Magazine • the Silk Thread of Gorindo
Gorindo - Outdoor Training<br />©2013 Photo by Claudio Iedwab

The Silk Thread of Gorindo - Ottawa - Canada

- What's Self-Defense - Part 3

- The Meditative Kiai

- Pearls of Gorindo...

Cover 'Gorindo - Outdoor Training' - Photo by ©2013 Claudio Iedwab



The Meditative Kiai

Gorindo Meditative Kiai


We all meditate at one time or another. Meditation is a mental process and an aspect of the examination of thinking that applies the mind inward and outward at the same time. We can often find ourselves staring off into space while our mind is elsewhere or contemplating the grain in the wood of our desk, admiring its form and line. Both are aspects of meditation; being able to detach the mind from immediate surroundings or focus it on some intrinsic beauty near at hand. Generally though, we think of meditation as an active mental discipline, one where a student seeks to learn and explore the mind and the nature of its integration with the body.

The martial artist is acutely interested in learning to control this threshold in the mind. He or she uses the physical practice of movement to be able to shape and refine the action of the body. This is coordinated by the mind. The mind is “conducted” in a similar way by other parts or regions of the mind and can be trained to perform through practice. Meditation is an exercise for this purpose but also a way to apply these skills to pursue spiritual, mental and physical goals.


Looking Inward by Looking Outward


The Meditative Kiai recognizes the process of examination of self and awareness, but its method is through detaching somewhat from its environment and surroundings. Surprisingly, this detachment is obtained by subsuming the self completely in its surroundings—amplifying the senses and focusing on the experience of being in that moment. This is looking inward by looking outward, a simple understanding that can be difficult to describe. The idea is that to really know oneself certain processes of thinking and analysis need to be turned off or re-tuned towards experiencing. Thoughts about what is being experienced or what has been experienced or what may in the future be experienced are not the experience itself. By taking up more room in the mind with the full measure of the senses these other thoughts are quieted. If we think of voices in our heads as an illustration, by learning to focus on the few voices that we want to hear and understand, we can let the others pass beyond our range of listening. Much like voices in a crowded room are heard but not brought into the mental listening area.

Some religions and spiritual sects use meditation as a way of examining their spiritual premises but it is not necessary to approach meditation in a religious or esoteric way. The Meditative Kiai of the martial artist seeks to explore the simple relationships of breathing, thinking and doing. That doesn’t mean that this won’t raise some interesting questions as the student examines them, but it does not presume to provide all the answers. Through visualization, concentration, self-awareness, observation and analysis, the mind can release and utilize its energies and potential. Learning to direct this in positive ways and influence the balance within the operation of the mind is a useful goal of meditation.

(to be continued)

Excerpt from “Martial Arts Mind & Body” by Claudio Iedwab & Roxanne Standefer. See their e-books available at askSensei.com >>

Photo by ©2000-2018 Roxanne Standefer




- What's Self-Defense - Part 3

- The Meditative Kiai

- Pearls of Gorindo...


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