As with many terms used in Zen and the martial arts, Immovable wisdom is often misinterpreted to have a mind that does not move, when it is almost the exact opposite; it does not stop, or is not stopped. This state is sometimes described in Japanese as Fudoshin, Immovable Mind, and many physical tests for it have been developed for Aikido (and other disciplines) examinations.
Early in their study students will misinterpret this “test” and will become hard like wood or stone…and fail. Instead they must learn not to allow their mind to be moved, or caught, by the examiner. The mind must become like still water; not “caught” by the hook as it passes through.
…the mind that does not stop at all is called Immovable Wisdom. – Takuan Soho
Takuan Soho, in a letter to the Samurai Yagyū Munenori, wrote of “Immovable Wisdom” and how a person near enlightenment was capable of controlling a thousand arms, their mind not stopping at any particular one. He goes on to say that …one who understands this is no different from the Kannon with a thousand arms and a thousand eyes.
…the ordinary man simply believes that it is blessed because of its 1000 arms. The man of half-baked wisdom, wondering how anybody could have 1000 eyes, calls it a lie and gives in to slander. But if one understands a little better, they will have a respectful belief based on principle and will not need the simple faith of the ordinary man, or the slander of the other, and they will understand that Buddhism, with this one thing manifests its principle well.
he goes on…
All religions are like this… The ordinary man thinks only on the surface, the man who attacks… is even worse. This religion, that religion, there are various kinds but at their deepest points they are settled in the one conclusion.
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i think i get it..its like the mind flows, as opposed to been blocked..
Yes that’s right but maybe the idea is not “jolted” or “diverted” rather than “blocked”. Thanks for your comments!
This concept is very helpful. I would like to achieve this with certain issues that seem to derail my best efforts of not letting them get to me. Thanks for sharing.
u stdy abt this or just have an interest?
Hi Ashe, I’ve had close to a quarter century in Aikido, plus a little Judo when younger, and years of veracious reading of Zen, Budo, and other eastern texts. What about you?
I have not read about philosophy per se…though I am interested in Zen. I don’t know what Budo is. Hopefully in the near future I will read about Zen and other philosophies.
love this concept. Tried it once when I took up Aikido in college. We use it too in Filipino Martial Arts. 🙂
I am new to your blog and have not heard this, but enjoy the concept of the hook in water, not getting caught. Thank you for sharing that with us. I look forward to more lessons from you.
Thanks Mimi, the hook through sill water is my analogy (I think…) but for the rest I’ve been lucky enough to have great teachers and a BIG library
Thanks, the concept seems to be a common thread in many arts. Thanks for stoping by another AtoZer
Interesting concept. I’m trying to visit all the A-Z Challenge Blogs this month.
Visiting all ZtoZ, a big job. Any good ones from Australia?
Hi…I’m hopping over from the A to Z challenge. Lovely blog…good luck with the challenge!
Donna L Martin
Thanks Donna, I’ve read more blogs this month than ever before, the AtoZ is a good concept