Came across a book at the library

SFC JeffJ

Grandmaster
MTS Alumni
Joined
Mar 15, 2006
Messages
9,141
Reaction score
43
"The Spiritual Practices of the Ninja" by Ross Heaven.

Just saw it yesterday and checked it out. Haven't had the opportunity to get very far into it yet.

I was wondering if anyone else had come across this book and their thoughts on it. New age crap? Or is there some truth in it?

Thanks,

Jeff

Oh, and it seems a lot of the authors info came from Jack Hoban.
 

heretic888

Senior Master
Joined
Oct 25, 2002
Messages
2,723
Reaction score
60
The full name of the text is The Spiritual Practices of the Ninja: Mastering the Four Gates of Freedom, by Ross Heaven.

The Amazon entry for this text can be found here. It includes the following description:

Book Description
Explains how the initiatory practices of the Ninja can be used to achieve self-mastery

• Uses the five human archetypes of lover, seeker, magus, soul warrior, and mystic

• Shows how to access kuji-kiri, the positive energy of the Ninja Godai, to dispel fear, disempowerment, and soul fatigue

The Ninja are a mysterious warrior elite said to be so spiritually advanced they knew the mind and will of God. Regarded with awe as masters of invisibility and “warriors of the shadow-self,” their legendary skills include the ability to command the elements and transform themselves into Fire, Water, Air, Earth, and Void--the nothingness from which all things stem. In this book Ross Heaven reveals the training exercises and mental discipline used by the Ninja to develop these extraordinary physical, emotional, mental, and spiritual skills.

Central to Ninja philosophy is the understanding that there is no higher power than the actualized human being. The Ninja believe there are four gates to freedom, and to pass through them we must overcome four initiatory ordeals. Succeeding at these enables us to combat fear, find true power, clarify our vision, and overcome the soul fatigue that is at the root of our personal and social problems in order to embrace our positive energies and realize our talents.

Ross Heaven guides us through these four gateways with exercises and initiations that utilize the energy of the lover, seeker, magus, soul warrior, and mystic as well as dealing with their shadow manifestations that may be causing problems in our lives. We learn how to break the destructive habits of the past and create a bushido, a personal code to live by. Without initiation, we cannot access and channel our energies; they remain uncontrolled or even work against us. Ross Heaven provides the key that allows us to turn these elemental forces into allies.

The Amazon entry for Mr. Heaven can be found here. You will note that he has written a plethora of books on shamanism and New Age spirituality, but nothing on budo, ninpo, or Japanese culture.

The discussion of this text on Martial Arts Planet can be found here.

Laterz.
 
OP
SFC JeffJ

SFC JeffJ

Grandmaster
MTS Alumni
Joined
Mar 15, 2006
Messages
9,141
Reaction score
43
Thanks heritic888,

Since I'm not that interested in shamanism, I think it'll be going right back to the library.

Jeff
 

heretic888

Senior Master
Joined
Oct 25, 2002
Messages
2,723
Reaction score
60
Jeff,

If you are sincerely interested in the topic of "ninja philosophy", I would recommend Essence of Ninjutsu: The Nine Traditions, Ninpo: Wisdom for Life, and Way of the Ninja: Secret Techniques, all by Masaaki Hatsumi.

Laterz.
 

Bigshadow

Senior Master
MTS Alumni
Joined
Apr 13, 2005
Messages
4,033
Reaction score
45
Location
Saint Cloud, Florida
For just starting out... Look for the books by Masaaki Hatsumi. There are other good books by other Bujinkan practitioners, but for starting out, get Hatsumi's books.
 
OP
SFC JeffJ

SFC JeffJ

Grandmaster
MTS Alumni
Joined
Mar 15, 2006
Messages
9,141
Reaction score
43
Thanks,

I have a few on order already. Should be here in the next 1-2 days.

Jeff
 

Bigshadow

Senior Master
MTS Alumni
Joined
Apr 13, 2005
Messages
4,033
Reaction score
45
Location
Saint Cloud, Florida
[FONT=&quot]EDIT: Forgot to copy the remainder of the list. They have been added.

This is the reading list we recommend, they are not in any specific order. But this will help you look for books.

Title
Author
ISBN


Essence of Ninjutsu
[/FONT][FONT=&quot]Masaaki Hatsumi
[/FONT][FONT=&quot]0809247240[/FONT]
[FONT=&quot]
Ninjutsu: History and Tradition
[/FONT][FONT=&quot]Masaaki Hatsumi
[/FONT][FONT=&quot]0865680272[/FONT]
[FONT=&quot]
The Grandmasters book of Ninja Training
[/FONT][FONT=&quot]Masaaki Hatsumi
[/FONT][FONT=&quot]0809246295[/FONT]
[FONT=&quot]
Understand? Good. Play! -- Words of Consequence
[/FONT][FONT=&quot]Masaaki Hatsumi, Benjamin Cole
[/FONT][FONT=&quot]0971084955 Out of Print until 2008 Get on the list

[/FONT] [FONT=&quot]Japanese Sword Fighting: Secrets of the Samurai[/FONT]
[FONT=&quot]Masaaki Hatsumi[/FONT]
[FONT=&quot]4770021984[/FONT]
[FONT=&quot]
Stick Fighting (Bushido The Way of the Warrior)[/FONT]
[FONT=&quot]Masaaki Hatsumi, Quintin Chambers[/FONT]
[FONT=&quot]0870114751[/FONT]
[FONT=&quot]
The Way of the Ninja: Secret Techniques[/FONT]
[FONT=&quot]Masaaki Hatsumi, Ben Jones[/FONT]
[FONT=&quot]4770028059[/FONT]
[FONT=&quot]
Ninpo: Wisdom for Life[/FONT]
[FONT=&quot]Masaaki Hatsumi, [/FONT][FONT=&quot]Joe Maurantonio[/FONT]
[FONT=&quot]0972773800 [/FONT]
[FONT=&quot]Kihon Press[/FONT]
[FONT=&quot]
Warriorship: Life Lessons of a Martial Artist[/FONT]
[FONT=&quot]C. D. Bud Malstrom[/FONT]
[FONT=&quot]1892614316[/FONT]
[FONT=&quot]
Advanced Stick Fighting[/FONT]
[FONT=&quot]Masaaki Hatsumi[/FONT]
[FONT=&quot]4770029969[/FONT]
[FONT=&quot]
Ninpo: Living and Thinking as a Warrior[/FONT]
[FONT=&quot]Jack Hoban[/FONT]
[FONT=&quot]0809247259 (out of print, I was told that another book may be in the works)

[/FONT] [FONT=&quot]Living the Martial Way: A Manual for the Way a Modern Warrior Should Think[/FONT]
[FONT=&quot]Forrest E. Morgan[/FONT]
[FONT=&quot]0942637763

[/FONT] [FONT=&quot]The Gift of Fear: Survival Signals that Protect Us from Violence[/FONT]
[FONT=&quot]Gavin De Becker[/FONT]
[FONT=&quot]0316235024[/FONT]
[FONT=&quot]
On Killing: The Psychological Cost of Learning to Kill in War and Society[/FONT]
[FONT=&quot]Dave Grossman[/FONT]
[FONT=&quot]0316330116[/FONT]
[FONT=&quot]
The Unfettered Mind: Writings of the Zen Master to the Sword Master[/FONT]
[FONT=&quot]Takuan Soho[/FONT]
[FONT=&quot]087011851X[/FONT]
[FONT=&quot]
The Book of Five Rings[/FONT]
[FONT=&quot]Miyamoto Musashi, translated by Thomas Cleary[/FONT]
[FONT=&quot]1590300408[/FONT]
[FONT=&quot]
Sun Tzu: The Art of War[/FONT]
[FONT=&quot]Sun-Tzu[/FONT]
[FONT=&quot]0976072696[/FONT]
[FONT=&quot]
Values for a New Millennium[/FONT]
[FONT=&quot]Robert L. Humphrey, J.D.[/FONT]
[FONT=&quot]Available from Win Publications[/FONT]

[FONT=&quot]

[/FONT]
 
OP
SFC JeffJ

SFC JeffJ

Grandmaster
MTS Alumni
Joined
Mar 15, 2006
Messages
9,141
Reaction score
43
Thanks for the list. The two books I ordered are both on there. The Way of the Ninja: Secret Techniques, and Ninjutsu: History and Traditions.

I'll get the others after I devour those.

Jeff
 

heretic888

Senior Master
Joined
Oct 25, 2002
Messages
2,723
Reaction score
60
Just a quick FYI....

Bigshadow said:
[FONT=&quot]Ninjutsu: History and Tradition
[/FONT][FONT=&quot]Masaaki Hatsumi
[/FONT][FONT=&quot]0865680272
[/FONT]

[FONT=&quot]Hatsumi didn't actually write this book. It was authored by Stephen Hayes, who took bits and pieces from Hatsumi's writings and interspersed them with his own writing. This leads to some rather amusing contradictions in the text itself.[/FONT]
[FONT=&quot][/FONT]
For example, the entry on the "ninja sword" states how the ninja used short, straight-bladed swords with a square-shaped tsuba (as claimed in Hayes' other books around the same time), but the only photo showing somebody using a straight-bladed ninjato is the one of Stephen Hayes. All the photos with Hatsumi using the sword show a curved ninjato with an oval tsuba, contrary to what the descriptive text actually claims.

Then, of course, there is the issue of proper translation of the Japanese into English. A discussion of Hayes' treatment of Takamatsu's ninjutsu hiketsu-bun can be found here.

Laterz.
 

Bigshadow

Senior Master
MTS Alumni
Joined
Apr 13, 2005
Messages
4,033
Reaction score
45
Location
Saint Cloud, Florida
heretic888 said:
Just a quick FYI....

[FONT=&quot]Hatsumi didn't actually write this book. It was authored by Stephen Hayes[/FONT]
Yes, I know. :( It doesn't rank that high on my list, but there is some good information in there.
 

Fu_Bag

Blue Belt
Joined
Jul 6, 2005
Messages
257
Reaction score
4
Now, now, it's probably not very nice to judge books from Heaven. ;) Do you think that's really his last name? Weird. All I can say is that reading the book review put a smile on my face. :D

Jeff,

Hope you enjoy the books. The "Secret Techniques" book is definitely interesting to pick through. Finally, a book that reveals the true techniques of the "Ninja Death Touch" (kidding). Ashida Kim, eat your heart out! Good stuff there....gggooooooooddddd stuff... :)
 
Top