Hello and thank you for visiting AikiWeb, the
world's most active online Aikido community! This site is home to
over 16,000 aikido practitioners from around the world and covers a
wide range of aikido topics including techniques, philosophy, history,
humor, beginner issues, the marketplace, and more.
If you wish to join in the discussions or use the other advanced
features available, you will need to register first. Registration is
absolutely free and takes only a few minutes to complete so sign up today!
"In general, a contraction of reference accompanies an expansion of awareness, and an expansion of reference accompanies a contraction of awareness." The Laws of Form by G. Spencer Brown page 10.
Each of us creates the universe in our own image. No two of us will see, hear, taste, smell or feel (in the tactile sense) exactly alike. We can agree on generalities such as that apple is red or that ice cream tastes like coffee but we won't experience the red or the coffee in exactly the same way. As individuals we experience the universe, each of us, in a completely unique way. The birth of a baby brings a universe into being and the death of a person causes a universe to dissolve into …?
Awareness is largely involuntary. I am, I see, hear, smell, touch and taste. I process the stimuli and produce the world. I remember, and in remembering I create the past. I wonder, and in wondering I create the future. As my past and future roll out behind and before me my point of reference expands, thereby diminishing my awareness of the present.
I tell my students to coordinate mind and body. Easy to say, but what does it mean? I explain as follows: My body is always where it is in space and time. It can't be anywhere but where it is. It is always at ‘now'. My mind isn't fettered in the same way as my body. It isn't tethered to now and can be anywhere anytime. So to coordinate mind and body both must be at now.
With mind and body coordinated I have contracted my reference and thereby expanded my awareness. I have ‘one point'. Aikido training is all about coordination of mind and body; for at one point is where I am able to tap into the energy of the universe and perform to my greatest potential. Maruyama Sensei calls this attaining correct feeling.
There are degrees of one pointedness. Imagine the perfect coordination of mind and body as a dimensionless one point. Less than perfect coordination of mind and body will be equivalent to a one point containing a diameter greater than zero. When we begin our training we come to Aikido with our one point where it is. As we train and gain control over ourselves the dimension of our one point will grow smaller and smaller, closer and closer to perfection.