Welcome to the year of the Tiger 2010.  明けましておめでとうございます!

For the last several months, I have been reflecting on the lessons of 2009 and that of Sainokonki.  In my own internalization of the concept, I have come to the idea of what I will call “Budo Sense”.  Often there is talk about the sixth-sense and how this mostly dormant sense is awakened in the study of Budo.  Soke often refers to the Rokudai rather than Godai – Chi, Sui, Ka, Fu, Ku, Shiki.  Shiki 識represents the sixth sense, or a heightened level of consciousness-the sixth ring encompassing the five.  Shiki 識 can also have connection with the divine and therefore can be expressed as an aspect of divine consciousness.

The power of the connection continue as it has taken the New Year, the year of the tiger, to put last year’s lesson into a new perspective.  The tiger, according to Japanese as well as Asian culture, is the animal that foresees and possesses this sixth sense, as well as represents courage, honor, betterment, and freedom.  Thus it is not surprising that these are also the traits of Bushi, and truly interesting that the new year, be the year of the tiger.

Budo Sense is obviously not unique to Budo, but a heightened awareness that allows for a freer use of the intuition.  In Budo, our main purpose is to strive to cultivate this and develop the courage to trust the instinct and go with the gut.  Therefore, this is a Budo Sense.  This is a universal sense that allows one to look at the world differently knowing the duality of things and accepting freely the nature of connections. Budo Sense also allows one to look at the reality of life and not pass judgment based on an ego centric position, but the position of “no self” that allows for a consistent positioning of distance, maintaining self perseverance.

In order to consistently go with the gut, one must have the ability, the depth of spirit and the capacity combined with the courage of the tiger. 

Bufu Ikkan