Mushotoku (無所得), “The Cat’s Martial Arts Assembly” and Path to 10th Dan ;-)

During a discussion on meditation today, a person mentioned the term  “Mushotoku” (無所得) which I had never heard of before.  It refers to a state of “not seeking anything” [Jisho_mushotoku], a mind that “seeks nothing” [Fuyu_mushotoku] and an attitude of no profit, no gain [Deshimaru_Heart].  Literally “no-place-gain”.  It was in response to another person’s frustration in her inability to attain awakening, enlightenment and peace despite “trying so hard.”  And how, paradoxically, letting go of that desire is eventually needed to realize that object of desire.

In the process of exploring the term, I came across the following captivating story written by the Zen Teacher Taisen Deshimaru who taught Mushotoku:

“The Cat’s Martial Arts Assembly,” by Taisen Deshimaru from The Zen Way to the Martial Arts, 

It’s about a kendo master and several cats with varying special qualities called upon one-by-one to get rid of a huge rat.  I think the story reveals how we can become 10th dan kendo masters 😉


Surrendering is not defeat. It means no more fighting. – J. Morrell as told to him by a war veteran


[Deshimaru_Heart] Taisen Deshimaru, The Heart of Heart Sutra,

[Fuyu_mushotoku] Fuyu, “Mushotoku, the Mind that seeks Nothing,”


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