If you know the Way broadly you will see it in everything.
Recently, I’ve learned that Bowing is a practice of giving up our self-centered ideas. I’ve been studying more zen and it’s history in the martial arts. It has helped me be more aware of myself so I can make the proper efforts in my self-development. I find it’s similar to NLP. The navy seals use NLP to keep their mind positive, because negative thoughts arise subconsciously and hinder progress.
I can now understand better why bowing is important in the martial arts practice. The body follows the mind. The correct technical decisions can’t be made if the mind is under the influence of self-centered ideas. A master swordsman believes that any hint of “the self ” will cause one to be cut. Zazen says, “There is no end to this practice.” The Samurai consciously practiced destroying the ego each day.
I’ve naturally gravitated to studying topics such as bowing, because everyday has been requiring me to make rapid decisions. I came from a military martial arts background. My training started when I was nine years old in ITF taekwondo. So I was taught to bow to those that are of higher rank. It did not matter the age or sex of the person. A 45 yr old male white belt must bow to a 12 yr old yellow belt. It’s a good thing to always show respect by bowing. But, there is so much more in the practice.
I think the practice of bowing in martial arts can be beneficial for any person involved with entrepreneurship. A startup team will encounter problems if one of the individuals doesn’t keep their ego in check. It’s not a pissing contest. We have to make choices in the best interest of the company and team. Throughout my experiences, I’ve maintained the practice to be mindful of those that have more experience than me. So in my behavior I am bowing to that person to show respect that they’ve walked the path longer than me. But also, to break down dualistic ideas, and natural arrogance so that we can function as a team.
Bowing is a very serious practice. You should be prepared to bow, even in your last moment. Even though it is impossible to get rid of our self-centered desires, we have to do it. Our true nature wants us to. zazen we bow to the floor nine times. By bowing we are giving up ourselves. To give up ourselves means to give up our dualistic ideas. So there is no difference between zazen practice and bowing. Usually to bow means to pay our respects to something which is more worthy of respect than ourselves. But when you bow to Buddha you should have no idea of Buddha, you just become one with Buddha, you are already Buddha himself. When you become one with Buddha, one with everything that exists, you find the true meaning of being. When you forget all your dualistic ideas, everything becomes your teacher, and everything can be the object of worship