PDA

View Full Version : Ueshiba's Golden Lights


Please visit our sponsor:
 

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


Eric in Denver
11-20-2011, 03:59 PM
I am currently reading a book by Yang Jwing-Ming called "Qigong. The Secret of Youth: Da Mo's Muscle/Tendon Changing and Marrow/Brain Washing Classics." Interestingly, the author at one point states:

"In still meditation training, at some point when you are able to lead the Qi upward to nourish the brain, you will suddenly feel a 'lightening' in your brain. This may be caused by the extra Qi energizing inactive brain cells. Your mind perceives this as light (golden light). When you can sense this light, your brain is highly energized. You are now able to lead this Qi to the Shen in the "Shen valley" to raise up the spirit."

This reminded me of the following quote attributed to Ueshiba:

"...I felt the universe suddenly quake, and that a golden spirit sprang up from the ground, veiled my body, and changed my body into a golden one. At the same time my body became light. I was able to understand the whispering of the birds, and was clearly aware of the mind of God, the creator of the universe.

At that moment I was enlightened: the source of budo is God's love - the spirit of loving protection for all beings... Budo is not the felling of an opponent by force; nor is it a tool to lead the world to destruction with arms. True Budo is to accept the spirit of the universe, keep the peace of the world, correctly produce, protect and cultivate all beings in nature."

I must say that I found it surprising that, once again, something that seemed so unique to Ueshiba's spirituality may be common place in Qi training. Or IS training, however we want to phrase it.

I can also see how the language can get confusing. Here we have golden lights as a byproduct of moving Qi, but we also have this quote from Ueshiba in which he clearly attaches a moral awakening to the event.

So, what I am wondering, is there a way to disentangle the two to make communication about aiki/IS/Qi training versus spiritual enlightenment here on aikiweb a little less like a train wreck?

kewms
11-20-2011, 05:05 PM
So, what I am wondering, is there a way to disentangle the two to make communication about aiki/IS/Qi training versus spiritual enlightenment here on aikiweb a little less like a train wreck?

No. At least not if you're going to discuss aiki as practiced by Ueshiba Sensei. The spectacular train wreck that is the Ueshiba's Aiki thread began to veer of the tracks with just such an attempt.

Katherine

Demetrio Cereijo
11-20-2011, 05:13 PM
This reminded me of the following quote attributed to Ueshiba:

"...I felt the universe suddenly quake, and that a golden spirit sprang up from the ground, veiled my body, and changed my body into a golden one. At the same time my body became light. I was able to understand the whispering of the birds, and was clearly aware of the mind of God, the creator of the universe.

At that moment I was enlightened: the source of budo is God's love - the spirit of loving protection for all beings... Budo is not the felling of an opponent by force; nor is it a tool to lead the world to destruction with arms. True Budo is to accept the spirit of the universe, keep the peace of the world, correctly produce, protect and cultivate all beings in nature."


What had just happened before this event?

Eric in Denver
11-20-2011, 06:53 PM
What had just happened before this event?

I don't know. Do you?

Eric in Denver
11-20-2011, 07:19 PM
No. At least not if you're going to discuss aiki as practiced by Ueshiba Sensei. The spectacular train wreck that is the Ueshiba's Aiki thread began to veer of the tracks with just such an attempt.

Katherine

Okay, that is a reasonable assumption in my book. There is no particular reason to deny his claims of enlightenment that I have seen.

If we are talking about body skills that Ueshiba had, and Takeda had, and Sagawa, and perhaps others, could there be a term that would disentangle that from his enlightenment?

It seems to me that there is a claim that while his body skills were amazing, others also had these skills. Thus, in my mind, it seems possible that the body skills are not necessarily (although they could be) connected to his enlightenment.

I think about this because in the book I referenced in the first post, it argues that one can use QiGong to develop martial skills, health, or enlightenment. Or any combination of the three.

MM
11-20-2011, 07:31 PM
Okay, that is a reasonable assumption in my book. There is no particular reason to deny his claims of enlightenment that I have seen.

If we are talking about body skills that Ueshiba had, and Takeda had, and Sagawa, and perhaps others, could there be a term that would disentangle that from his enlightenment?

It seems to me that there is a claim that while his body skills were amazing, others also had these skills. Thus, in my mind, it seems possible that the body skills are not necessarily (although they could be) connected to his enlightenment.

I think about this because in the book I referenced in the first post, it argues that one can use QiGong to develop martial skills, health, or enlightenment. Or any combination of the three.

I think it would be very hard to disentangle Ueshiba's aiki from his spirituality/enlightenment. Ueshiba's spirituality, his spiritual ideology, is a tricky thing. Is it possible that his body skills are not necessary to his enlightenment? Of course. Is it probable? I really don't know. Once he was on the path of aiki, literally everything changed for Ueshiba.

Remember, he said, I am aiki. He said, this is how to do that with aiki. Aiki systematically alters and changes the physical body and also the mind on a fundamental level. Once that occurs, how can you disentangle it from whatever one does?

To even begin down that road is a lot of work and research. A lot. Much more than aiki training. Not that it can't be done. In fact, I think it'd be extremely interesting and valuable.

Eric in Denver
11-20-2011, 07:49 PM
I think it would be very hard to disentangle Ueshiba's aiki from his spirituality/enlightenment. Ueshiba's spirituality, his spiritual ideology, is a tricky thing. Is it possible that his body skills are not necessary to his enlightenment? Of course. Is it probable? I really don't know. Once he was on the path of aiki, literally everything changed for Ueshiba.

Remember, he said, I am aiki. He said, this is how to do that with aiki. Aiki systematically alters and changes the physical body and also the mind on a fundamental level. Once that occurs, how can you disentangle it from whatever one does?

To even begin down that road is a lot of work and research. A lot. Much more than aiki training. Not that it can't be done. In fact, I think it'd be extremely interesting and valuable.

I would prefer that we be very careful around the term "aiki." From my experience in Japan, it appears that any activity can be considered a path to enlightenment, as long as it is followed with a certain intent. That being said, no activity that lacks this intent would get you there.

Does that make any sense?

kewms
11-20-2011, 07:50 PM
There are some who will tell you that aiki can be trained completely outside of a spiritual context, and certainly independently of Ueshiba's rather idiosyncratic milieu.

There are others who will tell you that aiki -- at least as it manifests itself in the art that Ueshiba created -- is a deeply spiritual thing, and without that spirituality one is left with only bits and pieces of the whole.

The two sides seem to come to rhetorical blows on a regular basis.

Which is not to say that the topic you raise isn't worth investigating. Just that this forum has proven itself largely incapable of doing so.

Katherine

kewms
11-20-2011, 07:53 PM
I would prefer that we be very careful around the term "aiki." From my experience in Japan, it appears that any activity can be considered a path to enlightenment, as long as it is followed with a certain intent. That being said, no activity that lacks this intent would get you there.


That's a common view in Buddhism generally, not just in Japan. That the path to enlightenment leads through mindfulness and meditation, which can take place in the context of many many outward forms.

Katherine

Eric in Denver
11-20-2011, 10:18 PM
The two sides seem to come to rhetorical blows on a regular basis.

Which is not to say that the topic you raise isn't worth investigating. Just that this forum has proven itself largely incapable of doing so.

Katherine

I don't think this is necessarily true. I think there are a lot of intelligent and thoughtful people on this forum who often take a back seat when the mudslinging starts. There is a lot of potential and interest here, especially relating to this very topic.

Why else would there be over 25,000 views on a thread entitled "Ueshiba's Aiki"? We are all looking for nuggets of some type.

Eric in Denver
11-20-2011, 10:43 PM
That's a common view in Buddhism generally, not just in Japan. That the path to enlightenment leads through mindfulness and meditation, which can take place in the context of many many outward forms.

Katherine

Okay, so then to me it appears possible that the BABS (Bad A$$ Body Skills, let's stay away from "IS" and "aiki" for now) of Takeda, Ueshiba, Sagawa, Yoshida, etc., could be a path to enlightenment or not, depending on how the training was utilized.

I guess where I am going with this is that there seem to be two possible interpretations of aiki around the aikiweb forums:

1) Aiki = Bad A$$ Body Skills

or

2) Aiki = A process of enlightenment utilizing Bad A$$ Body Skills as the vehicle.

But there may be other, better ways to parse this out. Any other options anyone else can think of?

kewms
11-20-2011, 11:22 PM
Okay, so then to me it appears possible that the BABS (Bad A$$ Body Skills, let's stay away from "IS" and "aiki" for now) of Takeda, Ueshiba, Sagawa, Yoshida, etc., could be a path to enlightenment or not, depending on how the training was utilized.

I think it's important to differentiate between cause and effect. The BABS themselves do not (necessarily) produce enlightenment. Rather, that particular training methodology may (or may not) produce both BABS and enlightenment, depending on the individual.

Even assuming the "lightning in the brain" phenomenon is common among people who do this sort of training, how it is interpreted would likely depend on their cultural background. For someone else, it might manifest as a visitation from angels (or demons), or might provoke a visit to a psychiatrist or a neurologist. Most meditation traditions emphasize the need for supervision by a competent teacher, in part because of the potential for disturbing side effects.

Katherine

DH
11-20-2011, 11:43 PM
Okay, so then to me it appears possible that the BABS (Bad A$$ Body Skills, let's stay away from "IS" and "aiki" for now) of Takeda, Ueshiba, Sagawa, Yoshida, etc., could be a path to enlightenment or not, depending on how the training was utilized.

I guess where I am going with this is that there seem to be two possible interpretations of aiki around the aikiweb forums:

1) Aiki = Bad A$$ Body Skills

or

2) Aiki = A process of enlightenment utilizing Bad A$$ Body Skills as the vehicle.

But there may be other, better ways to parse this out. Any other options anyone else can think of?
Weeeelllll
The type of training Mark is talking about...brain washing...begins with directing energy initiated from...self gratification. So...Ueshiba would have been er...practicing a different type of solo training
It is a very healthy but difficult training. Yet another thing that is known and documented that certain Japanese practitioners giggle and stare at as an invention of their teacher/ mage.
I would only caution that some people are reaching for straws. Ignorance is a difficult thing to undo with so much emotional investment involved.
In short. This is different than the BABS training. I recently had a lengthy conversation at a seminar with someone who trained it in India for years.
Dan

Eric in Denver
11-21-2011, 01:40 AM
Weeeelllll
The type of training Mark is talking about...brain washing...begins with directing energy initiated from...self gratification. So...Ueshiba would have been er...practicing a different type of solo training
It is a very healthy but difficult training. Yet another thing that is known and documented that certain Japanese practitioners giggle and stare at as an invention of their teacher/ mage.
I would only caution that some people are reaching for straws. Ignorance is a difficult thing to undo with so much emotional investment involved.
In short. This is different than the BABS training. I recently had a lengthy conversation at a seminar with someone who trained it in India for years.
Dan

I am sorry, I am not quite sure what you are saying here. That marrow/brain washing training is different from the body skills training?

Demetrio Cereijo
11-21-2011, 03:02 AM
I don't know. Do you?

Which Founder's bio are you working with?

aikilouis
11-21-2011, 03:38 AM
I like BABS much better than IS :)

gates
11-21-2011, 04:20 AM
Why else would there be over 25,000 views on a thread entitled "Ueshiba's Aiki"? We are all looking for nuggets of some type.

Perhaps people just love a bit of trashy entertainment !

Eric in Denver
11-21-2011, 07:17 AM
Which Founder's bio are you working with?

I was just looking for the quote about golden lights so I googled it. I first encountered the golden lights in the Stevens work, I am pretty sure I have come across on Aikido Journal, and the one that I grabbed was in Ueshiba's wikipedia entry and is cited as coming from Kisshomaru's book Aikido published in 1985.

Checking the wiki entry again, it is placed as happening after his bout with a naval officer in 1925 when Ueshiba walked into a garden. I think this is pretty standard for everywhere I have read the story.

I guess the hypothesis I am trying to discuss, though, is that there are different technologies, one that enhances spiritual enlightenment and discovery, and another that enhances body skills/martial capabilities. They may use some (or many) of the same tools and materials, but the end results could be very different products.

Eric in Denver
11-21-2011, 07:21 AM
Perhaps people just love a bit of trashy entertainment !

That is true as well. I hope we can keep this thread from going in the same direction.

MM
11-21-2011, 08:27 AM
I was just looking for the quote about golden lights so I googled it. I first encountered the golden lights in the Stevens work, I am pretty sure I have come across on Aikido Journal, and the one that I grabbed was in Ueshiba's wikipedia entry and is cited as coming from Kisshomaru's book Aikido published in 1985.

Checking the wiki entry again, it is placed as happening after his bout with a naval officer in 1925 when Ueshiba walked into a garden. I think this is pretty standard for everywhere I have read the story.

I guess the hypothesis I am trying to discuss, though, is that there are different technologies, one that enhances spiritual enlightenment and discovery, and another that enhances body skills/martial capabilities. They may use some (or many) of the same tools and materials, but the end results could be very different products.

I'm still not sure of the hypothesis you're trying to discuss. Sorry, just me being confused.

In regards to Ueshiba, though ...

1. Ueshiba starts training with Takeda in 1915. We have 5 years of Ueshiba training aiki and then he moves to Ayabe where he starts training with Deguchi.

2. Now, skip to 1922 where Takeda trains Ueshiba for about 6-9 months.

3. Then, we have the *martial* incident in 1925 and Ueshiba's golden moment.

So, we have 10 years training aiki and 5 years Deguchi spiritual stuff. Anyone ever read of any single person who attained enlightenment in 5 years? On the other hand, we can trace the Japanese internal skills back to China and then to India.

Now, here's the real kicker ... what if long, long ago, those who started internal skills did so because of a martial need. As time progressed and people got better, it evolved into two sects: those who continued to do martial internal training (rare) and those who took the "golden lights" parts and followed a more spiritual path. Time passes and the internal martial artists are still rare, but the masses love the message of these "golden lights", "enlightenment", etc, and there are millions of followers all looking for nirvana.

Time passes and we now sing the songs and chant the chants but don't really understand why. We do not know that we do not know, so singing the songs and chanting the chants is enough. Just as we are taught the false dantien, we are taught the false enlightenment, but the way has been lost to all but a few. One path diverged into two so very long ago. Ueshiba attempted to merge them back.

But I'm merely musing and waxing poetically ...

Demetrio Cereijo
11-21-2011, 09:02 AM
I guess the hypothesis I am trying to discuss, though, is that there are different technologies, one that enhances spiritual enlightenment and discovery, and another that enhances body skills/martial capabilities. They may use some (or many) of the same tools and materials, but the end results could be very different products.

So the golden light thing is a signal of enlightnement?

Eric in Denver
11-21-2011, 09:16 AM
So the golden light thing is a signal of enlightnement?

Demetrio, thank you for your thoughtful posts. I have a lot of questions along these same lines.

I am not sure about this. According to the quote attributed to Ueshiba, it seems that this is so. But I am not sure if this is what he actually said, or if it is just his son's recollection. It would be great if someone with more information about this could help out (anybody? anybody? :confused: )

From my readings of Buddhist literature, seeing golden lights would seem to be more of a step along the way, and perhaps a distraction that one could get bogged down in. This would be in keeping with the Chinese text I first references in which the golden lights are explained as a secondary result of moving Qi to the brain, not necessarily a mystical experience, although I guess it would be spiritual if one believes Qi is spiritual. Although, the same book distinguishes between Qi as energy and Shen as spirit, so calling Qi spiritual might not really be appropriate.

I wonder how safe or helpful it would be to distinguish "spiritual" (as in Shen and/or Qi) from "mystical" (as in practices geared for reaching enlightenment.)?

Eric in Denver
11-21-2011, 09:36 AM
I'm still not sure of the hypothesis you're trying to discuss. Sorry, just me being confused.



Don't worry, I am quite sure that I am the one that is confused.:)

According to the couple of books I have read by Dr. Yang Jwing-Ming, there were traditionally two forms of training. One is called "Yi Jin Jing" and its purpose is to "change the physical body from weak to strong and from sick to healthy." The other is called "Xi Sui Jing" and its purpose is to "use the abundant Qi generated from Yi Jin Jing training to wash the marrow, to nourish the brain, and to fill up the other six vessels." He goes on to say that a "sincere" Buddhist or Daoist will use Xi Sui Jing to reach enlightenment.

So I guess, to address your confusion about my confusion, I would cautiously say that talking of Ueshiba's "aiki" might conflate training methods that could be, and historically haven been, separated out a little more clearly than the words attributed to Ueshiba have lead us to believe.

Warning! I am definitely speaking at the very edge of my knowledge base. I am very open to corrections of these ideas I have put forth.

DH
11-21-2011, 10:02 AM
From an interview (not translated into English) with Nobuyuki Watanabe

One time the Founder brought in a diagram of the human body and gave an explanation while holding a copy of the Kojikki in one hand. While pointing out muscle and bones on the diagram he gave a very detailed explanation, saying things like "This is Naohi (correct spirit)" and so forth. However, at the time I just wondered what it all meant. It was just once, so I can't remember the details very well.

Of course we now know that these discussions entailed explanations of well known internal training; some of which were practical ways to move the body, others colored at times with Spiritual metaphore for practical matters. I think a different Ueshiba is emerging, but one that will be as lost to todays aikido as he was to his own when he was alive.
Just as Kano said, "This is not my Judo."
Ueshiba looked at post war Aikido and said "This is not my Aikido. No one is following me"

Then we have an interview with Tamura talking about what Mochizuki said to him.
"He told me "What you guys are doing is not the real Aikido." "

Dan

Eric in Denver
11-21-2011, 10:24 AM
. . . these discussions entailed explanations of well known internal training; some of which were practical ways to move the body, others colored at times with Spiritual metaphore for practical matters

Dan

Hi Dan, thank you for the reply. I am particularly interested the statement I have quoted above. It seems that you are saying that his pursuits were not spiritual in the sense of mystical enlightenment. That they were solely related to a quest for, as you call it, "practical ways to move the body."

Are you comfortable with the dichotomy I proposed, that he may have pursued both practical body skills and enlightenment using training methods that were similar but in some cases distinguishable?

Demetrio Cereijo
11-21-2011, 10:25 AM
I wonder how safe or helpful it would be to distinguish "spiritual" (as in Shen and/or Qi) from "mystical" (as in practices geared for reaching enlightenment.)?

and from "high" on endogenous entheogens (http://www.metanexus.net/essay/neurosciences-religion-meditation-entheogens-mysticism).

DH
11-21-2011, 10:55 AM
Hi Dan, thank you for the reply. I am particularly interested the statement I have quoted above. It seems that you are saying that his pursuits were not spiritual in the sense of mystical enlightenment. That they were solely related to a quest for, as you call it, "practical ways to move the body."

Are you comfortable with the dichotomy I proposed, that he may have pursued both practical body skills and enlightenment using training methods that were similar but in some cases distinguishable?
I think it is clear that he did. I just wouldn't consider it a dichotomy. There is precedent for this training to effect you spiritually/mentally and for the training to be part a spiritual practice. It is unfortunate that some people do not understand that you can separate out physical models that stand on their own.
A simple case in point: You don't have to chant prayers to effect breath resonance in the body. Vowel sounds divorced from a specific language will do the same thing. Both will help to identify connections in the body, but it is easy to see how someone could "use" or even "require" induction into a spiritual practice to get the same result. It isn't true that you needed to chant a prayer, but it is none the less their "requirement."

In the quote I offered -heretofore-not translated into English, we find Ueshiba as a teacher using the Kojiki to explain how someone should manifest in yo ho in the human anatomy. I could teach by using all anatomy or all spiritual metaphor to teach the same principles, or I could teach by kata in a system. It would all be the same to me....but it may leave the audience thinking I was daft...er...wait!!
Dan

Eric in Denver
11-21-2011, 10:58 AM
and from "high" on endogenous entheogens (http://www.metanexus.net/essay/neurosciences-religion-meditation-entheogens-mysticism).

That is a good point to bring up. I haven't read this article, but I have read others like it.

So, we have three options, spiritual as in "Shen", spiritual as in mystical enlightenment, and spiritual as in weird brain glitches.

Demetrio Cereijo
11-21-2011, 11:40 AM
So, we have three options, spiritual as in "Shen", spiritual as in mystical enlightenment, and spiritual as in weird brain glitches.
What if all three are the same thing but explained differently?

Eric in Denver
11-21-2011, 11:53 AM
What if all three are the same thing but explained differently?

I see evidence that they are not the same.

There are studies in which lights and other hallucinations have been induced with magnets. There are many historical claims to enlightenment by people that could not fight. Neither Takeda, Sagawa, or any of the other Japanese IS masters besides Ueshiba claimed to be enlightened as far as I know. I also have not heard of any modern Chinese IS masters claiming spiritual enlightenment.

What evidence supports the claim that they are all the same?

kewms
11-21-2011, 11:55 AM
What if all three are the same thing but explained differently?

Yes. See my comment about cultural context above.

Short of high tech brain imaging, it's pretty nearly impossible to get an objective description of brain phenomena. Different people experience the exact same biological response in different ways.

Katherine

Eric in Denver
11-21-2011, 12:35 PM
I think it is clear that he did. I just wouldn't consider it a dichotomy. There is precedent for this training to effect you spiritually/mentally and for the training to be part a spiritual practice. It is unfortunate that some people do not understand that you can separate out physical models that stand on their own.

I guess I worry about the lumping of all of Ueshiba's practices into "this training." It appears to me that he learned aiki (in the IS, body skill sense) from Takeda. However, Takeda never made claims of enlightenment, while Ueshiba did, which makes me think that he either had slightly different practices, or completely different practices, for his enlightenment training.

A simple case in point: You don't have to chant prayers to effect breath resonance in the body. Vowel sounds divorced from a specific language will do the same thing. Both will help to identify connections in the body, but it is easy to see how someone could "use" or even "require" induction into a spiritual practice to get the same result. It isn't true that you needed to chant a prayer, but it is none the less their "requirement."

In the quote I offered -heretofore-not translated into English, we find Ueshiba as a teacher using the Kojiki to explain how someone should manifest in yo ho in the human anatomy. I could teach by using all anatomy or all spiritual metaphor to teach the same principles, or I could teach by kata in a system. It would all be the same to me....but it may leave the audience thinking I was daft...er...wait!!
Dan

So, it sounds like you are saying either Western physical anatomy or a spiritual framework can be used to as a vehicle to explain. . . Enlightenment? Internal strength/aiki skills? Or are the two are the same?

I am sorry if I seem overly hung up on this issue of enlightenment and martial ability. I just have a hard time seeing that they are the same.

Ellis Amdur
11-21-2011, 12:40 PM
There are accounts of Ueshiba doing things that none of his compatriots could do - these regarding spirit possession and spirit calling (I'm a deep agnostic on all of this - but Mariye Takahashi's account in Aikido Journal is quite striking). Just as Sagawa took pains to state that his aiki was not the same as Horikawa's or Matsuda's or Yoshida Kotaro's, it is possible that Ueshiba took Daito-ryu and augmented it with his spiritual practices in some unique and wonderful ways. (This is different from a denial that aikido, in substance, is derived directly from Daito-ryu and that aiki, in particular, is derived from Daito-ryu and is the same (although each may articulate nuances and details differently) of Chinese internal arts.

I'm not directing this or what follows as a criticism of anyone's commentary here, fwiw.

Simply this: The man was deeply religious. Terry Dobson described traveling with him and listening to him pray through most of the night. In trying to say that aikido is not a religious practice, one can easily denigrate the deep spiritual, deep religious path that Ueshiba was on.

On the other hand, I have no doubt that he melded his spiritual practices in such a way that they contributed to his development and training in aiki - so that, for him, the stronger he got, the closer to the gods, and the closer to the gods, the stronger he got.

It is very unfortunate that some practice reduction when it comes to Ueshiba. "Well, his spiritual practices were all just his odd language for internal training," or "internal training? No way. He was a 'spiritual' man!" Didn't someone say that the secret of aiki is in in-yo? So, when it comes to Ueshiba,
this is one more dichotomy that needs to be taken into account. Not either-or. Not even both-and. For Ueshiba, it was "both-either-and-or

It is also probably true that Ueshiba began to believe that without the spiritual practices, the physical skills could not be developed. I have two reasons for saying this:
1. His outrage when Tohei demonstrated ki tricks after a night of debauchery - per Tohei's account
2. My essay, Aikido is Three Peaches, goes into depth. Most people were, as he put it, generators of power for him, the avatar to use.

I have no doubt that he was disheartened, to some degree, that 'no one is following me' - but on another level, he showed both the physical and the spiritual. If people didn't follow both, that was on them, not him.

Ellis Amdur

kewms
11-21-2011, 12:54 PM
I am sorry if I seem overly hung up on this issue of enlightenment and martial ability. I just have a hard time seeing that they are the same.

In the general case, no, they are not. Plenty of counterexamples on both sides.

In the specific case of Ueshiba Sensei, though... I'm not sure it's possible to draw a clear line, and I'm not sure *he* drew a clear line in his own mind.

Katherine

Eric in Denver
11-21-2011, 01:20 PM
In the general case, no, they are not. Plenty of counterexamples on both sides.

In the specific case of Ueshiba Sensei, though... I'm not sure it's possible to draw a clear line, and I'm not sure *he* drew a clear line in his own mind.

Katherine

That is a good point. We do not have, or I do not have, evidence that he drew a clear line of distinction between the two.

Eric in Denver
11-21-2011, 01:44 PM
Ellis, your post inspires a multiple questions and thoughts, but before you get me too far off track, I would like to comment on a couple of things



It is very unfortunate that some practice reduction when it comes to Ueshiba. "Well, his spiritual practices were all just his odd language for internal training," or "internal training? No way. He was a 'spiritual' man!" Didn't someone say that the secret of aiki is in in-yo? So, when it comes to Ueshiba,
this is one more dichotomy that needs to be taken into account. Not either-or. Not even both-and. For Ueshiba, it was "both-either-and-or"

If it is the case that aikido is "both-either-and-or", then it is like saying "aiki = anything that Ueshiba did that was frigging awesome! Oh yeah, and some awesome stuff that other people did too. But not all of it. Or it might be." If that is the closest agreement AW can reach on what aiki is, it seems like it might be better to not use it. At least if we don't want train wrecks.


It is also probably true that Ueshiba began to believe that without the spiritual practices, the physical skills could not be developed. I have two reasons for saying this:
1. His outrage when Tohei demonstrated ki tricks after a night of debauchery - per Tohei's account


What this says to me, if this is truly what happened, is that Ueshiba was wrong in his assessment of the mechanisms for ki tricks.

These are just some thoughts that quickly came to mind, however. I may regret posting this after I think about it some more.

Demetrio Cereijo
11-21-2011, 02:46 PM
I see evidence that they are not the same.

There are studies in which lights and other hallucinations have been induced with magnets. There are many historical claims to enlightenment by people that could not fight. Neither Takeda, Sagawa, or any of the other Japanese IS masters besides Ueshiba claimed to be enlightened as far as I know. I also have not heard of any modern Chinese IS masters claiming spiritual enlightenment.


Let me see....

Takeda:

After this incident Sokaku studied this esoteric Buddhism under the old ascetic on the top of Mt. Abira. About two weeks later, Sokaku woke up one morning only to realize that the old ascetic and his five companions in white had disappeared. Sokaku was supposed to be a martial artist. However, he slept until morning without even noticing the departure of the six men. He had never experienced such a thing before. He was careless for a martial artist and deeply ashamed of his negligence. Thinking that his experience of the past two weeks was but a dream, he was reminded of the scar on his right thigh where he had stabbed himself with a dagger to confirm that the supernatural power of the old ascetic who called forth the wind was real. This proved he had indeed spent time with the six ascetics.

Through this experience Sokaku learned a great deal about his own attitude toward martial arts training. Until them, he had devoted himself to his training only hoping to become strong and to be able to win in a match. However, he realized that he could not compare with the supernatural powers possessed by the ascetics who could call the clouds and wind. He was clearly defeated by them and deeply ashamed of himself. Sokaku also learned that he had been a man of little faith.

Sokaku continued his martial arts training and at the same time began visiting dojos of esoteric Buddhism in various towns intending also to engage in religious training. He moreover visited spiritual mountains in the country for training. Later, Sokaku studied under Chikanori Hoshina (aka Tanomo Saigo) who was an assistant priest of the Nikko Toshogu Shrine in Mt. Futara. He studied the secret mind reading technique of aiki and acquired various super-human powers such as an unyielding spirit, clairvoyant power, and prescience.

Although only about five feet tall, Sokaku became a very unusual martial artist and continued to travel around Japan teaching and spreading Daito-ryu until well into his 80s. Such a feat was made possible only by his superhuman power of aiki.

http://www.daitoryuonline.com/article?articleID=233

(bold mine)

What evidence supports the claim that they are all the same?
Claim? Where?

ericbuchanan
11-21-2011, 03:11 PM
I once saw a hypnotist convince a college girl that her body was made of iron so he could stand on her mid section while her head and heels were each supported by a chair (I think this is a standard Ki society test). He also rotated her forearm 360 degrees when he convinced her it was made of rubber. This leads me to believe that even an untrained body can perform "impossible" feats with the right mindset. Also, almost anyone with minimal instructions on posture can perform the unbendable arm and unliftable body tricks to some degree if they have a little "faith" and a good visualization technique. As I try to work with IS exercises, it seems like there is as much change in the nervous system as there is physically which comes about largely due to visualization/mental processes/intent. Maybe those with more experience could comment on the role of the mind or visualization in manifesting IS.

Anyway, I think Ueshiba learned the essence of aiki (had his eyes opened) from Takeda, but he was also a truly religious man so the mental side of it would be infused with his beliefs. I think he truly believed he was possessed by kami which allowed him to do "impossible" things. Others, it seems, were also able to do these things without the religious beliefs, but must have had their own "faith" system. In other words, I think it was Ueshiba's belief that he was possessed that allowed him to actualize his aiki, but other's have shown that there are other ways to do it.

So I guess I don't think Ueshiba's body skills necessarily say anything about enlightenment. In fact, I am immediately skeptical about the enlightenment of anyone who claims to be enlightened (although in this case there may be translation issues). I don't think seeing golden lights is indicative of enlightenment. I think, if it is not metaphorical, it is physical. I do find it interesting that vastly different sources use the same descriptive terms and have always been interested in the parallels between the story about Ueshiba and Carlos Castenada's stories about Don Juan. Honestly, I don't know what to make of all that.

Eric (in MN)

graham christian
11-21-2011, 04:50 PM
Hi Eric.
Spiritual and enlightenment. Two words that fit perfectly with Ueshiba as far as I am concerned.

Now golden lights and it's connection. It's a spiritual phenomenon, it's one of many, it's commonly written about by many in the world of spirituality.

Many people in the past reached different stages of enlightenment, the omoto religion it'self was started by an enlightened person. Buddha being the best known and so if you look into such things from yogis to zen buddhism and other ascetic practices you will find reference to such things, such phenomenon.

Funny thing is I find that the more aware spiritual people outside of Aikido, people who have never seen or heard of Aikido, on reading O'Senseis.words understand what he's saying whilst many of those within Aikido call them religious ramblings. Now there's a nice dichotomy for you to contemplate.

I read a martial arts historians account a while ago where he was talking about the spiritual side of martial arts and the names given to different levels of such and yet having no association with Aikido still used O'Sensei as an example of such things.

To understand ueshiba all one has to do is think and see him as 100% spiritual in his outlook, aims, philosophy and intentions. Only then can you see how Aikido came into being and what it is both spiritually, mentally and physically. As I said, I know plenty outside of Aikido who can see this, it's those inside who seem to have more trouble.

All these principles in Aikido are spiritual, it's so obvious I don't see where the confusion lies. One point, center, hara, koshi, kokyu, every one of them can be found in ascetic and spiritual practices. Ueshiba realized that the form and techniques of Aikido were a perfect vehicle for such ascetic practices.

On the other hand let's look at it backwards. People starting the martial art from a physical only perspective. Then they get interested in those seemingly impossible aspects of it. That's where internal comes into play, for they are still very physically aware and physically attatched so to me it's kind of a halfway house area. Whilst doing the internal arts a person then starts getting more in touch with their own spirituality, their own potential, the beginning of their spirituality.

Thus in my view Takeda opened Ueshibas eyes via his 'aiki' (a halfway house aiki) and then he was off and running, leaving the rest behind.

This is my view. This is my explanation. Some may find it controversial. Who cares. I have no vetsed interests to satisfy or organizations to please.

Only great spiritual people realize about the harmony of life, the power of love and compassion. Most of the rest can only twist it into fighting and wars alas and pretend they are spiritual.

Hope this sheds some golden light on the subject ha, ha.

Regards.G.

Eric in Denver
11-21-2011, 05:10 PM
Let me see....

Through this experience Sokaku learned a great deal about his own attitude toward martial arts training. Until them, he had devoted himself to his training only hoping to become strong and to be able to win in a match. However, he realized that he could not compare with the supernatural powers possessed by the ascetics who could call the clouds and wind. He was clearly defeated by them and deeply ashamed of himself. Sokaku also learned that he had been a man of little faith.

Sokaku continued his martial arts training and at the same time began visiting dojos of esoteric Buddhism in various towns intending also to engage in religious training. He moreover visited spiritual mountains in the country for training. Later, Sokaku studied under Chikanori Hoshina (aka Tanomo Saigo) who was an assistant priest of the Nikko Toshogu Shrine in Mt. Futara. He studied the secret mind reading technique of aiki and acquired various super-human powers such as an unyielding spirit, clairvoyant power, and prescience.


Thank you, Demetrio, I was not aware of this story. That changes my perspective a bit, not sure how at the moment.



Claim? Where?

Okay, okay claim was too strong of a word, I apologize. What I meant was support for the possibilities put forth by this question:



Demetrio Cereijo wrote:
What if all three are the same thing but explained differently?

Eric in Denver
11-21-2011, 05:13 PM
So I guess I don't think Ueshiba's body skills necessarily say anything about enlightenment. In fact, I am immediately skeptical about the enlightenment of anyone who claims to be enlightened (although in this case there may be translation issues). I don't think seeing golden lights is indicative of enlightenment. I think, if it is not metaphorical, it is physical. I do find it interesting that vastly different sources use the same descriptive terms and have always been interested in the parallels between the story about Ueshiba and Carlos Castenada's stories about Don Juan. Honestly, I don't know what to make of all that.

Eric (in MN)

I think for now I am pretty close to where you are coming from. Except for the Castaneda part, it is my understanding that most of what he wrote was pure invention, like another version of L Ron Hubbard.

Demetrio Cereijo
11-21-2011, 05:19 PM
Okay, okay claim was too strong of a word, I apologize. What I meant was support for the possibilities put forth by this question:
No need to.

What I'm trying to say is that before reaching conclusions about this issue we should consider a lot of possibilities.

Eric in Denver
11-21-2011, 05:27 PM
Graham,

A discussion of spirituality on aikiweb would not be complete without you!



One point, center, hara, koshi, kokyu, every one of them can be found in ascetic and spiritual practices. Ueshiba realized that the form and techniques of Aikido were a perfect vehicle for such ascetic practices.


To my mind, this a clear explanation of the ecumenical nature of aikido as spiritual pursuit. Train the spirit first and the rest will follow kind of approach. I would be interested in reading any quotations you have found that highlight this perspective.

Eric in Denver
11-21-2011, 05:29 PM
No need to.

What I'm trying to say is that before reaching conclusions about this issue we should consider a lot of possibilities.

I agree with you completely. It is important to move carefully on these topics. I hope we can continue to do so.

Ellis Amdur
11-21-2011, 05:37 PM
If it is the case that aikido is "both-either-and-or", then it is like saying "aiki = anything that Ueshiba did that was frigging awesome! Oh yeah, and some awesome stuff that other people did too. But not all of it. Or it might be." If that is the closest agreement AW can reach on what aiki is, it seems like it might be better to not use it. At least if we don't want train wrecks.

That's not what I meant at all. That's another example of reductionism. I'm stating that Ueshiba himself viewed his aiki in a very complex way. Let us say that some of the modern researchers are physically able to replicate exactly what Ueshiba did. (although I've not heard any claims regarding spirit contact and possession from anyone yet, and some individuals first person accounts, in which they were literally put in paranormal states, seem also unique to Ueshiba - I'm making no statements about general, rather than individual veracity here - I'm just playing devil's advocate). Anyway, back to my point - let's say one can, like Tohei claimed (sorry for the parenthesis, I think falsely, because he didn't equal Ueshiba) - to replicate Ueshiba's aiki. Even if that was so on a physical level, as far as Ueshiba himself was concerned, that was not a replication - because, for him, the experience of kami was not metaphor. It was fact - a fact within which he encased aiki training. Or better put, they were like a braid - inextricably intertwined. Hence my suggestion of the impossibility of replicating Osensei's aiki, but the utter possibility of achieving something just as fine in one's own right -with enough time training.

The fact that Ueshiba called to Shioda for Tomiki's presence on his death bed does emphasize that Ueshiba had a big tent. But in terms of his personal aiki, one cannot separate out one component, either the physical skills or the spiritual ("the way of the aiki-bunny") and claim that one is following Ueshiba's path.

As I stated also in another thread, it is my belief that Ueshiba DID believe HIS post-war aikido was superior. Not because it was moral and nicer. He was trying projection and blending and all of that - clearly - in the 1935 film. He was outraged with Ohba in the Manchurian demo that he had to resort to pure, non-projecting Daito-ryu aiki, as his projection techniques/blending weren't working on him. My assertion is that post-war, he believed (I don't know if he did or not) that he'd melded Daito-ryu aiki, and his moral/projecting/blending/musubi in one complete entity (and you can add, his spiritual practices of chinkon-kishin, and all the rest). That's why, I believe, he asserted he'd completed aikido post-war, not that he'd turned into a bliss ninny). As I noted in Hidden in Plain Sight, his weapons postwar, at least as we can see on film, were far superior to what he was doing pre-war.

Ellis Amdur

Eric in Denver
11-21-2011, 05:53 PM
That's not what I meant at all. That's another example of reductionism. I'm stating that Ueshiba himself viewed his aiki in a very complex way. Let us say that some of the modern researchers are physically able to replicate exactly what Ueshiba did. (although I've not heard any claims regarding spirit contact and possession from anyone yet, and some individuals first person accounts, in which they were literally put in paranormal states, seem also unique to Ueshiba - I'm making no statements about general, rather than individual veracity here - I'm just playing devil's advocate). Anyway, back to my point - let's say one can, like Tohei claimed (sorry for the parenthesis, I think falsely, because he didn't equal Ueshiba) - to replicate Ueshiba's aiki. Even if that was so on a physical level, as far as Ueshiba himself was concerned, that was not a replication - because, for him, the experience of kami was not metaphor. It was fact - a fact within which he encased aiki training. Or better put, they were like a braid - inextricably intertwined. Hence my suggestion of the impossibility of replicating Osensei's aiki, but the utter possibility of achieving something just as fine in one's own right -with enough time training.

The fact that Ueshiba called to Shioda for Tomiki's presence on his death bed does emphasize that Ueshiba had a big tent. But in terms of his personal aiki, one cannot separate out one component, either the physical skills or the spiritual ("the way of the aiki-bunny") and claim that one is following Ueshiba's path.

As I stated also in another thread, it is my belief that Ueshiba DID believe HIS post-war aikido was superior. Not because it was moral and nicer. He was trying projection and blending and all of that - clearly - in the 1935 film. He was outraged with Ohba in the Manchurian demo that he had to resort to pure, non-projecting Daito-ryu aiki, as his projection techniques/blending weren't working on him. My assertion is that post-war, he believed (I don't know if he did or not) that he'd melded Daito-ryu aiki, and his moral/projecting/blending/musubi in one complete entity (and you can add, his spiritual practices of chinkon-kishin, and all the rest). That's why, I believe, he asserted he'd completed aikido post-war, not that he'd turned into a bliss ninny). As I noted in Hidden in Plain Sight, his weapons postwar, at least as we can see on film, were far superior to what he was doing pre-war.

Ellis Amdur

Ellis, thanks for your reply, that is much clearer for me. So it sounds like from your perspective, Ueshiba's aiki is something special and particular to him, an original creation that can perhaps inspire us to do amazing things (if we put in the time and effort), but that it is very, very unlikely that any of us will be able to really travel the same road. Maybe a parallel one, but probably not the same one. Is this a better summation of the position you are outlining? I hope you will offer correction if it is not.

graham christian
11-21-2011, 05:53 PM
Graham,

A discussion of spirituality on aikiweb would not be complete without you!

To my mind, this a clear explanation of the ecumenical nature of aikido as spiritual pursuit. Train the spirit first and the rest will follow kind of approach. I would be interested in reading any quotations you have found that highlight this perspective.

hey, your welcome. You know me, not one for carrying about such who said what when data or clutter as I call it. But I'll scout about and give you anything I think may suit your interest. Plus I'll dig up the name of the historian I mentioned. An interesting guy.

You said you were reading a book on qi gong? Mmm, I have a good friend who teaches that I'll ask him what he has to say on the matter. Nowadays I find there are lots of reiki practitioners who have references to Ueshiba but they seem to be 'masters' after a few weekend courses if you see what I mean. Unfortunately it's the same old scene even in the spiritual healing world, there's also an official Kiatsu body now with qualifications and hierarchy and no idea. Alas, their not even connected to Ki Aikido as far as I can see. They are more into yoga. I love seeing these peoples faces when I do some Kiatsu on them. They actually didn't know it was real. Oh well I suppose it's human nature, everyone wants to start at the top.

Regards.G. .

Ellis Amdur
11-21-2011, 06:05 PM
Eric - getting closer:)

I honestly don't think that Ueshiba was the "greatest" martial artist of the 20th century. I know of one individual who defeated him soundly, when, allegedly, he was at the top of his game. (no, no, no, I'm not going in to this further, for reasons of confidences given).

But he was more than special. Let's say, for the sake of discussion, that Horikawa Kodo, was at least his equal in physical aiki and martial arts in general (don't know if that's true, in either direction, but bear with me). Horikawa was a fine gentleman - a school principal, and left a tidy legacy, so to speak, with one or two really excellent successors. But Ueshiba was a mover-and-shaker in Japanese society, and his manifestation of aiki/aikido transformed the lives of millions.

Ueshiba can do more than "inspire" us. I firmly believe that those who a) get good instruction b) put in the requisite 10,000's of hours can equal or surpass his physical abilities in aiki. It is a more complex question if we are actually following his path - I've outlined in HIPS how labyrinthine a path that might be. Further, can we achieve the level of greatness (with all the darkside that accompanies it, for he was not a pure soul, by any stretch), that he did? In other words, beyond aiki skills, what human being are we?

But without aiki skills, what kind of aikidoka are we?

Best
Ellis Amdur

Rob Watson
11-21-2011, 06:09 PM
(if we put in the time and effort)

http://www.nytimes.com/2011/11/20/opinion/sunday/sorry-strivers-talent-matters.html

Maybe not even then if the ability/aptitude is not there to begin with.

graham christian
11-21-2011, 06:21 PM
Eric. Here's a quote of O'Sensei.

Work on yourself and your appointed task in the Art of Peace. Everyone has a spirit that can be refined, a body that can be trained in some manner, a suitable path to follow. You are here for no other purpose than to realize your inner divinity and manifest your inner enlightenment. Foster peace in your own life and then apply the Art to all that you encounter.[QUOTE]

Most of his quotes, of which there are many, are of such ilk. Spiritually they make perfect sense. Non spiritually they seem like, well I don't know, ask someone else ha ha.

The only ones I see many martial arts people quoting are the ones to do with entering and striking down etc. Alas. But there again as I have said before you can strike with love or indeed kindness. But hey, we won't go there.

O.k. More hunting. G.

graham christian
11-21-2011, 06:41 PM
kempo.4mg.com/articles/ninjutsu.htm

Now Eric. I hope the above link works. This is the guy I was talking about. An interesting read.

Regards.G.

graham christian
11-21-2011, 06:45 PM
Demetrio. If you havn't seen the above article before I'm sure you'll like it too.

Regards.G.

Eric in Denver
11-21-2011, 07:00 PM
Eric - getting closer:)

I honestly don't think that Ueshiba was the "greatest" martial artist of the 20th century. I know of one individual who defeated him soundly, when, allegedly, he was at the top of his game. (no, no, no, I'm not going in to this further, for reasons of confidences given).

But he was more than special. Let's say, for the sake of discussion, that Horikawa Kodo, was at least his equal in physical aiki and martial arts in general (don't know if that's true, in either direction, but bear with me). Horikawa was a fine gentleman - a school principal, and left a tidy legacy, so to speak, with one or two really excellent successors. But Ueshiba was a mover-and-shaker in Japanese society, and his manifestation of aiki/aikido transformed the lives of millions.

Ueshiba can do more than "inspire" us. I firmly believe that those who a) get good instruction b) put in the requisite 10,000's of hours can equal or surpass his physical abilities in aiki. It is a more complex question if we are actually following his path - I've outlined in HIPS how labyrinthine a path that might be. Further, can we achieve the level of greatness (with all the darkside that accompanies it, for he was not a pure soul, by any stretch), that he did? In other words, beyond aiki skills, what human being are we?

But without aiki skills, what kind of aikidoka are we?

Best
Ellis Amdur

Yeah, I think the discussion of whether he was the best of the whole world is a side issue for what I am thinking about.

I am not sure that we disagree all that much on the inspiration part. However, I think Ueshiba pretty much burned the house down. He is like the Hendrix of martial arts. I think at best, we can strive to push our own limits to create something wonderful, but I don't think any of us will capture the same mix of crazy and creative that he had.

However, I would like to question you about how you conceptualize aiki. It seems like in your previous post, the stress was on Ueshiba's aiki as an intwining of physical skills and spiritual pursuits, but in this post, you are talking about "physical aiki."

The question is:

Am I being too reductionist again?:D

Eric in Denver
11-21-2011, 07:16 PM
Eric. Here's a quote of O'Sensei.

Work on yourself and your appointed task in the Art of Peace. Everyone has a spirit that can be refined, a body that can be trained in some manner, a suitable path to follow. You are here for no other purpose than to realize your inner divinity and manifest your inner enlightenment. Foster peace in your own life and then apply the Art to all that you encounter.

Thank you, Graham. That is an important quote. I hope it was translated correctly!:p

Ellis Amdur
11-21-2011, 08:40 PM
Me? I define "aiki," as best I understand it as an admixture of skill and power derived from breath training (which develops the nervous system and the connective tissue in specific ways, "'intent" (directing attention so that specific, in many ways quite powerful effects are created within the body, all directed by tantien (or tantien(s)), which function as kind of universal joints, to a) effectively direct power from the wheels b) augment with it's own power.

My own skill in this area is quite limited. This is my understanding from that limited perspective. Most of my education is from a Chinese perspective (which I've retrofitted back into my Japanese koryu). If there are nuances or aspects unique to Japanese aiki arts, I'm not the one who can - at this point - enunciate them. It is very likely (I sure hope so) that as I practice enough, my understanding may change or be augmented significantly.

I've taken ukemi (see upcoming column - more later) from most of the top post-war shihan in the Aikikai. And I've only experienced mere shreds of what I define as aiki above. I met great athletes and some superlative martial artists - but little aiki - by the definition above - that I could discern.

What Ueshiba defined as "aiki" was, in my opinion, the above definition - braided with his spiritual/religious practices, which created, depending on the opinion-makers, something more or less than Daito-ryu aiki he learned, and something more or less than the t'ai chi or xingyi or whatever of top Chinese martial artists. Having never felt him, I don't have a clue.

Ellis Amdur

Eric in Denver
11-21-2011, 09:06 PM
Me? I define "aiki," as best I understand it as an admixture of skill and power derived from breath training (which develops the nervous system and the connective tissue in specific ways, "'intent" (directing attention so that specific, in many ways quite powerful effects are created within the body, all directed by tantien (or tantien(s)), which function as kind of universal joints, to a) effectively direct power from the wheels b) augment with it's own power.

I now declare you the reductionist! Where is the spiritual possession? :D

My own skill in this area is quite limited.

I bet mine is more limited that yours!

It is very likely (I sure hope so) that as I practice enough, my understanding may change or be augmented significantly.

I hope it works out that way for me as well. God knows I waste enough time in my life as it is.

What Ueshiba defined as "aiki" was, in my opinion, the above definition - braided with his spiritual/religious practices, which created, depending on the opinion-makers, something more or less than Daito-ryu aiki he learned, and something more or less than the t'ai chi or xingyi or whatever of top Chinese martial artists. Having never felt him, I don't have a clue.

Ellis Amdur

Sometimes when I read translations of Ueshiba, I feel like I am back to working in an Adolescent Day Treatment Program listening to some kid who has driven his ADHD into hyperdrive by drinking four cokes and eating three bags of skittles. I enjoy it, but it can be exhausting and confusing.

Thanks for the patient responses. ;)

Ellis Amdur
11-21-2011, 10:31 PM
I got so focused on the "internal power" aspect of internal power that, as a friend of mine just pointed out in a personal note, that "it takes two to tango." It's not just about cultivating energy - it is skill and energy that is not only exerted upon, but created through working with/on another person. To be clear, one cultivates within oneself abilities that make one able to work with/work another. As my friend wrote: "Whatever you are doing internally/IP-wise with your body, it will take uke along for the ride."

My friend writes, "The components of training aiki are part of IP method --the "powerful effects within the body" (your body) you wrote of -- not aiki itself. There must be IP to make aiki, but IP itself is not aiki."

What this means is that IP is not just another way of "power-up" weight lifting through another means. To be sure, some people use these methods and become very physically powerful. Wang Shu Chin was witnessed by a friend of mine literally shaking (!!!!!) the huge torii at Meiji shrine.
But that will not necessarily make THAT "internally powerful" person more powerful in interaction with another.

(I remember that Sugino Yoshio attempted to refuse to compare Takeda and Ueshiba, but signficantly, he said something like it was not necessary to say that Takeda was a ten and Ueshiba was an eight: both were great). In other words, the physically older and weaker guy was still more developed - and perhaps, able to do more in this area.

A final story to illustrate my friend's point. Cheng Man Ching, perhaps not nearly as good as Robert Smith described, but still pretty exceptional: he decided to learn bowling in New York and quit because the ball was too heavy for him. Too heavy! This guy that was seen sending people flying off their feet to crash into walls.

Ellis Amdur

bob_stra
11-22-2011, 12:52 AM
Ellis Amdur;297738. Wang Shu Chin was witnessed by a friend of mine literally shaking (!!!!!) the huge torii at Meiji shrine.

Pic of said torii (?)

http://farm2.staticflickr.com/1334/556959322_5c3e25b214.jpg

Lee Salzman
11-22-2011, 01:07 AM
Pic of said torii (?)

http://farm2.staticflickr.com/1334/556959322_5c3e25b214.jpg

Having a body mass that probably looked comparable to said torii surely did not hurt his ability to shake it either, I'd wager. :D

Lee Salzman
11-22-2011, 01:22 AM
I got so focused on the "internal power" aspect of internal power that, as a friend of mine just pointed out in a personal note, that "it takes two to tango." It's not just about cultivating energy - it is skill and energy that is not only exerted upon, but created through working with/on another person. To be clear, one cultivates within oneself abilities that make one able to work with/work another. As my friend wrote: "Whatever you are doing internally/IP-wise with your body, it will take uke along for the ride."

My friend writes, "The components of training aiki are part of IP method --the "powerful effects within the body" (your body) you wrote of -- not aiki itself. There must be IP to make aiki, but IP itself is not aiki."

What this means is that IP is not just another way of "power-up" weight lifting through another means. To be sure, some people use these methods and become very physically powerful. Wang Shu Chin was witnessed by a friend of mine literally shaking (!!!!!) the huge torii at Meiji shrine.
But that will not necessarily make THAT "internally powerful" person more powerful in interaction with another.

(I remember that Sugino Yoshio attempted to refuse to compare Takeda and Ueshiba, but signficantly, he said something like it was not necessary to say that Takeda was a ten and Ueshiba was an eight: both were great). In other words, the physically older and weaker guy was still more developed - and perhaps, able to do more in this area.

A final story to illustrate my friend's point. Cheng Man Ching, perhaps not nearly as good as Robert Smith described, but still pretty exceptional: he decided to learn bowling in New York and quit because the ball was too heavy for him. Too heavy! This guy that was seen sending people flying off their feet to crash into walls.

Ellis Amdur

I guess it all depends on what you mean by "power" in IP. I study a derivative of a Chinese martial philosophy that you could legitimately say is almost mono-focused on explosive power. Yet, even within this framework, is the idea that power is change, or rather, it is change that makes power, and the ability to deploy constant and rapid change, as well as cultivating the level of reactiveness to make those rapid changes a response to the outside world, not just an internal monologue or pattern, is fundamental to the expression of it. No change, no power - no power, no change. That's not even really a quaint aphorism, once you dissect it, you realize all actions of the body are synthetic/artificial, and that the body is constantly responding and balancing forces at any given moment to accomplish what our mind sets it out to do. The exact relationship of this to aiki I can only speculate, but even still, just the subject of "power" is a lot deeper than it seems.

Carsten Möllering
11-22-2011, 02:11 AM
I remember that Sugino Yoshio attempted to refuse to compare Takeda and Ueshiba, ...
Did Sugino sensei meet Takeda Sokaku in person?
Is something of what you do refer to as "aiki" to be found in the teaching of TSKSR?

Demetrio Cereijo
11-22-2011, 02:23 AM
Did Sugino sensei meet Takeda Sokaku in person?

In the early days, I also met Sokaku Takeda Sensei who is said to have been one of Morihei Ueshiba Sensei’s teachers. When we gave a Katori Shinto-ryu demonstration Sokaku Sensei put on an exhibition of Daito-ryu. I think he was nearly 80 years old at that time. He was small and thin and only about 4 feet 11 inches (151.5 cm) tall. Even so, his techniques were remarkable. Ueshiba Sensei was also a man of unusual ability, but in his case, he had a powerful physique. I thought that was also great. Although Sokaku Takeda Sensei seemed to have the type of body which could be easily knocked over, his demonstration was extraordinary. He was capable of easily throwing 4th and 5th dan holders of the Kodokan.
http://www.aikidojournal.com/article?articleID=368

Ellis Amdur
11-22-2011, 02:38 AM
Carsten -

The top exponents I've seen are Otake Risuke, Sugawara Tetsutaka (who also studies t'ai chi) Shigi-san (I can't remember his last name - he, like Sugawara, have separate organizations), and two deceased individuals: Donn Draeger and Noda- sensei (a sempai of Otake).

I'm not a member of TSKSR - I'd suggest research with those top figures, if they are willing to engage in such a discussion. Shigi is a 6th or 7th dan in judo as well - and is remarkable in randori, while close to 70. (And I don't mean young guy being polite with old guy randori, either).

Best
Ellis

Carsten Möllering
11-22-2011, 03:21 AM
Demetrio,
I wasn't aware of the words of Sugino sensei, but reading them (again :o ) I remember, I should have known ... Thank you for reminding me.

Ellis,
thank you for your suggestion. I am afraid I will not be able to follow it for different reaseons. But I might have the opportunity to talk to Sugino Yukihiro when he visits Germany next summer.

Demetrio Cereijo
11-22-2011, 03:21 AM
Demetrio. If you havn't seen the above article before I'm sure you'll like it too.

Regards.G.

Not the worst ninja apologist I've read, but I've been also reading some of his writings on religion and, me being raised roman catholic, I think some unexpected spanish inquisition ninjas should be knocking at his door.

:D

Eric in Denver
11-22-2011, 07:36 AM
I got so focused on the "internal power" aspect of internal power that, as a friend of mine just pointed out in a personal note, that "it takes two to tango." It's not just about cultivating energy - it is skill and energy that is not only exerted upon, but created through working with/on another person. To be clear, one cultivates within oneself abilities that make one able to work with/work another. As my friend wrote: "Whatever you are doing internally/IP-wise with your body, it will take uke along for the ride."

My friend writes, "The components of training aiki are part of IP method --the "powerful effects within the body" (your body) you wrote of -- not aiki itself. There must be IP to make aiki, but IP itself is not aiki."

What this means is that IP is not just another way of "power-up" weight lifting through another means. To be sure, some people use these methods and become very physically powerful. Wang Shu Chin was witnessed by a friend of mine literally shaking (!!!!!) the huge torii at Meiji shrine.
But that will not necessarily make THAT "internally powerful" person more powerful in interaction with another.

(I remember that Sugino Yoshio attempted to refuse to compare Takeda and Ueshiba, but signficantly, he said something like it was not necessary to say that Takeda was a ten and Ueshiba was an eight: both were great). In other words, the physically older and weaker guy was still more developed - and perhaps, able to do more in this area.

A final story to illustrate my friend's point. Cheng Man Ching, perhaps not nearly as good as Robert Smith described, but still pretty exceptional: he decided to learn bowling in New York and quit because the ball was too heavy for him. Too heavy! This guy that was seen sending people flying off their feet to crash into walls.

Ellis Amdur

I think this is an important distinction, however, I this does lead me to another question -- could you clarify what "Internal Power" is versus "aiki?"

Ellis Amdur
11-22-2011, 09:52 AM
I think this is an important distinction, however, I this does lead me to another question -- could you clarify what "Internal Power" is versus "aiki?"

First, I'm not the fricking arbiter of these phrases.

I noted that my friend noted that aiki, from a DR perspective, is the expression of internal power as it applies to another person.

Other people would say that this is internal power. Internal power is an English phrase, and it's many people's approximate translation of Chinese terms, in this case neikung, I believe. Probably not.

There's a certain point - which is frequently reached on Aikiweb - that it's all angels dancing on the head of a pin.

Let's sum up: specialized training, usually, but not exclusively solo, to forge the body (tanren) in specific ways - and result of this is, as Ueshiba said in the early twenties, something, like, "aiki is the ability to make others do what you want." (See, Dueling with Osensei, first chapter)

And for Ueshiba, all this was braided with his spiritual beliefs and <originially> religious shugyo practices.

That's all I know on the subject

Ellis Amdur

Eric in Denver
11-22-2011, 10:14 AM
First, I'm not the fricking arbiter of these phrases.

I noted that my friend noted that aiki, from a DR perspective, is the expression of internal power as it applies to another person.

Other people would say that this is internal power. Internal power is an English phrase, and it's many people's approximate translation of Chinese terms, in this case neikung, I believe. Probably not.

There's a certain point - which is frequently reached on Aikiweb - that it's all angels dancing on the head of a pin.

Let's sum up: specialized training, usually, but not exclusively solo, to forge the body (tanren) in specific ways - and result of this is, as Ueshiba said in the early twenties, something, like, "aiki is the ability to make others do what you want." (See, Dueling with Osensei, first chapter)

And for Ueshiba, all this was braided with his spiritual beliefs and <originially> religious shugyo practices.

That's all I know on the subject

Ellis Amdur

Ellis, I am not attempting to try your patience, although it appears I have. Thanks for your insights.

Ellis Amdur
11-22-2011, 10:15 AM
Oh by the way. Just was reminded of THIS POST. (http://www.aikiweb.com/forums/showpost.php?p=288725&postcount=29). Andrew, whom I may have met once, in three sentences, sums things up elegantly. I think this post should be an automatic pop-up on all these threads, and we'll all save time.

gregstec
11-22-2011, 10:28 AM
Oh by the way. Just was reminded of THIS POST. (http://www.aikiweb.com/forums/showpost.php?p=288725&postcount=29). Andrew, whom I may have met once, in three sentences, sums things up elegantly. I think this post should be an automatic pop-up on all these threads, and we'll all save time.

Amen - Andy (whom I have met) knows and exhibits Aiki :)

Greg

Eric in Denver
11-22-2011, 11:23 AM
Oh by the way. Just was reminded of THIS POST. (http://www.aikiweb.com/forums/showpost.php?p=288725&postcount=29). Andrew, whom I may have met once, in three sentences, sums things up elegantly. I think this post should be an automatic pop-up on all these threads, and we'll all save time.

That was a lot easier than this whole discussion.
:grr:



Aiki is the result of one training their own body to be in unision with itself. Structure gives the Aiki a clear pathway to follow. Relaxation enables Aiki to travel through that structure. Intent is what fuels the Aiki in the body. When one comes into contact with one who has trained their body. Aiki is what is seen when the two meet.

Andrew Prochnow

graham christian
11-22-2011, 11:43 AM
Not the worst ninja apologist I've read, but I've been also reading some of his writings on religion and, me being raised roman catholic, I think some unexpected spanish inquisition ninjas should be knocking at his door.

:D

Ahh, Demetrio. Ninja apologist....you disappoint me. What a cop out...

P.S. Send him some kami....

Regards.G.

DH
11-22-2011, 11:43 AM
Quote:

Ellis Amdur wrote:

Oh by the way. Just was reminded of THIS POST.. Andrew, whom I may have met once, in three sentences, sums things up elegantly. I think this post should be an automatic pop-up on all these threads, and we'll all save time.

That was a lot easier than this whole discussion.

Quote:
Aiki is the result of one training their own body to be in unision with itself. Structure gives the Aiki a clear pathway to follow. Relaxation enables Aiki to travel through that structure. Intent is what fuels the Aiki in the body. When one comes into contact with one who has trained their body. Aiki is what is seen when the two meet.

Andrew Prochnow

I've said it so many times I get sick and tired of saying it.
Aiki in me, before Aiki between thee and me. The study of In yo ho is the study of yin and yang in the body...FIRST.
Ueshiba even laid it out...to deaf ears.
Andy is one of my guys. He has trained wih me for seventeen years. Ellis, you haven't met him-though you would love him; grappler through and through, ghosty soft...and hits like a freight train. We had to talk him out of going pro.
Many people here have trained with Andy.
Dan

Marc Abrams
11-22-2011, 12:38 PM
I've said it so many times I get sick and tired of saying it.
Aiki in me, before Aiki between thee and me. The study of In yo ho is the study of yin and yang in the body...FIRST.
Ueshiba even laid it out...to deaf ears.
Andy is one of my guys. He has trained wih me for seventeen years. Ellis, you haven't met him-though you would love him; grappler through and through, ghosty soft...and hits like a freight train. We had to talk him out of going pro.
Many people here have trained with Andy.
Dan

Andy is one of Dan's evil minion evileyes ! They are all part of a grand conspiracy to take over the Aikido world through the re-injection of Aiki ! Beware! Dark days are upon us as Dan and his evil minion take over the world. HA HA HA HA....:eek:

Seriously folks,

Met Andy once. Gentle giant of a young man who is gifted in what he can do and in his ability to teach it.

Gobble, Gobble,

Marc Abrams

Eric in Denver
11-22-2011, 12:53 PM
Andy is one of Dan's evil minion evileyes ! They are all part of a grand conspiracy to take over the Aikido world through the re-injection of Aiki ! Beware! Dark days are upon us as Dan and his evil minion take over the world. HA HA HA HA....:eek:



I am sadly disappointed. I think you could come up with a much better brand than Dan's Evil Minions.:yuck:

Thomas Campbell
11-22-2011, 12:56 PM
Anyone ever read of any single person who attained enlightenment in 5 years?

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Huineng

Huineng--Sixth Patriarch of Ch'an Buddhism.

bob_stra
11-22-2011, 01:26 PM
Anyone ever read of any single person who attained enlightenment in 5 years?

"I nailed it in 10 minutes" (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4gCU5uplB4A)

:cool:

woudew
11-22-2011, 03:21 PM
Andy is one of Dan's evil minion evileyes ! They are all part of a grand conspiracy to take over the Aikido world through the re-injection of Aiki ! Beware! Dark days are upon us as Dan and his evil minion take over the world. HA HA HA HA....:eek:

Seriously folks,

Met Andy once. Gentle giant of a young man who is gifted in what he can do and in his ability to teach it.

Gobble, Gobble,

Marc Abrams

So Andy is the evil eye of sauron?

BTW
i am not worthy

Eric in Denver
11-22-2011, 03:23 PM
"I nailed it in 10 minutes" (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4gCU5uplB4A)

:cool:

I always imagined Ikkyu to be like this.

Demetrio Cereijo
11-24-2011, 05:41 AM
Ahh, Demetrio. Ninja apologist....you disappoint me. What a cop out...

This is what the "Inquisition" says about this issue:

Some physical exercises automatically produce a feeling of quiet and relaxation, pleasing sensations, perhaps even phenomena of light and of warmth, which resemble spiritual well-being. To take such feelings for the authentic consolations of the Holy Spirit would be a totally erroneous way of conceiving the spiritual life. Giving them a symbolic significance typical of the mystical experience, when the moral condition of the person concerned does not correspond to such an experience, would represent a kind of mental schizophrenia which could also lead to psychic disturbance and, at times, to moral deviations.

Source: http://www.vatican.va/roman_curia/congregations/cfaith/documents/rc_con_cfaith_doc_19891015_meditazione-cristiana_en.html

Eric in Denver
11-24-2011, 07:37 AM
This is what the "Inquisition" says about this issue:

[Quote]

Quote:
Some physical exercises automatically produce a feeling of quiet and relaxation, pleasing sensations, perhaps even phenomena of light and of warmth, which resemble spiritual well-being. To take such feelings for the authentic consolations of the Holy Spirit would be a totally erroneous way of conceiving the spiritual life. Giving them a symbolic significance typical of the mystical experience, when the moral condition of the person concerned does not correspond to such an experience, would represent a kind of mental schizophrenia which could also lead to psychic disturbance and, at times, to moral deviations.

Source: http://www.vatican.va/roman_curia/congregations/cfaith/documents/rc_con_cfaith_doc_19891015_meditazione-cristiana_en.html

In one of the newer John Stevens books, either "Heart of Aikido" or "Secret Teachings of Aikido", Ueshiba describes his earlier religious experiences as hallucinations he had along the way to enlightenment. Not sure of the quality of the translation, but if it is accurate, then it seems to me it would fit in with the above.

graham christian
11-24-2011, 01:14 PM
This is what the "Inquisition" says about this issue:

Source: http://www.vatican.va/roman_curia/congregations/cfaith/documents/rc_con_cfaith_doc_19891015_meditazione-cristiana_en.html

Well, not much to disagree with there. However, on hearing some of your comments it leaves me with one question:

When did you take your last confession? Ha, ha.

Regards.G.

Demetrio Cereijo
11-24-2011, 01:18 PM
When did you take your last confession? Ha, ha.

The important one is the last one.
:D

sakumeikan
11-25-2011, 05:54 AM
This is what the "Inquisition" says about this issue:

Source: http://www.vatican.va/roman_curia/congregations/cfaith/documents/rc_con_cfaith_doc_19891015_meditazione-cristiana_en.html

Demetrio,
The same effects are found by having a few glasses of whisky and smoking a fine cigar!!No need for years of meditation/ascetic practise. Cheers, Joe

graham christian
11-25-2011, 11:56 PM
This is what the "Inquisition" says about this issue:

Source: http://www.vatican.va/roman_curia/congregations/cfaith/documents/rc_con_cfaith_doc_19891015_meditazione-cristiana_en.html

It was stated that similar effects can been felt with alcohol.

Funny thing is I say to people who take drugs that everyone is looking to feel good, to feel better, to feel at peace and happy within themselves.

The truth of this is that everyone is thus trying to be spiritual. Thus drugs give that momentary spiritual feeling, that high. But alas it's via a physical means. Heavy training, alcohol, drugs, all physical means of trying to feel spiritually well in self.

Irresponsibility. Just be your spiritual self and depend on nothing else. Ha, ha.

Regards.G.

mathewjgano
11-26-2011, 11:16 PM
It was stated that similar effects can been felt with alcohol.

Funny thing is I say to people who take drugs that everyone is looking to feel good, to feel better, to feel at peace and happy within themselves.

The truth of this is that everyone is thus trying to be spiritual. Thus drugs give that momentary spiritual feeling, that high. But alas it's via a physical means. Heavy training, alcohol, drugs, all physical means of trying to feel spiritually well in self.

Irresponsibility. Just be your spiritual self and depend on nothing else. Ha, ha.

Regards.G.

I agree everyone is looking for a pleasant feeling of well-being, and would guess it is at the root of all behavior. I come from a natural religion point of view in which the physical is spiritual. This isn't to say mind-affecting substances are always "spiritual activities," however, and I agree it's better to be able to induce these states without need of external catalysts. I will say, however, that I had a moment one time in my early 20's where I suddenly gained insight into how depressed I was and it came about from an "external catalyst." So, ultimately I think the most important part of an experience has to do with what you do with it afterward; how it continues to affect personal development...but again, to reinforce the ideal: I agree; depend on nothing apart from your own mind-body.

Demetrio Cereijo
11-27-2011, 01:19 PM
So, ultimately I think the most important part of an experience has to do with what you do with it afterward; how it continues to affect personal development...

What Ueshiba did from 1925 onwards?

mathewjgano
11-27-2011, 02:56 PM
What Ueshiba did from 1925 onwards?

Roughly speaking, yes. By itself, no matter how profound the sensation, I suspect it's somewhat meaningless. I'm not sure exactly how it affected his behavior from then on, but per the wikipedia description at least, it seems to point to the idea that a central concept in Ueshiba Aikido is cultivation built around loving protection. Exactly what that means is open to interpretation of course...and I suspect cannot be pinned down to a discrete meaning, but:
Budo is not the felling of an opponent by force; nor is it a tool to lead the world to destruction with arms. True Budo is to accept the spirit of the universe, keep the peace of the world, correctly produce, protect and cultivate all beings in nature.
That's a lot of ground for True Budo to cover, but if we look at budo as a potency-based process of personal development and mindful integration with the world around us, then it seems to make a lot of sense.
First "build up" yourself so you can build up your household, neighborhood, nation, and the world. I don't suppose it's a strict hierarchy where one can never work on helping the world "improve" until they've improved themselves, but as a general rule of thumb I agree with the idea. I'm simply not in much of a position to help others until I've worked on myself to some useful degree.

DH
11-27-2011, 03:06 PM
What Ueshiba did from 1925 onwards?

After about 1922 he began to be "known" for his martial abilities. This was after a lengthy experience with Takeda, where-n Takeda taught him aiki and he was given permission to teach, Aiki . He was actually having trouble handling people before then. Even though he was known for being very strong...it didn't seem to help him with his budo much. This was when Deguchi, who did not like Takeda none the less acknowledged the incredible aspects of this...aiki! So much so, that he suggested Takeda change the name of his art.

Ueshiba's ...er....enlightenment quickly followed, where curiously, he talked often about aiki. Where he started saying that aiki informed religion, where the word aiki...started to appear everywhere in his dialogue.....curiously, for some strange reason.
As we no know ( and there is more to come) over the following years, he was actively talking about all of the foundational work to internal power that apparently no one knew how to translate, for some strange reason. Things that were apparently peppered through out his lectures and in class;
Intent
Heaven/ earth/ man
Breath power training
Six direction awareness
Strength through opposing power
In yo ho
The mystery of aiki revealed in Dual spirals as an expression.
Even him bringing in Anatomy drawings to explain esoteric discussions of the Kojiki.
All to a dissinterested and unknowing audience who self admittedly didn't care.
You know....all the stuff that made it sound like he was on aikiweb 90 years later...arguing with those who were still, clearly doing something other than his art! ;)
Sound familiar?
Dan

wxyzabc
11-27-2011, 06:09 PM
[
Heaven/ earth/ man
Breath power training
Six direction awareness
Strength through opposing power
In yo ho
The mystery of aiki revealed in Dual spirals as an expression.
Even him bringing in Anatomy drawings to explain esoteric discussions of the Kojiki.
All to a dissinterested and unknowing audience who self admittedly didn't care.
You know....all the stuff that made it sound like he was on aikiweb 90 years later...arguing with those who were still, clearly doing something other than his art! ;)
Sound familiar?
Dan[/QUOTE]

Well to be fair, thats because it doesn't mean much to anyone that doesn't already have some understanding.....just words people try to understand on a superficial level ;)

Ketsan
11-27-2011, 09:13 PM
The mystery of aiki revealed in Dual spirals as an expression.
Even him bringing in Anatomy drawings to explain esoteric discussions of the Kojiki.
All to a dissinterested and unknowing audience who self admittedly didn't care.
You know....all the stuff that made it sound like he was on aikiweb 90 years later...arguing with those who were still, clearly doing something other than his art! ;)
Sound familiar?
Dan

And of course you teach Aiki with a copy of Kojiki and anatomy drawings and expect an engaged audience? :D

sakumeikan
11-28-2011, 02:49 AM
After about 1922 he began to be "known" for his martial abilities. This was after a lengthy experience with Takeda, where-n Takeda taught him aiki and he was given permission to teach, Aiki . He was actually having trouble handling people before then. Even though he was known for being very strong...it didn't seem to help him with his budo much. This was when Deguchi, who did not like Takeda none the less acknowledged the incredible aspects of this...aiki! So much so, that he suggested Takeda change the name of his art.

Ueshiba's ...er....enlightenment quickly followed, where curiously, he talked often about aiki. Where he started saying that aiki informed religion, where the word aiki...started to appear everywhere in his dialogue.....curiously, for some strange reason.
As we no know ( and there is more to come) over the following years, he was actively talking about all of the foundational work to internal power that apparently no one knew how to translate, for some strange reason. Things that were apparently peppered through out his lectures and in class;
Intent
Heaven/ earth/ man
Breath power training
Six direction awareness
Strength through opposing power
In yo ho
The mystery of aiki revealed in Dual spirals as an expression.
Even him bringing in Anatomy drawings to explain esoteric discussions of the Kojiki.
All to a dissinterested and unknowing audience who self admittedly didn't care.
You know....all the stuff that made it sound like he was on aikiweb 90 years later...arguing with those who were still, clearly doing something other than his art! ;)
Sound familiar?
Dan
Dear Dan
I have been told by my own teacher that the acqusition of awareness involves acquisition of 10 directional eyes.The Kojiki is not quite a short novel. Can you give details of volume /pages you feel are relevant to this discussion?I am sure you would be anxious to let our readers know the basis of your assertions.May I also state that as yet you have not responded to my blog regrrding Birankai teachers you instruct?Cheers, Joe
Ps Feel free to express your understanding of yin yang/heaven /earth /man.

Demetrio Cereijo
11-28-2011, 03:48 AM
Even him bringing in Anatomy drawings to explain esoteric discussions of the Kojiki.
I'm imagining Ueshiba explaining Ame no Uzume dancing with Kojiki in one hand and "anatomy" drawings in the chalkboard...

mathewjgano
11-28-2011, 03:37 PM
...depend on nothing apart from your own mind-body.

Well, that and the universe around you, since it is the connection with that that we empower our resilience.

Dan Richards
06-02-2012, 08:20 PM
The world is now full of more enlightened people than ever before. People who are on the cutting edge of creation. Enlightenment needn't be treated like a big deal any longer. It' s something that's quite attainable - even becoming common.

Ueshiba was no more special than someone like Greg Noll. And in fact, it could be argued that Noll was more original, more creative, and played with much more power than Ueshiba. Surfers don't bow to pictures of Noll. And surfers don't put Noll up on some high unattainable mountain. And there are many many surfers that have taken it further than Noll ever dreamed. And they've done that by looking inward, and looking forward.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Greg_Noll

What Ueshiba did - and more - is accessible to anyone.

Adam Huss
06-06-2012, 10:47 PM
In reagard to Eric's first question in the OP:

Do you think the idea of fudochi, applied to this situation, bridges the gap between these elements?

David Orange
06-09-2012, 01:11 PM
The world is now full of more enlightened people than ever before. People who are on the cutting edge of creation. Enlightenment needn't be treated like a big deal any longer. It' s something that's quite attainable - even becoming common.

Ueshiba was no more special than someone like Greg Noll. And in fact, it could be argued that Noll was more original, more creative, and played with much more power than Ueshiba. Surfers don't bow to pictures of Noll. And surfers don't put Noll up on some high unattainable mountain. And there are many many surfers that have taken it further than Noll ever dreamed. And they've done that by looking inward, and looking forward.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Greg_Noll

What Ueshiba did - and more - is accessible to anyone.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7gn-drk_zN0

He had his day...but he looks kind of old in the later day...was he still out riding those monsters at 60, 70 years old? Ueshiba was still doing his thing until 85, when he died.

So...we might say it's relative....

Noll still shapes boards, which has been his business for a long time, but I don't think he gets out (or got out) on those big waves in his older years.

David