The Heart Sutra and Meditation — by Shin-Ichi Matsuyama

Happy Solstice ! It is with great pleasure that I send you the following text as a support for my Taiymo meditation workshop this summer. When I read this essay from Matsuyama on his understanding of the Heart Sutra and its relationship with meditation, I asked to translate it in English for the Shintaido and Life Exercise practitioners worldwide. Matsuyama’s essay deals with Chuang Zhou (Zhuang Zi), a disciple of Laozi who wrote about Confucius’s teachings. It also describes how some aspects of Chuang Zhou’s book are linked to the Heart Sutra and meditation. Thank you, Shin-Ichi! Haruyoshi Fugaku Ito, June 21, 2015 PS: if you approach it with a Continue reading

Six Tuesday meditation – 2015 San Francisco

Dear Friends, Happy Summer! I hope you are well. I look forward to meeting you via our Taimyo network this summer. This time I would like to focus on “Ritsui Ju Meiso-Ho” (10-Position Standing Meditation). I especially want to share my latest understanding and appreciation of four poses in the last half of the meditation: Kenka-I (#5) to Kenshin-I (#6), (Kenshin-I (#6) to Bokyo-I (#7), and Bokyo-I (#7) to Joshin-I (#8). Below are some thoughts I prepared for the series of six Tuesday evening class held at the Day Street Dojo in San Francisco from July 28 through September 1. I hope these thoughts will help you find a new and rewarding focus for Continue reading

Facing Death – 2015.2.28

Facing Death I was recently contacted by a Shintaido practitioner who has been diagnosed with a serious, possibly deadly, illness.  It reminded me that we all face this situation at some point in our lives, and usually we don’t feel ready for it. It makes me think of my own health challenges, and I’d like to share the process I went through when I faced the death in 2004 and 2006, and how I was able to return to myself: The Process I was shocked and scared by the first stages of my three medical emergencies. I was thinking of killing myself if I was going to be physically handicapped. Continue reading

2015 New Year’s Greeting!

Happy New Year! As we move into the new year, it is my pleasure to share my heart-felt thoughts about Tenshin-Ken (天真剣). This has a lot to do with philosophy of life and my search for the changes that I believe we all hope to see in our world. But as usual, let me take a technical approach first! Tenshin-Ken, Practice and Your True Self As you know, in Shintaido we have a large group of kumite forms that fall under the category of Kirioroshi Kumite. Within this group of movements, Tenshin-Ken = Daijodan Kirioroshi. We take turns cutting through our partner’s core. That physical movement cuts away tension, opens Continue reading


This Ito writing…. Time flies very fast! Already more than a week has gone since we were together in Reims, France. Hope you had a chance to receiver yourself from the post Gasshuku “Blues” ! Please allow me to share “What I Really Wanted to Say at the Closing Ceremony” with you this time! (Thank you, Nagako Cooper, Tomi Nagai-Rothe, Lee Seaman, who helped me translate my message in English, and Patrick Bouchaud, who did in French!) ********** I was very humbled to receive so many words of gratitude and praise at the Forum closing ceremony. However, I realized that event organizers should have received the words of gratitude – Continue reading

Confirming the True Self/Core Self – Workshop 2014

Dear Taimyo practitioners around the world, Greetings from France! I will fly back to San Francisco on July 27, and will lead a series of 5 Tuesday meditation classes at the San Francisco Day Street Dojo during July and August. This summer, I would like to focus my teaching on the 10-position meditation and on Kenkain Hoko (Flower Walking), to help us find our True Self / Core Self. Those of you who have been practicing with me for the last few years will be familiar with Bamboo, which we have studied together in the past. I recently came up with a series of exercises that I believe will really Continue reading

Greeting-evening session in 2014 winter

Dear Friends,Greetings!『いい人が先に逝く!』When Japanese people speak about a person who has passed away, they say “Ii hito ga saki ni yuku!” (“The good ones go first!”)Last year we lost 2 good friends who used to be very active in the Shintaido movement in the US & Europe:• Christophe Bernard who actively practiced with us on the west coast of the US passed away in August.(for more information about him, please check the SOA newsletter from last Fall at:• Caroline Raievsky, who was the coordinator of the European Shintaido College in the 2000s, passed away last month.(Those who were at the Shintaido International in Italy in the summer of 2004 will remember Continue reading

Song-Rou, Xu-Kong, Yuan-Man 2013.7

鬆・柔、虚・空、円・満 Song-Rou, Xu-Kong, Yuan-Man These 6 characters effectively describe the development of mind and body in the practice of Tai Chi Chuan. As we progress in keiko, a number of mind-body characteristics start to develop: 鬆 “Song” meaning relaxation, 柔 “Rou” (the character for flexibility, meaning soft resilience), 虚・空 “Xu-Kong” (the characters for deficiency and emptiness, meaning that within ourselves we respond naturally to stimulus from outside), 円・満 “Yuan-MAN” (the characters for round and full, meaning that we are naturally filled up with universal KI energy). 鬆 “Song” means relax, or loosening. 柔 “Rou” means “soft and flexible” We also have three additional Chinese characters that express similar feelings: 軟 Continue reading


DAIGA: Traveling the Universe By H.F. Ito I was thinking recently about how much I enjoy practicing with all of you around the world. I learn so much from each one of you! This year I’ve cut back a bit on plane trips, but three things have helped me travel freely all over the universe: (1) One-handed seated Tenshingoso (in a folding chair) (2) Hoshizora (starry night sky) Taiso (3) A life poem written by my mom not long before she had a major stroke a few years ago Many of you are familiar with the four basic principles of Jiga (自我,personal self) Muga (無我,nothingness self), Shinga (真我,true self), and Continue reading

San Francisco workshop message-2012.7

Dear Friends: It was my great honor and pleasure to be invited as a Goreisha at the Shintaido International event held at California State University in Sonoma, California Tuesday, July 3 through Friday, July 6. All of my appreciation goes to those who made this event happen! Now the time has come for our 6 Monday Meditation classes in San Francisco – part of the Life Exercise Program. I would like to start our first class on Monday evening, July 30, with the Shintaido “ritual” that I led at the 4th practice of the Shintaido International. Using Tenshingoso ‘O’ & ‘Um,’ I will invite everyone to connect with both nature Continue reading