Moss-covered Monk

Moss-covered Monk

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Sunday, November 18, 2012

Secrets of Ninja (16)

INTELLIGENCE GATHERING
 
To be successful, one must obtain every available scrap of intelligence about the size, location,
and logistics of the enemy base. This may be accomplished in many ways. However,
once the site has been reached, firsthand data is readily obtainable and absolutely essential.
 

No one knows the territory quite like the one who has been there and back. Once in the
field, the Ninja alone can determine the feasibility of the mission. He does this by observing.
The art of Ninjitsu is invisibility. Nowhere else is it more evident than in this phase of Inpo.
 

Having selected a site from which to study the enemy, assume whatever posture is required
for maximum cover, concealment, and comfort. You must have a clear field of view, preferably
with your back to cover.
 

Select a point for penetration into the enemy camp and fix your eyes upon it. Inhale deeply
and slowly, filling the lungs from bottom to top. Close the eyes and exhale fully and slowly,
using the technique known as Tan Hsi (sighing). Tense the Hara (the seat of breathing) slightly,
inhale as before. Exhale, visualizing the character san (a Chinese ideogram consisting of three
horizontal lines one above another) three times. Inhale, exhale and visualize the character erh
(Chinese ideogram of two lines) three times. Inhale, exhale and visualize the character tan (a
single horizontal line) three times. Holding this exhalation with the diaphragm, visualize the
point of penetration for five to ten seconds (nine heartbeats). Inhale slowly, tasting the air.
 

Care must be taken at this juncture not to gulp air and reveal the position. Relax the Hara. Relax
the body. Open the eyes slowly. Breathe slowly, deeply, and naturally. Scan the enemy
camp. Do this for at least an hour. This is known as Kuji Kiri (meditation).
 

At first it will be difficult to keep the attention focused on the enemy camp; with practice it
will be easier. When gazing at one spot for an extended period, the eyes become fatigued.
 

Then the muscles relax and the eye wanders naturally. It is during this period that the patterns
and routines of the camp may be observed.
 

Great attention should be placed on the breathing initially. During stress the heartbeat
speeds up and it is possible to soon be breathing audibly without realizing it. Listen for the
sound of your own heartbeat; this will reassure you.
 

This breathing technique is used naturally by hunters. When combined with certain fingerknitting
exercises, as well as yogic postures and other methods of breathing, a system known as
the Nine Forms of the Mind Gate (Hsi Men Jitsu) is formed. Each of these has evolved nine
variations, making a total of eighty-one forms.
 

When moving from your position to advance on the enemy, the body will feel light, as
though in a dream. Silence is essential.


~Ashida Kim