View Full Version : H: Hatred, Healing, and Happiness

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04-23-2012, 01:02 PM
Breathe in, hatred
Breathe out, healing

I have often been kidded about what a simpleton I am. I tend to have a very simplistic view of things. Many people tell me that it is not as easy as I make it out to be. I admit the when it comes to the actual doing, the application, it is not easy. Yet, it is often easier than not doing it. Moreover, what needs to be done usually is simple.hatred: (1) prejudiced hostility or animosity, (2) intense aversion derived from fear, anger, or an sense of injury, (3) extreme dislike, (4) detest, abhor, abominate, or loathing
Hatred is a harsh word, yet it reflects a lot about the realities of our world. Hatred, like so many of our mental and emotional afflictions, is created out of ignorance and attachment. Ignorance of our inter-connectedness and inter-dependency. Ignorance in multi-generational familial and social beliefs that have no basis in reality. Ignorance finds its basis on negative fearful fantasies that usually do not stand up to close scrutiny. When we shine some light on a subject, we often see it for what it is. There are many beliefs that generate hatred such as racism, sexism, ageism, and probably all the other ‘isms in the world. Many organizations are formed around ignorance, facilitate, and perpetuate the hatred that leads to such unnecessary destruction. Judgment is ignorance.

Yet, wherever hatred, ignorance, and judgment may come from, it is standing in front of you and is headed your way with intent to do physical and/or psychological damage. Power and control is usually about attempting to overcome internal personal inadequacies by manipulating and intimidating everything else but ourselves. We can attempt to control everything and everyone in the world in an attempt to make them to do what we want (notice the ignorance) or we can control ourselves. Most people think about only controlling their behaviors, yet it may be more productive (and lasting) to change the ignorance thoughts and beliefs that create the feelings of hatred that fuel the behaviors that are an expression of ignorance and powerlessness.

While we may seldom see the extremes of hatred on the mat, we will see its minor expressions through avoidance, frustration, or anger. We, or our training partner, may have had a bad day. If they are unable to leave their day at the dojo door, they bring it onto the mat with them. It will show in muscle tension and emotional intensity. It may be that someone is competitive and hates to lose making training a contest when they make it personal. We do have an opportunity in the dojo and on the mat, to take a good look inside ourselves. Whether we know it or not, whatever we deny or repress eventually comes out when we cannot cover or control it. It is always within us until we learn to face it (whatever it is) and let it go.

In real life outside the dojo, it is easier to see the blatant hatred in people. It is not so easy to see it within ourselves. We have never seen our own face without a mirror, and the mirrors we often pick in life often reflect back whatever distortion we project. That is the same with hatred. It is often our own ignorance, fear that we project on others, and then get mad at them for it. I often see couples in counseling who pick someone who has the same or a complementary problem so that when it comes up they can blame the other person. When people have racist, sexist, or ageist beliefs and hatred where did it come from since there is no scientific reality basis for this irrational unintelligent hatred? For the most part, it is learned. Anything that we learn, we can unlearn and relearn.healing: (1) to make whole, (2) to restore to health, (3) to overcome, (4) mend, (5) to restore to original purity and integrity, (6) to return to a sound state
Perhaps that is what healing really is, seeing through our unconscious irrational unintelligent beliefs and finally transforming them? Perhaps we do not feel healed or whole because we have so many different beliefs that conflict and contradict each other?

There are many words that we use to label the need for healing. Perhaps we think that others are broken, stuck, wounded, empty, sick, lost, etc., etc., etc. Perhaps we can see that we perceive them this way because we see ourselves the same way. Maybe we are none of these. Maybe we are just human. The human condition is certainly less than consistent and congruent. Maybe we only see ourselves (and others) in these negative terms. We do tend to perceive and relate to each other by our internal descriptions of them. We also relate to them through our own description of ourselves. What if we are all already healed and whole, but we do not know it.

In the dojo and on the mat, we are told to move from our one point (center or hara) and to move the whole body. Yet most of us have everything pointing in different directions. Our toes are pointed in one direction, our knees in another, our hips in yet another, our shoulders in another still, our eyes are looking to the ceiling for answers, and our left hand does not know what the right is doing. The body is connected, but not aligned. Without this structural alignment of everything pointed in one direction, there can be no real ground path or power. Slow mindful practice can help us find wholeness in our practice. Once we find wholeness in ourselves, we can connect and find wholeness in our relationship with our training partner.

In the real world outside the dojo, we run into a very similar fragmentation of our lives. Often our lives are like herding a bunch of kittens, they just do not want to all do the same thing at the same time. Our mates and children all have their own ideas of what the family should or should not do. Bosses and coworkers certainly have different agendas and schedules than we may. Connected and becoming whole in our relationship may mean that they meet our high criteria (being a loving family or a productive team) we may have to align ourselves with their ideas rather than trying to force everyone to get behind ours. Perhaps we are the ones creating the problems. Perhaps it is not all about us.happiness: (1) good fortune, (2) prosperity, (3) well-being and contentment, (4) pleasurable and satisfying, (5) joyous
Most of the time when I talk to people about happiness, they tell me what they want from the outside world. If only the world (my wife/husband, boss/coworker, sensei/uke) did what I wanted them to do, then I would be happy. They probably feel/think the same way about you. If only you did what they wanted you to do, they would be happy. Is our happiness mutually exclusive from theirs and vice versus?

Often happiness, like healing and wholeness, comes from the process of doing it together. Does the content really matter? As long as we lie down together and kiss each other goodnight, does anything else matter? As long as we train hard, help each other, and have a good time, does the actual technique we worked on matter? As long as the job is done right and on time (and we are paid), does the content of the job matter.

I once realized that a complaint just meant that the world did not do it the way I thought they should. The world has already let me know that it does not really care about the way I think it should be doing things. What is easier to achieve happiness; to get the entire world to be the way we think it should be or to get our heads around how the world is? When the internal world matches the eternal world, we are healed, whole, and happy.

Breath in, hatred
Breathe out, healing

Thanks for listening, for the opportunity to be of service, and for sharing the journey. Now get back to training. KWATZ!
Lynn Seiser (b. 1950 Pontiac, Michigan), Ph.D. has been a perpetual student of martial arts, CQC/H2H, FMA/JKD, and other fighting systems for over 40 years. He currently holds the rank of Yondan (4th degree black belt) from Sensei Andrew Sato of the Aikido World Alliance and Sandan (3rd degree Black Belt) from Sensei Dang Thong Phong of the International Tenshinkai Aikido Federation. He is the co-author of three books on Aikido (with Phong Sensei) and his martial art articles have appeared in Black Belt Magazine, Aikido Today Magazine, and Martial Arts and Combat Sports Magazine. He is the founder of Aiki-Solutions and IdentityTherapy and is an internationally respected psychotherapist in the clinical treatment of offenders, victims, and families of violence, trauma, abuse, and addiction. He is a professor of clinical and forensic psychology with an expertise in family violence and treatment. He currently lives in Marietta, GA and trains and teaches at Kyushinkan Dojo, Roswell Budokan.

04-24-2012, 09:47 AM
Good stuff, Lynn-San (My money was on "Harmony" this month, though. ;) )

04-24-2012, 02:06 PM
(My money was on "Harmony" this month, though. ;) )

04-24-2012, 03:45 PM
Hands down...

04-24-2012, 05:23 PM
Hands down...
Hold that thought?

How would you handle "I"?

04-25-2012, 09:36 AM
How would you handle "I"?Hmmm... Lots of possibilities there... inspiration, imitate, interpretation, intensity, initiative... and you could write a book about irimi.

04-25-2012, 12:39 PM
It's hard, this living, this life we've been given,
Locked in your soul or locked up in prison
Remember you've got to reach high to be risen
The day you let go is the day you are forgiven.

- Michael Franti, "Nobody Right, Nobody Wrong"

I thought of this song, and in particular the last line quoted, when I read this essay. The day you let go is the day you are forgiven...is the day you lose your hatred...is the day you stop clinging to old pain and free yourself to start healing...is the day that happiness -- true and lasting happiness, as it really is, not as you've imagined it should be -- can begin to come to you.

I'm not a big fan of aikido as metaphor for everything good in the universe. I don't think that you become a better, saner, healthier person just through doing some waza. But our souls inhabit our bodies, our minds seek and find meaning in physical metaphors. If your heart and your mind is trying to open, maybe being on the mat helps. Maybe trying to do the waza correctly, to find one's center, to open and extend your hands, can be part of a larger opening. Before we can receive, we must open our hands.

(edited to add: Nobody Right, Nobody Wrong (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6OWnBmHl95s). It's a beautiful song, please enjoy!)

04-25-2012, 01:16 PM
I'm not a big fan of aikido as metaphor for everything good in the universe. I don't think that you become a better, saner, healthier person just through doing some waza. But our souls inhabit our bodies, our minds seek and find meaning in physical metaphors. If your heart and your mind is trying to open, maybe being on the mat helps. Maybe trying to do the waza correctly, to find one's center, to open and extend your hands, can be part of a larger opening. Before we can receive, we must open our hands.
Thanks for sharing the tune. IMHO, music is one of the languages of the soul.

I could not agree more, that just practicing physical waza does not make you a better person. It can only allow you to better at physical waza.

Aikido is only an tool and an opportunity. What we make of it is what we bring to it.

Yet, the content-free principles seem to offer us another way of problem-solving and conflict-resolution.

Opening our hands is easy. Opening our minds and heart will take a bit more training.


Thanks for reading and responding.