Fudōshin 不動心 or Fudōshin 浮動心 Floating Heart?

photo by London looks
I was talking with Paul Masse about recent events in Japan. We were contemplating the appropriate "safe" distance from these disasters. Hatsumi Sensei often suggests to us that we evade by the width of a piece of paper. He gives us this image as a hint to take a small evasion, or, just as much space as needed. I have even heard him say that it should be the width of air. Now that seems risky for sure!

But there is another way to evade that isn't evading. And Sensei does this but it is not easy to see. To open our eyes let's look at one example from nature and one from Hatsumi Sensei.

While talking with Paul, I was reminded of a different kind of distance from a favorite poem. I shared this idea with Paul and he seemed to enjoy the feeling of it:
The Little Duck -----  By Donald C. Babcock
Now we are ready to look at something pretty special.
It is a duck riding the ocean a hundred feet beyond the surf.
No, it isn’t a gull.
A gull always has a raucous touch about him.
This is some sort of duck, and he cuddles in the swells.
He isn’t cold, and he is thinking things over.
There is a big heaving in the Atlantic,
And he is part of it.
He looks a bit like a mandarin, or the Lord Buddha meditating under the Bo tree.
But he has hardly enough above the eyes to be a philosopher.
He has poise, however, which is what philosophers must have.
He can rest while the Atlantic heaves, because he rests in the Atlantic.
Probably he doesn’t know how large the ocean is.
And neither do you.
But he realizes it.
And what does he do, I ask you. He sits down in it.
He reposes in the immediate as if it were infinity—which it is.
That is religion, and the duck has it.
He has made himself a part of the boundless, be easing himself into it just where it
touches him.
Paul said this is like Fudōshin 不動心. Which is often translated as "immovable heart." But another reading of it could be Fudōshin 浮動心 "Floating Heart."

Well we had our conversation about The Little Duck a couple of weeks ago, and today I came across Hatsumi Sensei suggesting what seems to be the same kind of distance for muto dori:
Understanding muto as "Like a boat floating on water." Whether the waves are gentle or rough, it is good. Hicho no ken (the sword of the flying bird). Regard the opponent's attack as natural. This is Niten Itto, Niten Ichi-ryu. Board the floating boat, and stop the attack. The boat's motion prevents the opponent from moving freely.
I am humbled at this connection that appeared today. And it opened up some ideas for me that I have felt in Hatsumi Sensei's classes but been unable to get my mind around. I can't wait to explore this feeling in class tonight!


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