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Kensho Furuya
10-09-2003, 11:22 PM
A Funny Ode to Aikido:

I come, I go,
Where nobody knows,

I'm here, I'm not,
I am never caught,

I'm up, I'm down,
I'm still not found

I'm front, I'm back,
I give no slack,

Today, tomorrow,
It's only you to sorrow!

I pin, I throw,
It's Aikido!

10-09-2003, 11:51 PM
Don't quit your dayjob.

Kensho Furuya
10-10-2003, 12:16 AM
Harsh words - but not the first time I have heard that, hahahah! One aspiring poet bites the dust!

10-10-2003, 08:36 AM
The poem reminded me of Bilbo Baggins taunting the spiders in The Hobbit. :D



Kensho Furuya
10-10-2003, 08:51 AM
Haha, thank you. Haven't read that since my high-school days, I will have to look that reference up again. . . . I never thought such a silly poem would cause such attention. My other poems are too Japanese perhaps and maybe too contemplative to be humour here. Thanks again.

Yann Golanski
10-10-2003, 09:27 AM
Furuya-san, please post them (or a url to them). I am certainly instresed.

Kensho Furuya
10-10-2003, 09:51 AM

Harmony so easily grasped,

Blending to the finest tune,

Then where is this Peace you speak,

Or just the harping of a loon?

(No offense intended, please! Haha!)

Yann Golanski
10-10-2003, 09:58 AM
Aikido is it?

Uke falling to four corners

scattering like leaves.


Can anyone do better?

10-10-2003, 10:02 AM
the piece of peace

i grasp at noon

is gone by dawn

far, far too soon

10-10-2003, 10:12 AM
Great poems, everyone! (No, really.)

There are a bunch of aikido haiku that people created here, too:


Many are actually quite good!

-- Jun

10-10-2003, 10:37 AM
The summer night breeze

Aiki set the mind at ease

The heart is at peace

10-10-2003, 11:04 AM
Ouch ouch ouch ouch ouch

Quick,get up and off the mat

Nikkyo, YAY! Ouch




10-10-2003, 02:47 PM
how did he do that?

watching as fast as i can

uke down already!

10-10-2003, 08:51 PM
It is Aikido a Reminescence of that "one cut one life"...?

Or it is both me and my partner blending and flowing through beatiful figures finding our path to Nature-God...?

Im sorry, I havent wrote a poem in 20 years


10-10-2003, 10:41 PM
Jamie had a little Gi,

it's sleeves were white as snow;

and everywhere that Jamie trained,

her Gi was sure to go.

But Jamie trained too fervently,

her Gi saw better times;

with all those breakfalls on her head,

she's writing silly rhymes.

Jeanne Shepard
10-11-2003, 02:51 PM
Roses are Red,

Violets are Blue,

Ukemi (too much of it)makes me barf,

How 'bout you?

(Based on a true story)


Kensho Furuya
10-13-2003, 11:07 PM
The dark moon does not light my path,

The bright sun only blinds my eyes,

People's words stray me from the Path,

False doubts only weigh my feet,

The world flows against me,

Still one step, one step at a time.

10-14-2003, 12:17 AM




mugen ni nari

tenchi no kokoro wa

yo o mamoru


become infinite

the heart of heaven and earth

will protect this world


Kensho Furuya
10-14-2003, 09:20 AM
Who can understand the words of yesterday's masters,

We are so busy living for today,

Creating a hell for those tomorrow. . . .

Derek Dunham
10-14-2003, 01:16 PM
To stand, with your right foot forward

and right hand outstretched

to catch the hand of another man,

who tries to hit you but can't,

and then you turn, with his hand in your hand

and somehow this man falls, and lands

with his back on the floor, and no pain

then he get up, and tries to hit you again.

10-14-2003, 02:17 PM
Dear all,

Good to see poetry and aikido playing. I've been studying the two hand in hand (or maybe wrist) for the last few years and they shed an interesting light on each other.

If anyone is interested in reading more, my own limited contribution can be found at:


Non commercial, use what you want.

Best regards,



Kensho Furuya
10-14-2003, 02:53 PM
Old, Lonely Teacher:

My eyes grow faint,

My words grow weak,

Students grow so far away,

Who will hold my hand when I am old?

Rest it there, they say,

On this old, cold stone

Of those long gone.

Waiting for God another day.

Paula Lydon
10-15-2003, 05:27 PM
~When the storm blows

And the seasons change;

When all are caught in the web of Time,

Of Cause and Effect,

There is no distinction between the dead leaf

And the green~

Paula Lydon
10-15-2003, 05:30 PM
~~Kensho-san, thank you for your clarification on 'hanshi' :)

Kensho Furuya
10-15-2003, 07:03 PM
You are welcome! I like your "storm" poem very much.

The storm soon ends,

And the sun shines once again.

Everyday, a good day,

Let's go have some tea!

Kensho Furuya
10-15-2003, 07:21 PM
Furuya's Law: Learn the art from the heart!

Happier poems, they say,

Happier from where, I ask.

The happier road from where you come,

Please bring it here to me!

Happy, Happy, Happy,

Said with such sad faces,

Sad poems are not so sad,

Of which silly, romantic dreams can speak!

Smiling with such gloomy faces

Laughing just to hide the tears,

Enjoy my poems of loneliness,

Don't read them with such fears

Paula Lydon
10-15-2003, 09:37 PM
Then she asked, "Black or green?"

And the dragon laughed,

For his name was Oolong...

Who would drink who?

Aiki passion of mutual loss of self ;)

Kensho Furuya
10-15-2003, 09:47 PM
Tea is tea,

And me is me,

But who is who?

If you are you?

cindy perkins
10-15-2003, 10:01 PM
Target, leap, strike!

But the target is gone

A light touch whirls me

No control


Laughing, I fall

A flying leaf on a wise wind

Kensho Furuya
10-16-2003, 06:33 AM
It can only be seen,

Running to and fro

But in stillness. . . .

Where did the wind go?

Paula Lydon
10-16-2003, 07:34 AM
~~I will be tea,

I will be wind,

I might be you in this romp,

My new found friend...

Paula Lydon
10-16-2003, 07:43 AM
NOW is the moment.

Always approaching; always receding.

All my tiny Nows strung together.

They penetrate then, spinning, shoot off of me

In all directions.


NOW is the moment!

Wait...language obsessed with linear

Temporal movement

Obscuring the truth that--

NOW is the moment!

My brain is melting.

No spinning, no lines flowing,

Only this resonating point.

But I cannot handle this high-velocity


Cannot take this...imtimacy...for long.

...NOW is the moment...

I cannot hold the point; cannot hold on.

Shattering and remaking me

At a speed beyond my conceptualization.

AAHHH! How can I survive this?

(shhhh) now is the moment

There is no duration, no one point, no I

To survive.

Only permeation.

--NOW IS! the moment--

No with or without.

Not what I'd thought...

10-16-2003, 08:07 AM
There once was a Sensei from L.A.

Who ventured into some wordplay

His Aikido was hot, his rhyming was not

But we enjoyed his repartee anyway!

Kensho Furuya
10-16-2003, 08:36 AM
Who stifles this genius with pen in hand,

I can whip out these ryhmes on instant demand,

I'll keep my day job, as you say,

If all this stuff don't make your day!

One more poet bites the dust,

Back to my Aikido before it rusts!


You guys are sooo harsh on me. . . . I have already given up singing and tuba lessons at all my students requests. . . . (Just kidding!)

10-16-2003, 09:39 AM
i did not see

it coming

there was

no mat to

land upon

i made no threat

yet here is retaliation

emotional ukemi

i could not roll with

this one

scrape my entrails from the walls

and floor

and i will practice vigilance

grow eyes behind my head

get my heart off the line

practice the difficult task

of not exchanging hurt

for hurt

how can i love

while waiting for the swinging blade

to cut me down again?

Kensho Furuya
10-16-2003, 09:52 AM
Cut me once and I will die,

But who can kill the cherry blossoms of Spring?

I like your poem very much! It reminds me of a very famous story about a priest in ancient China. He was confronted by some barbarian warriors but refused to cooperate with them. The leader said, "If you don't confess, I will cut off your head off in one stroke of my blade!"

The priest smiled at him said, "It is easy to cut off my head, please go ahead, but can you cut the cherry blossoms which bloom each Spring?"

The leader was dumbfounded at the priest's wisdom and quietly left him in Peace.

Of course, our physical bodies are impermanent and subject to injury, age, sickness and death. But we are admonished here to become like the cherry blossoms which never fail to come back each Spring as if they are eternal. . . . In Aikido, we try to become our greater selves - in oneness with the universe and thereby become eternal and no longer subject to petty threats and even death. . . . Of course, we are talking metaphysically here but I feel this priest so wonderfully understood the concept of "no-enemy" which we strive each day to understand in our Aikido training. Your poem reminded me of this story, - very, very nice poem you have written here. Thank you!

Kensho Furuya
10-16-2003, 09:58 AM
Thinking a little more about your poem, it also reminds me of another story about a famous warlord during the Age of Civil Wars in Japan. Just before the battle, he had many doubts and went to his Zen master for instruction. From this event, a famous quote came about: "Hesitate and open the gates of hell, just raise the sword above your head and go forth and open the Gates of Paradise!"

With this spiritual determination, he won the battle!

Thanks again. I know you will win your battles in your Aikido practice too!

10-16-2003, 09:59 AM
A very powerful and telling poem there, Jo...and to me, a familiar feeling. Thanks so much for sharing it --- keep it up!

Nick Simpson
10-16-2003, 03:51 PM
Wow, thats an awesome poem Jo! Furuya sensei, dont let these spoilsports halt your poetry ;)

Kensho Furuya
10-16-2003, 04:01 PM
Aaaaaah, finally someone with a kind word for me! Many thanks,

10-16-2003, 04:09 PM
to have been Seen

perhaps in comprehension

to have touched

in some healing way

to have blended

in some way

filling my eyes, my heart

with tears

can i be even softer?

can i soften and survive?

thank you all

10-16-2003, 04:11 PM
Furuya Sensei

i eagerly anticipate and read every word you write in every posting on this forum. if ever i am in LA i hope to meet you and see your dojo.

thank you for your experience, your wisdom & your kindness

Paula Lydon
10-16-2003, 06:19 PM
~~Wonderful poems, Jo! Thank you~~

Kensho Furuya
10-17-2003, 08:31 AM
Aikido is the Wonderful Tree,

With roots growing so strong and free,

Soft and hard is not the key,

Strong or weak is never me,

Seek the One, not two, not three,

Don't show yourself to all but me,

Not him, nor I, but only thee.

In thee, the Greater One to see.

Practice like the far, far sea,

Its Form to grasp forever be.

Kensho Furuya
10-17-2003, 08:39 AM
The above poem is for Jo Adell. Many thanks for your kind words, greatly appreciated!

10-17-2003, 08:53 AM

no one has ever written a poem for me.

thank you.

Kensho Furuya
10-17-2003, 10:24 AM
Really? Well, you are quite welcome.

Also many thanks to Holmes King for your very beautiful message. I wish you and the Mrs. all the best in your training. . . . .

Old Chinese Proverb: One kind word can warm a heart for three winters.

Ambrose Merrell
10-17-2003, 01:26 PM
Wonderful poems everyone. I used to write poems many years ago when I was at school. I remember very very clearly when I was 12 my teacher telling me to keep it up because before you knew it you will have stopped and years will have passed by. Well I didn't learn from his words and he was quite right!

I haven't written a poem in over 10 years. Caught up in all the unimportant 'important things'.

A bit like Aikido for some people - they miss one lesson and suddenly they find they have been off the mat for a decade. Just such a person returned to our dojo on Monday. At least he found his way back.

Please keep up the poems - and share them here!

Kensho Furuya
10-18-2003, 12:51 AM
I have been studying Japanese poetry for many years but it is much too difficult for me to write easily and well. Traditional poetry lies at the foundation of all traditional Japanese arts and philosophy. The best I can do was these silly little ryhmes and ditties. The earliest reference I have found to "kotodama" was in the early Heian Period in Japan where it was first utilized as a poetic aesthetic.

At the moment, writing poems is just a nice diversion for me from my work. . .

10-18-2003, 07:03 AM
This has turned into quite a thread, some great expressions here, thanks Furuya Sensei! I Thought I'd share something myself....

A seed gathers dust on a window ledge,

no sign of life but still living.

Abundance is held within,

life, virtue, wholesomeness,

but what can a seed do on a ledge?

Waiting, time passes by,

everything changes,

but every thing just the same,

a storm brews.....

The window flys open,

shaking and spinning on the ledge,

closer, closer still, feeling the wind..

a droplet of rain!

......the storm subsides

A seed gathers dust on a window ledge,

a touch of a hand sends it falling,

finally touching the earth.

What will make it grow?

what will it become?

who knocked it from it's ledge?!!


it matters not......

just be sure when the window of opportunity opens,

you are pushed in the right direction.


When stuck for a thought,

don't think,

Let your mind become free,

like a blink,

As the smile grows,

because you already know,

Aikido is the fountain,

Now Drink!!



Kensho Furuya
10-18-2003, 08:08 AM
When stuck for a thought, he says, "don't think."

I blink and blink and wink and wink,

And even think of the kitchen sink,

Who knows this Path where my smile grows?

Like Robert here who speaks and knows.

Truly, Aikido Way is the fountain spring,

I thank him for joyous words he brings.

Some students think that I am too hard-core and strict in my Aikido so I thought to write some silly stuff here to show another part of my personality such as it is. . . . . Haha! I never expected to see so many others write and share their words and thoughts here. I myself am really surprised and enjoying myself immensely in this particular segment. Confucius wrote poetry and said that poetry refines the soul and calms the spirit. O'Sensei also wrote some "doka" to express his feelings about Aikido. I am glad to see that there are so many of us who share this pleasant pasttime here. Many thanks!

Paula Lydon
10-18-2003, 08:26 AM
~~I thought you were attacking,

So I turned, a tenkan,

And beheld the sunset

That you'd been heading for

Thank you~~

10-18-2003, 08:29 AM
I am glad to see that there are so many of us who share this pleasant pasttime here. Many thanks!
Thanks again for bringing it up Furuya Sensei! ;) keep up with the diversions from work!!:D

Kensho Furuya
10-18-2003, 08:36 AM
No attack here,

Just viewing the sunset too,

To wait another day,

And dream another dream,

The Aikido journey is so long and yet so short,

Yet to travel farther down this weary Path,

When yet, here it is, right in my hand!

Paula Lydon
10-18-2003, 08:44 AM
~~To stand, just so, at the Center.

But how can each of us stand

In the Center?

Oh, yes, I hear you laughing!~~

10-18-2003, 09:41 AM

Really enjoying this thread. Thought I'd share a couple. The first was written as part of a psychology dissertation on aikido, and the second after witnessing a particularly elegant instructor.

IMHO Japanese poetry is the most refined in the world. I would recommend the book "100 Poems from the Japanese", "Japanese Death Poems" and any haiku by Buson/Issa to anyone interested in beauty.

Interestingly I've heard it said that English is good for poetry because of its huge vocabulary, while Japanese is good for the opposite reason. Not sure if this is true though.

10 Things Aikido Is To Me


A healing, a reclamation;

prizing land back from the sea,

wringing the salt out of it and making it fertile again.

Growing food and flowers on the land

just because you can.

A necessary descent into hell.

The artistic roll and flow of nature.

A beautiful woman untying her hair

and it falling down her back.

Two people who really want to kiss each other,


A days work. A man's back.

A sincere apology, no explanations.

Absolute zero.

The second most fun you can have with your friends.

The essence of things.

Nothing extra.


The arms of whatever you believe in

holding you as an infant.


Not what the word means to you now;

because all that stuff isn't important;

but what it means in the womb and in death.

A way of being all the opposites at once.

Getting away with being yourself,

in spite of what you've been told is possible.

Just being.

Not having to do a proper dissertation.


The dolphin dives into class.

Bows as if

on a desert day

dipping her head in cool water.

Leaps up to practice ukemi;

like a silk ribbon

on a tai-chi master痴 sword;

rides the air

on of Monet痴 brush.

Rises seemingly,

from under the mat,

- a inquisitive shoot in Spring.

She takes a partner playful,

blue eyes dance hide and seek.

Honoured you can do little more than stare.



as a tap on the shoulder from a ninja;

but firm,

as an oak痴 grip on the sky,

or a carpenters handshake.

She summersaults again and again,

turning crescent smile shapes around,

twists umbilical,

explodes as an opening tiger paw,

lays waste to elegance

swimming anvil ballets,

- you don稚 push against the Pacific.

You feel like a dumb ox

being led home feline.

Water claws break over you,

clean your eyes

and leave you gasping

on a beach at the end of class,

raising your head from the water.




Kensho Furuya
10-18-2003, 09:54 AM
You, me, theirs,

How many centers can you count?

Stand in the Great Center,

There is room for all of us to enjoy. . . . .

Kensho Furuya
10-18-2003, 10:00 AM
So many things you see in Aikido, my Friend,

For in Aikido, you see, there is no end. . . . .

Glittering waves warmed by the morning sun,

In many Ways, please seek the One!

10-19-2003, 06:07 AM
I met Sensei,
He bewitched my eyes,
Showing me the invisible Ki.

I spent a magical day with him,
Saw a beautiful soul,
Such a clear path to life.

I went on with my trip,
Promised to come back,
Knowing I have much to learn yet.

He left us,
Went to a better place,
Now, still missing, I try to walk by his way.

I know it's not the best of poems, but I wrote it as a gesture to a dear man that I knew for too short time.
On this very special day we were together I told him:
"Aikido takes more time to master then other martial arts, but when you finally do - you can defeat everybody".
And he replied "When you master Aikido, you wouldn't want or need to defeat anybody".
I am honored to have met him and will keep carrying him in my heart.

Kensho Furuya
10-19-2003, 09:11 AM
Your poem is very timely in light of the recent passing of Arikawa Sensei at Hombu Dojo. Sometimes we don't appreciate people enough until they are gone and know that they can never come back or that we will never see them again. Over the years, I have lost all of my teachers to the passing of time and one feels rather left behind. . . . . I am glad that you can remember your teacher's words because I think they are very important and I thank you for sharing them here for all of us. . . .

Here today and gone tomorrow, they say,

But gone is gone as gone can be.

Where do my teachers go?

To another happier place I pray. . .

To teach again their great knowledge which I will never hear again.

When my times comes too,

Please bury me to face my masters of those wondeful days of past,

So I will have no trouble to find them,

When I awake in another place. . . . . .

(In the Buddhist tradition, you are reborn with your parents for three lives, but you are reborn with your teacher for nine lives. Find a good teacher and treasure him always.) Many thanks,

Kensho Furuya
10-19-2003, 09:15 AM
Win or lose, there is no need to chose,

Wrong or right, there is no need to fight,

Weak or strong, there is no need to wrong.

In Aikido, there is no enemy,

Only the enemy within, within one's mind and soul,

Train hard each day, to follow those masters of old. . . . .

10-19-2003, 09:40 AM
Actually, It wasn't Arikawa Sensei I was referring to, though I'm sure he left many mourning students.
My own loss is a simple, modest, yet amazing person I met during my travel in South America.
I wish not to mentioned his name, he didn't want people to remember him in sorrow.
I loved him dearly and I feel lucky to have known him.

"Let the system flow" said the Sensei
I let it, but it doesn't budge.
I'm looking at my partner -
he is unmovable.
He looks back as I struggle.
My system is stuck,
Where is my flow?
The search goes on.

Kensho Furuya
10-19-2003, 09:54 AM
No, No, I didn't think you were referring to Arikawa Sensei, but your poem was timely in light of his recent passing. Although I didn't know him as well as many others, he left a profound influence on my life in my younger days of training for which I am always grateful.

2nd Doshu, Kisaburo Ohsawa Sensei, Seigo Yamaguchi Sensei and Arikawa Sensei are all people whom I miss very sorely. . . . .

My stay at Hombu was cut short due to the death of my grandfather who was the only one in my family who supported me taking off to Hombu for training. My parents were really against it. My grandfather was suffering from cancer at the time and needed an operation quickly, but he and my grandmother kept it a secret from everyone, knowing that I would not leave for Japan if he was sick. . . . . It was only after it was too late for the operation did my family find out and I was only told just before he passed away. . . . . Ohsawa Sensei invited me to return to Hombu as soon as possible to continue my training and that I could stay in Japan if I wanted to, but another Hombu teacher requested that I stay on the West Coast and help out with Aikido here. . . . .and quickly the years passed by. . . . . .

Ohsawa Sensei's poem to me at the time:

"A sudden rain, he returns home too quickly. . . ."

10-19-2003, 10:06 PM
home is connection

hand to hand

heart to hara

here i sit

in the place that i sleep

the place where i work

is this home?

where there is no heart

or where my heart is

that i may not go

or where i go to

learn to see

there is no battle

i must fight

to find my way back home

and know i have taken a homeward step

tho the journey long

and steep and


that i have moved

at long long last

beyond "i can't"


"i don't know how"

wherever i will be

will be my


as long as i can

not know.

Jeanne Shepard
10-19-2003, 10:51 PM
I'm really enjoying this thread, think I'll print it out to reread later, but dont know when it will be complete...


Kensho Furuya
10-19-2003, 10:53 PM
Who can know Sensei's heart and soul?

When everyday he gives it away to others?

Forty-five years of teaching and I am weary,

This Path without an end. . . . . .

The moon makes its way across the nightly skies,

Not heeding the cries of the lonely fawn,

Who can cure this loneliness?

When they leave at night,

The dojo cold without the sounds of students?

My home is not here with me,

But in the hearts of my students,

Who come another day. . . .

Kensho Furuya
10-20-2003, 08:36 AM
Efrat: Thank you for the beautiful email message, I really appreciate and enjoyed it. Please look up my student in Israel if you can. Best wishes always,

From around the world so far,

Out of sight and out of mind,

What Grace brings us together?

What mysterious power shines over us

To let us meet through space and time?

Grateful for what we have,

Grateful for what we know,

Grateful for what we will never understand. . . . .

10-20-2003, 03:35 PM
Furuya Sensei, I thank you for your magical words.
As once said in a movie - I think it痴 the beginning of a wonderful friendship :)
I also thank you, Jun, for making it possible for "long-distance people" to meet and bond.

To keep the silly poems flowing (being the one who spoiled the fun, I'll begin):

We are born close to the ground,
Crawling on our hands an feet,
In constant link with the source.

Then we stand,
Occasionally stumble harmlessly to the floor,
Until an unsteady step separates us from safe.

From that point we grow high, grow away.
Learn to be frightened from the fall.
Fearing the harsh meeting.

Finally, we first step on the mat,
And the Sensei says "roll!".
The ground is so far and we need to re-learn,
To become more relaxed,
To welcome the meeting,
To flex the soul.
We no longer are enemies, we are united once more.

Ambrose Merrell
10-20-2003, 03:42 PM
He sits in the corner

As if forgotten

Certainly ignored.

His clothes are simple

His needs are few

He holds on to the Great Centre

And wears a warm, broad smile.

I feel I know him

And maybe one day I will

For he is the real me

The true me and

Though I may deny him

He waits patiently, kindly, caringly

For me.

Kensho Furuya
10-20-2003, 04:05 PM
I am really enjoying your poems here.

For Ambrose:

The Holy Lotus of True Law proclaims,

Even a banana leaf can be a Buddha so it says,

Yet Buddhas or great gods as we may think. . .

The banana leaf is just a banana leaf. . . .

For Efrat:

From ground we grow, and soon return.

To stand so proudly is but a tiny second.

Only to bow our heads, can we see Home again. . . . .

10-20-2003, 10:36 PM
in such a hurry

waiting for aikido

to make me patient

Kensho Furuya
10-21-2003, 01:14 AM
No hurry to a place you can never reach,

No waiting for that which will never come,

No patience for those who don't believe,

Just practicing Aikido happily, happily. . . . . .

Paula Lydon
10-21-2003, 07:48 AM
~~Kokyu dosa...

I felt your beating heart

Beneath my hand;

Your breath mingled with mine.

Our dance of entering and yeilding.

To make love, of a sort,

In this room full of people~~

10-21-2003, 08:11 AM
Wasn't able to focus well today

Don't know what has went astray

Need to set my mind at ease

Want my heart to be kept in peace

Know that I should not be in sorrow

There will always be a better tomorrow

10-21-2003, 09:06 AM
here tomorrow

is today

it looks the same

as yesterday

and yesterday's pain

is today's annoyance

and so it seems

i slowly learn

to slowly let go

of yesterday
is it the day that has


or just my way

of seeing?
hearing judgement

good or ill

you are my mirror
who's eyes do i

gaze into

at the end of day?

Kensho Furuya
10-21-2003, 09:49 AM
To see that person in the mirror,

Is only the mind of the particular seer,

Never fear whatever you see,

It's always you and never me!

Kensho Furuya
10-21-2003, 09:59 AM
Hahaha! Yes, yes, I know that last one was pretty corny, but I couldn't resist! How can I focus well, when dear Paula writes such racy stuf heref? - at least for a poor, simple monk!

10-21-2003, 10:07 AM
and yet we always see each


as pictures of how they

should be

and i become

against my will

what it is they

choose to see

that really


is not me

and no amount of


will make me be

the me they think they ought

to see


and this is

why my heart

and life

have left me


so empty


for i need

a you

to show me


Kensho Furuya
10-21-2003, 10:16 AM
Sweet Paula here writes poems of love,

On dojo mats where all can see,

I don't really know what it's all about,

Whatever you do - no "lights out!"

Kensho Furuya
10-21-2003, 10:24 AM
Never worry about the "me" you see,

Because that "me" will never be,

The True Self will soon appear,

Just practice hard without the doubts,

And the True "You" will come about.

10-21-2003, 10:53 AM

spiritual exercise equipment

in the universal health club

10-21-2003, 10:56 AM
I thought I used to know who I am

Emotions are draining me

Feeling so hollow inside

Closed doors of the mind

Locking the truth behind

As the eyes are the windows to the soul

I look at myself in the mirror

And I do not recognize the stranger I see

Kensho Furuya
10-21-2003, 11:30 AM
Old, but well known Zen saying:

"Hibi Kojitsu" - Each day is a Good Day! In our Aikido training and as we reflect on our lives and our selves, we often feel frustration and sometimes desperation. Disappointment is only another part of our training which we eventually overcome, just as we struggle to understand and refine our techniques. We should never think of it something apart for our selves which intrude and interferes with what we aspire to. Embrace the "bad' as well as the good and see its original Oneness. Dogen Zenji wrote: "The greater the aspiration, the greater the enlightenment." I am really enjoying and learning a lot here in everyone's wonderful and thoughtful words. Thank you and have a very Good Day today!

10-21-2003, 12:47 PM
this one is not mine but excerpted from The Boxer by Paul Simon...been ringing in my head so i'm sending it along...

I have squandered my resistance,

For a pocketful of mumbles, such are promises.

All lies and jest.

Still a man hears what he wants to hear and disregards the rest.

And the years are rollin by me.

They are rockin evenly.

I am older than I once was, and younger than I値l be.

That痴 not unusual.

It isn稚 strange,

After changes upon changes, we are more or less the same.

After changes, we are more or less the same.

In the clearing stands a boxer and a fighter by his trade,

And he carries the reminders of every glove that laid him down,

Or cut him 稚il he cried out in his anger and his shame,

"i am leaving, I am leaving."

But the fighter still remains.

John Boswell
10-21-2003, 12:49 PM
Talk about your Silly Poem's. Sensei Furuya, you and the others have inspired me to write. Good or bad... it doesn't matter. It's here to be posted regardless. ;)

Have a good one!

Frustration became despair
Where I was once overwhelmed
I now see that I could not see
And have blinded those around me

I was foolish, like many times before
Instead of an opening, I saw only the door
Now it is up to me to blend
And free my loved one again.

Time to dance the dance of Tenkan!

:ai: :ki:

10-21-2003, 12:50 PM

you are amazing. just seconds ago i deleted a long and snivelly email to you- and here you have answered it with just exactly the thing i needed to hear.

thank you again, and again.

Kensho Furuya
10-21-2003, 01:05 PM
We can understand and we can live,

Living can embody understanding,

But understanding can never embrace living.

I should confess a funny story here. I used to hear this song all the time as a theme song for kung-fu movies many years ago. . . . When I first heard it as a Simon and Garfunkel song, I was so shocked! - I didn't realize that these old kung-fu movies had "borrowed" it from S&G and not visa-versa. Thanks for the memories, I haven't heard this song for a long, long time. Which is the S&G song with, "I'd rather be a hammer, than a nail . . .?"

10-21-2003, 01:10 PM

you are amazing. just seconds ago i deleted a long and snivelly email to you- and here you have answered it with just exactly the thing i needed to hear.

thank you again, and again.

Kensho Furuya
10-21-2003, 02:05 PM
Please send the email to me anyways, I would love to read it and hear what you have to say.

Best wishes always and let's meet here again soon!

Kensho Furuya
10-22-2003, 09:17 AM
Who should visit this tiny thread?

Among the nobler in Aikiweb?

Should I call this my new found home?

Under the name of "Silly Poem?"

10-22-2003, 09:40 AM
cyber sensei

holds the center

spins a web

of poetry

draws his

students' minds

and hearts

within the

spinning strands of


here in cyber dojo

we do not need

to go from


where we are not


Kensho Furuya
10-22-2003, 10:21 AM
Is "cyber sensei" my new found name?

Is this the source of new found fame?

Many things, I've been called in the past,

Easier to ryhme, when it ends in "ass!"

Every morning, we all meet here,

No need for fame, no need to fear.

Like great masters in days of old,

Good friends, good times, more precious than gold!

Let's share our hearts in the spirit of Aiki,

Forget the strong, forget the mighty.

Forget the Self, just you and me!

Just enjoy this day, let's have some tea,

This is Oneness, - in poetry!

10-22-2003, 10:46 AM
Go to a Dojo,


Go on the mat,


Start to practice.


There is no end.

Kensho Furuya
10-22-2003, 02:16 PM
We turn, we enter, throw and pin,

An amazing art with so many spins!

So many questions, here arise,

So many answers without surprise.

Which way do I go, who can say?

Just turn, just enter, just follow the Way.

10-22-2003, 07:01 PM
Faced with the blade

Fear and uncertainty cloud the mind

Better to run away than to hesitate

Faced with the blade

Calm spirit, submit to the Divine

Relaxed mind, enter with no doubt

Kensho Furuya
10-22-2003, 07:18 PM
This is a great poem! It echoes a poem by a Zen priest to a Hojo general who was about to ride into battle against ferocious odds. This was a little over 600 years ago. Many thanks!

I would like to reply with:

Who can face the Sword of Death?

Who can know the Sword of Life?

Held above the head so calmly,

The mystery is in the Inner Breath.

Kensho Furuya
10-23-2003, 05:04 PM
From streams to rivers, to oceans, flow,

From many places, we come and go,

To come together on a single mat,

And practice with a single heart,

We struggle daily with this mysterious art,

Our love and practice flow as one,

All embracing like the morning sun,

Like two wheels of a single cart.

This Single Path from where we start.

10-23-2003, 06:40 PM
what's in a name

and how are we named

in such a way as

our names are our


who's decree

would it have been

that i be

a staff

strong but inflexible

intended for beating

into a pulp

that with which

it disagrees

in the fire i will

burn away

to nothingness

but the blind kendo


who saw the true me

who named me katana

he called me a sword

i am sharp

yes you fear me

but in my blade

i bend

i can be turned

to show myself

in cutting you

i cut myself

you may burn me

and beat me

my temper is


resiliance returns

slowly if i may


cool in the

quenching waters

of love

where could it


i return to

the fire

heart in my hand

slice myself into


waiting in the


for the healing rain.

10-23-2003, 07:55 PM
I don't know what to say

Thank you for your compliments, Sensei

I wish someday I could truly find my way

with no doubts nor fear, again I could play

Kensho Furuya
10-23-2003, 08:42 PM
Doubts and fears that don't exist,

Seem like enemies who persist.

Cut them here, cut them there,

They seem lurking everywhere,

But look more closely, my dear friend,

There is nothing there to Hell to send.

Only shadows of a wavering mind,

Which feel like ropes which seem to bind.

Just be free and freedom comes,

Have no doubts and doubts will go,

Have no fears, just let them flow,

Look ahead and don't look back,

The fear you fear is no attack!

The Path you tread is Aikido,

It's not pure white like fallen snow.

Choose goodness and goodness be,

Let's be friends, just you and me,

And in this friendship you will see,

No doubts, no fears, just open sea.

Fear and doubt is only a natural part of your personality and your Self. There is nothing wrong with it, we all have it. No one can deny this fact. As long as you stand away from it, or try to separate yourself from it, you will never be able to conquer it. Just let it be a part of youself and accept it, without judging it or criticizing yourself. Nothing to blame here and there is nothing wrong. Soon you will see that it is no longer there. Aikido is easy and Aikido is hard. It is not a medicine or miracle cure for anything, nor will it solve any riddles or answer any questions. It can only show you that standing up by yourself is fine and dandy. Nothing blamed and nothing to forgive. Nothing to seek and nothing to hold. Originally, everything is complete and good. . . . . . Aikido is only a door or window through which you can see this, everything else is up to you. Best wishes always, and write again soon.

Paula Lydon
10-23-2003, 09:00 PM
Who comes to train?

This small, middle-aged woman

Who moves, at times,

Like an elegant tiger.

Who comes to train?

This woman with my face

In the guise of an aikidoka?

So much is in motion

On the mat.

Feet and soul; heart and center.

Destiny dances, ever shifting.

Who comes to train?

This being who relinquishes hold

On age and gender

Size is no matter; faceless.

On the brink of truth...

Kensho Furuya
10-23-2003, 09:21 PM
The cherry tree,

As old or young as it may be,

Straight or bent as we may see,

Bears the blossoms every year,

Just as pink as pretty can be!

Older students should train as older students and younger students should train as younger students. Young and old each has their virtue. If you think of "old" as a weakness, it can become a weakness. If you think of it as a strength, it can become a asset. Zeami, in his writings (Fushi Kadensho) on the Noh drama and how it is taught and learned, spoke of "hana" or flower. Even a Noh performer, can lose his youth and looks but still realize "flower" and continue to act well in roles which are suited to him and not for younger performers. I have had many so-called middle-aged and older students who have done quite well in their training. They must not compare themselves to others on the mats. But in any case, whether young or old, we shouldn't make such comparisons, nor compete in strength. . . . . . As long as you keep up your training on a regular basis, you are doing fine. . . . . at least, in my book. . . .

10-24-2003, 02:37 AM
The words that are wise

Are like a good bowl of rice

Thanks for the advice

Paula Lydon
10-24-2003, 07:40 AM
Words, borne on the wind,

Swirl about me, confusing.

But beyond them I can feel

That which bears them

And uplifts me.

~~It is always moving to feel care and consideration from another :)

Kensho Furuya
10-24-2003, 11:41 AM
Confusion, the enemy of the mind,

Cut him down like all others,

He only rises with the wind of disappointment.

Enjoy this day, be in the moment,

Thus holding the Sword of Reality,

Can we clear this Infinite Path.

Only words from the heart,

Can reach their mark.

The bonds of friendship,

Stronger than any force of attack.

Paula Lydon
10-24-2003, 12:31 PM
~~Kensho-san, loved it!! :)

Sharon Seymour
10-24-2003, 12:34 PM
six-year-old in a new gi

tumbles laughing as

golden leaves blow by the door

Paula Lydon
10-24-2003, 02:31 PM
~~Sharon, check out the hiku (spelling?) link Jun listed earlier on this thread. As a mother, I love that image of yours!~~

Kensho Furuya
10-24-2003, 03:34 PM
Should be "haiku."

Furu ike ya,

Kawazu tobi-komu,

Mizu no oto.

Very well-known haiku by Matsuo Basho

The old pond,

The frog leaps,

The sound of water!

Kensho Furuya
10-24-2003, 11:41 PM

Heavy snows may cover the old, crooked branch in winter,

But it cannot stop the new leaves and blossoms in early spring. . . .

A good old friend of mine at Hombu, Ikeda Teru Sensei, is 89 years old and she still is active and doing a full day's job each day. A great lady! Hang in there!

Kensho Furuya
10-25-2003, 07:02 AM
Although I rise before the early morning sun,

My day does not start 'til the footsteps of my early students.

Even great music of classics I play day long,

Cannot match the sounds of ukemi on the mats.

After practice, and they leave for home,

Sleep does not come easy in this quiet dojo.

10-25-2003, 12:09 PM
Seeing the sun rise

It makes me realize

I have wronged so many people

Maybe on purpsose or accidental

Wish to be forgiven before the day is done

Forgive others for this month is Ramadhan

Ramadhan is the month when we Muslims fast and cleanse ourselves spiritually. The fasting is not just controlling our hunger or thirst, but our emotions as well.

Tomorrow, in Indonesia, is the first month of Ramadhan. So today, I ask for forgiveness from all of you, in mind, body, and spirit, for all the mistakes I had done in the past, wether it is on purpose or accidental.

minal aidin wal fa'idzin

mohon maaf lahir dan batin

Kensho Furuya
10-26-2003, 08:05 AM
Who can forgive us, when only can we forgive ourselves?

In doing wrong, we can only wrong ourselves not others.

In doing right, we're not rewarded, though so much compassion's spent.

In Aikido, there is no opponent who stands before us, only the shadows of our minds,

Purify the heart, and he disappears before our eyes,

Though we can never see the sun, it shares its warmth with all. . . . . .

The cool spring breeze nourishes all blossoms though it passes by so quickly. . . . .

The dark moon wanes without a single thought, yet lights this quiet path for me. . . . . .

Kensho Furuya
10-26-2003, 08:40 PM
Who walks in the steps of the old masters?

Barely can you see their traces . . . .

Now worn by the sun in summer,

Now covered by the snow in winter,

Now covered by the leaves in autumn,

Rediscover that Path quickly now,

Before the coming spring breeze blows them all away. . . . .

10-27-2003, 06:29 AM

May your fast be fruitful and bring you peace.

Best wishes from England.


Kensho Furuya
10-27-2003, 04:19 PM
We can chit-chat about the moon at night,

But neither does it slow for us or turn our way.

It travels across the sky as it has always done,

heedless to our cries,

Who is left behind on this quiet evening?

After all these years, has O'Sensei's light become so dim?

Outshined by new ideas and new thoughts?

Not even the afternoon sun can outshine his light. . . .

It is only a sudden flash which blinds us for a moment.

It does not hide from us, it is only hidden. . . .

Each day, we live, we die,

To face the sun wth biased mind,

We can only turn away and shut our eyes.

The tiny flower in the field, so yellow and so pure,

Faces bravely to receive its warmth and blessings.

The moon returns each night to shine its darkly shine upon us,

Who beckons who this evening?

Can we ever stop this chatter and take a look?

Kensho Furuya
10-28-2003, 10:37 AM
Seeking mind with no-mind,

Seeking no-mind with mind,

Who can make any sense of it all?

If our sight is a bit too small?

Practice nobly and practice tall,

Expand your mind in the practice hall,

And as the sweat drips from your face,

You'll see an end to this dreary rat race!

Kensho Furuya
10-29-2003, 05:42 AM
It is easy to throw down the opponent by strength,

How can you throw him without force at all?

Only as the Mysterious Principles of Aikido work,

All things are accomplished without effort at least.

Don't see your enemy as one to destroy,

Only see Harmony which must be preserved.

Only in True Peace can true strength be realized,

As long as we fight, can only defeat be achieved.

The gentle breeze rustles through the old pine tree standing alone,

No fight, no struggle, just a beautiful melody!

10-29-2003, 07:56 AM
after graduation

still the test

goes on

fifth kyu

what do i know now?



circle turn throw


get up

fall again

i'll sleep

when i can't

get up again

Kensho Furuya
10-29-2003, 08:05 AM
after graduation

still the test

goes on

6th Dan

what do i know now?



circle turn throw


get up

fall again

i'll sleep

when i can't

get up again

(haha! Nice poem!)

Kensho Furuya
10-29-2003, 09:07 AM
Kyu or Dan, it is all the same,

It is all the same from where we came,

It is all the same to where we go,

True happiness, in this to know!

John Boswell
10-29-2003, 09:18 AM
That last one was very "Dr. Suess" of you, Sensei! I liked it. ;)

More please! :D

Kensho Furuya
10-29-2003, 09:30 AM
I am not a cat,

I don't wear a hat,

To say Dr. Suess,

Would be a ruse!

Kensho Furuya
10-29-2003, 09:33 AM
Qatana's poem touches my heart,

I think she must be very smart,

She sounds like a sword (katana) so sharp indeed,

Please don't cut me, I'll take heed!


John Boswell
10-29-2003, 10:17 AM
He makes me laugh... kinda

That silly Sensei Furuya.

Putting on a really good show,

Ladies and Gentlmen, heeeeere's Kensho!

/plays the themesong to the Johnny Carson Late Show ;)

Okay! Okay! I'll go away and quit bothering you all. :p

Kensho Furuya
10-29-2003, 10:24 AM
Johnny's retired,

But I am not,

Don't quit your day job,

You still need it a lot!


Kensho Furuya
10-29-2003, 07:42 PM
Boxers punch, one, two, one two!

And we all wonder what to do.

Do not worry about games and sports,

Just only think of your own efforts.

Whether they attack, whether they do not,

It is not for you to be on the spot.

Just two arms and just two punches,

Aikido deals with all such crunches!

Just practice hard, and do what you do,

Just practice Aikido, and let Aikido be,

What is important is to be free!

10-29-2003, 07:55 PM
There is no you

There is no me

There are no enemies

Only one moving in this dance of life

Kensho Furuya
10-30-2003, 12:22 AM
If there's no you,

And no me, and no enemy.

Who's dancing with thee?

Kensho Furuya
10-30-2003, 01:50 AM
The enemy only attacks himself,

And destroys himself by his own actions.

Who can defeat the Path of Peace?

Perfect your art within yourself,

Realize the greater self,

You and the enemy are one.

In Oneness, who can the enemy attack?

In Oneness, who where does the fight begin?

Only in Oneness, Aikido is realized!

Wonderful art!

Kensho Furuya
10-30-2003, 05:35 PM
The old teacher never knows,

When a student comes

And when he goes.

He cannot reap what he cannot sow.

It's all he can do, I suppose.

Like the warm summer breeze,

Blowing by so quickly,

The flower continually grows,

On the lonely old, crooked bough.

Kensho Furuya
10-31-2003, 10:10 AM
We practice Aikido on Halloween,

Please don't come like monsters in green!

I'm sorry to say there's no "trick or treat,"

So don't complain and stomp your feet,

Please practice hard and sweat a lot,

And please don't give it another thought!

Sensei may wear a scary mask,

But whatever you think, please don't ask!

And although it looks like a scary face,

It's only his mug, by God's given grace!

Happy Halloween!

Kensho Furuya
10-31-2003, 05:24 PM
Mushin, Zanshin are words hard to know,

It's hard to gauge the wisdom they sow.

Think about it, which way do we go?

Ponder too much, you'll never grow.

Forget about it, just bow your head low,

Just become Aiki from head, heart to toe!

Kensho Furuya
11-01-2003, 05:38 AM
As much as we do, we talk about Ki,

So much confusion for you and me.

Then we chat about the meaning of Life,

Now we are filled with chaos and strife.

Who then asks about Shin and Mu-shin?

Just like sitting on a very sharp pin!

Then we ask about Aikido,

What can we say, what can we know?

Forget about words and move on the mat,

Work with your partner till you become One,

It is tremendous work, like seeing the sun,

Forget about him, forget about "Self,"

All those words belong on the shelf.

Once you forget about you and me,

Once you stop thinking about "one, two, and three."

You will merge with the meanings for all,

Which no one can deny, not one, not all.

Just be quiet, just become One,

Just be centered, just achieve "None."

In this "Mu," everything comes,

This is Infinity becoming One.

Don't remember these words, just forget it all,

Only train with one and with all,

Just forget about short and forget about tall,

Never mind about strong, never mind about weak,

Please don't worry about reaching your peak,

Just be happy, live life well and good,

This is Aikido, all understood.

John Boswell
11-01-2003, 08:48 AM
I have a question, Sensei:

Who/What has been the greatest spiritual influence in your life? Was it your actually practice of Aikido? Second Doshu? Someone or something else?

I liked your last poem. It was very good and touches on the important fact that we all must just DO and stop thinking about everything. I've realized many profound things in my life but have tried to live life accordingly... but still I like to research and learn more. So... thought I would ask who/what has been of great influence to you.

Domo Arigato! :D

Have a good day. :)

Kensho Furuya
11-01-2003, 08:19 PM
Hi, I thought about your question all day long today but I still do not know how to answer you. At first I thought it would be easy to reply but as I thought about it, I realized that it is not as easy as I thought! This is a difficult topic - talking about my "self" which is essentially insubstantial as we discussed before! Haha! In another thread, someone asked for my background and I think I talked about some of my teachers. Maybe this will help you. I will continue to think about your question and if I have a good way to answer you clearly and honestly, I will note it here or another section. I am also embarrassed to talk about myself and I don't want to be accused of vanity. Thank you for your kind thoughts and let's continue to enjoy each other's ideas here. This one is for you, my friend:

Ask me no questions, I tell you no lies.

Whatever I say is not a surprise.

Some people think that I am very wise,

But I am nothing more than one who tries.

My Aikido now is past forty years,

Much, much happiness, but many more tears.

Everyone struggles in his own war,

Banging his head against his own door.

All I can say is do not seek fame,

Do not seek wealth and do not seek name.

You will feel pain and burdens so great,

But it is part of path thru the Great Gate.

Though Harmony's a word so easy to say,

You need to practice it hard each day by day.

Keep your faith in the Aikido Way,

There is nothing more, this is all I can say.

Kensho Furuya
11-02-2003, 09:24 AM
Whatever happened to "Silly Poems?"

Let's not talk about dread and gloom.

Let's talk about something light,

Something that makes your face bright.

Many students come and practice so well,

Make the Dojo a paradise, not a hell.

Still there are rules and everyone sweats,

It is to do and not to fret,

Please keep moving and don't sit down,

Don't sit there like wearing a crown,

But get up and practice and move around,

Pour out your energy, your Aikido bound!

Haha! Everyone have a good day!

Paula Lydon
11-02-2003, 11:49 AM
There once was a dojo in Boulder,

Where the students were all getting older.

Their hakama worn,

Their uwagi torn,

But their spirits so bright and much bolder.


Kensho Furuya
11-02-2003, 12:16 PM
They have a great teacher named Ikeda,

Which is really hard to rhyme with -a. . . .

When I figure this out, I'll give you a shout,

And we will all feel much "beh-ta!"

(How most Japanese natives pronounce "better." Haha!)

Please give Ikeda Sensei my very best & warmest regards! As always, thanks again,

Kensho Furuya
11-02-2003, 07:22 PM
We always search for the right answers,

And all we become is fancy word dancers.

In the question, the answer be,

Seek the right question and be free.

Forget the answer that comes too easy,

Never, in this world, is there a freebie.

Polish yourself and practice well,

All will be known before you can tell.

Finally, my friend, there no question be,

Answer and question is not what you see,

Look deeper, my friend, and you can tell,

All answers and questions lead to hell.

Practice with reason, practice with faith,

Old great masters left no trace.

Find the right path by your own great will.

Then the Great Energy, your Life will fill.

Kensho Furuya
11-03-2003, 05:32 AM
To be happy and free,

Involves you and me.

It can never be,

A freedom just me.

Because I alone,

Is never a true home.

But more than one,

Is often not fun.

We can argue with two,

To fight I need you.

Though fight we can do,

This path is not true,

The Way of Peace, is ours to find,

Take all your fighting out of mind.

As hard as hard as this Way can be,

This is the path to truly be free.

11-03-2003, 09:21 AM
if it takes two to battle

i fear i must cry

when those who are fighting

are my self and i

yet if in this conflict

i can learn how to blend

the attacks i've been making

may come to an end

and yet as i read this

i think that next time

my poems will be better

if i don't try to rhyme!

Kensho Furuya
11-03-2003, 11:31 AM
Great! I'm luvin' it, many thanks!

Kensho Furuya
11-03-2003, 12:30 PM
To fight with others brings great harm,

Not to the other, but to one's soul.

To fight with the self is the great fight

of the brave of heart -

It is the most courageous fight of all.

The first step of our spiritual journey. . . .

Today, many want to see Aikido as a fighting system. . . . .

But true martial arts is to take the other's life,

Are you prepared to pay the price?

To corrupt the soul and destroy your heart forever?

If Aikido only brings death and injury, it is not the True Path of O'Sensei. . . ..

Only base games and competitions. . . . .

And rhyming is more fun.

Sharon Seymour
11-03-2003, 12:47 PM
The life that is yours

to take is your own,

carving your ego

right down to the bone

Admiring the beautiful

skeleton there,

rebuilding yourself

with compassion and care

Kensho Furuya
11-03-2003, 12:55 PM
This is really beautiful, I like your poem very much! I reminds me of a very famous Zen poem, something like: "Peel back the thin piece of skin we call our face, revealing the pure white skull beneath - we are all the same afterall!

There is another Zen poem which talks about "whatever we do in life, our bones eventually turn pure white." Pure white meaning that we all eventually return back to our Original Purity.

Thanks again, I really enjoyed that!

Kensho Furuya
11-03-2003, 08:16 PM
Build your life with compassion and love,

Receive your energy from above,

Ground yourself with the earth below,

In this life, we reap what we sow.

Do not wait till your bones bleach white,

But fight for your Life with all your might.

The Aikido path is supreme,

Thru this Way, we fulfill our dreams.

Do not worry what others say,

Do not your heart or soul betray,

Always look for a brighter day.

Stronger than the strongest throw,

Is the power each day to grow.

More effective than an effective pin,

Is the power of compassion, not to win.

Kensho Furuya
11-04-2003, 06:42 AM
From the very start, follow your heart,

Follow your teacher whom you trust,

This is the Way to enter this art.

Many distractions come before you,

These are obstacles you must break through.

No Path is easy as your think,

Until it takes you to the brink.

Talk about this and talk about that,

Nothing is real but what's on the mat.

Work with others, don't think to fight,

The power of wisdom is stronger than might.

Bow your head and never be proud.

Don't be arrogant, don't be loud.

Just practice hard in your quiet way,

And never mind what others say.

The Path is not what others cry,

It's in your heart until you die.

To all others be faithful be,

Be true yourself where others can't see.

Sharon Seymour
11-04-2003, 05:59 PM
Be true to yourself where others can't see,

deeply seeking to set yourself free.

Study the form and make it your own

then throw it away and you will be home.

Wherever you go, there you will be,

with no need to worry because you will see

that the pain of setting the form in the bone

opens the universe for you to roam.

Thank you, Sensei, for your kind comments. I'm having some fun with this!

Kensho Furuya
11-04-2003, 10:54 PM
Open the Universe for you to roam,

This, indeed, is our True Home.

A quiet moon, and sea of foam,

Crying birds sing subtle tones.

The morning mist, the emerging sun,

Here it is, where man becomes One.

Here among the talk and chatter,

Quiet words without the clatter,

Running streams, a pure Spring breeze,

Whispers of a Life of Peace.

Sharon: I really like your last poem. This one reminds me of the famous lines from the Hannya Shingyo: "Shiki soku ze ku, Ku soku ze shiki." - "Form is nothing other than emptiness, emptiness is nothing other than form." Many thanks again!

Kensho Furuya
11-05-2003, 07:24 AM
Many ways before our eyes do shine,

Take only the Aikido Path as mine.

This Single Path is without measure,

Which we find an immeasurable treasure.

In each technique, if practiced well,

An invaluable lesson, there is to tell.

Practice till you see the Great Light,

Reach the level beyond all fights.

Do not worry about this and that,

Trust in yourself as a real fact.

As long as you see many enemies abound,

You will always be lost, and never found,

Find yourself, let all those enemies go,

This is what you must come to know.

Before the late 2nd Doshu passed away, I received a Japanese fan with the words, "The Single Path of Aikido." I think this was his final lesson for me. These are simple words but hold great meaning, I believe. Today, we live in a world of infinite options and choices. In the traditional world of this art, we must follow so many rules of conduct and protocol. So many things we cannot do. For us today, they seem so confining and narrow-minded but they are not. Of course, I have the option to fight and kick the man down, even bite him in the face or use a knife or crush his brain with a rock. I can use this take-down or this other lock to break his arm. Use a gun like a shiper or poison his family, blow him up with a bomb, what else? Where does it end in our world of so many options? In Aikido, we don't live or think like this, if we follow the Aikido path.

There are rules, as the Form of practice, in Aikido to refine ourselves so that we may reach a life which is noble and beautiful in everything we do. To lose a fight or my life for what I believe in is a small matter or price to pay. I think this more closely follows the true path of the warrior. Isn't this the Single Path?

Paula Lydon
11-05-2003, 07:53 AM
Once I knew a man

That I did not care for.

And then one day

This man gave me a call.

We sat and talked

About things on our minds,

And now this man

He is a friend of mine.

~~old 60's song, still good~~ :)

Kensho Furuya
11-05-2003, 11:03 AM
Hahaha! I like it better when my students don't care for me or hate me - then I feel like I have no obligation to them and I can teach them freely without any restrictions at all. I can be honest and open and not have to worry if I said something that they don't agree with, they already find me disagreeable! When they have no expectation from me (and we have no expectations of each other), they can finally open their minds to learn and something real can happen in practice. When my students like me, it is definitely much harder because now I feel an obligation to be nice to them. This is always very hard. Of course, I am a nice person, it just doesn't show as much as with other teachers . . . Haha! There is a saying in Zen: "Oni-te Busshin" - Hand of a devil, mind of a Buddha." I always laugh when my friend says, "Talk to the hand!" Many thanks!

Kensho Furuya
11-05-2003, 02:18 PM
Gruff or tough, I smile and smile,

Teaching class all the while.

Do they understand what I say?

I ponder this question all the long day!

Kensho Furuya
11-05-2003, 06:46 PM
Look everywhere and you can see an enemy,

Look everywhere and you can see a friend.

To see clearly into the eyes of others,

Is a life of practice without any end.

To be clear with yourself, be kind to others,

True strength is the caring heart of a mother.

No one cares how strong or bold,

It is all in the teachings of the masters of old.

Kensho Furuya
11-06-2003, 08:53 AM
Draw your sword, and cut the light,

Cut the moon with all your might.

Raise the sword above your head,

Angry face full of dread.

Cut him down, cut them all,

In pools of blood, make them fall.

Return the blade to its case,

Keep it there, make no trace,

Bring peace to this world, don't draw it again,

A very good sword must be a friend.

Kensho Furuya
11-06-2003, 09:46 AM
Arikoto, a swordsmith in Kyoto around the 1840's used to engraved on his blades the following poem which has always inspired me:

"Before you draw your tempered blade, keep it in its saya and polish your soul first of all."

Kensho Furuya
11-06-2003, 01:41 PM
I just give you the reference for those interested:

"Yaki-tachi wo saya ni osamete, masumasu masurao no kokoro wo togari keri."

Literally: "Keep your tempered sword in its scabbard, first, polish a heart of courage."

Arikoto was a member of the Imperial Court and warrior who had an interest in making swords. He produced swords at a time, when there are great chaos in the samurai class and in society as the Tokugawa government was in decline and many were fighting for a new age. It was a very bloody period of many assassinations of important people on both sides, duels and battles. This "waka' (poem) is a cry for peace in the midst of all this conflict.

Kensho Furuya
11-06-2003, 11:34 PM
An old saying of Samurai warriors:

To part from the Way is only the width of a single hair.

To return to the Way is a journey of ten-thousand miles.

Kensho Furuya
11-07-2003, 03:13 AM
Know well what is right and wrong,

But know beyond right, there is a greater right,

And know beyond wrong, there is a greater wrong.

Reason can never conquer faith,

Although faith can embrace reason fully.

We cut the flower because of its beauty,

But its power lie in the roots below.

By the coming Spring, the flower would have already perished,

We look to the roots, to see the fresh blossoms again. . . .

Kensho Furuya
11-07-2003, 06:45 AM
We fight because we have the mind to fight,

We conquer because we have the mind to conquer.

We practice because we have the mind to practice,

We are lazy, because we have the mind to be lazy,

No-mind embraces all, no mind refutes all

Become like the gentle breeze thru the pines,

In one thousand years, it never changes its gentle melody. . . . .

11-08-2003, 10:36 AM
This was actually based on a post I made on another thread. It sounds kind of poetic:

Is this reality a dream?

Or, is the dream the reality?

The relative truth

The physical body

The logical mind

The scientific world

The limitations

Limitations that makes one comfortable

Ignorant of what may be, could be, will be

One denies the absolute truth

For it is inconvenient

So long has it been forgotten

One doesn't even know what truth is anymore

Why is the dream feel more real?

Kensho Furuya
11-10-2003, 08:57 PM
This is a nice poem, it reminds me of Mencius, one of the important students of Confucius, who once wrote that we has dreaming of a butterfly and then began to wonder if he was really not the butterfly dreaming that it was Mencius.

In relation to martial arts somewhat, there is a famous story where he was in the garden and saw a tiny water spider floating peacefully on the surface of the water. As he observed closer, he noticed that there was a big fish just under the surface of the water eyeing the delicious bug. Then he happened to notice there was a big water bird standing very still aiming at the big fish and suddenly Mencius fled in terror not knowing what might be eyeing him for a tasty dinner! As we are the predator, we do, at the same time, become prey to something bigger and stronger than ourselves. How can we continue to ever fight?

Kensho Furuya
11-11-2003, 05:54 AM
Taking one step, who can know the whole journey?

With only one toe in the water who can know how deep the river?

Living a few years, how can you know Life?

One cry does not teach you real sadness,

Nor do you grasp true happiness with one laugh.

Who can understand Aikido with a few years?

Forty-five years now, and still a beginner,

Banging my head and toes in this unknown journey called Practice,

From one day to the next.

Yet I have faith - in the moon who passes by at each night,

In the gentle breeze thru the pines,

And in the cherry blossoms which visit me each year.

And in the eager eyes of my students.

I bow humbly to O'Sensei. . . . .

11-11-2003, 07:26 AM
Each day, unlike the last

Today's future, tomorrow's past

River water ending in sea

Change, will always be

On the mat, Beginners Mind

Off the mat, heart is kind

Uke honestly begins attack

Nage softly sends Ki back

Each day, another chance

to be a part of life's dance

a helping hand to one in need

This is Aikido, indeed

Kensho Furuya
11-11-2003, 07:30 AM
Beautiful, and exactly the True Spirit of Aikido! Many thanks.

Paula Lydon
11-11-2003, 07:33 AM
Shifting, shifting...

Always shifting.

Rippling, flowing;

I cannot catch sight of

This one

In a mirror.

Blurred image

Always shifting.

Who looks?

Who is seen?

Kensho Furuya
11-11-2003, 07:38 AM
So easy to fight the fight,

So easy to kill the bill,

But to raise the mind that's kind,

Is the true task to find.

Meet anger with kindness,

Than fight so mindless,

Meet strength, with weakness,

And cultivate meekness,

Who shall inherit the Earth?

Our task from day one of birth.

11-11-2003, 07:49 AM
ok...this, like the last, is conjured up as I sit and work....so...Iambic pentameter be damned.......

Softly each wave

touches sandy shore

back to the deep

to return once more

Accept partner's Ki

with dignity and love

Oh hell.....he is a friend...

Give him a shove!!!!!!!!

just injecting a little smile!!!!!!!

Kensho Furuya
11-11-2003, 07:52 AM
Who shifts the mirror?

Who shifts the self,

Who moves in there?

Or do I fear?

The mirror moves not,

It just my thoughts.

It is just a whim,

So don't seek him,

But seek your me,

And just be free.

Kensho Furuya
11-11-2003, 07:58 AM

Don't shove, but love,

And use the Power from above,

And all the while,

Keep that "little smile!"

And rhyming ain't easy,

And making my dizzy!

Pretty bad! See what I mean?

11-11-2003, 08:24 AM
leave the person

in the mirror

she will not hold your hand

or give you any


always before you

the person in the mirror

she is not the goal

continually following behind

the person in the mirror

when you turn to watch

she always intercepts

your gaze

either way

to turn your head

to watch the person

who is in the mirror

is to turn away from here

and now

to live in the

what ifs

and the

could have beens

in my dojo the wall

is also the mirror

in my dojo

the mirror does not

exist for me

only uke

and me


the mat...

only nage

and me

and the mat

and the moment when i

see my self

reflected in

your eyes

11-11-2003, 10:37 AM
We see signs of its coming,

The clouds up in the sky

Leaves from a tree

On the breeze, go floating by

The heavens will change

From a cool clear blue

To red orange yellow

With a deep purple hue

A single drop of rain

followed by a few more

Then with a thunderous burst

It quickly begins to pour

But as the heavens above

Bathe the land below

You can almost see

The trees begin to grow

We see signs of its going

Like first sun in the morn

Such is what we see

Life and death of a storm

Kensho Furuya
11-11-2003, 11:40 AM
As we practice Aikido,

We are also making Aikido history

Passing down its tradition and wisdom,

Be honest and forthright and care

for Aikido's future.

What we give to students will in turn,

Be passed on to the next generation,

And the next and the next. . . . .

We will remembered for what we do today,

Many years in the future from now.

Fighting systems will come and go,

Those who seek Peace will be always be sought after and never finish its job here -

As long as we continue to fight like animals.

It is not to win or lose, it is not to even be the best. . . . .

But to live a life of dignity and nobility,

Through these principles of Harmony.

Kensho Furuya
11-11-2003, 07:05 PM
So anxious to fight,

We think we are right,

And worship might.

But who can win,

On ideas so thin,

We're bound to sin.

No need to be bold,

With a heart so cold,

Your soul to be sold.

Be quiet and peaceful,

It's not to be needful.

With rules just three-fold.

Don't fight,

Don't hate,

Don't retaliate!

Kensho Furuya
11-12-2003, 09:41 AM
Those ancient arts are soon long gone,

With great masters for whom I long.

Now only remembered in word and song.

Drawing a sword of great fame,

I see the struggles to reach such name.

Today, we think of such sefish gain,

Will those masters ever return again?

Kensho Furuya
11-12-2003, 11:51 AM
O'Sensei practiced Aikido as the way of the divine,

We only practice as the way of men in a world of war,

Aaah, no wonder this Path is so mysterious and hard to understand!

Kensho Furuya
11-12-2003, 05:11 PM
The flower I see today,

Is it the same as one I see tomorrow?

My mind changes so swiftly,

Like a running current.

Should feelings of pain pass so quickly too!

Students come and go and who can know

what tomorrow brings?

I treasure those who are always by my side,

Unfailing like the spring breeze who always visits me.

Should this art be like the evergreen,

The old pine who never changes its color,

yet is always fresh and green!

Like the old stone in the mountain

Embraced by the morning mist. . . . .

Everything in single harmony!

11-12-2003, 05:38 PM
This thread frightens me like no other thing ever has.

Kensho Furuya
11-12-2003, 08:29 PM
Don't be "frightened" and don't run away home!

Just a few of us here enjoying "silly poem."

And most importantly of all, no harm done!

Kensho Furuya
11-13-2003, 06:13 AM
Dear Sensei,

Under the full moon

one frog croaks,

another answers.

The water of the internet pond

is warm and mostly quite shallow.

The first frog replies louder!

Then the second, still louder!

Puffing out their chests

to impress all around

until the heron's leg

sweeps through the water

like a sword cutting the moon

likea brush held upright in ink

writing afrightened silence.


Please continue to teach us

with your wonderful poems.

A good internet approach is to ignore

those whoseem vicious.

If I though aikido was about fighting,

of if I thought martial ars were about fighting,

I would think the "silly poems" were pretty silly.

If many people liked these poems and started to participate,

I might find that "frighteneing."

What does all this poetry say about me?

Why doesn't anyone want to talk about how to fight,

or who can fight the best?

Here is a very old Chinese poem from the Han Dynasty (206 BC-220 AD),

one of the yue-fu or ballads. It is in five syllable lines.

At fifteen i went to war.

At eighty now I made it home.

Meeting one from my village:

"Who now is at home?"

"Over there is your house."

Pines, cypresses, tombs in clusters.

Rabbits come in from dog-holes.

Pheasants fly upon the beams.

Middle of court: wild grains of rise.

Well's edge: wild mallows grow.

Grind grains to make rice.

Pick mallows to make soup.

Rice and soup soon ready.

But for whom?

Go to the east gate to look out:

Tears drench my clothes.

So many young men want to fight.

Even, I'm afraid, so many students of aikido want to fight.

Why not?

We live in a world full of violence,

and our entertainment media is full of violence.

Martial arts are presented violently in the media.

Martial artsare also presented as competitive sports,

purged of spirituality and art.

If I can break a stack of boards,

what does it matter

when my little three ounce bird

nudges my ear to ask for a head scratch?

Frank H.

Reply: Many thanks for your letter. As long as people enjoy this thread, I suppose we can continue for a little more. I think people today find poetry to be an odd combination with martial arts. Most samurai in ancient days were very skilled in poetry and it was considered a great shame if one could not produce a few lines at a moment's notice. Yagyu Renyasai, one of the great swordsmen of the mid-Edo Period, was very skilled in poetry, as well as other members of the Yagyu Shinkage Ryu of swordsmanship. Many of their poems still exist today - there is a famous linked verse with the priest Takuan and Iemitsu, the 3rd Tokugawa Shogun. This is quite an unusual and wonderful group of poets of the day! O'Sensei also wrote many poems regarding his feelings about Aikido.

Here, in this thread, we are just having a little fun. I do think that martial arts requires a great deal of reality and practical effectiveness but the genius of Aikido techniques also requires a broad mind with a great deal of imagination and creativity which we can further cultivate through the fine arts. There is a strong precedence here and a long tradition in Japanese martial arts that its practical nature always be refined through the finer arts. Deguchi Onisaburo of the Omoto Kyo also taught that "life is art," and was quite skilled in many media - calligraphy, ceramics, poetry, etc. - I think this idea filtered down through O'Sensei into Aikido who entertained, taught and had conversations with many great artists, poets, thinkers and philosophers of the day.

I am enjoying this thread because it appears that people can more freely express their inner feelings thru poetry than thru normal writing. Sometimes, in our training, it is important to get into touch with some of these inner feelings and express them in some way. I would love to discuss Aikido techniques seriously in finer detail in other threads but I do this everyday on the mats teaching class. It is refreshing for me to just be "silly" and light-hearted here with other Aikidoists and enjoy a few moments of sharing. I don't think we always have to be discussing "which is better or best," "what other organizations are up to," and the latest gossip and political issue. After so many years, it no longer holds my interest, perhaps, I have lost my ambition for this in my older years. I have over twenty dojos all over the world and we never have to fight or quarrel and I rather like to keep it this way. . . . . Finally, I don't think anyone in this thread means to offend or contradict or put down anyone, I think most people here just want to express and share their feelings with others in word and verse. . . . . . many thanks for your understanding. . . . . . . We will try to do a little more here until others find this really too "frightening!"

11-13-2003, 07:15 AM
When first we stumble upon the unkown

Is fright how we first react

Do we disbelieve everything strange

Until we know it is fact

When first we stumble upon the unknown

Should we run and hide our face

Do we turn quickly away

And disappear without a trace

When first we stumble upon the unknown

Greet it and open your mind

The veil of fear and mystery

Soon will turn aside

Kensho Furuya
11-13-2003, 07:37 AM
I like this poem very much, I hope you don't mind if I share this with my students.

We are so obsessed with what we know. Yet, isn't it with the unknown where all of our challenges in life and practice begin and where our great quest starts?

Dogen Zenji, 1200ad, wrote: "The greater desperation and aspiration, the greater the enlightenment."

11-13-2003, 09:11 AM
Thank you for sharing this

Sharon Seymour
11-13-2003, 10:16 AM
throw it away and keep it

cling and be burdened forever

fill your cup

buy another

or water the garden and wait

Kensho Furuya
11-13-2003, 10:21 AM
We think the cup half empty,

We think the cup half full,

We never think about the cup

Who never gives a d*** at all!

Sharon Seymour
11-13-2003, 10:39 AM
who never gives a d*** at all

is headed straight to h***

who cares and hurts then lets it go

is living life quite well

take off your suit of armor

and feel the autumn breeze

keep calamine for bee stings

and live your life with ease

Kensho Furuya
11-13-2003, 10:43 AM
Hahaha! That's so great!

I will keep the calamine. . .

As you as you're a pal o' mine!

Pretty corny but what can I say? Many thanks for everything!

11-13-2003, 11:11 AM
The rustle of the falling leaves

Floating gentlely on the Autumn breeze

Are a sign of Winter snow

To sleep the trees now go

Short days, long cold nights

Stars above twinkling silver lights

Soon the first bird will sing

Followed by the warming Spring

The trees again are alive

Bees in and out of hives

Summer warms mountain side

Deer no longer hide

Life renewed fruit on the vine

Leaves turning is another sign

A year passed the fall again

Circle of life...Kaiten

Kensho Furuya
11-13-2003, 11:34 AM
This is a quote from a 18th century poem:

When it comes to poets,

The clumsier the better!

What a mess!

If heaven and earth

Could really move!

This is an allusion to the Preface in the Kokinshu (9th century) which says that "great poetry can move heaven and earth. . . "

Please forgive us if we are all not great poets here, but perhaps it is better afterall! Haha!

11-13-2003, 11:51 AM
my glass is half full

did i get enough to drink?

may i have some more?

my glass is half empty

it tasted so good i think

i'll save some for later

11-13-2003, 12:05 PM
my glass is half full

did i get enough to drink?

may i have some more?

my glass is half empty

it tasted so good i think

i'll save some for later

11-13-2003, 12:27 PM
The great significance

of silly poems:

Dongshan said,

"Speak what cannot be practiced.

Practice what cannot be spoken."

Practice clarifies the way to speech

and there is a way that speech approaches practice.

This being so,

you practice all day while speaking all day.

You practice what cannot be practiced

and you speak what cannot be spoken.

You should not waste the time of speaking

or the time of practicing.

-Dogen, ca. 1242

Remembering a poem on the mat

I realize that I'm not where I'm at!

Turn around!

Later, do not strike the keys,


Kensho Furuya
11-13-2003, 12:34 PM
Although I am enjoying myself tremendously here and making new friends everyday, I fear that our little enjoyment here in this thread might bother some people. Perhaps our efforts do not please them or do not qualify as "good" poetry in their eyes, for this, I apologize. This is why I offer the "moving heaven and earth" poem for you. This is a well known poem and alludes to the Kokinshu, a famous poetry collection in Japanese literature of which most all samurai warriors were familiar with in ancient times.

I feel like our efforts here follow the tradition of many great warriors in the past who wrote poems about their feelings and their art. I think, perhaps, we have forgotten the strong, close link between poetry, the fine arts and our own martial arts training today. Indeed the relationship between martial arts and poetry is very strong.

I offer another obscure, lesser known story as an example of this link. Yagyu Jubei, one of the great swordsmen of the mid-Edo Period was considered to be wild and incorrigible according to legend but we believe that he was, in reality, quite refined and well educated, by the level of his poetry of which he left many fine examples.

It was said that Yagyu Tajima no Kami Munenori was so frustrated at the behavior of his son, Jubei, that he called in his friend, the Zen priest, Takuan, to instruct and tame Jubei.

Takuan boldly met Jubei and an exchange began - much in poetic verse - but (to make a long story short) Jubei became so angered at the wise Takuan that he was about to draw his sword and kill him.

At that moment, Takuan calmly offered this poem:

"Tatazuna, yukuna, modoruna, isuwaruna, neruna, okiruna, shiru mo, shiranu mo."

"It neither stands, nor goes, it doesn't sit or sleep, or even wake up. It is known and not-known!"

Jubei was dumbfounded and confided himself in his room for many days without sleeping or eating. When he finally emerged from his room, he was calm and totally changed. . . . .

I heard this story many years ago but, even today, still love to tell it to my students. Hope you like it too! Many thanks,

11-13-2003, 12:41 PM
Thank you Sensei!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Kensho Furuya
11-13-2003, 01:33 PM
Thank you all!!

A corrupted tree cannot bear good fruit,

Nor can a good tree bear corrupted fruit.

(Holy Bible)

I am glad we are all very fine here. . . . . .

11-13-2003, 06:34 PM
Spirit of aiki,

Blending what we think and do,

Bearing such good fruit.

Kensho Furuya
11-13-2003, 10:24 PM
We cultivate the root,

And the flower blossoms,

Just as a single flower

May have five petals,

So can one truth give birth

To many truths.

But what is cut from the root,

Dies first.

So it is that we nourish

What is unseen,

As well as what we know.

Kensho Furuya
11-13-2003, 11:42 PM
The Way of the Sword

So hard to teach,

Please catch it soon!

Before it flies away,

Like a tiny bird. . . . . .

11-14-2003, 02:25 AM
Don't worry folks, despite the protests of a few critics, William Topaz McGonagall has nothing to fear from this thread; his title is still safe. ;) Keep having fun.

11-14-2003, 02:54 AM
Wow, people, no offense,

But your poetry writings make no sense,


How about you put down the crackpipe,

And think - why you are writing this flowery tripe ?


Sorry - this plus "humility" thread,
are really getting into my head.

The state of Aikido forums is sad,
but I think that reality may not be as bad.

Kensho Furuya
11-14-2003, 06:58 AM
In reality, you can make sense?

Take on a task which is so immense!

A cry for help is a cry for help,

Though it sounds like a bitter yelp.

Find your true demons in your head,

Fight him correctly in true stead.

Lashing out here and there,

Attacking everything without a care,

Is not a true grasp of what is real,

Please feel the harmony which we feel.

It is real, if you make it real,

It is gone if you make it gone,

It is good if you make it good,

It is bad if you make it bad,

The choice itself is not the real problem!

What is "real" is only in your head.

Kensho Furuya
11-14-2003, 07:50 AM
My Zen teacher used to tell this story once in a while. It comes from an old Chinese story and called the Parable of the Peach.

In ancient times, there was a loyal minister who was very much favored by the emperor. It is said that one day in the imperial garden, the minister took one of the emperor's peaches and took a bite and then offered it to the emperor saying, "this is so good." The emperor commented to the others, "this minister is so generous to offer me a delicious peach." One day, the minister's mother became very ill, and the minister rushed home in the imperial carriage. The emperor commented to the other ministers, "this minister is so filial to even use the forbidden imperial carriage to rush to see his mother!"

The other ministers became very jealous and envious of this minister and began to spread vicious rumours about him which reached the emperor's ear and made him very angry. The emperor decreed, "How can this minister steal an imperial pech reserved only for me! How dare this minister use the imperial carriage!" The emperor arrested the minister for treason and had his legs cut off for using the carriage and finally executed him.

It is natural for human beings to favor one thing over another. In one's favor, a person can do no wrong. In disfavor, everything appears to be a crime.

Although my teacher told this story many years ago, human beings have not changed much and I find this story valid and relevant even today. . . . .

Kensho Furuya
11-14-2003, 10:22 AM
Dear Jun Akiyama and others: How do we generally handle such rude people here in this website? It seems that if one has no interest in a particular topic or thread, one simply does not bother to visit or read it. One person suggested that we just politely ignore them. My students have warned me that such offensive people frequent this type of website very often. Is this the best policy? I am new at this so I would like to know. I feel like just leaving this altogether but I am enjoying this very much. It seems a shame that one person can so easily spoil it for everyone else. Usually in Aikido, there is a considerable degree of respect and consideration even if we do not agree with each other. I am really rather surprised and disappointed. Is this just a sign of the times for Aikido? Finally, if one has to take a topic like "silly poems" so vehemently, it is rather disturbing but I also find it rather funny and feel like laughing out loud - but that would be rude, wouldn't it? Please advise. Many thanks!

Sharon Seymour
11-14-2003, 11:23 AM
our poems make no sense

as there is no sense to be made

we cannot take offense

or our purpose will be betrayed

obstacles sharpen our wits

and help us determine the Way

so lets us give thanks to our guest

who brings us a great gift today.

11-14-2003, 11:26 AM
Jun, you may feel free to delete my trolling from this thread.

Kensho Furuya
11-14-2003, 11:32 AM

You are absolutely right in your thinking, many thanks! In Gassho,


Sharon Seymour
11-14-2003, 11:37 AM
let's get to the guts of the matter

considering flowery tripe

if its hard to consider our chatter

another thread might be ripe

for taking your point of view

and giving you some relief

from a kind of discussion that's new

and gives you a lot of grief

Sharon Seymour
11-14-2003, 11:51 AM
Aleksey - don't go! Places of discomfort are one of the best places to learn.

Kensho Furuya
11-14-2003, 12:01 PM
Sharon, you are enlightened! You remind me of a very well known Japanese Zen priest named Ryokan. He was a very humble priest and is not well-known in other sects of Buddhism or in Asia, I believe, but Japanese people love him because of his earthy understanding of Zen.

He once had some guests who visited his tiny hut in the mountains. When they arrived, he humbly washed their feet in a wooden tub as was the custom then. After they used the bathroom, he offered water to them to wash their hands. He later cooked rice for them and fed them as he was answering all of their questions about Zen all the while. As he was washing the dirty dishes, one of the guests happened to notice something very strange: "Ryokan Sensei, the wooden tub you washed our feet with - isn't it the same tub you used to cook the rice and wash the dishes? Ugh! That is so disgusting!"

Ryokan replied with a smile: "The tub does not seem to mind whether it holds clean or dirty water and does not discriminate between the two, why should you?"

Sharon, you are so right! This is how we should approach our guests to this little thread here.

In the tea ceremony, there is a similar saying: "The hishaku (bamboo water ladle) passes through cold and boiling water in serving tea but never complains. We should not complain or discriminate whether we are in heaven or hell."

My own mind is limited because it is too much focused on teaching students each day as an Aikido teacher. With this, there are always unconscious assumptions and expectations of politeness and awareness of others as if on the mat. Perhaps, I spend too much time in the Dojo, this is why it is so nice to be here with all of you as a nice enjoyment from my duties. . . . My own Zen master was very fond of Ryokan, as I reflect. He also was very critical of everyone and had a bad mouth whenever anyone was rude. I remember there was a group of ladies from the temple women's association in his office for an important meeting. I was there very busy serving tea. Suddenly, he said, "All of you talk too much and are too noisey, get out of my office and go home!" I was so surprised and all of these ladies were so angry at the time. Now when I think of it, I feel like laughing out loud because my Zen master never cared what people thought of him. Now that I think of it, I miss him and love every time he got so mad and lost his temper - later, it was always so funny, I thought.

11-14-2003, 12:15 PM
The troll, a creature of this world

of bits and bytes and wires swirled

with sly delight his words will fling

and start a fight o'er anything.

With trolls you cannot make appeal

to decency or try to deal

with them as creatures of our world

for all your help--more insult hurled!

The old "Zen" story may apply

which through the 'net still daily flies

of insult gifts which we refuse--

a right response with trolls to use.


From the beginning of the Dhammapada--

1. All that we are is the result of our thoughts; it is founded on our thoughts and made up of our thoughts. With our thoughts we make the world. If a man speaks or acts with a harmful thought, trouble follows him as the wheel follows the ox that draws the cart.

2. All that we are is the result of our thoughts; it is founded on our thoughts and made up of our thoughts. With our thoughts we make the world. If a man speaks or acts with a harmonious thought happiness follows him as his own shadow, never leaving him.

3. "He beat me, he robbed me. Look at how he insulted and injured me!" Live with those thoughts and you will never stop hating.

4. "He beat me, he robbed me. Look at how he insulted and injured me!" Abandon such thoughts and your hatred and suffereing will cease.

5. Hating can never overcome hatred. Only love can bring the end of hating. this is the eternal law.

6. You too will die one day, as everyone must. When you know this, your hatred is stilled.


From Peter the Apostle (New Testament)--

Not returning evil for evil

or insult for insult,

but giving a blessing instead.

Peace to all,


Sharon Seymour
11-14-2003, 12:22 PM
Thank you Sensei and Mr. Hale -

We are all enlightened

it's remembering that's the key

we travel under a cloud

heavy-footed & troubled, not free

Then a sudden shaft of sun

turns the world to a glittering gem

and we smile, and lighten our view

'til the clouds roll in again

Kensho Furuya
11-14-2003, 12:26 PM
Yes, Indeed! I think the unnecessary and false remark about the "crackpipe" really shocked me. Not for myself but because I teach so many students all over the world and there are so many children in my dojo. I have never taken such drugs in my life so I found it very hurtful for the sake of my students. As a teacher, my life is not my own, it belongs to many people I care for very much. . . . . .

To be a bird and fly away free,

Is not the teacher I aim to be.

Filled with duty and responsibility.

I am an open book for all to see.

I see that bird so far away,

And dream my dream another day. . . . . .

Kensho Furuya
11-14-2003, 05:58 PM
Making cuts, big and small,

Standing straight, strong and tall,

I cut you or you cut me,

The bigger question is who is free.

Do not fear the sword in front,

Do not fear the sword in back,

Just enter the mind of no-attack.

One against a thousand or

A thousand against one,

Become Katsu Hayabi,

The one, bright Sun.

Kensho Furuya
11-15-2003, 07:24 AM
In one cut,

Decide right and wrong,

Entering or turning. . . . . . .

Kensho Furuya
11-15-2003, 08:06 AM
Early Saturday morning,

Students arriving,

Before the morning sun!

Kensho Furuya
11-15-2003, 02:31 PM
The quiet of the mountain forest at night,

The quiet of the open fields in the morning,

Is not the same quiet as an empty dojo after

students have gone home. . . . .

The sounds of the feet and ukemi on the mats,

Is like reading sutras to my ears,

No words can describe this Path,

Alone, yet not alone, even the singing birds

can be your friends and tell a story.

The world of man so difficult and complex,

The morning mist easily covers the the tall mountain,

A tiny spring can run a thousand miles,

Yet one word cannot reach the closest ear. . . . .

Kensho Furuya
11-16-2003, 08:35 AM
Morning suburi!

Cutting thru the cold air,

Old cracking bones. . . . .

11-16-2003, 05:57 PM
"Sitting in a bunker

Here behind my wall..la la.."

Oooops.....got to run to class.

Kensho Furuya
11-16-2003, 06:12 PM
This keyboard is so quick,

Just like swinging a big stick!

Calling everyone one bad names,

Diminishing their hard-earned fame.

Is this truly Aikido?

No one really does not know?

Far or near, the True Path truly cares,

To demean yourself by actng so unfair!

Say everything with your inner heart,

Care take in practicing this art.

One kind word goes one thousand miles,

And can grow one million smiles!

Kensho Furuya
11-17-2003, 07:34 AM
Fallen leaves,

Swept away so quickly this morning,

Eager students!

11-17-2003, 08:16 AM
I chased her into a room full of people

She promised to protect me from them

She was no longer there

Five of them looked at me

No one else see them

A soldier

A dying old man

A priest

A quiet worker

A stranger

Appears to nobody but me

They are all my ghosts

They are all my fears

I confide in one

And fear the five

When I realize who they are

I woke up

11-17-2003, 08:57 AM
once again the

sword that is my


has struck

and when i try to make

amends it seems

the sword continues

cutting when my

heart wants only

to make peace


is it kinder then

death by the


than to be beaten to


by the wooden stick

which also is my



i sit in

judgement on


that when i am seeking

to connect

all i can do is


i am small and


hidden here

behind the demon

that the


thats is my


would have you see


stay away!

or i will harm someone

stay away

or you will hurt me


Kensho Furuya
11-17-2003, 09:18 AM
The swaying grasses in the fields,

The moon on a cold evening night,

The warm breeze of the afternoon sun,

Are not as fortunate as you,

To feel both happiness and sadness,

Each moment of the day. . . . .

11-17-2003, 09:23 AM
Monday morning commute

Beautiful day starts so well, / prayers and Peet's coffee, / happy birdies and sweet wife / who got me to the train on time / and will iron gi's today (thanks!)

Reading Dogen on train / unexpected lurch / "Train ahead going out of service." / Prepare to be sardine. / Pack Dogen away, blend into wall / as folks who lost their train stream in. / Car now full of frustrated commuters; all who had seats now must stand.

Next stop, commotion in mid-car. / Young woman gets up; middle-aged man in black leather rebukes: / "You should have gotten up sooner to get ready to exit." / "You should be careful how you talk to people," she replies, "that can get you killed." / "So shoot me!" he says. / I make fast prayer, "Please, God, no shooting on packed commuter train." / Car like tree full of sparrows who just heard cry of hawk. / Man seems annoyed. Woman seems calm.

Next stop woman exits, looking very friendly. / She has transit logo on back pack; perhaps employee giving good advice. / Politeness is essential self-defense technique. / Politeness. Etiquette. Kindness. Compassion.

My stop comes, now three floors below street. / On escalator middle-aged business man in front of me / passes gas; "ki-men-tsuki." / Very long escalator ride up to fresh air. / I hope he feels better; perhaps the train ride upset his stomach. / Insult? No. Anger? No. Words? No. Compassion. Silence. Aiki.

Beautiful days starts so well. / A heart of compassion for me fellow men. / Please don't shoot on crowded trains. / Compassion. Respect. Politeness. / Keys to peace. Aiki.

Kensho Furuya
11-17-2003, 09:51 AM
Natsume Soseki is one of the great authors of modern Japanese literature. He was the first Japanese student of literature to attend Oxford. While there, he suffered some kind of depression and locked himself away in his dark room for weeks. He eventually returned to Japan to write many novels, many of which reflect his life experiences. In one of his novels, "The Three Cornered World," the protagonist, an artist, is walking through a beautiful field, filled with flowers and grasses and tall trees. He is in awe at Nature's beauty and what a wonderful feeling he is experiencing at the moment. Suddenly, it begins to rain, trying to make his way back to his hostel before he is drenched, he loses his way, slips in the mud, falls down a slope and wrenches his ankle - so much for the momentary beauty of Nature and the adventure begins. . . . . .

Once a wealthy, old man came to the priest Ryokan and said, "I am old and have done many bad things in my life, now I am sick, in pain, and am going to die. I feel so bad and there is nothing I can do!"

Ryokan replied: "When you are feeling bad, it is OK to feel bad. When you are sick, it is OK to be sick. When you are going to die, it is OK to die."

The sick old man was greatly relieved and was at peace. . . . .

As I see from my own experiences, we always want things to be the way we want it to be and are not happy when things go the "wrong" way. One aesthetic of traditional martial arts which is absent in our discussions is that the warrior often must accept his circumstances, however dim, very quietly and with courage - quiet courage. Sometimes, we must appreciate things just the way they are, as they are.

My Zen teacher often said, "Things never seem to go the way we want them, but everything in the end always turns out for the better!"

I have enjoyed another section here in this web about Haiku. There is a well-known haiku which expresses this feeling nicely by Chiyo, a female poet of note.

"The morning glory on the well,

I must venture to my neighbor for this morning's water."

Chiyo went to the well in the early morning to get a bucket of water. When she arrived at the well, the bucket was entangled with beautiful morning glories in full blossom. Not wanting to disturb such a beautiful scene, she left the well alone and went further on to borrow some water from a neighbor. . . . . This idea of "things as they are," ("sono mama" in Japanese) is also applied to us who often must deal with situation far beyond our control . . . . but see the beauty in everything as it is, whether the bus is too crowded or whether someone is shouting too much or angry or a tiny flower stops us from drawing water in the morning. . . . .

11-17-2003, 09:54 AM
Slowly drifting away into madness

I sit here contemplating

To unite what was broken

Keeping my center

Regaining my sanity as I fall asleep

Kensho Furuya
11-17-2003, 10:02 AM
Open your mind, and let out your anger, please.

We decide it is wrong and so it is wrong,

We decide it is broken and so it is broken.

From the very beginning of original time, nothing wrong - nothing broken!

11-17-2003, 10:08 AM
I have yet to learn to let out anger

I have yet to learn to express emotions

I know it is not wrong

To whom could I direct this

For the only conflict I have is with myself

The constant battle I have yet to learn

Kensho Furuya
11-17-2003, 10:15 AM
Here I am, here I am! I am quite accustomed to it over all these years, give me all the anger and frustration you can here. . . . Please be my guest!

11-17-2003, 10:41 AM
The people I have met

The things I have learned

I no longer see them as coincidences

Nor circumstances

Why does this knowledge left me so empty?

Kensho Furuya
11-17-2003, 10:55 AM
Many things in life come and go as they please.

Many things in life have no answer.

Sometimes it is hard to live in a world which we cannot explain or reason to our own satisfaction. . . .

This is what they mean in martial arts when they say, "no form."

To follow our own Nature perfectly, does not necesssarily mean you understand your own Nature.

Water perfectly follows the nature of water, yet has no consciousness of being water. . . .

11-17-2003, 11:11 AM
My anger, a spark;

I will bring it to Sensei.

Open hand, empty.

(echoes of Bankei!)

Kensho Furuya
11-17-2003, 11:16 AM
This angry spark!

Look, it is already gone,

Like a flashing light!

John Boswell
11-17-2003, 12:59 PM
Children in a candy store

Children outside at play

Children laughing all around

Children seen everyday

These are the children of Aiki

They live around the world

They gather together, near and far

Their love they let unfurl.

We rise and fall, twist and turn

And many fly through the air

With smiles about and a light in their eyes

Harmony is learned as we share.

Happy Holidays everyone on :ai: :ki: Web! :)

Kensho Furuya
11-17-2003, 05:37 PM
Christmas lights!

Happiness born,

2,000 years ago. . . .

Kensho Furuya
11-18-2003, 12:06 AM
My study desk,

Growing bigger each day,

That pile of work!

11-18-2003, 03:09 AM
Up above his head

Whistling bright Katana

yet, victory is mine

Attacked by foes

No-mindedly deflect their fists

Irimi into the flame

A peaceful mind

Sees no inherent horror

In deaths grim face

Downwards flows

The descent into pain

Come up pure

Make light and heat

from the wisdom dwelling within

true compassion

Grasped from behind

Yet the air cannot be held

Ushiro waza!

Kensho Furuya
11-18-2003, 08:18 AM
The Aiki Path,

Covered by so many autumn leaves,

Our cluttered minds!

11-18-2003, 08:34 AM
Falling leaves, cool nights,

Summer's fights are now over,

Still our roots entwine.

Kensho Furuya
11-18-2003, 08:41 AM
How can I return?

Bright red, autumn leaves,

Distracting me from the Path?

11-18-2003, 08:47 AM
Path not seen? Just sit.

Bright red leaves vanish in rain.

Attachments will fade.

Kensho Furuya
11-18-2003, 08:53 AM
My teacher's broom,

Sweeps the Path so clear,

So long ago!

11-18-2003, 08:58 AM
The cranes migrate now,

Same path since I was a boy.

Not same bird in front.

Kensho Furuya
11-18-2003, 09:07 AM
In one million, even two,

I see my mother's smile,

My teacher's voice!

11-18-2003, 10:53 AM
With monks in China I broke my fast

with hot soy milk and pastry (you tiao).

With monks in Italy I broke my fast

with espresso and pastry (croissant).

Now back home I break my fast

with Starbucks soy latte.

What a beautiful cup of memories,

drinking in East and West together!

(I skip the pastry---most days.)

Kensho Furuya
11-18-2003, 11:21 AM
Mmmmm, you have been all over the world - so nice! Did you ever have hot peanut soup with your yu tiao in the morning in China? It is also very tasty. There is a branch restaurant here, Yung He, which still serves it. Yes, yes, I usually skip the pastries these days - but in your Honor, I will have one for lunch! hahaha!

Wonderful flavors from afar,

Warming my innards in early morn,

Tasty memories!

Kensho Furuya
11-18-2003, 11:41 AM
I should tell you a funny story about breakfast in China. Donnie Yen is now one of the top kung-fu actors in Hong Kong. He is one of the stars of Iron Monkey choreographed by Yuan He Ping of Crouching Tiger. . . . fame. His mother is Bow Sim Mark, one of the top, veteran Taiji masters in this country and an old friend of mine. When Donnie was 14 years old and returning from China, his mother asked me to take care of him for a few days in Los Angeles before his return to his home in Boston. Everyday after Aikido practice, he would practce his kung-fu jumping and leaping everywhere! I was so surprised how much such a skinny, little boy could eat! Always three breakfasts in the morning. I asked him one day - what did you eat when you were training in China? He said that they took a bus from the dorms to the gymnasium where they practiced from morning to late at night, seven days a week. On the way, they stopped at a little stand and had "bao" but these buns were hard and the meat was black and had no taste.

i said, "Well, if they didn't taste very good, why didn't you order something else?"

"That's all they served!" he replied to me with a disappointed expression. I was so embarrassed and let him continue to eat the three breakfasts he ordered in the restaurant. His tough, hard training in China really did him well and I am so happy for him.

Kensho Furuya
11-18-2003, 04:45 PM

All shout its name but,

Who answers?

11-18-2003, 05:21 PM
Who answers but me?

"To fulfill what is lacking"

quietly practice.