Kongo Zen Movement

The following chapter is taken from the Kyohan and is a collection of speeches of Doshin So, during many Leadership Seminars.

“You all know that it’s the Kongo Zen movement that is concerned with improving people, giving them purpose and joy, and providing a way which you yourself can also follow. Shorinji is a way of human development, showing people things that money cannot buy, things more precious than awards, teaching them that the final source of strength must be personal pride and confidence.”

“We are not interested in developing athletes. We want to build strong human beings, who will function effectively in society or wherever they go. This has been the basic aim of Shorinji from its beginnings. Why was Shorinji begun? To build strong human beings.”

“Shorinji is more than just technique. Technique alone is fine for karate or other martial arts. It is adequate if the only objective is to fight. Shorinji has developed because sophisticated young people earnestly reach for something beyond technique; reach for a religious or spiritual element.”

“The essence of Shorinji Kempo is not merely a martial art or sport. It is the Kongo Zen method of spiritual development. I assume you are all familiar with these words.”

“It is the minimum moral standard for human conduct – It’s spiritual discipline – Shugyo – that shows us one cannot live and function alone, that we should carry the burdens of the elderly ad children and that we are standing and facing other human beings.

Shugyo – Spiritual discipline is necessary to function as a human being in the lowest definition of the word. In Shugyo, it is not necessary to beat up one’s enemies or juniors to practice it. Educate your juniors, respect your superiors, and acknowledge your own existence. This is Shugyo. Any school which does not attempt to even do this does not deserve a Shorinji Kempo club.”

“Although Shorinji was originally based on technique, just because one’s technique is good is no basis for praise. If one understands much and teaches others, that is reason for praise. There is only one road leading to motivation, pride, and the trust from others – education & development of the young.”

“Shorinji Kempo is an ancient means of spiritual development which has been revived in its present form. I have always said that it is neither a martial art nor a sport, but rather is a means of developing as a complete human being. It is my own opinion that Shorinji is in tune with the times. This has overlapped with the trust society has placed in me, allowing Shorinji to gain a unique and solid following.”

“Don’t think that practicing technique alone is Shorinji Kempo. Rather, it is one means of spiritual development, performed, for example, in place of zazen or meditation under a waterfall. Shorinji is valuable because one can listen to talks in between periods of disciplining one’s mind and body and unifying the spirit.

In the past I have explained why Shorinji was started and its objective. However, there is no significance in Shorinji if you yourselves do not understand why you are learning it, how your current training is progressing, and what you plan to do with it in the future. Let’s take the time to once again review just why we are pursuing Shorinji Kempo.”