Mushin No Shin: The No Mind Whose time Has Come
Mushin no shin, or mind of no mind, is the point of Karate. A dedicated study of karate enables this as a pretty distinct fact. Unfortunately, society has pretty much destroyed true karate, so you should pay attention to this article, and implement the principles in your karate training.
While held up as mystical in the orient, Mushin no shin is actually pretty straightforward, and it refers to the state of enlightenment. With Mushin No Shin one is able to see things as they are, not as one wants them to be, but as they are now.
The key to mind of no mind is to observe existence now, to actually exist wholly in the present moment. Thus, when the punch is launched, or the kick is coming, or the sword slices through the air, you perceive it as it is actually happening, and time actually slows down. What is really happening is that you are becoming calm enough, seeing without the mind, and observing time as it really happens.
There are a few things you need to do to isolate and cultivate this ability to see, and therefore manipulate, time. One of the most important things is achieve Coordinated Body Motion. CBM is when you move all body parts at the same time, as one unit, and stop them all at the same time.
One must also align the body correctly. The parts of the body must be arranged in the correct order, and this must be done with full CBM. This is something that should be built into all karate kata and all karate bunkai if one is going to achieve the enlightenment called Mushin No Shin.
Karate kata are a method to enable the individual to control his body. This is quite different from something like ballet or gymnastics because the pieces of the karate form must be used to control another individual, not just ones own body. Thus, the secret of mushin no shin through the martial arts is not to destroy, but to control.
Not to destroy, but to control. And this is why Gichin Funakoshi did not hold freestyle, specifically of the tournament variety, up as part of the True Way.
To control will eventually separate the individual from his mind and body, and thus enable him to see reality as it is. The truth is that life is but a shadow, and your mind obscures this shadow, and obscures methods for shedding the shadow and finding the true self. This shadow can be illuminated and revealed, the veil to the true self can be lifted, if one adheres to the principles outlined here, and strives for the reality of Mind of No Mind…Mushin No Shin.