Connect the Drops

Hasegawa Tōhaku, Pine Trees, one of a pair of ...

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Traditionally, the goal of the Japanese arts has been to create a sense of tranquility and peace. One example is the art of monochromatic painting known as sumi-e. In this art form, as with Zazen and martial arts, we attempt to develop our skill through learning techniques.   More importantly, each of them helps us to develop the spirit.

In sumi-e the spirit of the ink is called bokki. According to Shozo Sato, a renowned master of traditional Zen arts, scientists in Japan recently studied some of these works using an electron microscope at 50,000x magnification.   They discovered that carbon particles in the ink of sumi-e masters show distinct patterns — apparently reflecting the energy the artist expended at the time the strokes are executed.

In short, if we bring out best energy to our practice it will create an alignment of electrons versus a non-aligned pattern in work ‘without spirit.’

This finding also seems to support research work done by brain-mapping monks during meditation and analyzing the patterns. Not surprisingly they have distinctive groupings of brain waves during deep samadhi.

It may be a huge leap, but I’m wondering if DNA ‘evidence’ gleaned from human sweat could also identify the spirit we bring to our aikido practice?

While it might sound too scientific and take away too much of the mystery, sweat analysis might provide us ‘linear thinking practitioners’ with evidence that we’re on the right path.

Could it help eliminate some of the silly self-absorbed chatter  that follows us onto the mat?  “When am I going to test?  Why doesn’t Sensei see that I’m ready?” and,  “I’m really, really  ‘getting this’ — let me tell you all about it!”


One Response to “Connect the Drops”

  1. Interesting post. I think the idea of sweat analyses is a good one. Masaru Emoto’s work on water crystals forming specific patterns, when the water is exposed to different thought forms, might work well with this.

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