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Home > Columns > > November, 2006 - Aiki-Write
by Lynn Seiser

Aiki-Write by Lynn Seiser

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Thoughts come and thoughts go.
Some I catch and put on paper. Some aren't worth the time.
Some develop into short responses or articles. Others become chapters or books.
Some people like them. Others don't.
My thoughts match for some. They don't match for others.
Thoughts come and thoughts go whether I write them down or not.

Every time I take the risk and put my ideas out there in writing, I always hope I haven't made too many mistakes. It takes a lot of courage to be visible and vulnerable. Courage usually means scared to death but doing it anyway.

Writing and studying Aikido are a lot alike. At least they have been for me.

Most people want to write, but they don't know how. They seem to think they should be able to just write naturally without any instruction or training. Not everyone wants to write and not everyone wants to learn a martial art, especially Aikido.

Writing looks easy, but is really very hard. Aikido looks easy, but was much harder to learn than I thought.

Before you can write a great novel (or a book on Aikido), you have to learn to spell. Before you can learn the art of Aikido, first you have to learn the craft of the basics. This usually takes at least until Shodan (black belt).

When you first start to write, the words and sentence structure are awkward. There is a search for just the right word or phrase to catch your thought and meaning. My first book queries were rejected. Trying to find just the right instructor and dojo was difficult. The first classes showed how awkward I really was.

Some people think that expressing yourself in words or techniques is, and should be, a natural expression. It wasn't for me. Still isn't.

Some people wait for inspiration and write in a continual flow. I think, label, title, outline, and laboriously struggle through the content of filling in the blank spaces. Within the structure, there is a security, a familiarity, which coaxes the words out of me. Getting my head around the structure of Aikido also helped me some times find the flow. Each article or class provided a new opportunity to learn and express something new.

Every word, of every sentence, of every paragraph, of every page, of every chapter, of every book is edited and rewritten countless times. There is a constant refinement of the art. The same has been true for my journey into Aikido. Seldom am I told I do it right. The refinement comes from countless continuous corrections. The compliment is that someone believes you can do it, and in the beginning, that someone is seldom you.

My journey into writing and Aikido have not been easy. Both had stumbling blocks and obstacles to overcome, the greatest being the fear of being visible and vulnerable. The courage was to be scared to death and show up for class and look awkward and clumsy and to write my thoughts and share them for compliments and criticism.

Must mystic and mystery teachings, including O'Sensei beloved Oomoto, strive for the unification of duality, of opposites. Both writing and Aikido can be a place to lose yourself and find yourself, the writer needs the reader, the uke needs a tori, the body needs the mind to lead it, the mind needs the body to express it, within facing our fears we find our security, within expression be find both acceptance and criticism.

The thoughts come and the thoughts go.
The opportunity to express ourselves is constantly presenting itself.
May we all find the courage to respond to that opening.
The thoughts come and the thoughts go.
These I wrote down to share and encourage others.
The thought is gone now.

Thanks for listening, for the opportunity to be of service, and for sharing the journey. Now, get back to training. KWATZ!

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