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moon in the water Blog Tools Rating: Rate This Blog
Creation Date: 04-26-2010 10:46 PM
the water does not try
to reflect the moon
and the moon has no desire
to be reflected
but when the clouds clear
there is the moon in the water
Blog Info
Status: Public
Entries: 155
Comments: 1,111
Views: 1,938,991


In General forgetting the year of the dragon Entry Tools Rate This Entry
  #144 New 12-30-2012 10:22 PM
forgetting the year of the dragon
dragon fusuma at ryogen-in, daitokuji, kyoto by neil banas

Movement number 4: dragon seeks path - dragon whips tail.
Bruce Lee, Way of the Dragon

Hard by the lilied Nile I saw
A duskish river-dragon stretched along,
The brown habergeon of his limbs enamelled
With sanguine alamandines and rainy pear:
Thomas Lovell Beddoes, A Crocodile

In this altar-piece the knight,
Who grips his long spear so to push
That dragon through the fading light,
Loved the lady; and it's plain
The half-dead dragon was her thought,
That every morning rose again
And dug its claws and shrieked and fought.
W B Yeats, Michael Robartes and the Dancer

But each day brings its petty dust
Our soon-chok'd souls to fill,
And we forget because we must,
And not because we will.
Matthew Arnold, Absence

I had to spend many years losing my spirit, to unlearn thinking again, to forget the oneness.
Herman Hesse, Siddhartha

Well, but something sure is wrong
'Cause I'm so blue and lonely
I forgot to remember to forget
Elvis Presley, I Forgot to Remember to Forget

Japan in December is the time for parties for the end of the year. In Japanese they are called bonenkai. Parties to forget the year. Companies have them. Neighbourhoods have them. And of course dojos have them. Many people have to go to several.

So the bonenkai is the chance to forget all the bad things of the last year. It's a nice idea. If you forget all the bad things that happened during the year all you remember are the good things.

2012 was the year of the dragon. Looking back on the year I'll just take a couple of memories.

In Japan people were excited when Tokyo Skytree opened in May 2012. It was 634 metres feet high. Musashi in Japanese slang. I wrote about it here. It's one of the most popular tourist spots in Tokyo now.

The 2012 summer Olympics were held in London. The opening ceremony was dramatic and there were some great moments. The one I won't forget was David Rudisha winning the 800 metres.

There were some farewells in 2012. Every year we lose great martial artists and their irreplaceable knowledge. Hiroshi Kato Sensei died in 2012. He was a Japanese aikido teacher. After he retired he taught in the USA. I trained with him many years ago. I have a good memory of him showing me how to do a dynamic koshi nage from nikyo - a hip throw from a wristlock.

Bad things happened in 2012 too. But I have forgotten them.

We use forgetting in the highest level of martial arts. All arts in fact.

So I'll finish with another cool martial arts quote. This time from a movie.

Learn the form.
But seek the formless.
Hear the soundless.
Learn it all.
Then forget it all.
Learn the Way.
Then find your own way.
Jet Li, The Forbidden Kingdom

So I hope you had a good year. And that you have already forgotten the bad things.

Have a great 2013. Full of fresh and wonderful moments. The year of the snake.


e-books, poems, music and background articles

Thomas Lovell Beddoes, A Crocodile
poems by Thomas Lovell Beddoes online

W B Yeats, Michael Robartes and the Dancer
poems by W B Yeats online

Matthew Arnold, Absence
free e-book: Poetical Works of Matthew Arnold

free e-book: Herman Hesse, Siddhartha

The Way of the Dragon on the internet movie database
The Forbidden Kingdom on the internet movie database

Elvis Presley, I Forgot to Remember to Forget

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/B%C5%8Dnenkai Bonenkai
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Daitoku-ji Daitoku-ji

photo: dragon fusuma at ryogen-in, daitokuji, kyoto by neil banas

my home page with a mirror of these blog posts plus other stuff: mooninthewater.net/aikido

my columns on aikiweb

niall matthews 2012
Views: 3698 | Comments: 5

RSS Feed 5 Responses to "forgetting the year of the dragon"
#5 01-14-2013 08:36 AM
niall Says:
Thank you Francis and Diana. I'll try to write something about the snake. In the mountains a couple of months ago I saw a poisonous snake eating a frog...
#4 01-03-2013 06:48 AM
Diana Frese Says:
I am very pleased by the beautiful thoughts you and Francis have written, so thank you both. Here's a question: I have known some snake year people who are careful about their looks. Could you mention something about "mi bijin" "snake year beauty" I have heard referring to certain beautiful women born in the year of the snake.
#3 01-02-2013 11:25 AM
aikishihan Says:
Akemashite Omedetoo Gozaimasu to you Niall, your wonderful family and your fortunate students. Totally acknowledge the value of minimizing negativity in favor of optimism, enthusiasm and positive planning. So glad that you are on the forefront of preemptive Aiki response to ignorance, complacency and the woeful lack of Reigi Sa Ho amongst those of us who know better. Cheers to a new beginning, again. Matta, dozoo yorishiku onegaeshimasu!!!!
#2 01-02-2013 01:40 AM
niall Says:
Thanks, Francis. Your comments are sometimes like zen koans! Yeah, humans sometimes like to attach unnecessary extraneous garbage to things. But I think it's good to cut off negative influences - maybe including bad memories. I really like the idea that when we look at stars we are also looking into the past because of the time the light takes to travel to earth. Happy new year.
#1 12-31-2012 04:35 PM
aikishihan Says:
When we peer into the Universe with the Hubbel telescope, we are exposed to all that has occurred, regardless of "good" or "bad" connotations and impressions. No filters necessary for us to utilize to "forget", since all is appropriately connected. Why now, as humans, to break faith with this Universal truth of acceptance of all things?

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