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River Misogi: Celebrate the 2023 New Year of the Rabbit with a Cold Water Immersion

Updated: Jan 30

Start the year off positively. Join us as we gather at One Dojo to bring in the Chinese new year with vision, courage and determination. The ceremony will comprise meditation, breathing, chanting, bell ringing, and a cold-water plunge in Boulder Creek!


Sunday, 22 January 2023 | 7:00 am doors open

Ceremony starts at 7:30, until ~ 9:00 am

@ One Dojo 3005 Sterling Circle, Suite 150


for complete info on how to prepare for this training


Read on for a complete description and history of the event.




Here's Your Invitation to Participate in Cold Water Immersion

Everyone currently involved in Ki training and in good health is welcome to attend One Dojo's lunar new year celebration event.

Sen Shin no Gyo is a Ki training experience to coordinate mind and body— a symbolic and physical practice to throw away all things past and to start out the new year clean and fresh.

Please come with a positive attitude and good Ki.

It is a tradition for our community to go out for breakfast after the ceremony.


Getting Ready for Sen Shin no Gyo

Prepare for misogi by quieting your mind and spirit as you arrive at One Dojo.

We start with focusing our minds with some quiet meditation, doing a short session of ki breathing, then begin with the bell ringing (Soku Shin no Gyo) on the mat.

We then carpool quietly to Ebin G. Fine Park for training in the water (Sen Shin no Gyo).

Afterwards we return to the dojo to complete our training with more bell misogi. You're invited to join everyone for breakfast after the ceremony.

Process of Chanting & Bell Ringing

Three rhythms are used during the chanting and bell ringing rite. The first rhythm is an even rhythm chant, resounding the following syllables with equal volume: TO HO KA MI EH MI TA ME

The second rhythm is a 5-beat rhythm that pairs a few syllables:


The last rhythm emphasizes only two syllables:

TO (hokami) EH (mitame).


( for full info on how to prepare for the training session )



What is Japanese Cold Water Training or River Misogi?

Formerly referred to as River Misogi, the cold water immersion training hosted by One Dojo has now been given a secular name, Sen Shin no Gyo, by Shinshin Toitsu Aikido Kai.

This cold water purification ritual serves as a cleansing of the mind and body and forms part of traditional lunar new year celebrations in Japan, particularly in some Aikido lineages.

This year, after several years of not holding these ceremonies in person due to COVID precautions, One Dojo will again host these two traditional Japanese mind-body training sessions.

Through the decades, Rocky Mountain Ki Society members, starting in 1977, have gathered in Boulder to bring in the Chinese new year with vision, courage and determination.


Benefits of Cold Immersion Training

Shinichi Tohei Sensei, President of Shinshin Toitsu Aikido Kai in Japan (Mind Body Unified Aikido international organization), explains two primary benefits to this cold water immersion training:

“If we are able to maintain calmness at our one point, no matter how challenging our situation may be, with training and experience, we are able to go through it effortlessly;”
“In welcoming a New Year, the icy water helps wash away all the events that have happened in the past year, whether they may have been good or bad.”

Sen Shin no Gyo may also teach how to:

  • Live each moment fully

  • Set your intention earnestly toward your goals

  • Clear negative Ki and recharge oneself with positive Ki

  • Harmonize with the energy of the Universe

  • Work for the benefit of all humans and the world

  • Send positive Ki for the health of your family

  • Choose the right life path for yourself

  • Overcome obstacles and flow through challenging phases


What is Misogi?

Misogi is a term used to describe Japanese Shinto ascetic and ritual purification practices.

The least known of Koichi Tohei Sensei's teachers (in his synthesis of Shinshin Toitsu Aikido) is Tetsuju Ogura Sensei.

Ogura Sensei inspired a younger generation of people in the founding of a misogi-shugyo center that came to be known as the Ichikukai, literally the 1-9 group, named for the 19th day of the month when they gathered to perform a combination of Zen Buddhist and misogi ascetic rituals.

It was Tetsuju Sensei’s desire that the training at Ichikukai be jointly through Zen and Misogi practice.

To separate Bell “Misogi” from its religious origins, it is now called Soku Shin no Gyo by Shinshin Toitsu Aikido Kai. This training is the bell ringing, breathing and chanting meditation ascetic practice, which forms part of our new year's celebration.

A treatise entitled “Toward the Building of a New Dojo,” written by the student founders of the Ichikukai, provides a snapshot that imparts “the passion and purity of spirit that these young men held in their hearts at the time” of the founding of the Ichikyukai:

“Chanting... TO HO KA MI EH MI TA ME as loud as the strength in our bodies permits, until we dissolve in the essence of the practice itself. When the training has ended, participants often feel deeply shaken or moved, sometimes to tears and embraces. We feel the wellspring of truth directly, and it is overwhelming.

If you are healthy and are currently involved in mind-body training, regardless of martial art or yogic affiliation, we invite you to take part in this year's cold water immersion and bell ringing ritual at One Dojo.

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