Ekkin Gyo

As explained in the above paragraphs, Ekkin Gyo is the set of Austerities executed by the Kenshi. This is most commonly known as Shorinji Kempo. One must not mistake Shorinji Kempo to be the whole and Kongo Zen to be a part of this substance called Shorinji Kemp. Only the contrary holds true. It is right for the Ocean to say, ‘I am the Wave’; for the Ocean has become the wave. It is incorrect for the wave to say, ‘I am the Ocean’, for the wave has no separate existence but is derived from the active movement of the Ocean.

When a kenshi transits from Chinkon Gyo where is spirit is restful and enters the Ekkingyo state, where is spirit is active, he is said to be doing Ekkin Gyo. The Active or moving State of his spirit or being is said to be Kisei. Science tells us, all that movements produces a sound. Likewise, when the spirit is moving in high levels of awareness it produces from it’s depths a sound and this is called Ki-ai. The sound can either be audible or inaudible (Fukumi Kiai). When energy is aroused in the body due to heightened Awareness and Focus (Kime), it is said to produce tremendous power both mental and physical and this power is called Ki-ryoku.

The entire Training of Shorinji Kempo is all about Training the Spirit (Ki). As such there are three elements of Ken (Kempo – Ken means ‘Fist’ and Po means the ‘Way’- The Way of the Fist). It is called Gi, Jutsu, Ryaku. Gi refers to that specific technique (waza) which trains the Moving Spirit in the Body. Jutsu refers to mastering the technique as a skill which is produced just by thought alone. It becomes second nature to one’s being. Ryaku refers to application of such skill in one’s life. It is also referred to as Strategy of Life or Way of Life.

By the above means, one still maintains the contact with bliss which he derived from Chinkon Gyo. He continues to be in such a state throughout his Ekkin Gyo or Shorinji Kempo training.

In such a state of Awareness, one is aware of Keimyaku no ri (principle of meridians called Nadis in India). He is also made aware of Kyushos (Marmas) which reside on each meridian.

Now in such a heightened scenario, the battlefield is set for the practice of one’s dharma or righteousness. A kenshi practices his dharma very uniquely and this characteristic is called Kumite Shutai (practicing as partners expressing camaraderie). Each day finds the kenshi actively practicing his Shugyo in Kumite Shutai, through the Five Elements of Atemi ( A strike to a specific Kyusho). He now practices each of the five elements which are Kyusho no Ichi (Location of kyusho), Atemi no Ma’ai (distance of kyusho), Atemi no Kakudo (angle of strike to the kyusho), Atemi no Sokudo (speed of strike to kyusho), Atemi no KyoJitsu (opportunity or timing of strike to kyusho).

The Learnology or science of learning that he incorporates to master such metaphysical combat training is said to be Shu-Ha-Ri. Shu means to literally imitate the Master. This stage is more visually oriented and less by hearing. The student learns by watching intently the master’s every movement and listens to his explanation. Ha is a stage where the student by his constant repetition of the technique gets to explore the various facets of the technique. It is in this stage he gains empowerment, as he begins to see his partner as an extension of himself. It is a stage in which he becomes the epicenter of his universe. It is a stage in which he is one with himself. He is no longer dogged by the intricacies of combat but is able to automatically respond to any external stimulation which he approaches from within himself, calmly seated in his Hara or Kikai. Ri stage brings the student into a total new dimension of his universe or external surroundings. It is a stage in which the student finds himself as a Master of his universe. He humbly learns the virtues of patience and obedience to his superiors which is the only route to mastery. Having gained mastery of his two universes, one internal and the other external, he now humbly contributes to the way of Dharma (ref Shinjo: We resolve to become men and women of true courage, who love justice, foster peace, respect humanity and act with decorum. We strive to making this world a better place, by practicing this Art, both mentally and physically and sharing this purpose with others in mutual friendship, respect and support).

In such a condition of Shugyo or Sadhana, the Kenshi understands and realizes the Truth, JiTa Kyoraku (The True Stength of Unity). He understands that he is not an island to live alone, but rather a part of the entire creation and that his Eternal Quest is to seek Truth. The Truth is founded on Love and True Love gives forth True Strength.

Thus Shorinji Kempo is not a Martial Art in the strictest sense. It is said to be a Bu (to stop violence) Do (The Way). Therefore, it is rightly said to be True discipline of Non-violence where in a kenshi is meant to observe peace in a violent situation by non-violent scientific training, in overcoming the errors of his fellow brothers and sisters in this World.

Thus we understand that KongoZen is composed of Santei or three vessels; Wisdom (Cosmic consciousness), Heart (Sub consciousness), Body (Physical Consciousness). KongoZen expounds the same Eternal Truth as any other true Spiritual Science expounds. Kongo Zen is a non-sectarian, non dogmatic science that leads every practitioner to inner peace and healing.

By instilling peace within oneself, one finds peace in one’s surroundings, thus the ripple effect is created and the entire society, community, state, nation is at peace. This is the essence of the statement, “Hito, Hito, Hito, Subetewa Hito no Shitsuni Aru”.

After all, the World is the larger battlefield and the dojo is but a laboratory.