VG asks: “Do you have any info on Budokon? A friend of mine does it and she is a Christian. From what I have read, it doesn’t seem compatible.”
VG is correct – Budokon is not compatible with Christianity because this fitness routine combines various non-Christian practices such as martial arts, yoga and Zen.
“Our way is the Zen way,” writes Budokon founder Cameron Shayne on his website. “We are not a religion or a devotional practice. We do not practice to become enlightened. We practice because we are enlightened.”
To state in the same paragraph that Budokon is the “Zen way” but is “not a religion or devotional practice” is disingenuous at best. Even a source as benign as Merriam-Webster’s defines Zen as “a Japanese sect of Mahayana Buddhism that aims at enlightenment by direct intuition through meditation.”
However, much like the case with yoga, which is inherently Hindu (and not according to me – it’s the swamis who say this) when one is trying to sell a trendy new fitness modality containing elements from non-Christian eastern religions to a largely Christian audience, these are the kinds of statements that must be made if one intends to capture their fair share of a huge market.
What is Budokon?
Budokon is referred to by its creator as a “physical practice” that draws upon ancient and modern yogic and martial arts styles. There are two parts to the practice: the yogic series and the Budo series. The yogic series borrows heavily from Iyengar yoga (yoga using props such as blocks, chairs, blankets, etc.) and Ashtanga yoga (a yoga practice that synchronizes breathing with a progressive series of postures) techniques. It also incorporates seated Zen meditation techniques as well as standing and ground techniques that are borrowed from Karate-Do, Jiu Jitsu and Olympic Style Tae Kwon Do. (See “What About Karate and the Martial Arts” at http://www.womenofgrace.com/blog/?p=12)
“The foundation of the Budokon physical practice is precision, alignment and Zen mind,” Shayne explains, saying that Zen is “the foundation of Budokon and weaves its way through everything we do.”
There are 21 core philosophies to Budokon, many of which sound very similar to the teachings of Christ such as “Let your yes be your yes and your no be your no” and “treat others as you would like to be treated.”
However, this same list of philosophies is riddled with New Age beliefs such as “Know the Self and you know the Eternal. Knowing the Eternal is to be illuminated” and “The Way is the natural order of all things. All answers lie in the Way. All of life is an aspect of the Way.” (The “Way” referred to in these philosophies is not related to the teachings of Christ which were also referred to as the “Way” in the early days of the Church.)
VG can trust her “gut” on this one. Budokon is definitely not recommended for the discerning Christian.
Do you have a question about the New Age? Send it to us at email@example.com and we’ll post the answer right here on this blog!