Spiritual Training

Special Note: As with all physical exercise spiritual training is rigorous. Participants should be in good physical shape before starting. Older practitioners should have a check up with their doctor to ensure good health before starting.


 

Bubishido Monks undergo various types of training in an attempt to achieve higher spiritual understanding. One type is to follow teachings that include trainings that are completed each day without fail. Bubishido Monks follow five such teachings, apart from the mountain walks and special retreats, on their spiritual journey to enlightenment. Each teaching builds upon the last and are meant to be followed in sequence, they are:

  • First Spiritual Teaching:
    • 12 Day Routine – Gratitude
    • Minimum 5 day break before commencing Second Training
  • Second Spiritual Teaching:
    • 21 Day Routine – Commitment
    • Minimum 10 day break before commencing Third Training
  • Third Spiritual Teaching:
    • 40 Day Routine – Insight
    • Minimum 1 month break before commencing Fourth Training
  • Fourth Spiritual Teaching:
    • 100 Day Routine – Transformation
    • Minimum 3 month break before commencing Fifth Training
  • Fifth Spiritual Teaching:
    • 1000 Day Routine – Mastery
    • Subsequent 1000 day routines may be followed at any time.
  • Minimum Breaks: It is important that the spiritual seeker moderate their practice so that they build the necessary endurance and mental fortitude necessary for successful completion. If the Spiritual Trainings are completed one after the other without the necessary breaks the spiritual athlete runs the risk of burn out. This will only slow down progression and holds the possibility of negative repercussions. During the Minimum Break periods the student may continue their regular physical training at other times of the day. Break periods mean that the student should ease up on their training not cease their training completely.
  • Incomplete Routines: A critical element of the spiritual training is that they are completed as a whole unit. That is, for each training the number of days should be completed consecutively without any break. Thus, 12 consecutive days, 21 consecutive days, etc. If a day is missed then the Spiritual Training routine must be restarted from the beginning. It is thus important for the student to mentally prepare for each Spiritual Teaching so that the necessary arrangements to their schedule have been worked out ahead of time and that they undertake the training with the utmost sincerity and commitment.
  • Titles: Within Bubishido titles reflecting spiritual achievement that are used in other orders are to be avoided. All titles are considered illusions and give false perception. The monk is encouraged to attain deeper understanding of the universe by understanding oneself. This can only be achieved by casting off all titles and honorifics.

First Spiritual Teaching: 12 Day Routine – Gratitude

The 12 day routine consist of kata practice for 12 days in a row each morning repeating the same kata 12 times. It is important that the same kata is practiced each day throughout the routine in order to open the door for insight and gratitude. Non-karate practitioners can replace the typical karate kata with other forms. This routine takes approximately 45 – 60 minutes to complete depending on the length of the kata chosen. Many Sensei teach younger students that when practicing kata the student should complete the kata at least 12 times in order for learning to take place. It is in this spirit that the First Teaching is designed. Any less than this and the student will not consolidate even the basic elements of the kata teaching thereby preventing the cultivation of spiritual understanding. This level is considered the beginner or entry level teaching and is simply meant to move the student towards a sustained practice manageable to all. A sense of gratitude for having been provided with the essential teaching that enables one to improve the physical, mental and spiritual natures should be contemplated. As with all the training illustrated herein, it should be started before dawn so that the body can feel the energy of the new day. This training is available to all practitioners.

  • Preparation: Wake-up before dawn;
  • Meal Preparation: Eat a very light snack: light soup or yogurt;
  • Entrance: Enter the Dojo and bow to Shomen.
  • Spiritual Preparation: Complete Candle Meditation for 5 minutes as spiritual warm-up. Practitioners should meditate on the importance of maintaining appreciation and gratitude for their study and for the teachings being made available to them;
  • Physical Preparation: Bubishido Yoga Sun Salutations, circumambulations of the dojo or other routine;
  • Integration: Kata Practice – Same Kata repeated 12 times each day;
  • Completion: Candle Meditation and/or Corpse Pose for 5 minutes;
  • Exit: Bow to Shomen 3 times in gratitude and exit the Dojo.

Second Spiritual Teaching: 21 Day Routine – Commitment

The 21 day routine consist of kata practice for 21 days in a row each morning repeating the same kata 21 times. It is important that the same kata is practiced each day throughout the routine in order fully commit to that kata so that true insight can be obtained. Non-karate practitioners can replace the typical karate kata with other forms. This routine takes approximately 60 – 90 minutes to complete depending on the length of the kata chosen. This level is considered the intermediate or advanced basic level teaching and is meant to move the student towards a sustained and committed practice. The student should be contemplating awareness and commitment during the practice disciplining the mind so that it does no waver from the task at hand. As with all the training illustrated herein, it should be started before dawn so that the body can feel the energy of the new day. This training is available to all practitioners.

  • Preparation: Wake-up before dawn;
  • Meal Preparation: Eat a very light snack: light soup or yogurt;
  • Entrance: Enter the Dojo and bow to Shomen.
  • Spiritual Preparation: Complete Candle Meditation for 5 minutes as spiritual warm-up. Practitioners should meditate on the importance of maintaining commitment and awareness for their study and for the teachings being made available to them;
  • Physical Preparation: Bubishido Yoga Sun Salutations, circumambulations of the dojo or other routine;
  • Integration: Kata Practice – Same Kata repeated 21 times each day;
  • Completion: Candle Meditation and/or Corpse Pose for 5 minutes;
  • Exit: Bow to Shomen 3 times in gratitude and exit the Dojo.