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Friday, August 4th, 2000
In the beginning of a practice, the group sits in Sei-za.
The idea behind Sei- za is to clear our thoughts and let us begin a lesson with a clean and clear mind, not affected by all we passed during the day.
This can take a few seconds, minutes and even hours. It's a kind of time for meditation, of a sort.
In all we do, if we want to do it best, we need to become relaxed, with a clear mind, in order for it not to affect our concentration.
In practice, we will have difficulty not only in listening and looking at the teachers examples, but also in working with our partner.
If we had a bad day, we might come with feelings of anger, our muscles will be stressed and our temper short. If we do not clear our mind from these feelings, we will not be able to accomplish anything. Our anger will block our understanding and we will miss the small yet important movements of the practice. Our muscles will cause us to work with our hands and not from our center, and it will also stop our movement and shake our balance. The short temper will bring us fast to frustration, which will only make things worse in trying to accomplish the technique, we will start useing strength and might even hurt our partner.
That is the importance of "letting go" of everything before practice. Entering with no extra load.
It is as if we leave the every- day- life outside the Dojo's door and only pick it up again after practice.
This is also good because worrying about something during practice would not do any good. On the other hand, having a good practice might brighten our mood and help us deal with our problems in an easier way after practice. If we enter a lesson with our problems, it means we might have had a bad day, but we will also have a bad practice.
Putting our problems aside for one and a half to two hours can only make things better.