In the Bujinkan we say "Shikin Haramitsu Daikomyo" at the beginning and end of each training session.
The word SHIKIN has four dimensions. The first dimension is a merciful heart, expressing love for everything. Second is a sincere heart to follow what is right. Third is a attuned heart in tune with the natural order (balance). Last is a dedicated heart, dedicated to a chosen path.
HARAMITSU is the combination of these four elements and means great wisdom.
Only from great wisdom and a pure heart can one obtain true enlightenment, DAIKOMYO, the goal of all great people. The enlightened person emits a powerful aura that transcends ignorance and shines forever.
There is a warrior verse, one of Japan's oldest known poems, that goes, "Chihayaburu kami no oshie wa tokoshie ni tadashiki kokoro mo mamoruran." Translated it means, if one does not have a pure heart, heaven will never permit pleasurable times. This is said by the instructor before each bowing ceremony in more of a whisper.
For the kids class in our dojo we bow in and out using the phrase Ninpo Ikkan. The Japanese character for Nin consists of two parts or radicals. The upper radical is called yaiba which refers to the cutting edge of a blade. The lower radical can be read either as kokoro or shin, both of which mean heart.
The character Nin is also used to write Nintai, which means perseverance or patience, implying the important thing for a ninja is to be patient under impossible circumstances and persevere when he/she cannot find a way to succeed on a mission. This form of thinking, the spirit of perseverance, is called Budo Seishin. If one receives an insult from another, one must be able to endure it without holding a grudge and then discard such feelings as anger and jealousy.
The essence of Ninpo is a pure heart through endurance. Ikkan means to pursue something with single and lasting purpose/intent. A simple way to translate Ninpo Ikkan then is "The essence of the ninja, to endure, is our primary focus."
Shane Sensei is a licensed Shidoshi in the Bujinkan and member of the Shidoshi-Kai. He has trained in the Bujinkan since 1998 and regularly travels to Japan for training.