View Full Version : Hello, I have no life!

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Anders Bjonback
07-22-2003, 04:14 PM
Hello all you out there in AikiWeb land. I've been doing aikido for almost a year now. I actually wanted to do aikido for two years previously, and when I saw that Naropa University offered a major in aikido, I went for it. You could say I have no life, but in reality, right now, basically, aikido's my life. I've been going to every class except for tuesday mornings (when I meet with a tutor to learn Japanese) and nights. So I'm either in love with the art or obcessed with it. Or both.

Besides aikido, I also love tea ceremony. I'm of the urasenke school. In fact, my only regret in doing aikido all the time is that I don't have a job (I have nice parents) and so can't buy a kimono for tea ceremony.

If anyone's interested, I'm Buddhist, of the Nyingma tradition, although I'm also interested in zen, and hope someday to find a way to be both ordained as a monk and do aikido.

I also REALLY like anime (I watched 95 episodes of Rurouni Kenshin within three weeks while taking 18 credits and two Junior level courses in my freshman year in college) and Dungeons and Dragons, although I haven't found anyone here in Colorado to be a DM, so I can't play. :(

OH! And I also love Monty Python, although don't expect me to be able to bring up obscure quotes or remember the exact words to each song.

And I can sing the names of all the countries of the world to the mexican hat dance.

And if you meet me in real life, don't expect me to say much at first, for I'm a shy person.

07-22-2003, 05:16 PM
wow, you certainly have surrounded your self with the art! I'm impressed!

Thats some serious dedication to train so often!

Anders Bjonback
07-22-2003, 11:08 PM
I thought it was dedication at first, but I don't really think it is, now. One is truly dedicated to his or her practice when he or she continues with it even when it becomes repititional and boring, when it is inconvienient. I'd really be dedicated if I practiced even when I did not want to.

The way it is right now, I enjoy every single class and it seriously bugs me when I miss even one. I think that real dedication will come in hard times.

07-23-2003, 02:29 AM
I'm interested in a university offering a major in Aikido.

Could you tell us more.

Even in Japan that is unheard of although Budo training can be at the core of some Physical Education programs. That tends to be mostly Judo.

Charles and Chris - you might know more about this.

07-23-2003, 07:55 AM
Naropa is a Buddhist oriented institution with an emphasis on what many would consider "new age" practices.(meditation,yoga, aikido, etc.)

Founded (i believe) by Chogyam Trumpa who wrote "Shambala:Path of the Warrior".

Anders, of course, can give you a more detailed & accurate description.

Anders Bjonback
07-23-2003, 08:58 AM
Grrr... the "new age" emphasis by some teachers and students is what alienates me there. I'm fairly traditional in my practice as a Buddhist. Luckily, Naropa has its traditional side as well. And some of the teachers they have are just plain awesome. One was a Zen monk teaching Living Lineage Masters of Chinese and Japanese Buddhism. Another was a Catholic priest teaching ethics and western philosophy.

They also have a Jewish rabbi as a teacher, and in terms of Buddhist studies (what I hope to go into someday), they have many well known, great teachers.

I'm not in their writing department, but from what little I know, it was founded by the likes of Allen Ginsberg (in fact, our library is named after him) and Jack Kerowac.

Naropa has a policy on contemplative education. Basicly, instead of just being academic, a student has to integrain the material from the class room into his or her own experience. This can mean some "tooty-fruity" classes, and some incredibly thought-provoking classes. My most academic classes last semester were particulariy difficult--in addition to reading, I had to write on how the reading had affected my life. In another, Cosmology in Myth and Physics, I had to actually think on my own for the last two assignments, not just regurgitate information. I had never had such a difficult creative writing assignment--comparing micro mechanics to a passage of the tao te ching. I really had to know my facts as well as put a lot of thought into it.

Although there is a lot of new age stuff (which kind of saddens me in a way), there's good stuff too, and it's the good stuff that keeps me here. I can't wait to get into the upper division courses for my majors--Religious Studies and Traditional Eastern Arts (with a concentration in aikido.)

Here's Naropa's main websight:


Here's my Trad. Eastern Arts major


Here's Religious Studies:


Yeah, it was founded by Chogyam Trungpa Rinpoche. At first, it wasn't an accredited college. People just came there to study philosophy and poetics with the likes of Jack Kerowac and Allen Ginsberg with his School (?) of Disembodied Poetics (I think it was called that.)

Chogyam Trungpa also liked the Japanese traditional arts--I think he did Kyudo as well as tea ceremony.

Anders Bjonback
07-23-2003, 09:02 AM
Looks like the writing and poetics department, http://www.naropa.edu/w&lit/index.html

was founded by Allen Ginsberg and Anne Waldman in 1974 as The Jack Kerouac School of Disembodied Poetics.

Anders Bjonback
07-29-2003, 11:09 AM
That's strange... my replies have not appeared on the thread. Is this normal, or am I doing something wrong?

07-31-2003, 01:37 PM
Welcome to Aikiweb Anders.
when I saw that Naropa University offered a major in aikido, I went for it.


I read about Naropa's aikido program about 6 years ago and skimmed their website. My big question is "what do you do with a degree in aikido?"


Anders Bjonback
08-08-2003, 10:48 AM
Be very, very poor. Well, if I can do anything with it, I'm sure to find a job I'd enjoy more than if I had gotten a major in economics like my dad would probably prefer.

But what can one do with a lot of the different majors in humanities? There are many majors that are not immediately practical.

I'm actually getting a double major--Religoius Studies and Traditional Eastern Arts (with a concentration in aikido), and then I plan to go on to get a master's in Indo-Tibetan Buddhism. I'm also learning Japanese, and also Tibetan and/or Sanskrit later, and I hope to continue my education in French after college. Maybe I can do something with learning those languages, but I'll probably end up being a professor or something. I hope I'll still be able to do aikido in the future, considering the fact that if I can even get one job with my degrees, I'll have to jump at any opportunity I can get.

09-03-2003, 10:47 AM
hi, i've been practicing aikido for two months now and love it. i studied japanese for a year and enjoyed it. i've always had an interest in japanese buddhism, but don't know where to look for more information.