Mind Like Moon (Zanshin)

A State of Awareness

Tsuki No Kokoro

This refers to the need to be constantly aware of the totality of the opponent and their movements, just as moonlight shines equally upon everything within its range. This means that one should not watch just part of the opponents body such as the hands or feet, but rather watch the entire body. With the thorough development of this attitude, the consciousness will be immediately aware of any openings in the opponent's defences. Clouds blocking the light of the moon are likened to nervousness or distractions. These distractions stop the light from shining on everything. Likewise, they make comprehension of and reaction to the opponent's moves more difficult than they need to be.

This notion can be likened to what psychologists call "Spatial Awareness", which is "Knowing where you are in relationship to other objects in your surroundings and how that relationship will change in the near future as you and other objects around you change positions".

One would assume that this is a basic skill which is all part and parcel of our sub-conscious or even arises from the primitive part of our brains. Spatial Awareness is extremely important to us all for our survival and we are all born with it, however, most people do not recognise its importance as a life skill (or they choose to ignore it out of ignorance or arrogance?). This is a very large (philosophical) subject in itself and I'm not qualified to give an expert opinion, so I will keep my personal thoughts on the subject to myself. Basically, those people who appear not to have any spatial awareness are those who can't see beyond the "end of their noses" so to speak, the ones that bump into you walking down the street, the ones who pull out of a road junction right in front of you without looking or slam a door in your face as you walk into a shop.........you know the type.....I digress - if you're practicing proper Zanshin yourself, "these people" won't cause you any grief.

Zanshin: Meditation and the Mind in Modern Martial Arts by by Vincent Morris Mind/Body Fitness: Focus, Preparation, Performance by Tom Seabourne

not to be confused with.......

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Updated: Friday, 10 September 2010