PDA

View Full Version : Enlightened wisdom and deep calm...


Please visit our sponsor:
 

AikiWeb Sponsored Links - Place your Aikido link here for only $10!


K3Becker
05-20-2007, 07:27 PM
I have been reading about Aikido for about three years and have not yet talked to anyone that practices Aikido about what I have read or what I understand to be true. My first interest is not about form or the physical practice, but that not out of disinterest but rather a desire to begin a dialogue with someone that true believes in the spiritual side and lives from this place naturally, and daily. Someone that would be willing to engage in open dialogue.

I am looking for guidance or maybe more specifically a guide. I live in Colorado and know of two dojos near me (Boulder and Denver). However, I have not yet reached out to either dojo other than watching during lessons. If a member of either dojo is reading this and believes themselves a fit…great.

I feel that so much at play is external versus internal…about universal truth and tapping into something so much larger. That life (and therefore Aikido) is not about manipulation or about force…

For reference, some of the books I have read are The Art of Peace (my favorite), The Spiritual Foundations of Aikido, The Essence of Aikido, and The Secrets of Aikido.

Some of my favorite quotes from The Art of Peace are:

The Art of Peace is invincible because it contends with nothing.

And...

The Art of Peace never restrains, restricts, or shackles anything. It embraces all and purifies everything.

And…

A warrior's mind and body must be permeated with enlightened wisdom and deep calm.

And my favorite…

Unite yourself to the cosmos, and the thought of transcendence will disappear. Transcendence belongs to the profane world. When all trace of transcendence vanishes, the true person - the Divine Being - is manifest. Empty yourself and let the Divine function.

So what I am doing here? In short, I think it is now time in my life to reach outwards and see what manifests.

Thank you.

tarik
05-20-2007, 07:43 PM
I have been reading about Aikido for about three years and have not yet talked to anyone that practices Aikido about what I have read or what I understand to be true.

So what I am doing here? In short, I think it is now time in my life to reach outwards and see what manifests.

Aikido is the way.

Shu Ha Ri is the method.

Shoshin.is the beginning.

You can't get started by only talking about it, you have to live it.

K3Becker
05-20-2007, 08:03 PM
I enjoy the answer from Tarik.

I think his answer is exactly why I am here posting. I know I don't know...but know enough that I realize there is knowledge out there.

My interest is such, as most days I am able to sit comfortably in both uncertainty and in the intesity of the external...I have experienced in my daily life the peace that comes from this deep calm...yet I have not practiced Aikido in what I assume is the true sense of Aikido...peace through this art.

Question...where does the one seeking find the one guiding?

Janet Rosen
05-20-2007, 10:22 PM
Um, to put it plainly, one gets off one's duff and bows onto a mat and DOES it.
If you are not sure which of the 2 dojos is the best fit, try both of them.

MikeLogan
05-20-2007, 10:51 PM
Why are you looking for a guide? And aside from that, such an idea puts a lot at the feet and on the shoulders of anyone who accidentally takes up the mantle as 'a guide'.

Keep reading if you are neither ready for the mat, nor ready to see the natural/physical manifestation of these philosophical principles. This would hold true if it were the other way around, and you were beginning to look into the philosophical from a point entirely based in the physical practice. Your own empirical experience is eventually the activation of awareness.

Someone can tell you the oven is hot, but this would not be true until you tested it.

Enjoy either way.

L. Camejo
05-20-2007, 11:09 PM
Question...where does the one seeking find the one guiding?You already have the answer to this. You have 2 dojo within range where there are Sensei who can answer your questions and give guidance better than any book, video or online person can imho.

Imho before one even starts to get to the spiritual stuff behind the training one has to overcome basic fears. The first fear you will deal with is stepping on the mat and actually starting training. It is a physical manifestation of an internal decision to start on the path of learning and exploring via Aikido, whatever your end goal is. No amount of reading about Aikido will teach you anything until you make this first step and show that you are willing to do what is necessary to learn or "be guided" as you put it.

What is stopping you from beginning practice? Imho if you are not yet ready to start training you are not yet ready for any guide and can easily misinterpret anything read, said or shown to you at this point.

Gambatte.
LC:ai::ki:

bkedelen
05-20-2007, 11:11 PM
Karl,
step 1, forget everything you "know" about aikido
step 2, show up at Boulder Aikikai
step 3, let the adventure begin.

SeiserL
05-21-2007, 05:01 AM
IMHO, wisdom and calm are best when applied.
Boulder Aikikai.
Show up.
Sign up.
Suit up.
Learn to apply the wise mind in a calm body in motion and relationship to another.

RoyK
05-21-2007, 07:21 AM
Does Aikido really cater to the needs of a person who seeks spiritual guidance and enlightenment?

Esaemann
05-21-2007, 07:40 AM
It seems that it can for some people, from what they write.
Depends on the person, and what works for them. Not for me, though.

dps
05-21-2007, 07:53 AM
Some of my favorite quotes from The Art of Peace are:

The Art of Peace is invincible because it contends with nothing.

And...

The Art of Peace never restrains, restricts, or shackles anything. It embraces all and purifies everything.

And…

A warrior's mind and body must be permeated with enlightened wisdom and deep calm.

And my favorite…

Unite yourself to the cosmos, and the thought of transcendence will disappear. Transcendence belongs to the profane world. When all trace of transcendence vanishes, the true person - the Divine Being - is manifest. Empty yourself and let the Divine function..

Understanding the above comes from dynamic Aikido on the mat.

jennifer paige smith
05-21-2007, 08:28 AM
Does Aikido really cater to the needs of a person who seeks spiritual guidance and enlightenment?

Aikido is all encompassing, all embracing.

The person will change in understanding as they practice and those definitions will take on some meat. Then the individual can look at the whole thing again and chew on some substance (gnawing sounds required).

jennifer paige smith
05-21-2007, 08:35 AM
I would like to advocate for a further visit to Homma Sensei's dojo in Denver. I believe you will enjoy his temperment.
The principle of aikido can be applied to any of life's endeavours. Whatever dicipline you participate in, you can apply the principles and find a home for them in your daily life. You will need to learn to observe dynamic flow to bring any of this into the physical realm. Training on the mat is how most of us have come to our place of observation, for others the training has formalized a method for what they already knew.
At least have supper at Homma Senseis restaraunt, if not for you, than for me.

SeiserL
05-21-2007, 03:03 PM
Does Aikido really cater to the needs of a person who seeks spiritual guidance and enlightenment?
IMHO, no.

Aikido does not cater, it simply provides a context and a tool. If you get quiet, guidance and enlightenment is already there within you, not Aikido.

K3Becker
05-21-2007, 09:55 PM
Thank you all...I appreciate all of the advice...

RoyK
05-22-2007, 04:25 AM
IMHO, no.

Aikido does not cater, it simply provides a context and a tool. If you get quiet, guidance and enlightenment is already there within you, not Aikido.

Thanks Jennifer and Lynn, yes, my sensei told us something similar during our last class. He said that in zazen, the first thing you are told is that no one promises you anything at all, you just sit, and that' s all there is to it.
If a person has no interest in the 'sitting' aspect and concentrates on the long term results right away, it's going to be one heck of a leap of faith for her if she is to be able to just do the sitting, isn't it?

Maybe I'm off the mark here, but I gathered that all he seeks is an earnest discussions of the ideas he read in the books, so I was wondering if saying "show up at Boulder Aikikai" is a realistic suggestion or not, since in every dojo I've been to so far, we learned by doing, not talking.

SeiserL
05-22-2007, 05:25 AM
but I gathered that all he seeks is an earnest discussions of the ideas he read in the books, so I was wondering if saying "show up at Boulder Aikikai" is a realistic suggestion or not, since in every dojo I've been to so far, we learned by doing, not talking.
IMHO, discuss is good.
Training is good.
Discussion and training is better.

Training is the actual application of the discussion. Showing up is how to begin training. It is realistic and reasonable to have a discussion on an intellectual internet level (a discussion through voice) and the physical practical application (a discussion through movement).

The mind and the body. Its a harmonizing of dualities thing.

jennifer paige smith
05-22-2007, 09:06 AM
The methods and principles that are discussed in the body, including the mouth, are available for anyone. If the person writing this initial letter were a quadrapeligic ( please excuse my courseness) it would be quite a stretch of most individuals capacities to recommend that that person "get on the mat". Yet, Aikido is available for them. Not simply because we have an amazingly talented body of service oriented individuals in the art who have committed themselves to providing aikido to the disabled; but because aikido is big enough and fluid enough and encompassing enough to saturate anyone with a willingness ( and sometimes people without willingness).
What I'm getting at is yes, you can simply talk about it. A person can derive elements of practice through discussion and then apply it to whatever their life is.
Personally, I love practice. I love time on the mat. I love the embodied lesson. I also have had the most "un-aikido" moments with people in dojo and I have had some of the worst conversations of my life with aikidoka.
The practice always requires us to stretch our positions, positions shouldn't be too fixed in the first place.

Good conversation is a practice in itself. Learning to speak is a true art.
Gambatte!

Mark Uttech
05-22-2007, 09:09 PM
I had student comment to me upon watching Molly Hale's aikido demonstration at the Aiki-Expo: "she probably couldn't really defend herself..." I replied to him that she was defending herself from being a paraplegic.

In gassho,

Mark

Bronson
05-23-2007, 03:02 AM
Show up.
Sign up.
Suit up.


Lynn, you forgot Shut up (my favorite and the one that helped me the most). Quiet your mind. See, hear, and feel what the Sensei and the senior students are telling/showing you.

Don't be surprised when you find that actual training is not what you expected after reading the books.

Bronson (good luck and enjoy it)

Bronson
05-23-2007, 03:04 AM
Aikido does not cater...

I once had a new student ask what aikido training would give him. I told him it would give him nothing. He'd have to work hard for any little scrap he got from aikido training :D

Bronson

SeiserL
05-23-2007, 10:49 AM
I had student comment to me upon watching Molly Hale's aikido demonstration at the Aiki-Expo: "she probably couldn't really defend herself..."
I was at the Expo.
I trained with Hale Sensei.
Tell your student that her Aikido is just fine.

Jonshez
05-23-2007, 01:36 PM
Hi Karl,
as a newcomer to practical Aikido I thought I'd offer an observation.

For many years I wanted to be a falconer. I took every opportunity to learn about birds of prey, visit conservation centres. I bought and studied books, asked questions of the falconers I saw at displays and centres. I was completely in love with the idea of falconry. I stayed in this phase of my falconry career for around 15 years because I felt the responsibility of a bird was a serious one.

After so long, I was almost afraid of taking the next step. I had so much theoretical knowledge but something held me back. Perhaps a fear of bursting the bubble I'd built up, perhaps I was second guessing my knowledge, perhaps I was happy to be an armchair expert and not to be tested and found wanting.

Eventually I did pick up and train a hawk, and I would say (without exaggeration) that I learned more in the first week of training and caring for that bird than in the 15 years of reading.

Of course I made mistakes, learned from them, honed the knowledge I had from the books into skills from experience. Falconry wasn't what I expected (despite all that reading!), in some ways it was a lot harder than I expected, in other ways it was more sublime than I can explain. The pleasure and pride of watching a bird you trained from a newly fledged chick stoop two thousand feet onto quarry.... nothing I read prepared me for how that felt.

Aikido isn't exactly what I expected, again in some ways more difficult and in many more ways more sublime than I thought. I don't regret taking either of those experiences from theoretical to the actual.

If you want to see how aikido feels, I think visiting a dojo with an open mind (and minimum expectation based on the theory) and the willingness to learn from a Sensei is the next logical step.

Good luck, I hope it is a new step to understanding for you and more importantly that you thoroughly enjoy it!

Jon

(apologies for waffling, falconry and now aikido get me that way!)

jennifer paige smith
05-24-2007, 09:15 AM
Hi Karl,
as a newcomer to practical Aikido I thought I'd offer an observation.

For many years I wanted to be a falconer. I took every opportunity to learn about birds of prey, visit conservation centres. I bought and studied books, asked questions of the falconers I saw at displays and centres. I was completely in love with the idea of falconry. I stayed in this phase of my falconry career for around 15 years because I felt the responsibility of a bird was a serious one.

After so long, I was almost afraid of taking the next step. I had so much theoretical knowledge but something held me back. Perhaps a fear of bursting the bubble I'd built up, perhaps I was second guessing my knowledge, perhaps I was happy to be an armchair expert and not to be tested and found wanting.

Eventually I did pick up and train a hawk, and I would say (without exaggeration) that I learned more in the first week of training and caring for that bird than in the 15 years of reading.

Of course I made mistakes, learned from them, honed the knowledge I had from the books into skills from experience. Falconry wasn't what I expected (despite all that reading!), in some ways it was a lot harder than I expected, in other ways it was more sublime than I can explain. The pleasure and pride of watching a bird you trained from a newly fledged chick stoop two thousand feet onto quarry.... nothing I read prepared me for how that felt.

Aikido isn't exactly what I expected, again in some ways more difficult and in many more ways more sublime than I thought. I don't regret taking either of those experiences from theoretical to the actual.

If you want to see how aikido feels, I think visiting a dojo with an open mind (and minimum expectation based on the theory) and the willingness to learn from a Sensei is the next logical step.

Good luck, I hope it is a new step to understanding for you and more importantly that you thoroughly enjoy it!

Jon

(apologies for waffling, falconry and now aikido get me that way!)

I didn't know falcons liked waffles. God, I learn something new everyday:p .

All kidding aside, the quality that you are describing between the learning you had recieved one hand and the physical application you gave on the other is a moment of musubi; or connection to the natural thread Poetry in motion, if you will. That moment with the natural world drew out lessons for a lifetime.

BTW I think that falconry is bitchin,. Gambatte!

jennifer paige smith
05-24-2007, 09:17 AM
Does Aikido really cater to the needs of a person who seeks spiritual guidance and enlightenment?

"Aikido Catering Service. Can I take your order, please."

gdandscompserv
05-24-2007, 09:27 AM
"Aikido Catering Service. Can I take your order, please."
One order of spiritual guidance and enlightenment please.:D

jennifer paige smith
05-24-2007, 09:48 AM
One order of spiritual guidance and enlightenment please.:D

Would you like fries with that?

K3Becker
06-04-2007, 02:23 PM
I have been away for about 1.5 weeks and offline...thank you for all the responses.