Discovering Zanshin

skuldthevalkyrie's Blog

Zanshin – described to me by my sweet husband Abel as a state of calm awareness. When I first saw him demonstrate and describe zanshin, we had taken one of our first bokken walks in Mine’s Falls Park in Nashua, NH. Now, to set the stage, here we are – newly dating, taking a spring walk through the woods. With our wooden swords. We meander a while until we reach somewhat of a clearing. Abel takes out his bokken and swings it a few times; I assumed he was checking for branches. He then scans the ground and picks up a few twigs, brushing the forest floor covering of browned pine needles aside. “This is the spot.”

We began our walk with the Ipponme Kendo Kata. Ipponme means “number one” or “first” in Japanese, and as Julie Andrews put it, starting at the beginning is a very good place to…

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