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The Self-Rebel's mind should be like a sponge.
Moments of clarity should be embraced
and immediately squeezed dry.
The following state of confusion
Should be embraced and squeezed likewise.
Thus the mind is always prepared to receive
fresh input from the Universe.
"Have you ever forced it?" was a piece of graffiti I saw near the entrance to The School of The Art Institute of Chicago. It was an appropriate message left at an appropriate place (many art students are guilty of it).
This is my meditation for this afternoon.
How many of us are guilty of trying to move to fast? When does working hard or being dedicated to the art of aikido risk being excessive or fanatical-- when does it rist being counterproductive?
It seems to me that when I "forcing it", I have forgotten the principles of aikido. When I force it I forget to blend-- I forget to breathe-- and I forget to relax-- I risk hurting myself and others.
Does the desire for progress in this culture get in the way of our growth --how can one move any faster than the world around them? Should our practice be informed by the fable of the Tortise and the Hare? Is it that simple?
When our focus is concentrated on the aquisition of a specific goal, do we limit the scope of our perception? Is such concentration a weakness? Is single-mindedness opposed to no-mind? Is this the lesson of a belt system? To allow ourselves to progress at our own pace despite it?
Big stuff, maybe.
Questions to Meditate upon.
In your training, do not be in a hurry, for it takes a minimum of ten years to master the basics and advance to the first rung. Never think of yourself as an all knowing, perfected master; you must continue to train daily with your friends and students and progress together in the Art of Peace.