Senshin no Gyo

Shinichi Tohei Sensei discussing Senshin no Gyo:

“Gyo” is very important, but many people misunderstand it. That is, most people think that “Gyo is something I do that makes me special”.

For example, “Senshin no Gyo”. Senshin no gyo is the practice of pouring water over oneself at Kagami-biraki (January) during very cold weather. People pour water over themselves in weather that is below the freezing point.  Therefore, by most definitions, this should be a very difficult practice.

However, if you do this with oneness of mind and body, you will find it easier than you think. Everyone who practices this says, “Before doing Senshin no Gyo, I thought it would be very difficult. But after I set my mind and did it, I could do it easily.”

Therefore the first step of Senshin no gyo is to experience this state of mind. Once you understand this, you use this same state of mind when you face your problems in your daily life.

This is “Gyo”.

It does not make someone a great person just because one has poured cold water over oneself during the winter. There is no benefit in thinking this way. After Senshin no gyo, you may say, “Senshin no gyo is finished!”. However, the correct way is to say, “Senshin no gyo is beginning!”. It is important to practice this new state of mind in your daily life.