On Zen: The Quiet Devil

This is one of "Ah ha moment" posts I thought worth sharing. It's also the kind of thing one's mother might read and say "well, duh!". Nevertheless, here goes...

I’m an extremely kinesthetic person. I learn kinesthetically, I think kinesthetically, I speak and listen kinesthetically. I even sit on a ball at work in part because it allows me to move around while thinking. And yes, I’m almost always the culprit behind the shaking dinner table.

Now, I’ve known this about myself for many years, but what hit me was the realization that this single attribute - the fact that I’m highly kinesthetic - explains so much of my Christian struggle over the years as well as why the martial arts has done so much for my life.

You see, Christians are encouraged to practice a variety of spiritual disciplines as a means of growing their faith. Most of these disciplines revolve around the practice of prayer, reading and sitting still (or at least the ones we’re told we should be doing most often) which I, for most of my 30+ year Christian journey have struggled to do with any kind of regularity. Truth is… I fail miserably at the practice of “devotions” and I confess that I, like many others before me, carry a not-insignificant amount of guilt over this fact. But then the martial arts happened.

And something changed.

New growth sprang up in areas I never expected and I found a kind of peace - a meditative stillness - accompanying my practice of Ninjutsu. Forms, katas and even shadow boxing various techniques somehow combined with a prayerful state to produce a vibrant spiritual discipline that leaves me feeling refreshed both physically and spiritually. There is something here… something about the Art that resonates deeply that, through faith, connects me with the Lord. There really is no other word for it than Zen… not Buddhist detachment but something else - something far more profound.

Something Jesus.

To a mind that is still,
The whole universe surrenders.
- Chuang-Tzu