent chapters. The Development of Zen The Japanese term "Zen" i s an adaptation of the Chinese "ch'an" which i s phonetically derived from the Sanskrit "dhyana" which means meditation. To understand the development of the basic philosophies of Zen we must f i r s t investigate the development of Ch'an Buddhism i n China. I t i s with the o r i g i n and development of Ch'an that the c e n t r a l philosophies r e a d i l y i d e n t i f i e d with Zen came into existence. Ch'an Buddhism, simply put, developed out of the synthesis of Chinese Taoism and Indian Buddhism. - 10 -Taoism i s a p h i l o s o p h i c a l system based p r i m a r i l y on the teachings of Lao Tzu, who i s beli e v e d to have l i v e d i n the s i x t h century B.C. and, Chuang Tzu, who l i v e d i n the f o u r t h century B.C. Tao i s a term which may be t r a n s l a t e d as the "Way",*' but more a c c u r a t e l y may be described as the n a t u r a l flow and order of the universe. The i d e a l of Taoism, the Ta o i s t sage, i s one who acts i n harmony with nature and i s at one w i t h the U n i f i e d U l t i m a t e R e a l i t y . He i s s e l f l e s s and without ego; t h e r e f o r e , the great Tao i s able to act spontaneously through him. The l i f e of the Tao i s t sage i s a simple l i f e . He r e a l i z e s that the Ultimate Truth, which l i e s i n the Tao i t s e l f , i s a t r u t h beyond words. Buddhism i s an Indian r e l i g i o u s / p h i l o s o p h i c a l system based on the teachings of Siddhartha Gautama (b. 563 B.C.?) who, a f t e r a t t a i n i n g Enlightenment at the age of 35, became known as the Buddha or "Enlightened One". Fol l o w i n g h i s death, the teachings of the Buddha became i n c r e a s i n g l y popular and g r a d u a l l y spread throughout many p a r t s of A s i a . The e a r l i e s t recorded evidence of the i n t r o d u c t i o n of Buddhism i n t o China i s from 2 B.C. when a f o r e i g n envoy gave i n s t r u c t i o n s on Buddhist s c r i p t u r e s to a Chinese o f f i c i a l . The i n i t i a l acceptance and gradual growth of Buddhism i n China was f a c i l i t a t e d by the ease w i t h which Buddhism was able to blend i n w i t h some of the indigenous systems of b e l i e f . S p e c i f i c a l l y , Buddhism became i n t e r t w i n e d w i t h the Yellow Emperor - Lao Tzu c u l t at l e a s t through to the end of the second century A.D. The Yellow Emperor - Lao Tzu c u l t was r e p r e s e n t a t i v e of Tao i s t r e l i g i o n (Ch.: Tao-chiao). This movement developed out of an e x o t i c and perverted i n t e r p r e t a t i o n of the - 11 -o r i g i n a l l y conceived Taoist philosophy (Ch.: Tao-chia; l i t e r a l l y , the Taoist school) i n the f i r s t century B.C. The fact that Taoist philosophy and Taoist r e l i g i o n are fundamentally d i f f e r e n t from each other i s explained by Fung Yu-lan: Their teachings are not only d i f f e r e n t ; they are even contradictory. Taoism as a philosophy teaches the doctrine of following nature, while Taoism as a r e l i g i o n teaches the doctrine of working against nature. For instance, according to Lao Tzu and Chuang Tzu, l i f e followed by death i s the course of nature, and man should follow t h i s natural course calmly. But the main teaching of the Taoist r e l i g i o n i s the p r i n c i p l e and technique of how to avoid death, which i s expressly working against nature. The Taoist r e l i g i o n has the s p i r i t of science, which i s the conquering of nature. 5 One example of the i n t e r a c t i o n of Buddhism with Taoist r e l i g i o n i s evidenced i n the evolution of the concept of meditation. Although the Buddhist t r a d i t i o n of meditation was absorbed i n practice i n China, i t s meaning was adapted to the i n t e r e s t s of Taoist r e l i g i o n . O r i g i n a l l y understood i n India as concentration, meditation became a practice of conserving v i t a l energy, breathing, preserving nature and nourishing l i f e i n general. 6 In l a t e r times, meditation would come to mean nothing more than the d i r e c t enlightenment of the mind.^ This was the meaning of meditation adopted by the Ch'an school. The s p e c i f i c nature of the o r i g i n of the Ch'an school i s a complex issue. P h i l i p Yampolsky, i n the introduction to his t r a n s l a t i o n of The Platform Sutra of the Sixth P a t r i a r c h states: Owing to the fragmentary condition of the l i t e r a r y remains of the period, to serious doubts about the - 12 -au t h e n t i c i t y of much of what i s l e f t , and to the absence of supporting h i s t o r i c a l evidence, i t i s v i r t u a l l y impossible to determine the actual process whereby Ch'an developed. 8 Following, the two most popular accounts of the development of Ch'an Buddhism w i l l be outlined. The traditional account. The t r a d i t i o n a l account of the development of Ch'an i s related to the "transmission of mind". The transmission of mind i s said to have been the process by which the "Buddha-mind" or Enlightened mind was passed from Pa t r i a r c h to chosen d i s c i p l e . In l a t e r times a sacred robe and alms bowl were also passed on, symbolic of the s p i r i t u a l transmission. The Enlightened mind originated from the Buddha (the f i r s t P atriarch) and subsequently was passed down from P a t r i a r c h to P a t r i a r c h through to the 28th and f i n a l Indian P a t r i a r c h , Bodhidharma (4607-534?). Bodhidharma i s said to have traveled to China i n the early s i x t h century A.D. and thus became known as the f i r s t P a t r i a r c h of Chinese Buddhism. The Ch'anists would l a t e r i d e n t i f y him as the f i r s t P a t r i a r c h of the Ch'an school. The d i s t i n c t i v e n e s s of the Ch'an school, however, emerged with the f i f t h Chinese P a t r i a r c h , Hung-jen (601-674). Hung-jen taught the Diamond Sutra which emphasized "the Mind" while the Chinese Patriarchs p r i o r to Hung-jen taught the Lankavatara Sutra which focussed on the true nature of elements of existence or the Ultimate R e a l i t y . This emphasis on the Mind has been a prime c h a r a c t e r i s t i c of the Ch'an school ever since. - 13 -A s p l i t i n the school developed out of the contrary p o s i t i o n s adopted by Hung-jen's two main d i s c i p l e s , Hui-neng (638-713) and Shen-hsiu (605?-706). Hui-neng advocated sudden enlightenment of the mind whereas Shen-hsiu advocated gradual enlightenment. Their d i f f e r e n c e s were f u r t h e r evidenced i n verses that they composed emphasizing the essence of Ch'an. On the basis of these verses (which Hung-jen requested of a l l h i s d i s c i p l e s ) the r i g h t f u l successor to the P a t r i a r c h y would c l e a r l y r e v e a l h i m s e l f . Shen-hsiu wrote: The body i s l i k e unto the Bodhi-tree And the mind to a m i r r o r b r i g h t ; C a r e f u l l y we cleanse them hour by hour Lest dust should f a l l upon them. Hui-neng wrote: O r i g i n a l l y there was no Bodhi-tree, Nor was there any m i r r o r ; Since o r i g i n a l l y there was nothing, Whereon can the dust f a l l ? * ' 0 Shen-hsiu's verse was commendable i n that i t emphasized the Buddha-Nature or U n i v e r s a l Mind, but i t s t i l l d i s p l a y e d an attachment to the phenomenal world. Hui-neng's verse emphasized Wu (Ch. f o r , "non-being") and showed that he was f r e e from t h i s attachment. This d i f f e r e n c e i s more c l e a r l y i l l u s t r a t e d i n the words of a l a t e r master, Ma-tsu (707-783), who i n response to the question, "What i s the Buddha?", on one occasion answered, "The mind i s the Buddha" 1 1 and on another occasion answered, "Not mind, not Buddha". 1 2 In order not to offend Shen-hsiu, who was the senior monk, and those that would support him as the r i g h t f u l successor, Hung-jen - 14 -s e c r e t l y confirmed the P a t r i a r c h y upon Hui-neng whom he i n s t r u c t e d to set out i n the middle of the night and t r a v e l to the south. Subsequently, Hui-neng's school grew i n the south of China w h i l e Shen-hsiu's school developed i n the no r t h . However, by the middle of the eighth century the Southern School had swept across China and become the dominant school of Ch'an i n China which i t remains to t h i s day. T h i s , i n essence, i s the t r a d i t i o n a l account of the o r i g i n of the Ch'an school of Buddhism. Although t h i s v e r s i o n i s the one most commonly r e c i t e d when reference i s made to the Ch'an school, i t s a u t h e n t i c i t y has been c a l l e d i n t o question by s c h o l a r s . Again, P h i l i p Yampolsky w r i t e s : Once Ch'an began to be organized i n t o an independent sect, i t r e q u i r e d a h i s t o r y and a t r a d i t i o n which would provide i t w i t h the r e s p e c t a b i l i t y already possessed by the l o n g e r - e s t a b l i s h e d Buddhist schools. I n the manufacture of t h i s h i s t o r y , accuracy was not a c o n s i d e r a t i o n : a t r a d i t i o n t r a c e a b l e to the I n d i a n P a t r i a r c h s was the o b j e c t i v e . The scholarly account. The s c h o l a r l y account of the o r i g i n of the Ch'an school focusses on the p h i l o s o p h i c a l development i n China from the time of the i n t r o d u c t i o n of Buddhism u n t i l the a r r i v a l of Bodhidharma. Fung Yu-lan, i n A Short  H i s t o r y of Chinese Philosophy w r i t e s : . . . the t h e o r e t i c a l background f o r Ch'anism had already been created i n China by such men as Seng-chao and Tao-sheng. Given t h i s background, the r i s e of Ch'anism would seem to have been almost i n e v i t a b l e , without l o o k i n g to the almost legendary Bodhidharma as i t s f o u n d e r . 1 4 - 15 -Kumarajiva (344-413), an Indian who was brought to the Chinese c a p i t a l of Ch'ang-an i n 401, was one of the great figures i n the h i s t o r i c a l development of Buddhism i n China. In a period of 10 years he translated 72 Buddhist works into Chinese. 1 5 Fung Yu-lan explains how through endeavors such as t h i s Buddhism became synthesized with Taoism to y i e l d a Chinese Buddhism: Yet the fact remains that the great Buddhist writers of the f i f t h century, even including the Indian teacher, Kumarajiva, continued to use Taoist terminology, such as Yu (Being, e x i s t e n t ) , Wu (Non-being, non-existent), yu-wei (action) and wu-wei (non-action), to express Buddhist ideas. . . . Hence, judging from the nature of the works of these writers, this p r a c t i c e , as we s h a l l see l a t e r , did not indicate any misunderstanding or d i s t o r t i o n of Buddhism, but rather a synthesis of Indian Buddhism with Taoism, leading to the foundation of a Chinese form of Buddhism. 1 6 Kumarajiva also introduced the important Madhyamika or Middle Doctrine school of Nlgarjuna (ca. 100-200; the 14th Indian Patriarch) to China where i t became known as the Three-Treatise school. The main tenet of this school was the Ultimate Emptiness (Skt.: sunyata; Ch.: k'ung) of R e a l i t y . That i s to say, the phenomenal world i s i n r e a l i t y Empty because the contents of the phenomenal world are not only changing but are ultimately impermanent. This conceptualization was a v i t a l precursor of Ch' an Buddhism. Kumarajiva held the highest t i t l e of "National Teacher" i n China and regularly delivered d a i l y lectures to over 1000 monks. 1 7 Some of h i s pupils went on to play a major role i n the development of Chinese - 16 -Buddhism i n general and Ch'an Buddhism i n p a r t i c u l a r . The most important of these pupils were Seng-chao and Tao-sheng. Seng-chao (384-414) studied the Taoist sages, Lao Tzu and Chuang Tzu, before becoming a d i s c i p l e of Kumarajiva. He wrote several essays on Buddhism which c l e a r l y incorporated Taoist ideas and as a r e s u l t contributed to the foundations of the Ch'an school. The most important of these was his essay, "On Prajna (Skt. f o r , "Sage-Wisdom") Not Being Knowledge." In t h i s work he argued that since true understanding transcends the subject/object d i s t i n c t i o n , and since conventional knowledge must have an object about which i t i s about ( i . e . , to know "x"), then one who has achieved true understanding has acquired knowledge that i s not conventional knowledge. Because this knowledge transcends the subject/object d i s t i n c t i o n , i t can not be communicated through words. This idea c l e a r l y p a r a l l e l s that expressed i n the f i r s t l i n e of the Taoist c l a s s i c , the Lao Tzu, "The Tao that can be t o l d i s 18 not the eternal Tao." Further, this anticipated the movement of the Ch'an school away from the t r a d i t i o n a l emphasis on s c r i p t u r a l study. Tao-sheng (d. 434) also developed ideas which helped to set the t h e o r e t i c a l foundations of Ch'an Buddhism. One of his most i n f l u e n t i a l ideas was h i s theory that the attainment of Enlightenment i s a sudden experience as opposed to a gradual process. The l a t t e r was the popular view at the time. It may be r e c a l l e d that this divergence i n doctrine would be repeated i n the seventh century with Hung-jen's d i s c i p l e s , Shen-hsiu and Hui-neng. Of course, i t was the p r i n c i p l e of sudden Enlightenment that became an enduring tenet of the Ch'an school. - 17 -Tao-sheng's other important c o n t r i b u t i o n was on the s u b j e c t , "a good deed e n t a i l s no r e t r i b u t i o n . " This essay advanced the idea that an i n d i v i d u a l ' s consciously wanting to or t r y i n g to do a good deed [presumably to acquire good karma (Skt. f o r , " a c t i o n , doing", i . e . , a c t i o n s and/or thoughts which must n e c e s s a r i l y produce some type of r e s u l t or r e t r i b u t i o n i n the f u t u r e ) ] represents a d e s i r e or a c l i n g i n g to w o r l d l y t h i n g s . In Buddhist philosophy, i t i s t h i s " c l i n g i n g " which binds one to the continuing wheel of l i f e and death. As w i l l be discussed l a t e r , the attainment of Nirvana (Skt. f o r , " e x t i n c t i o n " , i . e . , the s t a t e of existence which accompanies the a c q u i s i t i o n of prajna) i m p l i e s the escape from t h i s wheel. This s t a t e i s regarded as the pinnacle of Buddhist p r a c t i c e . Therefore, Tao-sheng concluded that the true sage acts without d e l i b e r a t e a c t i o n (Ch.: wu-wei) and without d e l i b e r a t e thought (Ch.: wu-hsin). This was a d i r e c t a p p l i c a t i o n of Ta o i s t ideas and again, was l a t e r to become a b a s i c tenet of the Ch'an sch o o l . The aforementioned h i s t o r i c a l events provide the core of the s c h o l a r l y account of the o r i g i n of Ch'an Buddhism i n China. This account, while l e s s dramatic than the t r a d i t i o n a l account, i s g e n e r a l l y b e l i e v e d to be more accurate i n t r a c i n g the h i s t o r i c a l development of Ch'an. Philosophical Foundations of Zen The purpose of t h i s s e c t i o n i s to o u t l i n e the "content" of Zen. S p e c i f i c a l l y , the underlying assumptions concerning knowledge and r e a l i t y w i l l be discussed. I t i s these underlying assumptions which - 18 -w i l l l a t e r be evidenced i n an approach to motor s k i l l a c q u i s i t i o n . The core of Buddhist teachings i s found i n the Four Noble Truths which were expounded by the Buddha. They are as follows: (1) A l l l i f e i s s u f f e r i n g , (2) Desire i s the cause of s u f f e r i n g , (3) The cessation of s u f f e r i n g comes with the attainment of Nirvana, and (4) The Way to Nirvana i s through the "Middle Path". Underlying the Four Noble Truths i s a s p e c i f i c view of R e a l i t y . This view i s explained by Derk Bodde: There has been no single act of divine creation that has produced the stream of existence. I t simply i s , and always has been, what i t i s . . . . Thus the wheel (of l i f e and d e a t h ) 1 9 i s permanent and unchanging i n the sense that i t goes on e t e r n a l l y . It i s impermanent and changing, however, i n the sense that everything i n i t i s i n a state of f l u x . This means that phenomenal "existence", as commonly perceived by the senses, i s i l l u s o r y ; i t i s not r e a l inasmuch as, though i t e x i s t s , i t s existence i s not permanent or absolute. Nothing belonging to i t has an enduring e n t i t y or "nature" of i t s own; everything i s dependent upon a combination of f l u c t u a t i n g conditions and factors for i t s seeming "existence" at any given moment. This i s the Buddhist theory of causation. 0 That a l l l i f e i s s u f f e r i n g arises out of the mismatch between Ultimate R e a l i t y and desired R e a l i t y . Thus, desires are the root of a l l misery. Desires and t h e i r manifestations i n action are c a l l e d karma. The karma of each being i n successive past existences determine what he/she i s to be i n existences to come. These r e b i r t h s constitute the wheel of l i f e and death. The only escape from t h i s wheel of s u f f e r i n g and the continued operation of karma i s through the attainment of Nirvana. Nirvana i s the - 19 -s t a t e of oneness w i t h the Ultimate R e a l i t y . Being at one w i t h the Ultimate R e a l i t y the de s i r e f o r change i s exti n g u i s h e d . Being at one w i t h the Ultimate R e a l i t y i s to l i v e t o t a l l y i n the here and now - the present. Having reached Nirvana s i g n i f i e s the u l t i m a t e attainment of Buddhahood or Enlightenment. Nirvana may be a t t a i n e d by f o l l o w i n g the "Middle Path". The Middle Path avoids the two extremes of e x i s t e n c e : one, the search f o r happiness through the pleasures of the senses, and two, the search f o r happiness through s e l f - d e n i a l or a s c e t i c i s m . Although the exact nature of t h i s Middle Path v a r i e s among schools w i t h i n the Buddhist t r a d i t i o n , i t i s always c h a r a c t e r i z e d by t h i s avoidance of extremes. Zen, l i k e a l l schools of Buddhism, i s concerned w i t h the attainment of Buddhahood or Enlightenment. Zen d i f f e r s from the other sects of Buddhism i n the path that i s emphasized to reach Enlightenment. Zen advocates almost e x c l u s i v e l y the p r a c t i c e of meditation. Though the P l a t f o r m Sutra and Diamond Sutra are recognized as the t e x t s a s s o c i a t e d w i t h the Zen school, i t s t i l l remains that the p r a c t i c e of meditation i s the cornerstone of Zen. How i s i t that the extensive p r a c t i c e of meditation can lead to a sudden Enlightenment? Does not t h i s p r a c t i c e i t s e l f imply a gradual process of Enlightenment? No. A u s e f u l analogy i s that a d i s c i p l e , s t a r t i n g at one end of a long room, must walk across to the other end of the room, to open a door. This door i s the doorway to prajna. M e d i t a t i o n i s the p r a c t i c e which helps the d i s c i p l e to cross the room. This i s a gradual process. Yet only when the d i s c i p l e i s t r u l y - 20 -prepared, that i s , once the entire room has been crossed, i s he/she ready to be Enlightened. The opening of the door, the Enlightenment i t s e l f , i s a sudden experience - a f l a s h . The Zen master does have tools at his/her disposal which can help the d i s c i p l e struggle towards Enlightenment and to push the d i s c i p l e over the edge when he/she i s ripe for the experience. The koan or i l l o g i c a l word puzzle of the Rinzai sect of Zen i s an object of meditation which can help to bring the d i s c i p l e "across the room" i n preparation for Enlightenment. A koan cannot be solved with the r a t i o n a l i n t e l l e c t . Examples of koans are, "What i s the sound of one hand clapping?", "Does a dog have Buddha-nature?", and "When you seek i t , you cannot f i n d i t . " The purpose of the koan i s to reveal the inadequacy of r a t i o n a l thought and conventional l o g i c . Resulting from this i s the breakdown of the d i s t i n c t i o n s suggested by this mode of thought and reasoning. Once broken down, the so l u t i o n of the koan may be r e a l i z e d . When the d i s c i p l e i s ready f o r Enlightenment, the Zen master may act as a catalyst i n order to help him/her reach the sudden understanding of the Ultimate R e a l i t y . Two techniques which help the student i n t h i s way are shouting, and beating with a s t i c k . If the master i s s e n s i t i v e to the moment when the student i s just on the verge of Enlightenment, he/she may l e t out a great y e l l or h i t the student with a s t i c k . I t i s sai d that the physical shock of the y e l l or the s t r i k e acts as a trigg e r by which the di s t i n g u i s h i n g r a t i o n a l mind i s overcome. This allows the f l a s h of i n t u i t i v e awareness that brings Enlightenment. The R e a l i t y that i s r e a l i z e d may be described as follows: - 21 -The one r e a l i t y c o n s i s t s of bare p o i n t - i n s t a n t s , they have as yet no d e f i n i t e p o s i t i o n i n time, n e i t h e r a d e f i n i t e p o s i t i o n i n space, nor have they any s e n s i b l e q u a l i t i e s , i t i s u l t i m a t e or pure r e a l i t y . The knowledge that comes with t h i s Enlightenment i s the prajna of Seng-chao. I t does not have an object about which i t i s about. I t i s an awareness, i t i s a r e a l i z a t i o n , i t i s i n t u i t i v e . I t i s not a product of i n t e n t f u l or d e l i b e r a t e thought because t h i s would only serve to create d i s t i n c t i o n s rather than to break them down. I t i s not a product of r a t i o n a l thought because r a t i o n a l thought i t s e l f i s grounded i n d i s t i n c t i o n s . In the P l a t f o r m Sutra of the S i x t h P a t r i a r c h i t i s w r i t t e n : I f the mind does not abide i n things the Tao c i r c u l a t e s f r e e l y ; i f ^ h e mind abides i n t h i n g s , i t becomes entangled. I f you stop t h i n k i n g of the myriad t h i n g s , and cast aside a l l thoughts, as soon as one i n s t a n t of thought i s cut o f f , you w i l l be reborn i n another realm. Students, take care! Don't rest i n o b j e c t i v e things and the s u b j e c t i v e mind. . . . Because man i n h i s d e l u s i o n has thoughts i n r e l a t i o n to h i s environment, heterodox ideas stemming from these thoughts a r i s e , and passions and f a l s e views are produced from them. Therefore t h i s teaching has e s t a b l i s h e d no-thought as a d o c t r i n e . 2 3 I t i s c l e a r that the d i s t i n g u i s h i n g , c o n c e p t u a l i z i n g mind i s what Zen stands opposed to. Words are a d i r e c t product of t h i s mind; t h e r e f o r e , true knowledge cannot be conveyed i n words. True knowledge must come from f i r s t h a n d experience. More than t h i s , i t must come from the d i r e c t awareness of f i r s t h a n d experience which may be perceived only through wu-hsin or no-mind. - 22 -While the Buddha himself d i d not f e e l that i t was u s e f u l to become entwined i n metaphysical s p e c u l a t i o n , Zen, along w i t h other schools that developed out of the Mahayana t r a d i t i o n , embraced and contemplated metaphysical questions. Zen metaphysics may be regarded as a synthesis of T a o i s t teachings and Buddhist s p e c u l a t i o n s . Zen accepts the concept of an absolute, i n d e s c r i b a b l e and 2 5 i n d e f i n a b l e R e a l i t y . This r e a l i t y i s known by d i f f e r e n t names - the names r e f l e c t i v e of the t r a d i t i o n s that c o n t r i b u t e d to Zen and t h e i r r e s p e c t i v e emphases. I t has been c a l l e d Tao by the T a o i s t s , Emptiness by the Madhyamika school of Buddhism and U n i v e r s a l Mind or Oneness by the Yogacara school of Buddhism. To t r u l y know t h i s complete U n i f i e d R e a l i t y we must break down the d i s t i n c t i o n s that c h a r a c t e r i z e our normal, everyday, conscious minds. E s s e n t i a l to t h i s i s the breakdown of the s u b j e c t ( I ) / o b j e c t ( n o t - I ) d i s t i n c t i o n . Toshihiko I z u t s u e x p l a i n s : In order to see i n a s i n g l e flower a m a n i f e s t a t i o n of the metaphysical u n i t y of a l l t h i n g s , not only of a l l the s o - c a l l e d objects but i n c l u d i n g even the observing s u b j e c t , the e m p i r i c a l ego must have undergone a t o t a l t r a n s formation, a complete n u l l i f i c a t i o n of i t s e l f - death to i t s own ' s e l f , and r e b i r t h on a t o t a l l y d i f f e r e n t dimension of consciousness. For as long as there remains a s e l f - s u b s i s t e n t 'subject' which observes the 'object' from o u t s i d e , the r e a l i z a t i o n of such a metaphysical u n i t y i s u t t e r l y i n c o n c e i v a b l e . 2 6 Thus i t may be s a i d that our egos i n t e r f e r e w i t h our awareness of the true nature of R e a l i t y . The Zen master i s without ego. He/she i s - 23 -without s e l f because s e l f ^s_ the universe and the universe simply i s . It does not harbor i n t e n t f u l thought or manifest i t s e l f i n i n t e n t f u l a c t i o n . I t i s . Here Zen distinguishes i t s e l f from other sects of Buddhism by going one step further. The end of the road for the Zen master i s not the r e a l i z a t i o n of Enlightenment. With t h i s r e a l i z a t i o n he/she must re-enter the everyday world. Fung Yu-lan explains: Thus the Ch'an sage l i v e s just as everyone else l i v e s , and does what everyone else does. In passing from delusion to Enlightenment, he has l e f t his mortal humanity behind and has entered sagehood. But a f t e r that he s t i l l has to leave sagehood behind and to enter once more into mortal humanity. This i s described by the Ch'an Masters as " r i s i n g yet another step over the top of the hundred-foot bamboo." The top of the bamboo symbolizes the climax of the achievement of Enlightenment. "Rising yet another step" means that a f t e r Enlightenment has come, the sage s t i l l has other things to do. What he has to do, however, i s no more than the ordinary things of d a i l y l i f e . 2 7 This now brings us closer to Japanese Zen and the concept of "a Zen approach". Returning to the everyday world, the Zen master w i l l engage i n everyday a c t i v i t i e s and he/she w i l l approach these a c t i v i t i e s with the s p i r i t of Zen. Thus i t may be said that Zen i s an approach to l i f e i t s e l f and the a c t i v i t i e s that are a part of l i f e . The a c t i v i t i e s are performed i n a way that r e f l e c t s the approach. Their execution i s an expression of the greater understanding that underlies t h i s approach to l i f e . By looking at the outlets through which t h i s understanding may be expressed, we f i n a l l y come to appreciate the s i g n i f i c a n c e of Japanese Zen. - 24 -Zen had been introduced to Japan by Ch'an missionaries during the the time of the Chinese Sung dynasty (960-1279). However, i t did not become established as a school u n t i l two native Japanese, E i s a i (1141-1215) and Dogen (1200-1253) separately brought the teachings back with them from China. Through the e f f o r t s of these founders the doctrine became c u l t i v a t e d i n Japanese s o i l . Japanese culture, due to i t s a f f i n i t y with the arts and i t s sense of the aesthetic, allowed many avenues through which the Zen master could express him/herself. From the time of the establishment of Zen i n Japan throughout the succeeding centuries and up u n t i l today these avenues have been explored. The subtlety of f l o r a l arrangement, the r i t u a l of tea-ceremony, the flow of cal l i g r a p h y , the s i m p l i c i t y and c l a r i t y of poetry and the e f f o r t l e s s grace of the martial arts can each be an expression of t h i s approach to l i f e . As w i l l be seen i n the following chapters, this same understanding can be expressed i n an approach to motor s k i l l a c q u i s i t i o n and performance. Summary This chapter has reviewed the development and the p h i l o s o p h i c a l foundations of Zen. It was shown that the i n i t i a l acceptance of Indian Buddhism into the Chinese culture was l a r g e l y due to the fa c t that i t was e a s i l y intertwined with e x i s t i n g systems of thought, s p e c i f i c a l l y , the Yellow Emperor - Lao Tzu c u l t . Thus began the development of a Chinese Buddhism. - 25 -The o r i g i n of the Ch'an school of Buddhism i s not well documented. The t r a d i t i o n a l account, which traces the transmission of mind through the successive Indian and Chinese Patriarchs of Buddhism, appears to have a r i s e n more out of a need to j u s t i f y the existence of the Ch'an school than from the actual h i s t o r i c a l occurrence of the events which assert the unbroken lineage from the Buddha to Hui-neng. The s c h o l a r l y account, on the other hand, has i d e n t i f i e d the t h e o r e t i c a l foundations of Ch'an i n the works of Seng-chao and Tao-sheng, as well as i n Kumarajiva's t r a n s l a t i o n of Nagarjuna's Madhyamika Doctrine and various other works. Next, the ph i l o s o p h i c a l foundations of Zen were outlined. The concepts of karma and Nirvana were explained i n the context of the Four Noble Truths of Buddhism and meditation was introduced as the ce n t r a l element of Zen p r a c t i c e . The Enlightenment process was discussed as well as the nature of the prajna or Sage-Wisdom that accompanies Enlightenment and the r e a l i t y that i t uncovers. Once Enlightenment i s reached, the Zen master must reenter the everyday world, and here the s p i r i t of Zen may be manifested i n an approach to a l l a c t i v i t i e s of l i f e . - 26 -NOTES 1Wing-Tsit Chan, trans, and comp., A Source Book i n Chinese  Philosophy (Princeton, N.J.: Princeton U n i v e r s i t y Press, 1973), p. 136n.l. 2 Although l i t e r a l l y translated as "the Way" and regarded as such by a l l schools of Eastern philosophy, the more detailed i m p l i c i t meaning of the term, "Tao", varies depending on the school of philosophy which employs i t . For example, Confucians regard the Way as, "the path of man's moral l i f e " (Dagobert D. Runes, ed., Dictionary of Philosophy (New Jersey: L i t t l e f i e l d , Adams & Co., 1980), s.v. "Tao"). I have given a d e s c r i p t i o n consistent with the Taoist view because i t was the Taoist concept of Tao which was integrated into Ch'an Buddhism. 3 Wing-Tsit Chan, op. c i t . , p. 336n.l. ^Wing-Tsit Chan et a l . comp., The Great Asian Religions (London: The Macmillan Co., 1969), p. 179. 5 Fung Yu-lan, A Short History of Chinese Philosophy, ed. Derk Bodde (New York: Macmillan Publishing Co., Inc., 1966), p. 3. 6Wing-Tsit Chan et a l . , o p . c i t . , p. 212. 7Wing-Tsit Chan, op . c i t . , p. 425. 8 P h i l i p B. Yampolsky trans., The Platform Sutra of the S i x t h  P a t r i a r c h (New York: Columbia Un i v e r s i t y Press, 1967), p. 4. Fung Yu-lan, o p . c i t . , p. 256. 1 0 I b i d . , p. 256. ^R.H. Blyth, Zen and Zen C l a s s i c s , v o l . 4 (Tokyo: Hokuseido Press, 1966), p. 215. 1 2 I b i d . , p. 228. 13 Yampolsky, op . c i t . , p. 4. 1 4Fung Yu-lan, op.cit., p. 256. 1 5Wing-Tsit Chan, o p . c i t . , p. 343. 16 Fung Yu-lan, op.cit., p. 242. 1 7Wing-Tsit Chan, op . c i t . , p. 343. - 27 -i 0 G i a - f u Feng and Jane English trans., Tao Te Ching (New York: Random House, 1972), chap. 1. 19 Insert mine. Fung Yu-lan, A History of Chinese Philosphy, trans. Derk Bodde, 2 v o l s . (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1953), 2:237. 2 1 F . Th. Stcherbatsky, Buddhist Logic, 2 vo l s . (New York: Dover Public a t i o n s , Inc., 1962), 1:70. 22 Yampolsky, op . c i t . , p. 136. 2 3 I b i d . , pp. 138, 139. 2 1 +David J . Kalupahana, Buddhist Philosophy: A H i s t o r i c a l Analysis (Honolulu: The University Press of Hawaii, 1976), pp. x i i i , x i v . 2 5 I b i d . , p. 172. 2 6 T o s h i h i k o Izutsu, Toward a Philosophy of Zen Buddhism (Boulder, Colo.: Prajna Press, 1982), p. 10. 2 7Fung Yu-lan, A Short History of Chinese Philosophy, p. 264. - 28 -CHAPTER 3 T H E NATURE OF THE S K I L L In order to investigate an Eastern approach to motor s k i l l a c q u i s i t i o n and performance i t i s f i r s t necessary to determine what i s meant by the term, " s k i l l " . In this chapter I s h a l l discuss the meanings of " s k i l l " commonly adopted i n the Western world, the nature of the Zen S k i l l , the re s u l t s of s k i l l performance, s p i r i t u a l and technical s k i l l , and f i n a l l y , the martial arts as an expression of the Zen S k i l l . " S k i l l " i n the West The term " s k i l l " has been used several ways i n Western motor performance l i t e r a t u r e . It has been used to designate a continuum, ranging from high to low, along which one occupies a place with respect to one's a b i l i t y to perform. For example, one might ask, "What l e v e l of s k i l l has he/she attained?" It has been used to s p e c i f i c a l l y designate a high l e v e l of a b i l i t y or capacity to perform w e l l . This meaning would be i m p l i c i t i n the question, "Is he/she a s k i l l e d performer?" F i n a l l y , the term has been used to refer to the s p e c i f i c processes or a c t i v i t i e s that comprise the performance i t s e l f as i n , "What s k i l l i s i t that he/she i s performing?" It i s this l a s t use of the term " s k i l l " which w i l l be the focus of this chapter. The term "motor s k i l l " as opposed to, for example, a "cognitive s k i l l " (such as the memorization of a l i s t of words) indicates the necessary involvement of the "motor system", or i n other words, that - 29 -part of the nervous system responsible for the control of the muscles. A "motor s k i l l " may be further defined to include the specifications that i t be a directed, non-random activity and that i t require the voluntary control of the neuromuscular system to ensure its completion. The Zen S k i l l The term " s k i l l " possesses quite a different meaning in the context of Zen. To determine this meaning we must return to the underlying philosophies of Zen. It w i l l be recalled that the primary concern of the Zen disciple is spiritual cultivation so that he/she might attain Enlightenment. As a disciple, a l l living activities are directed towards this spiritual cultivation. Thus i t may be concluded that s k i l l performance is activity directed towards spiritual cultivation. Eugen Herrigel, who spent six years studying archery under a Zen master in Japan, outlines this purpose as follows: One of the most significant features we notice in the practice of archery, and in fact of a l l the arts as they are studied in Japan and probably also in other Far Eastern countries, is that they are not intended for u t i l i t a r i a n purposes only or for purely aesthetic enjoyments, but are meant to train the mind; indeed, to bring i t into contact with the ultimate r e a l i t y . 1 This testimony is supported by Joe Hyams, who in his book, Zen in the Martial Arts, writes: - 30 -Only a f t e r several years of t r a i n i n g did I come to r e a l i z e that the deepest purpose of the martial arts i s to serve as a veh i c l e for personal s p i r i t u a l development. 2 The d i s c i p l e who has attained Enlightenment must return to l i v e i n the everyday world. For t h i s person, performance of a motor s k i l l becomes an outward expression of the Enlightened state, the higher understanding. I t can thus be seen that the s k i l l goes far beyond the mere perfec t i n g of a s p e c i f i c response to a given set of environmental conditions. Not only i s the performance of a s k i l l meant to t r a i n the mind and act as a veh i c l e to greater understanding but, i n addition, i t serves as an outward r e f l e c t i o n of the i n d i v i d u a l ' s progress towards th i s understanding. The pra c t i c e of a motor s k i l l , of course, i s only one medium through which the student may progress towards t h i s r e a l i z a t i o n . C l e a r l y , the S k i l l that i s being performed i n Zen - the underlying S k i l l , the r e a l S k i l l - i s the S k i l l of s p i r i t u a l c u l t i v a t i o n and expression, the S k i l l of l i f e . There i s no other s k i l l . The veh i c l e fo r p r a c t i c e of t h i s S k i l l , whether i t be archery, swordsmanship, f l o r a l arrangement or tea ceremony, i s unimportant as long as the proper path ( i . e . , the Middle Path) i s followed to the proper destination ( i . e . , Nirvana). Results of Performance The performance of a motor s k i l l i n e v i t a b l y leads to r e s u l t s of some sort . T y p i c a l l y , there i s concern or desire on the part of the - 31 -performer for r e s u l t s of a c e r t a i n type. However, by performing a motor s k i l l i n the true s p i r i t of the Zen S k i l l , concerns or desires are avoided. In f a c t , proper s p i r i t u a l c u l t i v a t i o n leads to the ultimate d i s s o l u t i o n of desires and d i s t i n c t i o n s . The focus here i s on the process, the approach to the s k i l l , how i t i s done as opposed to the product, result or what i s done. Conscious desires only serve to obstruct the path to Enlightenment. Involvement of the ego manifested i n any way i s contradictory to a Zen approach to motor s k i l l a c q u i s i t i o n and performance. The s k i l l i s not practiced with the intent that one may become better at i t . I t c e r t a i n l y i s not practiced with the idea that good performance of the s k i l l may lead to the receipt of awards, praise from s i g n i f i c a n t others or a better self-image. In the previous chapter i t was suggested that ego-involvement i n t e r f e r e s with the i n d i v i d u a l ' s awareness of the true nature of R e a l i t y . To extend t h i s view to a performance s e t t i n g , i t can be said that ego-involvement also a f f e c t s the cognitive and response processes of the i n d i v i d u a l . The a p p l i c a t i o n of Zen philosophy to various motor s k i l l s (e.g., tennis, golf and skiing) has been witnessed i n popular l i t e r a t u r e i n recent years. Unfortunately, the recurring theme among these books i s , "a new approach to better performance". In other words, the emphasis i s mistakenly placed on improving performance. S p i r i t u a l c u l t i v a t i o n , the Middle Path, Enlightenment, the d i s s o l u t i o n of d i s t i n c t i o n s - these are a l l ignored by the supposed "Zen Approach to . . ." books. This appears to be a misapplication rather than an a p p l i c a t i o n of Zen. A good example of this i s evidenced i n the book, The Centered Skier, by Denise McCluggage. Presented as "Zen i n the art of s k i i n g , " the book - 32 -expounds the methods of the "Sugarbrush Workshops i n Centered Skiing" and i t s new approach to teaching s k i i n g . The author and co-founder of the Workshops judges t h e i r r e s u l t s as follows: " I t was a success. I skied better, workshop skiers skied better, the workshop i n s t r u c t o r s skied better. You can s k i better." It may be argued that the techniques and methods espoused i n t h i s book (which are not important for discussion here) are consistent with techniques and methods used by Zen masters i n meditation, c o n t r o l l e d breathing, and i n the performance of a va r i e t y of a r t s . However, this separates techniques and methods from the metaphysical foundations from which they arose. At best, then, i t may be argued that i n part t h i s approach r e f l e c t s a Zen approach to s k i i n g . But Zen does not recognize parts or d i s t i n c t i o n s of any sort. Any approach that i s not a Zen approach i s a not-Zen approach! Any approach to s k i l l performance that emphasizes how one may learn to perform the s k i l l better i s not a Zen approach. The r e a l s k i l l i s the S k i l l that i s performed within. The outward performance of a motor s k i l l i s i n c i d e n t a l . Although undoubtedly one's motor performance w i l l improve as one continues pra c t i c e with a Zen approach, this improvement i s not what determines the authenticity of the approach. In other words, with a Zen approach i n v a r i a b l y comes an improvement i n outward performance, but an improvement i n outward performance does not mean that one has adopted a Zen approach. With the breakdown of d i s t i n c t i o n s comes the breakdown of the conceptualization that " I " , the subject/performer, am performing an - 33 -external, objective s k i l l . The r e a l i z a t i o n of t h i s breakdown r e s u l t s i n the d i s s o l u t i o n of a l l of the d i s t i n c t i o n s that are t y p i c a l l y made i n a performance s e t t i n g . This was demonstrated i n Eugen Herrigel's experience a f t e r years of arduous archery t r a i n i n g : "I'm a f r a i d I don't understand anything more at a l l , " I answered, "even the simplest things have got i n a muddle. Is i t ' I ' who draw the bow, or i s i t the bow that draws me into the state of highest tension? Do ' I ' h i t the goal, or does the goal h i t me? Is ' I t ' s p i r i t u a l when seen by the eyes of the body, and corporeal when seen by the eyes of the s p i r i t - or both or neither? Bow, arrow, goal and ego, a l l melt into one another, so that I can no longer separate them. And even the need to separate has gone. For as soon as I take the bow and shoot, everything becomes so clear and straightforward and so r i d i c u l o u s l y simple...." "Now at l a s t , " the Master broke In, "the bowstring has cut r i g h t through you."1* Understanding the d i s s o l u t i o n of d i s t i n c t i o n s w i l l help to explain a supposed inconsistency that exists within a Zen approach. If s k i l l i s not to be performed with any goal i n mind, then why should one obey the constraints of the s k i l l i n the f i r s t place? That i s , can i t not be argued that shooting an arrow ait a target, facing the target, drawing the bow, and even picking up the bow i t s e l f a l l must r e s u l t from i n t e n t f u l action? If the Zen archer i s not concerned with improving his/her performance of the motor s k i l l then why i s there a target? Why does he/she face towards and shoot at the target? Why do anything at a l l ? At f i r s t i t may seem that the objection i s a sound one and that a l o g i c a l extension of the philosophies of Zen would be to not undertake - 34 -any type of action no matter how simple. However, as i s often the case i n Zen, the solution to the paradox i s found within the paradox i t s e l f . The objection i s that by carrying the Zen a t t i t u d e of desirelessness to the extreme, the i n d i v i d u a l would not be able to act at a l l . Yet t h i s i s p r e c i s e l y the point. The i n d i v i d u a l does not act at a l l . There i s no i n d i v i d u a l . To one who has overcome d i s t i n c t i o n s and i s at harmony with the Tao, there i s no i n d i v i d u a l action. The Tao acts through him/her. The universal stream, unimpeded, unrestricted and unaltered flows smoothly through him/her. The nature of this state of existence i s more c l e a r l y i l l u s t r a t e d i n the recorded conversations of the 9th century Zen master Huang-Po: " I t was asked whether mowing grass, f e l l i n g trees, digging into the earth, and plowing new s o i l , have the q u a l i t y of s i n or not. The Teacher r e p l i e d : 'It cannot d e f i n i t e l y be said that they are s i n f u l or not s i n f u l . Whether there i s s i n or not depends on the man. If he be greedy for a l l things, both "existent" and "non-existent"; i f his mind be set on s e l e c t i n g and r e j e c t i n g ; and i f he be unable to pass beyond the three phrases 5 then i t may be p o s i t i v e l y stated that t h i s man has s i n . But i f he go beyond the three phrases, i f his mind be l i k e a void emptiness, and i f he not even think about this void emptiness, then i t may be p o s i t i v e l y stated that this man i s without s i n . ' " "According to the transmitted teachings of the Ch'an school, the mind should be l i k e a void emptiness. It should not be detained by a single thing, nor even have q u a l i t i e s of the void emptiness. Then to what can s i n have attachment?" "To eat a l l day yet not swallow a grain of r i c e , to walk a l l day yet not tread an inch of ground, to have no d i s t i n c t i o n during that time between object and subject, and to be inseparable from things the l i v e l o n g day, yet not deluded by them: this i s to be the man who i s at ease i n h i m s e l f . " 6 - 35 -Technical and Spiritual S k i l l I t should be clear by now that there i s more to the Zen S k i l l than just the technical aspects of a motor s k i l l . For example, drawing a bow and releasing an arrow with a Zen approach i s not just the process of smoothly connecting and coordinating a set of selected, ordered and graded movement acts. It i s not just the process of reaching an optimal l e v e l of tension i n the draw and then releasing the arrow at the proper angle of displacement from the ground at a s p e c i f i e d distance from the target. And i t i s not just the execution of dynamic muscle contractions to draw the bow, s t a t i c muscle contractons to steady i t and further dynamic contractions to release the arrow. In f a c t , i t i s much more than what i s suggested by a l l of these perspectives combined. These are each accurate i n th e i r own context but they a l l miss the essence of the S k i l l . D.T. Suzuki explains further: In Japan, perhaps as i n other countries too, mere technical knowledge of an art i s not enough to make a man r e a l l y i t s master; he ought to have delved deeply into the inner s p i r i t of i t . This s p i r i t i s grasped only when h i s mind i s i n complete harmony with the p r i n c i p l e of l i f e i t s e l f , that i s , when he attains to a c e r t a i n state of mind known as mushin (wu-hsin i n Chinese), "no-mind." In Buddhist phraseology, i t means going beyond the dualism of a l l forms of l i f e and death, good and e v i l , being and non-being. This i s where a l l arts merge into Zen. 7 With s p e c i f i c reference to the art of swordsmanship Suzuki writes: - 36 -The point i s : When the sword i s i n the hands of a technician-swordsman s k i l l e d i n i t s use, i t i s no more than an instrument with no mind of i t s own. What i t does 8 i s done mechanically, and there i s no myoyu d i s c e r n i b l e i n i t . But when the sword i s held by the swordsman whose s p i r i t u a l attainment i s such that he holds i t as though not holding i t , i t i s i d e n t i f i e d with the man himself, i t acquires a soul, i t moves with a l l the s u b t l e t i e s which have been imbedded i n him as a swordsman. The man emptied of a l l thoughts, a l l emotions o r i g i n a t i n g from fear, a l l sense of i n s e c u r i t y , a l l desire to win, i s not conscious of using the sword; both man and sword turn into instruments i n the hands, as i t were, of the unconscious, and i t i s t h i s unconscious that achieves wonders of c r e a t i v i t y . It i s here that swordplay becomes an a r t . Technical s k i l l without s p i r i t u a l s k i l l i s not Zen S k i l l . It i s a Zen approach to motor s k i l l performance that i s the Zen S k i l l . The Martial Arts as an Expression of the Zen S k i l l When one thinks of Eastern culture and ph y s i c a l a c t i v i t y , undoubtedly the f i r s t thing to come to mind i s the martial a r t s . The mart i a l arts are a fine example of complex and coordinated motor s k i l l s . H i s t o r i c a l l y , they were one obvious avenue f o r the expression of Zen, and i n fact Zen i s recognized to have had a considerable influence upon t h e i r development. In Secrets of the Samurai, R a t t i and Westbrook write: I t i s generally claimed, i n f a c t , that Zen was the foundation of the ma r t i a l arts i n feudal Japan, that i t provided the doctrine of bujutsu (Jap. f o r , "the art of war.") 1 0 with a theory and a philosophy to explain and j u s t i f y the practice of the martial a r t s , and that i t provided the bujin (Jap. f o r , "the i n d i v i d u a l p r a c t i t i o n e r of bujutsu.") with appropriate d i s c i p l i n e s f o r developing a strong character and personality. - 37 -A very d e f i n i t e Zen f l a v o r i s found i n the i d e a l s p i r i t of the martial a r t s . This s p i r i t i s r e f l e c t e d i n some of the names of the m a r t i a l a r t s : Kendo (the Way of the sword), Judo (the Way of suppleness), and Aikido (the Way of harmony and v i t a l energy). The s u f f i x "-do" i s the Japanese equivalent of the Chinese Tao or the Way. As t h e i r names imply, these arts are meant to be performed i n a way that i s harmonious with the Tao. The Zen tenet of allowing the universal stream to flow through oneself i s expressed i n the p r i n c i p l e s of Judo and Aikido where the opponent's forces are used against him/her. Symbolically, the i n i t i a l stance of two opponents r e f l e c t s the o r i g i n a l harmony of t h e i r dyadic r e l a t i o n s h i p . The i n i t i a t i o n of an attack or the exposure of a weakness disrupts the balance. Harmony i s then restored by the n e u t r a l i z a t i o n of the attack or by penetrating the weakness. In Judo, the p r i n c i p l e i s to p u l l when pushed and to push when pulled. The Judo master converts the opponent's force into l i n e a r energy which i s then used against him/her. In Aikido, the p r i n c i p l e i s to turn when pushed and to enter when pulled.'1''4 The Aikido master converts the opponent's force into c i r c u l a r energy which i s used against him/her. Consider the analogy of one who wishes to overcome a revolving door by pushing at i t . The door merely turns i n response to the aggression. In the end, the door maintains i t s o r i g i n a l p o s i t i o n while the aggressor, his/her e f f o r t s i n obvious f u t i l i t y , stands fatigued. To enter when pulled i s to act as th i s same revolving door. Thus, the aggressor i s not overcome by a greater force, but rather, his/her own energies are harnessed and redirected i n a way which leads to his/her own demise. - 38 -The true master of a martial art i n the s p i r i t of Zen reacts spontaneously to the s i t u a t i o n that i s at hand. He/she does not try to defeat the opponent, does not predetermine a plan of attack and does not react as a re s u l t of conscious d e l i b e r a t i o n . The Tao acts through the master to restore harmony and correct for the imbalance i n i t i a t e d by the opponent. Simply put, the universe i s present everywhere and although i t i s unchanging as a whole, i t s constituents are i n constant f l u x . Force on the one hand i s redirected and neutralized on the other. The ma r t i a l arts master, i n the Zen s p i r i t , i s representative of t h i s r e storing or harmonizing force. In t h i s , l i e s his/her strength. Summary It should be clear that "the S k i l l " i n the Zen sense i s something much d i f f e r e n t from "the s k i l l " i n the Western sense. The Zen S k i l l i s to be found i n one's approach to a l l a c t i v i t e s of l i f e - including one's approach to motor s k i l l a c q u i s i t i o n and performance. The performance of a motor s k i l l i s simply an expression of the Zen S k i l l . An old Samurai maxim explains: "A man who has attained mastery of an art reveals i t i n his every a c t i o n . " 1 5 The r e s u l t s of motor s k i l l performance are i n c i d e n t a l to a Zen approach. When one approaches a motor s k i l l from a s e l f l e s s , d i s t i n c t i o n l e s s perspective, there i s no danger of compromising the essence of a Zen approach. The separation of method from essence i s only an i l l u s i o n , for once separated there i s no longer a Zen approach. The i d e a l s p i r i t of the martial arts i s a symbolic expression of the Zen S k i l l . The p r i n c i p l e of univ e r s a l harmony and unity, for example, i s manifested i n the techniques of Aikido and Judo. NOTES Eugen H e r r i g e l , Zen i n the Art of Archery (New York: Random House, Inc., 1971), p.v. 2 Joe Hyams, Zen i n the M a r t i a l Arts (Los Angeles: J.P. Tarcher, Inc., 1979), p. 10. JDenise McCluggage, The Centered Skier (New York: Warner Books, Inc., 1978), p. 1. H e r r i g e l , op. c i t , pp. 69, 70. 5The three phrases are: being, non-being, and neither being nor non-being. Cited by: Fung Yu-lan, A History of Chinese Philosophy, trans. Derk Bodde, 2 vols. (Princeton: Princeton U n i v e r s i t y Press, 1953), 2:404. -i Daisetz T. Suzuki, Zen and Japanese Culture, (Princeton: Princeton U n i v e r s i t y Press, 1973), p. 94. P "Myoyu" i s a Japanese term defined by Suzuki as ". . . a ce r t a i n a r t i s t i c q u a l i t y perceivable not only i n works of art but i n anything i n Nature or l i f e . " (p. 142n). g Suzuki, op. c i t . , p. 146. 1 0 I n s e r t mine. ^ I n s e r t mine, i o Oscar R a t t i & Adele Westbrook, Secrets of the Samurai (Tokyo: Charles E. T u t t l e Company, Inc., 1980), p. 451. 1 3 I b i d . , p. 438. ^ I b i d . , p. 438. 1 5 C i t e d by: Hyams, op. c i t . , p. 15. - 40 -CHAPTER 4 THE ROLE OF THE INSTRUCTOR The instructor who teaches a Zen approach to s k i l l acquisition must be one who truly knows and thus lives a Zen approach. Therefore, by necessity, the instructor must be a master of Zen. The instructor plays a crucial role in assisting the student along the path towards mastery of the Zen S k i l l . In the Japanese martial arts the instructor is referred to as "sense!" which i s translated as "master" but l i t e r a l l y means, "one who is born before". This does not necessarily imply that the instructor is chronologically older than the student, but rather, that the instructor is further advanced in spiritual development and the attainment of wisdom.1 This chapter w i l l investigate what i t i s that the instructor teaches, how i t is taught, how the student's performance is evaluated, and the nature of the instructor/student relationship. What i s Taught The underlying philosophical foundations of Zen which are expressed in the instructor's approach to l i f e are also expressed in the content of his/her instruction. Unlike Western approaches where the instructor actively assists the learner by structuring the environment, setting goals and objectives, directing attention to relevant cues and providing feedback, the task of the Zen master is simply to help the student follow the Tao, and to realize his/her own true nature as that of the universal stream. The instructor may help the student acquire the Zen - 41 -S k i l l through the instruction of a motor s k i l l . In such case, the focus of motor s k i l l instruction is not the motor s k i l l i t s e l f but the approach to i t . Once the student has mastered a Zen approach to motor s k i l l acquisition, the teacher is no longer required. The Taoist classic, the Chuang Tzu t e l l us, "If a man follows the mind given him and makes i t his teacher, then who can be without a teacher?" A necessary, but by no means focal, function of the instructor is to make sure that the learner understands the constraints of the motor s k i l l (i.e., what the general intent of the s k i l l i s , what to do with oneself and what to do with equipment that may be a part of the s k i l l ) and to introduce techniques that may be used to perform the s k i l l . The instructor is careful not to impose too many constraints upon the s k i l l and he/she is also careful not to overemphasize the general intent of the s k i l l . By placing too many constraints upon the s k i l l , the instructor would only cause the student to get wound up in a web of conceptualizations which would serve to inhibit the free-flowing, spontaneous mind that Zen advocates. By overemphasizing the general intent of the s k i l l , the student may be led to place too much importance upon the end result as opposed to the process involved. This is precisely what is to be avoided. How i t i s Taught The role of the instructor with respect to how he/she teaches a motor s k i l l (and thus the Zen S k i l l ) is a subtle one. The instructor teaches primarily through the use of demonstrations. This allows - 42 -the student to v i s u a l l y i n t e r p r e t the Zen S k i l l . A demonstration may have much more e f f e c t than a dialogue between teacher and student. By excessive v e r b a l i z a t i o n the i n s t r u c t o r would only serve to modify the student's deluded concept of r e a l i t y by providing more d i s t i n c t i o n s to which i t might c l i n g . The i n s t r u c t o r cannot help the student to master a motor s k i l l by explaining i t any more than he/she can make the student aware of the Ultimate Truth by t e l l i n g him/her. However, the l i m i t e d use of words may serve a purpose i f i t i s understood by the student that the words are intended only as a v e h i c l e , a vehicle which can ultimately be dispensed with when the student achieves true understanding. A passage from the Chuang Tzu serves to i l l u s t r a t e : The f i s h trap exists because of the f i s h ; once you've gotten the f i s h , you can forget the trap. The rabbit snare e x i s t s because of the rabbit; once you've gotten the ra b b i t , you can forget the snare. Words ex i s t because of meaning; once you've gotten the meaning, you can forget the words. Where can I f i n d a man who has forgotten words so I can have a word with him? I t i s Important that the i n s t r u c t o r convey an a t t i t u d e that, as much as possible, denies d i s t i n c t i o n s . For example, an environment must not be created where the student perceives that an object/teacher i s going to demonstrate a s k i l l to a s u b j e c t / s e l f . Rather, the i n s t r u c t o r must convey an a t t i t u d e that he/she i s a mere instrument through which the great Tao i s acting. Credit must not be taken or possessiveness displayed towards his/her actions. The student must r e a l i z e that - 43 -through d e s t r u c t i o n of the ego, he/she can a l s o become an instrument through which the Tao i s manifested. When the master observed that Eugen H e r r i g e l could not detach himself from t r y i n g to h i t the t a r g e t , he took him to the p r a c t i c e h a l l one evening and i n darkness shot two arrows at the t a r g e t , the f i r s t h i t t i n g f u l l i n the b u l l s e y e and the second s p l i t t i n g the shaft of the f i r s t ! The experience was a t u r n i n g point f o r H e r r i g e l . The master explained h i s performance as f o l l o w s : "But the second arrow which h i t the f i r s t - what do you make of that? I at any r a t e know that i t i s not ' I ' who must be given c r e d i t f o r t h i s shot. ' I t ' shot and ' I t ' made the h i t . Let us bow to the goal as before the Buddha!" The Master had e v i d e n t l y h i t me, too, w i t h both arrows: as though transformed over n i g h t , I no longer succumbed to the temptation of worrying about my arrows and what happened to them. The Master strengthened me i n t h i s a t t i t u d e s t i l l f u r t h e r by never l o o k i n g at the t a r g e t , but simply keeping h i s eye oh the archer, as though that gave him the most s u i t a b l e i n d i c a t i o n of how the shot had f a l l e n o u t . 4 The teaching may a l s o be transmitted i n the general behaviors of the i n s t r u c t o r outside of the l e a r n i n g environment. This i s r e f e r r e d to i n the West as " i n c i d e n t a l " as opposed to " i n t e n t i o n a l " l e a r n i n g . What t h i s means i s that the student can subconsciously l e a r n through the mere exposure to the behaviors of other people. In t h i s case the behavior he/she i s exposed to Is the expression of Zen which i s manifested i n every f a c e t of the i n s t r u c t o r ' s d a i l y e x i s t e n c e . E r r o r s i n performance play an important r o l e i n h e l p i n g the student to r e d i r e c t him/herself back onto the proper course. The f i r s t h a n d - 44 -experience of such mistakes i s a f a r more convincing r e a l i t y than merely to be t o l d what n o t s t o do by an i n s t r u c t o r . Zen emphasizes f i r s t h a n d experience and i t i s this emphasis which dictates that the i n s t r u c t o r ' s role be a subtle one. Thus, to a great extent, the student must struggle on his/her own to master a s k i l l j u s t as he/she must struggle to reach Enlightenment. The struggle i t s e l f i s a long and tedious process and i t must at times seem that progress i s not being made. Yet why would the i n s t r u c t o r allow what appears to be f u t i l e e f f o r t p e r s i s t ? Again, H e r r i g e l provides i n s i g h t : In t a l k i n g i t over with Mr. Komachiya, I once asked him why the Master had looked on so long at my f u t i l e e f f o r t s to draw the bow " s p i r i t u a l l y , " why he had not i n s i s t e d on the correct breathing r i g h t from the s t a r t . "A great Master," he r e p l i e d , "must also be a great teacher. With us the two things go hand i n hand. Had he begun the lessons with breathing exercises, he would never have been able to convince you that you owe them anything de c i s i v e . You had to suffer shipwreck through your own e f f o r t s before you were ready to seize the l i f e b e l t he threw you." 5 Thus, when a Zen i n s t r u c t o r does intervene, that intervention tends to be very meaningful and serves to guide the student back to the true path. A p a r a l l e l may be drawn to what has been re f e r r e d to i n the West as a problem-solving versus a guided learning approach. 6 With a guided learning approach, the i n s t r u c t o r plays an important role i n s t r u c t u r i n g the learning experience. The i n s t r u c t o r defines objectives, i d e n t i f i e s - 45 -p e r t i n e n t cues to the student, and provides feedback which i s i n t e g r a t e d to r e f i n e the performance. This approach i s an e f f e c t i v e and e f f i c i e n t means of teaching a motor s k i l l ; i t may be thought of as the s h o r t e s t d i s t a n c e between two p o i n t s . This approach has been found to be e f f e c t i v e i n the i n s t r u c t i o n of " c l o s e d " s k i l l s , or i n other words, those s k i l l s where the environment remains r e l a t i v e l y s t a b l e and the subject determines when to i n i t i a t e the response (e.g., bowling, a r c h e r y ) . Conversely, a problem-solving approach i n v o l v e s a l i m i t e d amount of guidance from the i n s t r u c t o r . Rather than being " p u l l e d " along the path of l e a r n i n g by the i n s t r u c t o r , the student i s pointed i n the general d i r e c t i o n , given a gentle push, goes o f f to explore on h i s / h e r own, and i s r e d i r e c t e d i f he/she s t r a y s too f a r o f f course. This t r i a l and e r r o r or discovery approach to s k i l l a c q u i s i t i o n i n v o l v e s much l e s s s t r u c t u r i n g of the environment and the l e a r n i n g process on the part of the i n s t r u c t o r . The i n s t r u c t o r plays more of a s u b t l e , r e a c t i v e r o l e as opposed to an a c t i v e r o l e . As a r e s u l t , the student reaches the same end p o i n t but i t takes him/her considerably longer. However, when i t i s done, the student has sewn a broader path, achieved a greater understanding of the e f f e c t s of responses under various performance c o n d i t i o n s , and i s b e t t e r able to adapt to new but r e l a t e d s i t u a t i o n s . This approach i s more s u i t e d to the a c q u i s i t i o n of "open" s k i l l s (e.g., w a t e r - s k i i n g , fencing) s i n c e v a r i e d experiences w i l l help the performer to respond e f f e c t i v e l y to a changing environment. A Zen approach to s k i l l a c q u i s i t i o n d i s p l a y s the features of a problem-solving as opposed to a guided l e a r n i n g method. The student i s - 46 -given the freedom to explore and discover for his/her own s e l f . In t h i s way, the in s t r u c t o r ' s role remains a subtle one. The Evaluation of Performance How i s i t that a Zen i n s t r u c t o r may judge the performance of a student? How does the i n s t r u c t o r know i f the student i s performing the s k i l l i n a manner r e f l e c t i v e of a Zen approach? Obviously, quantitative measures of performance are useless since various l e v e l s may be achieved by those who have or have not trained with a Zen approach. Q u a l i t a t i v e measures or judgements, as such, are inadequate because the behaviors of one who i s s k i l l e d i n a Zen approach may be e f f e c t i v e l y mimicked by one who i s not trained i n a Zen approach. How, then, does the i n s t r u c t o r know when the performance he i s watching i s a true expression of a Zen approach? The i n s t r u c t o r may come to evaluate performance i n the same way that he/she acquires prajna or Sage-Wisdom - through i n t u i t i o n . As one who i s i n harmony with the Ultimate R e a l i t y , the i n s t r u c t o r possesses a s e n s i t i v i t y to the disruption of that harmony. This s e n s i t i v i t y , l i k e the prajna he/she has acquired, i s beyond reason - i t i s purely i n t u i t i v e and i t i s a r e s u l t of the t r a i n i n g he/she has gone through. H e r r i g e l , i n The Method of Zen, addresses the same issue: Whence does the Master obtain t h i s authority, which he neither seeks nor demands, but which grows upon him despite himself? How i s i t possible for him to gaze into his pupil's very soul, when he stands struck dumb i n h i s presence, or muttering h e l p l e s s l y ? How does he know and - 47 -see whether the p u p i l has attained s a t o r i (Jap. f o r , "Enlightenment"). 7 I t i s as d i f f i c u l t to explain t h i s as the process of s a t o r i i t s e l f . . . . the Master demands to "see" with h i s own eyes the pupil's attainment of s a t o r i . And he, the Master of s a t o r i , does i n fa c t see with unerring glance. His own experiences as a p u p i l enable him to do t h i s , then his years of experience as a teacher and f i n a l l y as a Master. But what does the Master see? Perhaps I can get around th i s question by an analogy: i t i s l i k e a painter who, by glancing at the work of his students, i s able to t e l l which of them are born a r t i s t s and which are not. He just "sees" t h i s , but how he sees i t can never by explained or taught to a non-painter. S i m i l a r l y , the Zen Master sees when s a t o r i i s genuine and not merely imagined. 8 H e r r i g e l ' s analogy i s perhaps a weak one i n that i t attempts to reduce the i n s t r u c t o r ' s v a l i d a t i o n of knowledge concerning a r t i s t i c a b i l i t y to the q u a l i t i e s of an a r t i s t i c product. Perhaps a better analogy would be that the i n s t r u c t o r gains insight by observing how the a r t i s t paints as opposed to what he/she has painted. Nonetheless, the inference i s that the i n s i g h t i s a spontaneous one, an i n t u i t i o n that does not require the time or judgement of r a t i o n a l thought processes. It i s i n this way that the i n s t r u c t o r may evaluate the performance of the student. The Instructor/Student Relationship The roles which are evidenced i n the instructor/student r e l a t i o n s h i p have been c l e a r l y defined i n the Zen t r a d i t i o n . The i n s t r u c t o r assumes a great r e s p o n s i b i l i t y as not only the teacher of an i n d i v i d u a l but also as a transmitter of the Tao. Because of this r e s p o n s i b i l i t y and by v i r t u e of his t r a i n i n g and knowledge, the i n s t r u c t o r has for many hundreds of years occupied a p o s i t i o n of high repute i n Japanese - 48 -s o c i e t y . This sense of r e s p o n s i b i l i t y i s exampled, again, i n Herrigel's Zen i n the Art of Archery. The master responded to He r r i g e l ' s persistent questioning about what i t i s that releases the arrow i f i t i s not what i s perceived to be the subjective e n t i t y , " ' I t ' shoots," he r e p l i e d . "I have heard you say that several times before, so l e t me put i t another way: How can I wait s e l f - o b l i v i o u s l y for the shot i f ' I ' am no longer there?" " ' I t ' waits at the highest tension." "And who or what i s t h i s ' I t ' ? " "Once you have understood that, you w i l l have no further need of me. And i f I t r i e d to give a clue at the cost of your own experience, I would be the worst of teachers and would deserve to be sacked] So l e t ' s stop ta l k i n g about i t and go on p r a c t i c i n g . " The i n s t r u c t o r allows the student the freedom to make errors and discoveries for him/herself. Thus, the student does not become overly dependent upon the master for technical i n s t r u c t i o n or s p i r i t u a l guidance. This prepares the student for the time when i n s t r u c t o r and student must go th e i r separate ways. Although the student must search for the truth on his/her own, the master i s constantly monitoring his/her progress, providing guidance when necessary, always concerned that the ultimate transmission of mind i s pure and true. The student, for his/her part, must be r e s p e c t f u l and exhibit nothing but t o t a l f a i t h i n the master's a b i l i t y . He/she must be l o y a l to the i n s t r u c t o r and unquestioningly obedient. He/she must be humble, for t h i s i s the f i r s t step towards s e l f l e s s n e s s . He/she must be patient for i t i s only with patience i n the most extreme sense that one may subvert one's desires and thus r e a l i z e the f u l f i l l m e n t of the - 49 -journey to Enlightenment. It i s the i n s t r u c t o r who helps the student discover his/her own true nature, but i t i s the student who must supply the desire and motivation. The i n s t r u c t o r can not force the student to practice or to learn a motor s k i l l . S i m i l a r l y , one can not be forced to discover one's own true nature. The truth i s within and the motive to r e a l i z e i t must also be found within. Joe Hyams inte r p r e t s the grounds for the instructor/student r e l a t i o n s h i p as follows: The martial arts sensei i s very much l i k e the Zen master; he has not sought out the student, nor does he prevent him from leaving. I f the student wants guidance i n climbing the steep path to expertise, the i n s t r u c t o r i s w i l l i n g to act as guide - on the condition that the student be prepared to take care of himself along the way. The i n s t r u c t o r ' s function i s to delegate to the student exactly those tasks which he i s capable of mastering, and then to leave him as much as possible to himself and h i s inner a b i l i t i e s . The student may follow i n the footsteps of his guide or choose an alternate path - the choice i s h i s . 1 0 The student must be res p e c t f u l towards the master, not i n the sense of ceremony, but si n c e r e l y r e s p e c t f u l f or the nature of the instructor/student bond i s a prime determinant of the outcome of the student's journey. Because the path to mastery i s long and tedious i t i s often nothing more than f a i t h i n the i n s t r u c t o r which keeps the student motivated and working towards his/her goal. Whether i t i s the road to Enlightenment through s k i l l a c q u i s i t i o n or through other means, the responsible attitude of the i n s t r u c t o r and the reverence of the - 50 -student are e s s e n t i a l ingredients to the Zen formula of i n s t r u c t i o n . The pinnacle of i n s t r u c t i o n , i n the Zen sense, i s when the student has progressed to the point where he/she has gained true understanding and thus, i s no longer i n need of the i n s t r u c t o r . Now the i n s t r u c t o r , i n t y p i c a l s e l f l e s s fashion, may urge the student to go beyond even him/herself, to "climb on the shoulders of his te a c h e r . " 1 1 H e r r i g e l ' s experience of departing from his master i s described: When I asked the Master how we could get on without him on our return to Europe, he said: "Your question i s already answered by the fact that I made you take a te s t . You have now reached a stage where teacher and p u p i l are no longer two persons, but one. You can separate from me any time you wish. Even i f broad seas l i e between us, I s h a l l always be with you when you practice what you have learned. . . . " In farewell, and yet not i n farewell, the Master handed me his best bow. "When you shoot with this bow you w i l l f e e l the s p i r i t of the Master near you. Give i t not into the hands of the curious! And when you have passed beyond i t , do not lay i t up i n remembrance! Destroy i t , so that nothing remains but a heap of ashes." 1 2 Any discussion of the instructor/student r e l a t i o n s h i p must make mention of the importance of the "transmission of mind." It i s r e c a l l e d that t r a d i t i o n t e l l s us that the personal teachings of the Buddha were transmitted to his chosen d i s c i p l e who i n turn transmitted them to his chosen d i s c i p l e and so on through to the s i x t h Chinese P a t r i a r c h , Hui-neng. The transmission of mind does not refer to the passage of secret information from teacher to student. Consistent with the idea that - 51 -the r e a l t r u t h must be found w i t h i n , the t r a n s m i s s i o n of mind simply r e f e r s to the pure awareness and i n s i g h t that the student f i n a l l y o b t a i n s . The expression s i g n i f i e s that the mind-set of the student has become i d e n t i c a l with the mind-set of the i n s t r u c t o r . H i s t o r i c a l l y , the P a t r i a r c h , upon r e a l i z a t i o n that i t was time to pass on the t r a d i t i o n to an Enlightened student, would compose a verse and present i t to the student along w i t h a sacred robe. With these i n hi s possession the student would have proof that he had been sanctioned by the master to carry on the teachings. In present times, the transmission of the mind may be symbolized by the passage of some object from i n s t r u c t o r to student but t h i s i s not necessary. For when the student r e a l i z e s h i s / h e r true nature, the master and he/she are no longer two d i s t i n c t beings but part of the same U n i f i e d R e a l i t y . Thus the student has not only acquired a motor s k i l l , he/she has al s o become Enlightened. When t h i s p o i n t i s reached, the r o l e of the i n s t r u c t o r w i l l have been f u l f i l l e d . Summary This chapter has o u t l i n e d the r o l e of the i n s t r u c t o r i n a Zen approach to s k i l l a c q u i s i t i o n . I t was argued that the i n s t r u c t o r ' s r o l e i s a s u b t l e one. The motor s k i l l i s merely a v e h i c l e through which the i n s t r u c t o r teaches the Zen S k i l l . For the most p a r t , he/she i n s t r u c t s by example r a t h e r than through words. The student i s made to s t r u g g l e on h i s / h e r own, making e r r o r s and d i s c o v e r i e s while progressing along the path to s k i l l , and S k i l l , a c q u i s i t i o n . The i n s t u c t o r ' s - 52 -interventions, while l i m i t e d i n number, are always meaningful. A p a r a l l e l was drawn to a problem-solving as opposed to a guided learning approach. Once Enlightenment i s attained, the i n s t r u c t o r i s able to v a l i d a t e the auth e n t i c i t y of the student's achievement through i n t u i t i v e means. The i n s t r u c t o r assumes a role of great r e s p o n s i b i l i t y when he/she takes on a student. The student, on the other hand, must have respect and undying f a i t h i n the i n s t r u c t o r . Once the student has come to r e a l i z e his/her own true nature and thus the true nature of r e a l i t y , the i n s t r u c t o r i s no longer required. The transmission of mind w i l l have been r e a l i z e d . In conclusion, the role of the i n s t r u c t o r i n a Zen approach to s k i l l a c q u i s i t i o n may best be explained by adapting the words of the Taoist sage, Lao Tzu: "Ruling a country i s l i k e cooking a small f i s h . " 1 4 In the present context i t may be stated, "Instructing a student i s l i k e cooking a small f i s h . " That i s to say, too much handling w i l l s p o i l i t . NOTES •"•Joe Hyams, Zen i n the M a r t i a l Arts (Los Angeles: J.P. Tarcher, Inc., 1979), p. 13. Burton Watson, trans., The Complete Works of Chuang Tzu (New York Columbia University Press, 1968), p. 38. 3 I b i d . , p. 302. **Eugen H e r r i g e l , Zen i n the Art of Archery (New York: Random House, Inc., 1971), p. 67. 5 I b i d . , p. 26. 6Robert N. Singer, The Learning of Motor S k i l l s (New York: Macmillan Publishing Co., Inc., 1982), p. 126. 7 Insert mine. 8Eugen H e r r i g e l , The Method of Zen (New York: Random House, Inc., 1974), pp. 56, 57, 58. q H e r r i g e l , Zen i n the Art of Archery, pp. 58, 59. 1 0Hyams, op. c i t . , p. 13. ^ H e r r i g e l , Zen i n the Art of Archery, p. 51. 1 2 I b i d . , pp. 73, 74. Daisetz T. Suzuki, Zen and Japanese Culture (New Jersey: Princeton University Press, 1973), p. 135. 1 1 + C i t e d by: Wing-tsit Chan, trans, and comp., A Source Book i n Chinese Philosophy (New Jersey: Princeton University Press, 1973), p. 168. - 54 -CHAPTER 5 THE ROLE OF THE LEARNER In a Zen approach to s k i l l a c q u i s i t i o n the learner i s not only the focus but the essence of the s k i l l a c q u i s i t i o n s e t t i n g . How i s t h i s so? The s k i l l that i s learned - the Zen S k i l l - i s not something e x t e r n a l to the l e a r n e r ; r a t h e r , i t i s to be found w i t h i n the l e a r n e r . The i n s t r u c t o r does not so much teach a motor s k i l l as help the le a r n e r to r e a l i z e f o r him/herself the true nature of R e a l i t y . This i s the R e a l i t y that l i e s w i t h i n . C l e a r l y , the r o l e of the le a r n e r i s paramount i n a Zen approach to s k i l l a c q u i s i t i o n . Given the importance of the le a r n e r i n the s k i l l a c q u i s i t i o n s e t t i n g , one might guess that the r o l e of the le a r n e r i s a l s o a very complex one. This i s not the case, however. E s s e n t i a l l y , the l e a r n e r has only to overcome the c o n c e p t u a l i z i n g mind and to e x t i n g u i s h d e s i r e s i n order to r e a l i z e the Zen S k i l l . Though not complex, t h i s o f t e n proves to be a very d i f f i c u l t task. This chapter i s concerned with what i t i s that the le a r n e r a c t u a l l y does during s k i l l a c q u i s i t i o n and performance. The importance of the detached mind, the process of " c e n t e r i n g " , and the le a r n e r ' s approach to the m a r t i a l a r t s w i l l be discussed. The Detached Mind A Zen approach to s k i l l performance may be thought of as "meditation i n movement". The meditative mind i s a c l e a r and detached mind, and i t - 55 -i s t h i s mind which the learner attempts to r e a l i z e . This i s the Zen S k i l l . To the trained eye of the i n s t r u c t o r , s k i l l performance provides a v i s i b l e testimony to the degree of Zen S k i l l mastery. To place the mind anywhere i n p a r t i c u l a r i s to remove i t from the na t u r a l flow of the un i v e r s a l stream and thus to lose awareness of the ever present here and now. To consciously place the mind anywhere i s to create a conceptual d i s t i n c t i o n which perpetuates the notion of a d i s t i n c t s e l f . When the mind i s attached to anything i t loses touch with the Ultimate R e a l i t y . The Zen master Takuan (1573-1645) wrote i n depth about Zen and the art of swordsmanship i n general, and about the placement of the mind i n p a r t i c u l a r , i n a famous l e t t e r to Yagyu Tajima no kami Munenori: The second question i s : Where i s the mind to be kept a f t e r a l l ? I answer: "The thing i s not to try to l o c a l i z e the mind anywhere but to l e t i t f i l l up the whole body, l e t i t flow throughout the t o t a l i t y of your being. When t h i s happens you use the hands when they are needed, you use the legs or the eyes when they are needed, and no time or no extra energy w i l l be wasted. (The l o c a l i z a t i o n of the mind means i t s freezing. When i t ceases to flow f r e e l y as i t i s needed, i t i s no more the mind i n i t s suchness.) • • « The mind i s not to be treated l i k e a cat t i e d to a s t r i n g . The mind must be l e f t to i t s e l f , u t t e r l y free to move about according to i t s own nature. Not to l o c a l i z e or p a r t i a l i z e i t i s the end of s p i r i t u a l t r a i n i n g . When i t i s nowhere i t i s everywhere. When i t occupies one tenth, i t i s absent i n the other nine tenths. Let the swordsman d i s c i p l i n e himself to have the mind go on i t s own way, instead of t r y i n g d e l i b e r a t e l y to confine i t somewhere." - 56 -R e a l i z i n g a detached mind allows the performer to act spontaneously (Ch.: t z u - j a n ) . In t h i s l i e s the Zen S k i l l as expressed through motor performance. For the l e a r n e r , however, a c t i n g spontaneously i s not a n a t u r a l t h i n g to do. Therefore, he/she must t r y to act spontaneously. This would appear to be a paradox. Since the u l t i m a t e s t a t e of mind d i f f e r s from one's normal st a t e of mind, one must t r y ( i . e . , use conscious motive) to act without conscious motive before one can by nature act without conscious motive. In f a c t , however, t h i s s t a t e of a f f a i r s i s only p a r a d o x i c a l to the r a t i o n a l mind. Fung Yu-lan e x p l a i n s : A f t e r the completion of c u l t i v a t i o n , however, one's thoughts continue to be detached from phenomenal t h i n g s , and one s t i l l remains "amid the phenomenal yet devoid of the phenomenal." The d i f f e r e n c e i s that whereas during the e a r l i e r period t h i s s t a t e of mind was achieved only through conscious e f f o r t , during the period a f t e r c u l t i v a t i o n has been stopped, i t comes of i t s e l f without the need f o r any e f f o r t . Yet t h i s does not mean that t h i s e f f o r t l e s s n e s s comes merely because the man who has been engaged i n c u l t i v a t i o n e v e n t u a l l y develops a c e r t a i n h a b i t . What i t does mean i s that at the moment of completion he experiences instantaneous enlightenment and i s thereby i d e n t i f i e d w i t h non-being. That i s why he then need exert no e f f o r t but i s n a t u r a l l y as he i s . To act spontaneously i s to act without conscious motive and without conscious e f f o r t . However, i t i s c l e a r that one must, at f i r s t , possess a motive to act without motive and hence make a conscious e f f o r t to act without conscious e f f o r t . Herein l i e s a paradox i n the context of r a t i o n a l thought but not i n the context of Zen. To act w i t h motive or e f f o r t f o r any other purpose than to u l t i m a t e l y e x t i n g u i s h t h e i r own - 57 -existence, i s to act against the Tao. In Zen i n the Art of Archery, Eugen Herrigel's master explains: "The r i g h t " a r t , " c r i e d the Master, " i s purposeless, aimless! The more obstinately you try to learn how to shoot the arrow for the sake of h i t t i n g the goal, the less you w i l l succeed i n the one and the further the other w i l l recede. What stands i n your way i s that you have a much too w i l l f u l w i l l . You think that what you do not do yourself does not happen." 3 The performance of a motor s k i l l c a r r i e s a hidden danger for the learner of the Zen S k i l l . Because the learner v i s u a l l y witnesses his/her performance, there exists the lure of a t t r i b u t i n g the r e s u l t s of performance to the subjective s e l f . There also exists the lure of consciously attaching the mind to those results as well as to the constant flow of objective s t i m u l i which bombard the learner. The Master cautioned H e r r i g e l about this very danger when, for the f i r s t time, he released a shot properly: Then, one day, a f t e r a shot, the Master made a deep bow and broke off the lesson. "Just then ' I t ' shot!" he c r i e d , as I stared at him bewildered. And when I at l a s t understood what he meant I couldn't suppress a sudden whoop of delight. "What I have s a i d , " the Master to l d me severely, "was not praise, only a statement that ought not to touch you. Nor was my bow meant for you, for you are e n t i r e l y innocent of this shot. You remained t h i s time absolutely s e l f - o b l i v i o u s and without purpose i n the highest tension, so that the shot f e l l from you l i k e a ripe f r u i t . Now go on p r a c t i c i n g as i f nothing had happened." 4 4 - 58 -Once the i l l u s t o r y nature of d i s t i n c t i o n s i s r e a l i z e d , the performance of a motor s k i l l can only be a t t r i b u t e d to the natural stream of r e a l i t y - nothing more and nothing l e s s . The Process of Centering Centering i s the process by which one attains harmony with the s e l f , with others or with the universe. To be centered i s to have r e a l i z e d the essence of the personal sphere, the s o c i a l sphere, or the uni v e r s a l sphere. It i s to become aware of the underlying unity within that sphere and i t i s to act i n harmony with that sphere. These d i f f e r e n t spheres do not denote d i f f e r e n t R e a l i t i e s , but rather d i f f e r e n t l e v e l s of the same Re a l i t y . This concept i s further explained by Westbrook and R a t t i : Both the cosmic and the human dimensions of the concept, however, are c l o s e l y i d e n t i f i e d , man being an i n t e g r a l part of creation. The true and all-encompassing Centre, according to Eastern philosophy, i s the same for both the general and the p a r t i c u l a r , for the universe and fo r man. This i s underscored i n many Japanese tales of the wise man who l i v e s i n harmony with himself and with nature. Separation of man from that i d e n t i t y with the universe, a l i e n a t i o n of man from man, and f i n a l l y , a man's f e e l i n g of a s p l i t within himself are considered to be the r e s u l t of paying too much attention to the surface dif f e r e n c e s , to the d e t a i l s of l i f e . This completely ignores the underlying i d e n t i t y of a l l , the basic "oneness" of i t s essence. 6 The "center" of an i n d i v i d u a l i s commonly said to e x i s t at a point about two inches below the navel. This i s the point through which one's - 59 -v i t a l energy (Ch.: ch/i) i s said to flow. This i s also the point through which the v i t a l energy of the universe flows. When one i s centered with the s e l f and the universe, c h ' i i s allowed to flow smoothly and u n r e s t r i c t e d . This i s what i s meant by the statements, "The Zen master i s at one with the Tao", and, "The Zen master i s an instrument of the Tao - the Tao acts through him/her." How i s i t that the learner may become "centered" with the various l e v e l s of Reality? Zen would suggest that the practice of meditation u l t i m a t e l y brings one into contact with the u n i f i e d essence of the universe. With respect to motor s k i l l performance, by p r a c t i c i n g with a detached mind, a meditative mind, one may r e a l i z e the essence or unity that underlies a s k i l l s e t t i n g . In the case of archery, for example, one comes to r e a l i z e the u n i f i e d and i n d i s t i n g u i s h a b l e nature of archer, bow, arrow, and target. This i s the essence of that learning environment. At this point, performance of the motor s k i l l w i l l r e f l e c t mastery of the Zen S k i l l i n that s e t t i n g . The drawing of the bow and the shooting of the arrow, are now simply parts of a tune - a tune played i n harmony with the universe. The Learner's Approach to the Martial Arts The martial arts represent a s p e c i f i c group of motor s k i l l s which are characterized by the i n t e r a c t i o n of the learner with one or more active opponents. The performance s e t t i n g for a martial art i s thus much more involved than for a task involving only the learner. As - 60 -opposed to archery, for example, a martial art i s not a self-paced task; that i s , the environment i s constantly changing i n an unpredictable way. There may be a number of opponents attacking the learner from d i f f e r e n t directions i n a v a r i e t y of ways. Understandably, i t becomes very d i f f i c u l t for the learner to acquire, or once acquired, to maintain a detached mind i n the midst of a l l t h i s action. This i s why the m a r t i a l arts prove to be such a d i f f i c u l t avenue for mastery of the Zen S k i l l . Despite the obvious d i f f i c u l t y of acquiring the Zen S k i l l i n such an environment, the approach of the learner i s no d i f f e r e n t from his/her approach i n other settings. The learner must try to extinguish the conceptualizing mind so that the essence of the performance s i t u a t i o n , at each instant, may reveal i t s e l f to him/her. The mind must flow with what i s happening i n the present; i n t h i s way, i t rides with the universal stream of existence. Action i s thus spontaneous and not a product of conscious desires. The involvement of an active opponent does not imply that the performance setting i s a competitive one. In f a c t , i n a Zen approach to the martial arts there i s no such thing as a competitive s e t t i n g . It w i l l be r e c a l l e d that Zen upholds the concept of a U n i f i e d Ultimate R e a l i t y . Given t h i s b e l i e f , there i s ultimately no one or nothing to compete with. For one to accept the idea of competition would be to accept the d i s t i n c t i o n between subject(I) and object(not-I). This i s pre c i s e l y what the learner i n a Zen approach i s attempting to overcome. M a r t i a l arts performance i s to be approached i n a way that i s consistent with the metaphysical assumption of a U n i f i e d Ultimate - 61 -R e a l i t y . Thus, the l e a r n e r does not t r y to "defeat" the opponent i n a personal sense. He/she i s simply to flow with the actions of the opponent, a c t i n g i n a way that w i l l r e s t o r e the balance and harmony of the dyad. In a Zen approach to the m a r t i a l a r t s there i s no winner or l o s e r , no v i c t o r y or defeat. In the words of the l a t e Bruce Lee: You and your opponent are one. There i s a c o e x i s t i n g r e l a t i o n s h i p between you. You c o e x i s t with your opponent and become h i s complement, absorbing h i s attack and using h i s force to overcome him. 7 Not only does the concept of competition c o n t r a d i c t the metaphysical assumptions which u n d e r l i e Zen, but the i m p l i c i t products of competition are meaningless i n the context of Zen. In m a r t i a l a r t s such as A i k i d o and Judo are manifested some of the p r i n c i p l e s of Zen. Force i s not to be overpowered by greater f o r c e , but r a t h e r force i s r e d i r e c t e d so that i t may be n e u t r a l i z e d . Perhaps, t h i s i s the key to the a e s t h e t i c q u a l i t y of A i k i d o and Judo performance. A i k i d o and Judo are not c h a r a c t e r i z e d by the meeting of f o r c e s , followed by great struggle and f i n a l l y r e s o l u t i o n . Rather, they i n v o l v e movements that are very smooth and continuous. The performance i s very f l u i d - almost d a n c e - l i k e . Support f o r t h i s y i e l d i n g and f l u i d approach to existence i s found i n the Lao Tzu: A man i s born gentle and weak. At h i s death he i s hard and s t i f f . Green p l a n t s are tender and f i l l e d w i t h sap. At t h e i r death they are withered and dry. - 62 -Therefore the s t i f f and unbending i s the d i s c i p l e of death. The gentle and y i e l d i n g i s the d i s c i p l e of l i f e . Thus an army without f l e x i b i l i t y never wins a b a t t l e . A tree that i s unbending i s e a s i l y broken. The hard and strong w i l l f a l l . The soft and weak w i l l overcome. 8 Summary In a Zen approach to motor s k i l l a c q u i s i t i o n , the learner's role i s simply to act with a detached mind. A detached mind i s a cle a r , aware, and meditative mind. Once devoid of desires and conceptual d i s t i n c t i o n s , the Tao i s allowed to act through the learner. However, the learner must f i r s t act with conscious motive and e f f o r t i n order to ultimately extinguish conscious motive and e f f o r t . Centering i s the process by which one att a i n s harmony with the s e l f , with others or with the universe. Being centered at the highest l e v e l , one r e a l i z e s the essence of the U n i f i e d Ultimate R e a l i t y . To r e a l i z e this i s to be at one with the Tao. To r e a l i z e t h i s i n a motor performance s e t t i n g i s to r e a l i z e the underlying unity of that s e t t i n g . The martial arts provide a challenging avenue for mastery of the Zen S k i l l . In theory, the learner's task should be no more d i f f i c u l t than for any simple motor s k i l l , but i n practice there are a variety of d i s t r a c t i o n s which make i t d i f f i c u l t f o r the learner to r e a l i z e a detached mind i n a martial arts s e t t i n g . In martial arts such as Aikido and Judo, some of the p r i n c i p l e s of Zen are manifested. One may witness the f l u i d and y i e l d i n g action of one who has mastered a martial art i n the Zen context. NOTES i C i t e d by: Daisetz T. Suzuki, Zen and Japanese Culture (Princeton: Princeton University Prss, 1973), pp. 106-108. Fung Yu-lan, A History of Chinese Philosophy, trans. Derk Bodde, 2 vo l s . (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1953), 2:405. 3Eugen H e r r i g e l , Zen i n the Art of Archery (New York: Random House, Inc., 1971), p. 34. **Ibid., p. 59. 5 Adele Westbrook & Oscar R a t t i , Aikido and the Dynamic Sphere (Tokyo: Charles E. Tut t l e Company, Inc., 1981), pp. 69, 70. 6 I b i d . , p. 70. 7 C i t e d by: Joe Hyams, Zen i n the M a r t i a l Arts (Los Angeles: J.P. Tarcher, Inc., 1979), p. 59. 8 G i a - f u Feng & Jane English, trans., Tao Te Ching (New York: Random House, 1972), chap. 76. - 64 -CHAPTER 6 THE NATURE OF THE LEARNING PROCESS With an understanding of the nature of the s k i l l and the roles of those involved i n the s k i l l a c q u i s i t i o n s e t t i n g , namely, the i n s t r u c t o r and the learner, i t i s now possible to investigate what i t i s that characterizes the learning process. Temporal Considerat ions What i s the importance of "time" i n the learning of a motor s k i l l through a Zen approach? It w i l l be r e c a l l e d that Zen recognizes the metaphysical unity of space and time. To make s p a t i a l or temporal d i s t i n c t i o n s i s to c l i n g to the phenomenal world, and thus, to i n h i b i t the spontaneous flow of the mind with the Tao ( i . e . , natural stream of existence). Therefore, for a student to ask, "how long w i l l i t take to learn?", or, "how f a r have I progressed up to now?", i s to pose a meaningless question to the Zen master. Eugen H e r r i g e l discovered t h i s one day when he approached h i s archery master: I pointed out to the Master that I was already i n my fourth year and that my stay i n Japan was l i m i t e d . "The way to the goal i s not to be measured! Of what importance are weeks, months, years?" "But what i f I have to break off half way?" I asked. "Once you have grown t r u l y egoless you can break off at any time. Keep on p r a c t i c i n g that." The very act of asking questions that are concerned with time or progress indicates a lack of true understanding on the part of the - 65 -student. It may take many years to reach Enlightenment or i t may take a very short time i f one has a mind that i s near to the true nature of R e a l i t y . A motor s k i l l , however, because i t does contain a technical component, cannot be mastered i n a very short time. I t does require some amount of physical p r a c t i c e . Mastery, however, does not depend on the amount of p r a c t i c e , but on the nature of the p r a c t i c e . This i s c o l o r f u l l y i l l u s t r a t e d i n the following anecdote: A young boy traveled across Japan to the school of a famous martial a r t i s t . When he arr i v e d at the dojo he was given an audience by the sensei. "What do you wish from me?" the master asked. "I wish to be your student and become the f i n e s t karateka i n the land," the boy r e p l i e d . "How long must I study?" "Ten years at l e a s t , " the master answered. "Ten years i s a long time," said the boy. "What i f I studied twice as hard as a l l your other students?" "Twenty years," r e p l i e d the master. "Twenty years! What i f I practice day and night with a l l my e f f o r t ? " "Thirty years," was the master's reply. "How i s i s that each time I say I w i l l work harder, you t e l l me that i t w i l l take longer?" the boy asked. "The answer i s clear. When one eye i s f i x e d upon your destination, there i s only one eye l e f t with which to f i n d the Way."2 To even acknowledge a learning "process" i s to d i s t i n g u i s h between past, present and future. For the Zen master, t h i s d i s t i n c t i o n does not e x i s t . This i s shown i n the following parable: One day while he was studying under Nangaku, Baso was s i t t i n g , p r a c t i c i n g zazen.... 3 Nangaku saw him s i t t i n g l i k e a great mountain or l i k e a frog. Nangaku asked, - 66 -"What are you doing?" "I am p r a c t i c i n g zazen," Baso re p l i e d . "Why are you p r a c t i c i n g zazen?" "I want to a t t a i n enlightenment; I want to be a Buddha," the d i s c i p l e s a i d.... Nangaku picked up a t i l e and started to p o l i s h i t . Baso, h i s d i s c i p l e , asked, "What are you doing?" "I want to make this t i l e into a jewel," Nangaku said. "How i s i s possible to make a t i l e a jewel?" Baso asked. "How i s i t possible to become a Buddha by p r a c t i c i n g zazen?" Nangaku r e p l i e d . 4 Enlightenment i s not something detached from the i n d i v i d u a l i n time and i t i s not something that i s d i s t i n c t from the i n d i v i d u a l i n that he/she does not "possess" i t . The seed of Enlightenment i s within the student here and now. The student has only to r e a l i z e his/her own Buddha-nature. He/she cannot try to a t t a i n i t or to develop i t . Thus, Fung Yu-lan has i d e n t i f i e d one of the f i v e basic tenets of Zen as, 5 " s p i r i t u a l c u l t i v a t i o n cannot be c u l t i v a t e d . " he writes: Since the conscious practice of s p i r i t u a l c u l t i v a t i o n i s a form of deliberate a c t i v i t y , the actions i t e n t a i l s , being bound to the wheel of l i f e and death, operate as causes r e s u l t i n g i n inescapable r e t r i b u t i o n . . . . Thus to avoid creating new karma involves the non-practicing of s p i r i t u a l c u l t i v a t i o n . This non-practice, however, i s i t s e l f a kind of c u l t i v a t i o n , which means that i t i s " c u l t i v a t i o n through non-cultivation." On the other hand, to avoid creating new karma does not mean to do nothing at a l l , but only to have no deliberate mind i n whatever one does. It follows that the learning process can hardly be regarded as a process at a l l i n the Zen view. In the context of a Un i f i e d Ultimate R e a l i t y , temporal d i s t i n c t i o n s cannot be made. There can be no conscious concept of " c u l t i v a t i n g " s k i l l or "acquiring" s k i l l . There can only be the detached mind - and i n t h i s , l i e s the Zen s k i l l . - 67 -Learning as a Process I t was discussed i n the previous s e c t i o n that Zen denies the existence of a l e a r n i n g "process". However, to those outside of the Zen p e r s p e c t i v e , there does indeed appear to be a l e a r n i n g process. That process i s the subject of the remainder of t h i s chapter. Learning as a Process of "Elimination". A Zen approach to s k i l l a c q u i s i t i o n i s d i r e c t e d towards the r e a l i z a t i o n of the Ultimate R e a l i t y . This r e a l i z a t i o n occurs with the breakdown of conceptual d i s t i n c t i o n s and the e x t i n c t i o n of d e s i r e s . Thus, contrary to the conceptual construct that f o r l e a r n i n g to occur something must be acquired, a Zen approach i m p l i e s j u s t the opposite. That i s to say, the path towards Zen S k i l l i s not c h a r a c t e r i z e d by what i s acquired but r a t h e r , what i s dropped. Therefore, l e a r n i n g the Zen S k i l l may be thought of as a process of e l i m i n a t i o n . The T a o i s t c l a s s i c , the Lao Tzu, t e l l s us: Give up l e a r n i n g , and put an end to your t r o u b l e s . In the p u r s u i t of l e a r n i n g , everyday something i s acquired. In the p u r s u i t of Tao, every day something i s dropped. For one gains by l o s i n g and loses by g a i n i n g . Zen i s s i m p l i c i t y . D i s t i n c t i o n s , a c q u i s i t i o n s and possessions only serve to c l u t t e r up the mind and perpetuate a deluded n o t i o n of R e a l i t y . The Zen mind i s a c l e a r mind, an aware mind. In the - 68 -phenomenal sense i t i s a here and now mind. In the s p i r i t u a l sense, i t i s an everywhere, always mind. It has no attachments and therefore may "see" things for what they r e a l l y are - without d i s t i n g u i s h i n g , without conceptualizing, without judging. In Chapter 3 i t was discovered that i n a Zen approach to motor s k i l l a c q u i s i t i o n , the s k i l l being performed i s not the motor s k i l l but the Zen S k i l l . Thus, " s k i l l " i s not s k i l l as we commonly understand the term. Now, i t i s also evident that " s k i l l a c q u i s i t i o n " i s not s k i l l a c q u i s i t i o n as we commonly understand i t . The Zen S k i l l i s not something acquired but rather, something r e a l i z e d . The r e a l i z a t i o n r e s u l t s from the elimination of desires and conceptual d i s t i n c t i o n s . I f these are not eliminated, one can never become " s k i l l e d " i n the Zen sense. A famous Zen anecdote serves to i l l u s t r a t e : Nan-in, a Japanese master during the M e i j i era (1868-1912), received a u n i v e r s i t y professor who came to inquire about Zen. Nan-in served tea. He poured his v i s i t o r ' s cup f u l l , and then kept on pouring. The professor watched the overflow u n t i l he no longer could r e s t r a i n himself. "It i s o v e r f u l l . No more w i l l go i n ! " "Like t h i s cup," Nan-in said, "you are f u l l of your own opinions and speculations. How can I show you Zen unless you f i r s t empty your cup?" 8 What ultimately r e s u l t s from the learning process i f nothing i s acquired? In the true s p i r i t of Zen, a master might reply, "nothing". To r e c a l l that the Ultimate Emptiness of Re a l i t y (Skt.: sunyata, Ch.: k'ung) i s a prime tenet of Buddhist metaphysics, i s to r e a l i z e that i t - 69 -i s e x a c t l y "nothing" which r e s u l t s from the l e a r n i n g process. And i n t h i s , l i e s everything. Characteristics of the Learning Process. To one who has yet to be Enlightened, r e c e i v i n g motor s k i l l i n s t r u c t i o n through a Zen approach i s a b e w i l d e r i n g experience. The l e a r n e r perceives that he/she i s a d i s t i n c t subject who performs the s k i l l , yet i s t o l d t h a t , u l t i m a t e l y , i t i s not he/she who i s r e s p o n s i b l e f o r those a c t i o n s . The l e a r n e r assumes that the motor s k i l l i s d i r e c t e d towards a goa l , yet i s t o l d that the r e s u l t s of the performance are i n c i d e n t a l . The e n t i r e context f o r s k i l l a c q u i s i t i o n , which i s set by the i n s t r u c t o r , i s grounded i n the n o n - r a t i o n a l knowledge which the l e a r n e r cannot yet come to g r i p s w i t h . As the l e a r n i n g process continues, the c o n c e p t u a l i z i n g mind becomes more and more confused due to i t s i n a b i l i t y to r a t i o n a l l y resolve t h i s context. E v e n t u a l l y , the confusion becomes so great that the c o n c e p t u a l i z i n g mind t i r e s , unable to comprehend the context f o r s k i l l a c q u i s i t i o n and no longer motivated to do so. This s t a t e of hopelessness i s described by H e r r i g e l : Weeks went by without my advancing a step. At the same time I discovered that t h i s d i d not d i s t u r b me i n the l e a s t . Had I grown t i r e d of the whole business? Whether I learned the a r t or not, whether I experienced what the Master meant by " I t " or not, whether I found the way to Zen or not - a l l of t h i s suddenly seemed to have become so remote, so i n d i f f e r e n t , that i t no longer troubled me. Several times I made up my mind to confide i n the Master, but when I stood before him I l o s t courage; I was - 70 -convinced that I would never hear anything but the monotonous answer: "Don't ask, p r a c t i c e ! " So I stopped asking, and would have l i k e d to stop p r a c t i c i n g , too, had not the Master held me inexorably i n his g r i p . I l i v e d from one day to the next, did my p r o f e s s i o n a l work as best I might, and i n the end ceased to bemoan the fact that a l l my e f f o r t s of the l a s t few years had become meaningless. I t i s at t h i s point that the mind i s " r i p e " for Enlightenment. The preparatory work now completed, the Enlightenment experience i s sudden and f o r c e f u l . I t i s an awareness. I t i s a great r e a l i z a t i o n . I t i s an i n t u i t i v e leap. The learning process, which had been slow and gradual to t h i s point, now evidences a quantum leap. The learner can f i n a l l y be described as a " s k i l l e d " performer. The performance of the s k i l l may not reveal a quantitative change or improvement, but the change i n the "expression" of the s k i l l , "how" the s k i l l i s performed, w i l l be unmistakable to the trained eye. D.T. Suzuki writes: When things are performed i n a state of "no-mind" (mushin) 1 or "no-thought" (munen), which means the absence of a l l modes of s e l f - or ego-consciouness, the actor i s p e r f e c t l y free from i n h i b i t i o n s and f e e l s nothing thwarting his l i n e of behavior. If he i s shooting, he just takes out his bow, puts an arrow to i t , stretches the s t r i n g , f i x e s his eyes on the target, and when he judges the adjustment to be right he l e t s the arrow go. He has no f e e l i n g of doing anything s p e c i f i c a l l y good or bad, important or t r i v i a l ; i t i s as i f he hears a sound, turns around, and finds a b i r d i n the court. This i s one's "everyday mind" ( h e i j o - s h i n ) . The swordsman i s thus advised to ret a i n this state of mentality even when he i s engaged i n a deadly combat. He forgets the seriousness of his s i t u a t i o n . He has no thought of l i f e and death. His i s an "immovable mind" (fudo-shin). The fudo-shin i s l i k e the moon r e f l e c t e d i n the stream. The waters are i n motion a l l the time, but the moon retains i t s serenity. The mind moves i n response to the ten thousand s i t u a t i o n s but remains ever the same. The art culminates here. A l l the scheming of the i n t e l l e c t has been quieted, and no a r t i f i c e finds rooms for i t s demonstration. - 7 1 -T h i s , of course, does not mark the end-point i n l e a r n i n g . With f u r t h e r p r a c t i c e the l e a r n e r ' s new-found approach to the s k i l l performance becomes more permanent, l e s s subject to d i s r u p t i o n and may even extend to other f a c e t s of everyday l i f e . Thus, the l e a r n e r w i l l not only have mastered the Zen S k i l l as expressed i n motor s k i l l performance, but u l t i m a t e l y , t h i s mastery may be expressed i n a l l of h i s / h e r a c t i v i t i e s . Learning as a Process of "Returning". The analogy of a spontaneous, i n s t i n c t i v e , beginner's mind i s o f t e n drawn to the state of "no-mind" which c h a r a c t e r i z e s Enlightenment. The t o t a l l y u n i n i t i a t e d beginner performs with t h i s mind because he/she has no ideas or preconceptions which the mind may become attached t o . Misconceptions do e v e n t u a l l y develop but w i t h mastery comes t h e i r u l t i m a t e d i s s o l u t i o n . In t h i s way, the l e a r n i n g process i s analogous to t r a v e l i n g a complete c i r c l e as opposed to a s t r a i g h t l i n e . One u l t i m a t e l y returns to where one had s t a r t e d , but a r r i v e s there with a greater awareness. Again, Suzuki e x p l a i n s : To s t a t e i t i n terms of swordsmanship, the geniune beginner knows nothing about the way of h o l d i n g and managing the sword, and much l e s s of h i s concern f o r h i m s e l f . When the opponent t r i e s to s t r i k e him, he i n s t i n c t i v e l y p a r r i e s i t . This i s a l l he can do. But as soon as the t r a i n i n g s t a r t s , he i s taught how to handle the sword, where to keep the mind, and many other t e c h n i c a l t r i c k s - which makes h i s mind "stop" at various junctures. For t h i s reason whenever he t r i e s to s t r i k e the opponent he f e e l s unusually hampered; (he has l o s t a l t o g e t h e r the o r i g i n a l sense of innocence and freedom). - 72 -But as days and years go by, as his t r a i n i n g acquires f u l l e r maturity, his bodily att i t u d e and his way of managing the sword advance toward "no-mind-ness," which resembles the state of mind he had at the very beginning of tr a i n i n g when he knew nothing, when he was altogether ignorant of the a r t . The beginning and the end thus turn into nextdoor neighbors. F i r s t we st a r t counting one, two, 1 2 three, and when f i n a l l y ten i s counted we return to one. It i s i n this way that learning a motor s k i l l through a Zen approach may be viewed as a process of "returning". Summary This chapter has outlined the nature of the learning process i n a Zen approach to s k i l l a c q u i s i t i o n . The temporal aspects of the learning process were considered, and were concluded to be meaningless i n terms of Zen metaphysics. In the Zen sense, there i s no learning process. In the phenomenal sense, learning was presented as a process of elimination, as opposed to a c q u i s i t i o n , since the ultimate state of existence results from the d i s s o l u t i o n of desires and conceptual d i s t i n c t i o n s . Learning was said to be characterized by the attempts of the r a t i o n a l mind to comprehend the Zen context for s k i l l a c q u i s i t i o n . Eventually exhausted by the f u t i l i t y of these e f f o r t s , the mind i s l e f t " r i p e " for Enlightenment. Learning was also presented as a process of returning, since the "mind" which characterizes the u n i n i t i a t e d beginner i s once again evidenced i n the "mind" of the Enlightened Master. The following anecdote serves as a f i t t i n g conclusion for th i s chapter: - 73 -One day i t was announced by Master Joshu that the young monk Kyogen had reached an enlightened state. Much impressed by this news, several of his peers went to speak with him. "We have heard that you are enlightened. Is this true?" his fellow students inquired. " I t i s , " Kyogen answered. " T e l l us," said a f r i e n d , "how do you f e e l ? " "As miserable as ever," r e p l i e d the enlightened Kyogen. 1 3 - 74 -NOTES *Eugen H e r r i g e l , Zen i n the Art of Archery (New York: Random House, Inc., 1971), p. 58. Cited by: Joe Hyams, Zen i n the M a r t i a l Arts (Los Angeles: J.P. Tarcher, Inc., 1979), p. 95. The Japanese term, "zazen", means " s i t t i n g meditation. ^Shunryu Suzuki, Zen Mind, Beginner's Mind (Tokyo: Weatherhill, 1970), pp. 80, 81. 5Fung Yu-lan, A History of Chinese Philosophy, trans. Derk Bodde, 2 vols. (Princeton: Princeton U n i v e r s i t y Press, 1953), 2:390. 6 I b i d . , pp. 393, 394. 7 G i a - f u Feng & Jane English, trans., Tao te Ching (New York: Random House Inc., 1972), chaps, 20, 48, 42. 8 P a u l Reps, comp., Zen Flesh, Zen Bones (Garden C i t y , N.Y.: Doubleday and Co., Inc., n.d.), p. 5. Eugen H e r r i g e l , op. c i t . , p. 59. 1 0A11 of the terms i n brackets are Japanese terms. ^ D a i s e t z T. Suzuki, Zen and Japanese Culture (Princeton: Princeton U n i v e r s i t y Press, 1973), pp. 147, 148. 1 2 I b i d . , pp. 99, 100. 1 3 Joe Hyams, op. c i t . , p. 142. - 75 -CHAPTER 7 CONCLUSIONS My intent i n t h i s thesis was to describe and explain an Eastern approach to motor s k i l l a c q u i s i t i o n and performance. The underlying p h i l o s o p h i c a l assumptions of an Eastern approach were investigated and then applied to a s k i l l a c q u i s i t i o n s e t t i n g . The discussion was structured according to common di v i s i o n s i n the f i e l d of motor learning. These included: the nature of the s k i l l , the role of the i n s t r u c t o r , the role of the learner and the nature of the learning process. I t was discovered that Zen adopts the metaphysical construct of a U n i f i e d Ultimate R e a l i t y . In the Zen context, the goal of phenomenal existence i s simply to r e a l i z e t h i s R e a l i t y . This r e a l i z a t i o n occurs when one has attained a "detached mind". A detached mind i s what i s l e f t once conscious desires and conceptual d i s t i n c t i o n s have been extinguished. Thus, the r e a l i z a t i o n of True R e a l i t y i s a f i r s t h a n d , mystical experience. The "Zen S k i l l " , i s an approach to l i f e that i s l o g i c a l l y consistent with the metaphysical assumptions of Zen. The motor s k i l l i s merely an avenue by which one may acquire or express the Zen S k i l l ; i t possesses no importance on i t s own. The i n s t r u c t o r must be a master of Zen i n order to teach a Zen approach. His/her involvement i s directed towards the learner's r e a l i z a t i o n of the True R e a l i t y . The role of the learner i n a Zen - 76 -approach to motor s k i l l a c q u i s i t i o n i s to p r a c t i c e the motor s k i l l w i t h a detached and thus an aware mind. In t h i s way, he/she may come to acquire the Zen S k i l l even though the concept of " a c q u i s i t i o n " i s meaningless i n t h i s context. Consistent w i t h the underlying assumption of a U n i f i e d temporal as w e l l as s p a t i a l R e a l i t y , Zen does not recognize a l e a r n i n g process as such. There i s no before and a f t e r . There only i s . C l e a r l y , as Fung Yu-lan has a p t l y s t a t e d , "there i s nothing much i n the Buddhist t e a c h i n g . 1 Once the Zen S k i l l i s acquired i t may be expressed i n any or a l l a c t i v i t i e s of l i f e . The Chuang Tzu provides an i n t e r e s t i n g anecdote: Cook Ting was c u t t i n g up an ox f o r Lord Wen-hui. At every touch of h i s hand, every heave of h i s shoulder, every move of h i s f e e t , every t h r u s t of h i s knee - z i p ! zoop! He s l i t h e r e d the k n i f e along w i t h a z i n g , and a l l was i n per f e c t rhythm, as though he were performing the dance of the Mulberry Grove or keeping time to the Ching-shou music. "Ah, t h i s i s marvelous!" s a i d Lord Wen-hui. "Imagine s k i l l reaching such h e i g h t s ! " Cook Ting l a i d down h i s k n i f e and r e p l i e d , "What I care about i s the Way, which goes beyond s k i l l . When I f i r s t began c u t t i n g up oxen, a l l I could see was the ox i t s e l f . A f t e r three years I no longer saw the whole ox. And now - now I go at i t by s p i r i t and don't look w i t h my eyes. Perception and understanding have come to a stop and s p i r i t moves where i t wants." 2 With t h i s r e a l i z a t i o n comes the d i s s o l u t i o n of a d i s t i n c t l e a r n e r , i n s t r u c t o r , and s k i l l . There remains only the U n i v e r s a l stream of existence - the n a t u r a l flow of the Tao. NOTES Fung Yu-lan, A History of Chinese Philosophy, trans. Derk Bodde, 2 vol s . (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1953), 2:390. 2 Burton Watson, trans., The Complete Works of Chuang Tzu (New York: Columbia University Press, 1968), pp. 50,51. REFERENCES Blyth, R.H. Zen and Zen C l a s s i c s . V o l. 4. Tokyo: Hokuseido Press, 1966. Chan Wing-Tsit, trans, and comp. A Source Book i n Chinese Philosophy. Princeton, New Jersey: Princeton U n i v e r s i t y Press, 1973. Chan Wing-Tsit; a l Farugl, Isma'Il RagI; Kitagawa, Joseph M.; and Raju, P.T., comps. The Great Asian R e l i g i o n s . London: The Macmillan Company, 1969. Conze, Edward, trans. Buddhist Wisdom Books. London: George A l l e n and Unwin Ltd., 1958. d i V i l l a d o r a t a , Massimo N., Aikido. Cambridge, Ontario: Habitex Books, 1974. Dumoulin, Heinrich. A History of Zen Buddhism. Translated by Paul Peachey. New York: Random House, 1963. Feng Gia-fu and English, Jane, trans. Tao Te Ching. New York: Random House, 1972. . Chuang Tsu: Inner Chapters. New York: Random House, 1974. Fung Yu-lan. The S p i r i t of Chinese Philosophy. Translated by E.R. Hughes. London: Kegan Paul, Trubner and Co., Ltd., 1947. . A History of Chinese Philosophy. Translated by Derk Bodde. 2 vol s . Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1952-1953. . A Short History of Chinese Philosophy. Edited by Derk Bodde. New York: Macmillan Publishing Co., Inc., 1966. Gallwey, W. Timothy. The Inner Game of Tennis. New York: Bantam Books, Inc., 1979. Gemmell, William, trans. The Diamond Sutra. London: Kegan Paul, Trench, Trubner and Co., Ltd., 1913. H a l l , Edward T. The Hidden Dimension. Garden Cit y , New York: Doubleday and Company, Inc., 1966. H e r r i g e l , Eugen. Zen i n the Art of Archery. Introduction by D.T. Suzuki. Translated by R.F.C. H u l l . New York: Random House, Inc., 1971. H e r r i g e l , Eugen. The Method of Zen. Edited by Hermann Tausend. Translated by R.F.C. H u l l . New York: Random House, Inc., 1974. Hyams, Joe. Zen i n the M a r t i a l A r t s . Los Angeles: J.P. Tarcher,Inc., 1979. Iida, Shotaro. Reason and Emptiness: A Study i n Logic and Mysticism. Tokyo: The Hokuseido Press, 1980. Izutsu, Toshihiko. Toward a Philosophy of Zen Buddhism. Boulder, Colo.: Prajna Press, 1982. Kalupahana, David J . Buddhist Philosophy: A H i s t o r i c a l Analysis. Forward by G.P. Malalasekera. Honolulu: The University Press of Hawaii, 1976. Kuhn, Thomas S. The Structure of S c i e n t i f i c Revolutions. 2nd ed. Chicago: The University of Chicago Press, 1970. Leonard, George. The Ultimate Athlete. New York: The Viking Press, Inc., 1977. McCluggage, Denise. The Centered Skier. New York: Warner Books, Inc. 1978. M a g i l l , Richard A. Motor Learning: Concepts and Applications. Dubuque, Iowa: Wm. C. Brown Company Publishers, 1980. Marteniuk, Ronald G. Information Processing i n Motor S k i l l s . New York Holt, Rinehart and Winston, 1976. Martindale, Colin. Cognition and Consciousness. Homewood, I l l i n o i s : The Dorsey Press, 1981. Murphy, Michael. Golf i n the Kingdom. New York: D e l l Publishing Co., Inc., 1980. Musashi, Miyamoto. The Book of Five Rings. T r a n s l a t i o n and Commentary by Nihon Services Corporation. New York: Bantam Books, Inc., 1982. Nideffer, Robert M. The Inner Athlete. New York: Thomas Y. Crowell, 1976. P i r s i g , Robert M. Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance. New York Bantam Books, Inc., 1976. Poppe, Nicholas, trans. The Diamond Sutra. Wiesbaden, West Germany: Otto Harrassowitz, 1971. P r i c e , A.F., trans. The Jewel of Transcendental Wisdom. Forward by Dr. W.Y. Evans Wentz. London: The Buddhist Society, 1947. Rahula, Walpola S r i . What the Buddha Taught. 2nd ed. Forward by Paul DemieVille. New York: Grove Press, Inc., 1974. - 80 -R a t t i , Oscar, and Westbrook, Adele. Secrets of the Samurai: A Survey  of the M a r t i a l Arts of Feudal Japan. Tokyo: Charles E. Tu t t l e Company, Inc., 1980. Reps, Paul, comp. Zen Flesh, Zen Bones: A C o l l e c t i o n of Zen and Pre-Zen Writings. Garden C i t y , New York: Doubleday and Company, Inc., n.d. Runes, Dagobert D., ed. Dictionary of Philosophy. Totowa, New Jersey: L i t t l e f i e l d , Adams and Co., 1980. Schmidt, Richard A. Motor Control and Learning: A Behavioral Emphasis. Champaign, I l l i n o i s : Human K i n e t i c s Publishers, 1982. Singer, Robert N. Motor Learning and Human Performance: An App l i c a t i o n  to Motor S k i l l s and Movement Behaviors. 3rd ed. New York: Macmillan Publishing Co., Inc., 1980. . The Learning of Motor S k i l l s . New York: Macmillan Publishing Co., Inc., 1982. Spaeth-Arnold, Ree K. Developing Sport S k i l l s : A Dynamic Interplay of  Task, Learner, and Teacher, n.p.: Motor S k i l l s : Theory into P r a c t i c e , 1981. S t a l l i n g s , Loretta M. Motor Learning: From Theory to P r a c t i c e . St. Louis, Missouri: The CV. Mosby Company, 1982. Stcherbatsky, F. Th. Buddhist Logic. 2 vo l s . New York: Dover Publications, Inc., 1962. Sun Tzu. The Art of War. Translated and with an Introduction by Samuel B. G r i f f i t h . Foreward by B.H. L i d d e l l Hart. New York: Oxford University Press, 1980. Suzuki, Daisetz T. Essays i n Zen Buddhism. F i r s t Series. New York: Grove Press, Inc., 1961. . Zen and Japanese Culture. Princeton, New Jersey: Princeton University Press, 1973. Suzuki, Shunryu. Zen Mind, Beginner's Mind. Tokyo: Weatherhill, 1970. Takakusu, J u n j i r o . The E s s e n t i a l s of Buddhist Philosophy. 3rd ed. Edited by Wing-Tsit Chan and Charles A. Moore. Honolulu: O f f i c e Appliance Co., Ltd., 1956. Von DUrckheim, K a r l f r i e d Graf. Hara: The V i t a l Centre of Man. Translated by S y l v i a - Monica von Kospoth i n c o l l a b o r a t i o n with E s t e l l e R. Healey. London: George A l l e n and Unwin (Publishers) Ltd., 1977. - 81 -Watson, Burton, trans. The Complete Works of Chuang Tzu. New York: Columbia University Press, 1968. Watts, Alan W. The Way of Zen. New York: Random House, 1957. Welford, A.T. S k i l l e d Performance: Perceptual and Motor S k i l l s . Glenview, I l l i n o i s : Scott, Foresman and Company, 1976. Westbrook, Adele, and R a t t i , Oscar. Aikido and the Dynamic Sphere: An  I l l u s t r a t e d Introduction. Tokyo: Charles E. Tut t l e Company, Inc., 1981. Yampolsky, P h i l i p B., trans. The Platform Sutra of the Sixth  P a t r i a r c h . New York: Columbia University Press, 1967. 

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