The Budo of Change; Training in the Now
Life is a complicated journey which has many uphill and down hill chapters. We begin young, and if we are lucky, we end old. Things come and things go, but there is one thing that will always be there, as true now as at the start of beginning-less time; that is change. Change is the only thing that is permanent in the Universe, everything else comes and goes, even the building blocks of the Universe, atoms, which were born in the big bang, will likely end in a big crunch.
We only have to look into the past, at all of the great empires that have grown strong and ruled large portions of the world, only to end in nothing. Everything they built is gone, all of their great leaders and followers are nothing more than the dust on the floor, the air that we breathe, and the water we drink.
In this Universe of change, where nothing is the same from one moment to the next, there is something else that is everlasting, although on the surface seems very temporary; this thing is ‘now’.
‘Now’ is the only thing that lasts forever; Q: When am I living?, A: ‘Now’, Q: When am I breathing?, A: ‘Now’, Q: When am I seeing?, A: ‘Now’, Q: When am I dying?, A: ‘Now’.
So in this ever changing ‘now’, which by the time we get used to it, changes into something else, how can we be happy, and learn to live in congruence with existence? One answer is budo, or more specifically authentic budo, such as that of Bujinkan Budo Taijutsu, an art that only exists ‘now’, and which teaches us to be dynamic and adaptable, living in harmony with the ‘now’, rather than becoming attached to the ‘now’ that was – the past, or the ‘now’ that has not yet arrived – the future.
The essence of Bujinkan Budo Taijutsu is change.
Through training in the budo of the Bujinkan, we start to change. First of all, how we move changes. When we begin training, our body is inflexible and tight, unable to move in the ways we want it to. As we train, this starts to change, and our body becomes more relaxed and flexible; we can make it follow our will. Our budo taijutsu starts to improve, and we are able to grasp and begin to understand the Bujinkan kata. As we progress in our practice, this change in our taijutsu begins to manifest in a change in our mind. As with our body, when we are young in our Bujinkan Budo Taijutsu training, our mind is very tight and inflexible, and we often only see things in black and white. But as we train more in the Bujinkan Taijutsu, our mind starts to relax and becomes more spacious, revealing more the nature of ‘now’. As our mind becomes more soft and adaptable we become more open to new ideas and concepts and our budo starts to evolve, becoming more soft and adaptable.