The Art of Fearlessness: Calming the Mind
Fudoshin, the Zen concept meaning “immovable mind”, represents a peaceful state of total determination and unshakable will. It is the state of a spirit that is determined to win, and that is filled with courage, endurance and determination to surmount every obstacle that comes in its way. Fudoshin is associated with a feeling of invincibility, of a mind that cannot be disturbed by confusion, hesitation, doubt, or fear.
In Feudal Japan, Fudoshin was manifested in the Samurai's unquestionable demonstration of courage, and determination to face difficulty, danger, pain, and even death, without fear. As a great Japanese swordsman once said: "Mental calmness, not skill, is the sign of a matured samurai".
From a Western viewpoint, the concept of a Warrior (Samurai, Bushi) without anger or rage, a peaceful warrior, can be quite difficult to understand and accept. Being exceedingly dualistic, we can hardly reconcile the ideas of violence and a peaceful and calm mind, but this state of mind was the essence of the Samurai and is today the essence of martial arts like kendo, judo, karate or aikido.In our daily life, Fudoshin is the protection against the "Shikai" or four sicknesses of the mind: anger, doubt, fear and surprise. In our everyday battles, it is the only weapon we need.