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The Power of the Mind

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The Buddhist Guardian Deity Acalanatha. Acalanatha means the 'immovable one'. This refers to the totally focused power of the mind achieved through meditation, power that can cut through all delusion like a sword and burn away all defilement like fire.

The Buddha taught in the Avatamsaka Sutra, "To understand the nature of the universe, (know that) from the mind all things are created". This applies to all reality in the same way it applies to martial science. In martial science, the power of the mind is expressed through physical techniques in the form of projected Chi. Those who have read my earlier article 'Killer Intent & Martial Science' already have an idea of how this is done. Now I shall expand on this and let you understand the full concept of Chi.

The power of the mind is not something gained through cultivation, but rather it is something inborn in all sentient beings. So why do we need to spend so much effort to train the mind when it is fundamentally powerful? Because when we grow up, our senses collect a lot of 'dust', in the form of sights, sounds, smell, taste, touch & thought. This can be liken to a mirror left unused which collects a thick layer of dust over time, such that it can no longer be used to reflect things. However, under special circumstances, this power can indeed be suddenly unleashed. There are stories throughout history to verify this truth. Let us review some of these tales.

The raging Samadhi Fire of Acalanatha. Samadhi is a state of deep concentration or Zen.

When Kumarajiva, a great translator monk of the Eastern Jin Dynasty (317-420AD) was 7 years old, he often went to the monastery near the palace to play. In the monastery was a large & heavy gong. Out of curiosity, Kumarajiva tried lifting it to see how heavy it really was. Surprisingly he was able to lift it without much difficulty. After he put the gong down, he thought to himself, "I'm only 7 years old, how can I possibly have such great strength?" So Kumarajiva tried lifting the gong again, but this time he was no longer able to lift it any more. This story tells us that when a person is free from false thoughts, his or her intrinsic power can be released. The potential of this type of natural ability knows no limits.

A famous general of the Western Han Dynasty (206BC-24AD), Li Guang was also said to have used this ability before. Once he was out marching on the road with his army, he chanced upon a tiger crouching in the undergrowth some distance away. Picking up his bow, he shot a single arrow at the tiger, which totally penetrated the beast. Satisfied, he came down from horseback and went closer to examine his kill. To his surprise, he saw that the tiger was not a tiger, but a rock that looked like a tiger. Immediately he thought, "Am I that strong to be able to shoot through a rock?" So he tried shooting another arrow at the rock, but it simply snapped upon impact. From here we can see that when he thought that the rock was a tiger, he was able to shoot through it. But when he realized it was a rock, he could no longer do it.

Kuan Ti, a great general of the 3-Kingdoms Era (220-280AD), who converted to Buddhism after his death & became a guardian deity for temples.

In other cases, emergencies could also force a person to unleash this power. During WW2 on the Pacific Front, there was a story of a 200-pound live bomb that dropped onto the deck of a US aircraft carrier. Immediately a short, slim sailor dashed to it, picked up the bomb, carried it to the side and threw it overboard, saving the carrier. When challenged to repeat his bravery the next day using a bomb of similar size without the fuse, he could not even budge it. There was also another story of a naval officer on board an armed merchant ship, who was given sealed, top-secret battle plans to deliver to the fleet HQ. The captain suggested he placed the envelope in the ship's safe. It was a 4-feet high safe made of cast iron and riveted to the deck deep within the ship. One night the officer was rudely waken up by the urgent ring of the submarine alarm. At once he dashed from his bunk to the safe room. Realizing only the captain knew the combination of the safe, without a second thought he wrenched the safe from its floor-bolts, carried it on his shoulder, ran up the to the deck and place the safe before the astonished captain. The alarm turned out to be only a drill. But it took 4 burly sailors to carry the safe back to its room, and none of them could even lift the safe on his own.

Thus from all these stories we learn that we do not really know the full extent of our own power. For some it takes an outside factor to trigger it. For others it is naturally released when the mind ceases to doubt itself. But there should be no doubt regarding the fact that such ability is present in all humans. What we read above are just examples of small degrees which this power is manifested. Indeed, there are much higher degrees than this to be found, in religion. The phrase, "Faith can move mountains" might seem far-fetched in the modern secular world, but there is truth in it as well for it also involves the power of the mind. We all know of the biblical tale of the prophet Moses, who was able to part the Red Sea in order to save the Hebrews from the Pharaoh. Moses was able to do the impossible because he had such a deep faith in God to save them such that false thoughts are completely banished from his mind. At that moment, his Chi is in tune with the Chi of the Almighty - meaning God is in him as he is in God. In this state he was capable of anything, part the sea, move mountains, unleash meteor showers etc, for his Chi is infinitely powerful enough to alter the fabric of reality. Interestingly, Taoist Immortals and Buddhist Saints are also able to do this, to different extents according to their levels of enlightenment. But unlike the holy men of monotheistic religions, they do not need to rely on an outside Creator Deity to use their power. They are not caught in the dualities of God and Self, outside and inside, body and soul, belief and disbelief etc. Where there is duality, their Chi cannot be absolute. Only when all duality dissolves that the mind realizes absolute reality - oneness with the universe that is the highest state that the power of the mind can reach.

Kuvera, a celestial warrior king who protects our world.

Chinese Martial Science is something never apart from the Tao (Way), thus sharing in its Te (Virtue). Folded in, it can be kept secret in one's heart, invisible to ordinary men; unfolded out, it can envelope the entire universe and be felt by all beings. In the same way, when used to the smallest degree, it can be used to protect oneself from harm; but when used to the largest extent it can change the destiny of entire nations and even the whole world. Knowing its importance, how then, can any serious martial artist not study it carefully?


AUTHOR :chinese martial science
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