Birth Of LFD

The word dojo is often misused and misunderstood today. But, its original meaning precisely captures the nature and purpose of Lotus Flower Dojo. Dojo is a Japanese rendering of the original Sanskrit word bodhimanda. Bodhimanda means ‘the place of awakening.’ This meaning is directly associated with the experience of the Buddha. After six years of extremely intense spiritual practices, with several masters and communities, he abandoned all of it to discover Truth for himself.

The Buddha decided to sit under a bodhi tree and meditate until enlightenment occurred. He was successful and therefore this tree, its seeds and his meditation method have carried immense symbolic meaning for thousands of years. This experience is the root of how meditation entered into the practice of traditional martial arts (e.g. karate, kendo, judo, jiu-jitsu aikido etc) and continues to this day. Most people in western societies associate dojos exclusively with martial arts. But, the emergence of dojos from the enlightenment experience of the Buddha gives greater context and depth. Likewise, we note that part of the Japanese kanji characters for dojo depict a person walking down a road and a human throat which we know surrounds the jugular vein. Taken together we have the image of one in the flow of traveling through life. Therefore, dojo is literally translated from Japanese as ‘a place for practicing the Way.’

Dojos traditionally were physically attached to other buildings and used exclusively for meditation. With the passage of time, they became places where both meditation and martial arts were harmoniously integrated together and practiced in a single space. Lotus Flower Dojo continues the traditional and original reason for the emergence of dojos. It is a space to practice and train in the Way. Participants take wisdom gained through meditation practices, deep introspection and meaningful exchanges with others to heal from trauma attributed to racism. Here there are no enemies but two formidable challenges to transcend: (1) attachment to racial identity and (2) the trauma caused by this attachment. Lotus Flower Dojo is a 501(c)(3) tax exempt nonprofit organization. EIN: 85-2054939. It is a place for training in spiritual martial arts. It is intense. We invite you to practice with us and be healed. Please leave your identity “outside”, bow before entering the Way and prepare to blossom like a lotus flower out of the muddy painful waters created by racism.

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