View Full Version : ...just an amusing observation

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Paula Lydon
09-14-2002, 11:09 AM
~~Yesterday I dropped my comb. No big deal. I looked down for it and it had vanished, fell into a black hole! It should have been right there around my feet...and then it came to me. This comb was blue whereas in my mind I was holding the image of my beige comb. Once I made this simple mental adjustment the spot I was staring at coalesced, as if by magic, into my comb.
~~I had to laugh...and wonder: How much of my life is spent looking at the moment through my preconceptions and anticipations. I believe one and all will see the correlation
with training...;)

09-14-2002, 11:45 AM
:) i always feel dumb when stuff like this happens to me, both in life and in training. especially in the latter - i always think, duh, it was there ALL THE TIME. . .the beginner's mind is impossible :)

09-15-2002, 12:32 AM
This definitely rates up there with the "Where the hell are my glasses?" complaint. Only to realize they are, a) on your own darn head, or b) in your hand.

My teacher told me once that we all look at the world through "stained glasses of experience", that our life and its events mold our perceptions of reality. We expect a blue comb because we've used it for a long time, but we don't see the beige comb. We see someone attacking us, but we really don't see the needy holding out his empty hand.

This, to me, is a much better rationalization than my usual response: DOH!


09-15-2002, 06:04 AM
For me this is the most important realisation in life - seeing things as they are and not as we hope or expect them to be. Once you do that you can cope with the actual difficulty, and not try and fit the problem into some preordained problem. (i.e. 'true observation' in Buddhism) Also, in aikido, dealing with what uke is actually doing, and not what you hope of expected him to do!


Bruce Baker
09-15-2002, 08:39 AM
This rates with sitting out the class to learn more than doing the class.

Often the phrase of doing is not always the correct way of connecting the minds eye to the actual motions that occur during practice. Having someone film your practice is one way of seeing what you do verses what you think you do. Erasing the visual preconceptions of what you think, verses what is right in front of you.

The color of a comb is one way of getting a new vision of what is there, verses thinking what should be there.

09-15-2002, 09:15 AM
I remember a teacher of mine who was taking demonstration ukemi from a high ranking shihan during a seminar. After one of the techniques, the shihan talked briefly with her so she was "late" in getting a parner. She turned around from facing the shomen/kamidana and saw a bunch of people doing absolutely nothing like what she had felt from him.

At that point, she realized why he seemed somewhat frustrated at times at people not quite "getting" what he was trying to show. There was a distinct disconnect between what they were seeing and what they were doing...

-- Jun

09-15-2002, 01:01 PM
...a high ranking shihan....he seemed somewhat frustrated at times at people not quite "getting" what he was trying to show. There was a distinct disconnect between what they were seeing and what they were doing...
Was the SHIHAN in question a teacher per se or a facilitator of stealing?

09-15-2002, 02:54 PM
Hi Don,

I like the phrase, "facilitator of stealing." The shihan in question, in my mind, is more the latter. I've heard he'd once taught a weekend "beginners seminar" that went over the heads of most beginners.

But, you bring up a good point of how a teacher teaches. Personally, I prefer "facilitators of stealing" myself moreso than the "foot here, hand here" approach. I'm not saying the former is "better," of course -- just that it fits my thinking better and that it tickles my interest more.

-- Jun

09-18-2002, 11:54 AM
i think the "blue comb" is really at the heart of my vision of Aikido. Aikido practice to me is a mental adjust to recognize the opponent as a chance to build something fun.. and not an enemy. That switch turns conflict into something else.

hm. I'm going to have to think about his more..