Shinjinkai, the Japanese Martial Arts Society in Chicago, completed their annual fundraiser this past weekend benefiting Korinji: the Fall-a-thon. Similar to other "-thons", participants obtain pledges to perform a challenging feat. In this case the participants are all students of the Japanese martial art Aikido...and their challenge is to be thrown with an Aikido technique as many times as they can in 15 minutes. The end result is several hours of inspiring effort and graceful Aikido demonstration.
There are still a few "fallers" who could not be present on the official day and will thus shortly perform a make-up session. So we don't have the final results yet. But as of now, the 2012 Fall-a-thon has raised approximately $7,000 for Korinji!
Korinji's land and construction have been funded by many people and organizations: a wonderful web of connections and intention that have brought our dream closer to fruition. All told, however, the annual Fall-a-thons have raised about half of our funds to date. Many of the participants are not Zen students, but as martial artists they understand what shugyo - intensive practice to forge oneself and gain insight into one's true self - truly means. And their involvement in our project is fitting since one of our late teachers who envisioned Korinji's establishment, Toyoda Sensei, was not only a Zen master but also a master teacher (shihan) of Aikido.
Thank you again to the organizers and participants of the 7th annual Fall-a-thon!