martes, 16 de febrero de 2016

Goldsmiths University Workshop: Positive Confrontation

In 1978, after twenty days practicing Zen under Omori Sogen Roshi, Michel Foucault stated: “I found a new relationship between mind and body”. My intention is to give a glimpse of a research methodology that can reveal, as Zen Buddhism did for Foucault, an alternative to the Cartesian self. This session will work on concepts such as ‘other’, ‘self’ and ‘confrontation’ through practice. The workshop will take the structure of an initiation into a Karate lesson, with a focus on sight and frontality. The first motto repeated after every Goju Ryu Karate training, “Respect Others” will guide us in our attempt to find what a “respectful confrontation” might be and what philosophical potential might have this concept within the martial practice. The session will be followed by a short group discussion on the positive potential of confrontation.

In our first session we will practice around the first Shotokan Karate kata, Heian Shodan.

My perspective on the practice was deeply inspired by Terayama Tanchu sensei, direct disciple and successor of Omori Sogen Roshi.

There is some documentation of Foucault's experience in Japan; the quote provided can be found in Omori Sogen Roshi's biography by Hosokawa Dogen. I also think that Foucault's Howison lectures at Berkeley would be very useful and relevant to contextualize the workshop.