Ki SayingsTohei Sensei's book, Ki Sayings (called Shokushu in Japanese), helps students to focus on a specific area of Tohei Sensei's teachings during training, and also gives insight into the ultimate nature and depth of Tohei Sensei's understanding.
Some students look forward to the opportunity to read, other students live in terror of ever being asked. Whatever your reaction, the best approach is to look on reading in front of the class as a Ki test, or as a taigi to be performed to the best of your ability. Maintain mind-body unification from the time you are sitting in your place in the line, as you approach kamiza, as you kneel and bow, as you read, as you bow again and stand, right up until you are once again in your place in the line (of course, ideally you would not slacken Ki even then). When you remain calm and centred it is easy to remember what you must do. When you are relaxed and extending Ki it is easy to project your voice to the back of the dojo.
Below is the usual procedure for readings at the beginning of class.
- The instructor or a delegated assistant generally selects the reading and the student who is to read. If you are the assistant responsible, make an effort to discover what the primary teaching will be and select a reading that relates. If possible, give the reader time to go through the reading before class.
- It's a good idea if you are reading to prepare for it in the few minutes before lining up for the start of class. You might have been asked to choose a reading yourself. Make sure there are no words you don't know or can't pronounce. There might be complex phrases that will roll off your tongue if only you know to expect them. Look for places where you can logically pause for breath. Relax and get ready to enjoy the experience. You can place the book inside your gi so your hands are free for bowing (make sure it is secure so you can find it again).
- Generally, if sensei has asked you to read, sensei will call you from the line when the time comes. If you have been asked to read by an assistant, wait for two or three seconds after sensei is settled and then bow in your place, stand and approach kamiza.
- Kneel and bow to kamiza.
- Turn clockwise to face the students and bow to them.
- Open the book to the selected page. Read quite slowly in fairly short phrases.
- When finished, replace the book inside your gi, bow to the class, bow to sensei and return to your place.