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Martin Ruedas
03-10-2005, 09:45 PM
Hello People!:)

I got a copy of John Steven's Secrets of Aikido, and I'm interested in the Kototama. My question is, how is Kototama chanted? for example, is the kototama A-O-U-E-I chanted in one breath or one vowel, one breath? Thanks!:)

Don_Modesto
03-11-2005, 12:43 AM
Don't have a clue, myself, but Stevens also sells a set of tapes with him doing kotodama. You can sing along!

Ron Tisdale
03-11-2005, 08:19 AM
One breath for the whole series of vowels. Personally, I'd seek personal instruction for anything of that nature...I don't think its suited to learning to practice from books (kind of like aikido). Stevens Sensei's books are very good for learning something about kototama, but I'm not sure they are intended as a how to manual.

Best,
Ron

gregstec
03-11-2005, 09:32 AM
Like you, I have recently developed an interest in Kototama since it appears to be the foundation of O Sensei's road map to the development of Aikido - it is always good to place yourself in the mind of those you are trying to understand.

Anyway, one good source for more information is William Gleason's book, Spiritual Foundations of Aikido, which can be found on Amazon.com. This book delves very deep into the Kototama and is very esoteric in its explanation, but it is very interesting nonetheless. However, the best source I have found for detail information on Kototama is in the book 'Inochi' that was written by Masahilo Nakazono. This is an extremely fascinating book and goes into more detail than Gleason's book and it does include guidance for the actual practice of Kototama, it also includes sound charts. The book can be found at:

http://search.ebay.com/kototama_W0QQfkrZ1QQfnuZ1QQxpufuZx


Greg Steckel

tedehara
03-11-2005, 03:43 PM
...However, the best source I have found for detail information on Kototama is in the book 'Inochi' that was written by Masahilo Nakazono. This is an extremely fascinating book and goes into more detail than Gleason's book and it does include guidance for the actual practice of Kototama, it also includes sound charts...Greg SteckelThe book is produced by the folks at www.kototamabooks.com

They sell other works by Nakazono Sensei, an aikido teacher and student of the founder.

gregstec
03-11-2005, 04:00 PM
The book is produced by the folks at www.kototamabooks.com

They sell other works by Nakazono Sensei, an aikido teacher and student of the founder.

The folks from Kototama Books are the ones that have them listed on the Ebay link I provided previously. They are new books shipped direct from Kototama Books and the minimum bids are less than if you went direct to Kototama Books to buy them.

Greg Steckel

Fred Little
03-11-2005, 04:56 PM
The book is produced by the folks at www.kototamabooks.com

They sell other works by Nakazono Sensei, an aikido teacher and student of the founder.

While I have found Nakazono Sensei's works interesting objects of study, close reading makes it clear that some of the views he presents in his books depart significantly from the Founder's take on kototama.

When one looks closely at the underlying analysis presented by Nakazono Sensei, for the most part it seems to owe a heavy structural debt to a line of Sanskrit study that is primarily found in Shingon and Tendai Buddhism, with a heavy veneer of Japanese exceptionalism.

Nakazono Sensei is not alone in this characteristics, since kototama practice is working with the Japanese written syllabary, whose mythological creator was Kobo Daishi, and the syllabary is patterned after Sanskrit.

It is difficult to find someone qualified to teach this material either in or out of Japan, and finding quality instruction in Sanskrit, or Shingon & Tendai is more likely (though not necessarily easy), and more likely to be sound in and of itself.

At least, that's my story and I'm sticking to it.

Hope this helps,

Fred Little

tedehara
03-11-2005, 05:13 PM
While I have found Nakazono Sensei's works interesting objects of study, close reading makes it clear that some of the views he presents in his books depart significantly from the Founder's take on kototama...Fred LittleWhat was your source for the founder's take on kototama? Curious like a cat and all that.
;)

Fred Little
03-11-2005, 11:13 PM
Ted --

What struck me when I read Nakazono's text was a number of points at which he strongly emphasized interpretations of various aspects of practice that were diametrically opposed to major tenets of Oomoto-kyo, which he doesn't name as such, but simply describes and labels as wrong views. So I'm starting from the likelihood that the Founder accepted the Oomoto cosmology while Nakazono took a signicantly different view, which he details in INOCHI.

Whether there was any difference in practice (as opposed to interpretation), or whether any difference in interpretation might actually matter is a whole other can of worms that someone opened thousands of years ago which continues to squiggle to this day.....

Best,

Fred Little

Misogi-no-Gyo
03-12-2005, 02:39 AM
Whether there was any difference in practice (as opposed to interpretation), or whether any difference in interpretation might actually matter is a whole other can of worms that someone opened thousands of years ago which continues to squiggle to this day.....

Best,

Fred Little

Fred-San,

Please look for my private message. Thanks.

Don_Modesto
03-12-2005, 02:48 PM
Fred-San,

Please look for my private message. Thanks.

Aw, man!

Two people I like hearing from gone into the corner to whisper.

Dang!

Misogi-no-Gyo
03-15-2005, 11:07 AM
Aw, man!

Two people I like hearing from gone into the corner to whisper.

Dang!

Don,

Sorry, but I was simply addressing some things that Fred mentioned in a manner that I thought best appropriate. Should you post something that I felt would best be serverd by a private message, you know that I would not hesitate to send you one.

What I will say is that I will be sending some private messages out to a select group (of which you are one) regarding a possible opportunity that you may be very interested in.

Until then...

Ron Tisdale
03-15-2005, 12:07 PM
{Ron raising his hand}...

:)

gregstec
03-15-2005, 03:39 PM
It is difficult to find someone qualified to teach this material either in or out of Japan, and finding quality instruction in Sanskrit, or Shingon & Tendai is more likely (though not necessarily easy), and more likely to be sound in and of itself.

At least, that's my story and I'm sticking to it.

Hope this helps,

Fred Little


I have just finished reading Inochi and found it extremely interesting and thought provoking. As you mentioned, additional resources for the study of this material is extremely difficult to find, but I keep searching.

Greg Steckel

Don_Modesto
03-15-2005, 04:20 PM
...additional resources for the study of this material is extremely difficult to find, but I keep searching.

http://www.aikidofaq.com/philosophy/a_section12.html

Fred's piece; excellent and most to the point of our/your interest.

http://www.kototamabooks.com/

You have this.

http://www.aikiweb.com/forums/showthread.php?t=2329&page=2


http://www.aikiweb.com/forums/showthread.php?t=6915


http://angelreiki.nu/reiki-do/kotodama.htm

The Spiritual Foundations of Aikido by William
Gleason

$13.97 at Amazon. The author is a 6 DAN under
Saotome and teaches in Massachusetts. I’ve been to
one of his seminars and it was excellent.

The Philosophy of Aikido by John Stevens $17.00,

The Essence of Aikido: Spiritual Teachings of
Morihei Ueshiba by Morihei Ueshiba, John Stevens,
$14.00

Secrets of Aikido by John Stevens, $16.97 (All
Amazon prices)—

The Myth of Japanese Uniqueness by Peter Dale

Antidote to Stevens. No misty eyes here. Probably have to ge it through interlibrary loan.

Allegories of Desire: Esoteric Literary
Commenatries of Medieval Japan (Harvard-Yenching
Institute Monograph Series) by Susan Blakeley
Klein

Original Enlightenment and the Tranformation of
Medieval Japanese Buddhism (Studies in East Asian
Buddhism, 12) by Jacqueline I Stone

These last two discuss esoteric hermenuetics; my tentative
hypothesis is that KOTODAMA partook of this.

Also, search this lady's pages, she's written scholarly articles on the topic. I got mine through ILL.

http://www.clas.ufl.edu/users/wehmeyer/

Good luck.

Misogi-no-Gyo
03-16-2005, 01:03 AM
{Ron raising his hand}...

:)

*nods in acknowledgment to someone already on the list*

Martin Ruedas
03-16-2005, 02:20 AM
Hi! thanks for all your advices! I really appreciate it.

gregstec
03-16-2005, 01:00 PM
http://www.aikidofaq.com/philosophy/a_section12.html

Fred's piece; excellent and most to the point of our/your interest.

http://www.kototamabooks.com/

You have this.

http://www.aikiweb.com/forums/showthread.php?t=2329&page=2


http://www.aikiweb.com/forums/showthread.php?t=6915


http://angelreiki.nu/reiki-do/kotodama.htm

The Spiritual Foundations of Aikido by William
Gleason

$13.97 at Amazon. The author is a 6 DAN under
Saotome and teaches in Massachusetts. I've been to
one of his seminars and it was excellent.

The Philosophy of Aikido by John Stevens $17.00,

The Essence of Aikido: Spiritual Teachings of
Morihei Ueshiba by Morihei Ueshiba, John Stevens,
$14.00

Secrets of Aikido by John Stevens, $16.97 (All
Amazon prices)—

The Myth of Japanese Uniqueness by Peter Dale

Antidote to Stevens. No misty eyes here. Probably have to ge it through interlibrary loan.

Allegories of Desire: Esoteric Literary
Commenatries of Medieval Japan (Harvard-Yenching
Institute Monograph Series) by Susan Blakeley
Klein

Original Enlightenment and the Tranformation of
Medieval Japanese Buddhism (Studies in East Asian
Buddhism, 12) by Jacqueline I Stone

These last two discuss esoteric hermenuetics; my tentative
hypothesis is that KOTODAMA partook of this.

Also, search this lady's pages, she's written scholarly articles on the topic. I got mine through ILL.

http://www.clas.ufl.edu/users/wehmeyer/

Good luck.


Thanks Don - I have Gleason's book and a couple of Steven's books - the other sources sound interesting and will keep me busy for a while - thanks again!

Greg Steckel

rob_liberti
03-17-2005, 01:16 PM
I would caution you about Steven's book. The sources he used were not consistently using same symbology systems, which it seems he did not realise. I've been toying around with trying to correct it as a project for when I retire. It would take a LONG time and a lot of research. Maybe...

Rob

Charles Hill
03-17-2005, 07:51 PM
I would caution you about Steven's book. The sources he used were not consistently using same symbology systems, which it seems he did not realise.

Hi Rob,

Could you clarify this?

Charles

rob_liberti
03-18-2005, 10:44 AM
Hi Charles,

To get into the details, I'd need quite some time (which I don't have) and a lot more research. I can quickly offer a *slightly* less surface level explanation and I hope it helps clairfy my point: I would say that what one source considered fire, water, and earth might be treated by another source as water, fire, and earth. It gets very complicated because based on that those mistakes, you'll draw false conclusions based on half-truths (or 3/5 thruths, etc.).

I'd consider that book to be analogous to a rubix cube which hasn't been solved, in that it's a bit mixed up and it might be interesting to straighten out.

Rob

Ron Tisdale
03-18-2005, 10:59 AM
Hi Rob,

From my admitedly limited understanding of this, Stevens Sensei is using Ueshiba's assignments of fire, water, and earth as opposed to the generic ones. I believe that Ueshiba actually looked at this a little differently from the common viewpoint, and that is why they are reversed. I may try to get some clarification from Stevens Sensei on this if I have time...Charles...I believe you are more knowledgable in this area...can you confirm?

Ron (entering with water here :) )

gregstec
03-18-2005, 11:13 AM
Hi Charles,

I'd consider that book to be analogous to a rubix cube which hasn't been solved, in that it's a bit mixed up and it might be interesting to straighten out.

Rob

I read Gleason's book, Steven's book, and Nakazono's book in that order. I found Steven's book to be the most unclear in its explanation and Nakazono's the most easily followed and understood detail on the subject; albeit, it is still esoteric in many ways as well.

Greg Steckel

Misogi-no-Gyo
03-18-2005, 12:53 PM
I read Gleason's book, Steven's book, and Nakazono's book in that order. I found Steven's book to be the most unclear in its explanation and Nakazono's the most easily followed and understood detail on the subject; albeit, it is still esoteric in many ways as well.

Greg Steckel


...and having read all of these, how has it improved your aikido? To be clear, how has it enabled your aikido to move beyond the realm of what most everyone else was/is doing out there? Anyone?

gregstec
03-18-2005, 01:42 PM
...and having read all of these, how has it improved your aikido? To be clear, how has it enabled your aikido to move beyond the realm of what most everyone else was/is doing out there? Anyone?

Well, it has not hurt it any :)

Actually, reading or obtaining any knowledge will not improve anything - what makes a difference is what action is done with that knowledge. The information contained in those books are individual perceptions and believes of the authors and can only serve as insights into what Kototama meant to them. I believe each individual needs to establish their own beliefs on what it is that motivates their life. If we can share some of the beliefs of others who have gone before us, fine - but the true motivators can only be found deep within oneself. :triangle: :circle: :square:

Greg Steckel

Don_Modesto
03-18-2005, 03:23 PM
...and having read all of these, how has it improved your aikido? To be clear, how has it enabled your aikido to move beyond the realm of what most everyone else was/is doing out there? Anyone?

My take on this has been touched upon by bloggers and pag: much of the spirituality of Osensei's aikido has been discarded. KOTODAMA was a part of this and is thus today, lacking that context, relegated to the status of an irrelevant curio. It's not unsimilar to Louis Farakhan's much abused numerology.

rob_liberti
03-18-2005, 03:31 PM
Shaun,

Most of that is difficult to describe because they end up being feelings, but I can give one example. When I consider the kotodama sound of "AHH" while practicing technique, I found it really helped in a tangeable way with respect to the direction of my study. Keeping both myself and the uke endlessly expanding throughout the technique has been quite helpful to me personally. Especially in ikkyo (as opposed to shoving the person's hand down).

What are your thoughts Shaun? Everyone else?

Rob

Misogi-no-Gyo
03-19-2005, 04:43 PM
Well, it has not hurt it any :)

Actually, reading or obtaining any knowledge will not improve anything - what makes a difference is what action is done with that knowledge.

Um... Well, while I believe the first part of your answer to be a bit glib, the second part has me want to know what you have done with that knowledge. Of course, my original point in asking was to point out that if your aikido hasn't moved off the scale, perhaps you may want to consider that the knowledge you believe you have gained may not be much of anything at all.

The information contained in those books are individual perceptions and believes of the authors and can only serve as insights into what Kototama meant to them.

Great, but what does this have to do with what kotodama might really be, and what it was for O-Sensei and his aikido?

I believe each individual needs to establish their own beliefs on what it is that motivates their life. If we can share some of the beliefs of others who have gone before us, fine - but the true motivators can only be found deep within oneself.

Agreed, of course, it seems that the original poster was asking a question about Steven's version of Kotodama, which is markedly different from what O-Sensei was doing. Unfortunately, there isn't anyone readily available whose thoughts on kotodama have enabled them, or anyone else for that matter, to gain any real-world enhancements beyond what was predictable for them to achieve having not spent countless hours chanting at the universal indifference to their efforts. If you ask me, perhaps this would signify that they may have missed the mark completely, basically espousing a mere empty ritual with the appearance of something otherworldly. At least they sold some books though, poor trees.

Misogi-no-Gyo
03-19-2005, 05:30 PM
Hi Don,

My comments follow yours...

My take on this has been touched upon by bloggers and pag: much of the spirituality of O-Sensei's aikido has been discarded.

Yes, and the republicans want to turn back the clock to when women couldn't vote. However, in the former case is that really an improvement? I believe it is simply a depletion of the center or removing the heart of the art. I read time and time again how O-Sensei didn't make any sense, or how he didn't leave a specific method of study for others to achieve similar goals. However, I am sure you would agree, just because 99.99% of the people don't seem to know where to look, are too lazy to look and wouldn't know what to do should they happen to actually find what they keep insisting doesn't exist, doesn't mean that .01% of those might actually can get passed the commercial misinformation propagated by the numerous books and tiresome lectures found online. Interestingly these are postulated by individuals whom if were correct in their assumptions would actually rule out O-Sensei's development of the art, itself. Yet, he did, in fact develop something that had not come into existence before. Was it kotodama and Misogi? I don't know. But what I do know is that O-Sensei said that it was.

From where I am standing O-Sensei made quite a bit of sense, and I didn't read any of those confounding books. I haven't been standing in waterfalls shouting ha! eee-aaaaay! Nor have I been spinning a jo in the air screaming Suuuuuuuu-uuuuu, or what have you. There is no need. Should one actually follow the process of Masagatsu-Agatsu-Katsuhayahi, the one laid out by O-Sensei and transmitted to several individuals from what I have been told, at least one individual that little ole me has even been able to uncover, and get to know, one would have a clear path, albeit a long one, upon which to train themselves.

KOTODAMA was a part of this and is thus today, lacking that context, relegated to the status of an irrelevant curio. It's not unsimilar to Louis Farakhan's much abused numerology.

Um, perhaps you may be revealing a bit too much here, but.... I am not familiar with any power that Mr. Farrakhan actually developed using his system, regardless of the nature or ultimate truth upon which said system my be based. O-Sensei stands way above scores of other individuals, and this is due to something. You may call it irrelevant curio, but I would ask you if you might choose to reconsider. Perhaps its relevance is as illusive as ones ability to decipher the simple truth of what kotodama really is. I mean could you imagine searching a haystack for "something" not knowing even what the something actually was? I wouldn't expect that anyone would actually find much of anything, or conversely, they might find a whole slew of irrelevant things, to use your term. However that needle that lay buried and hidden is still as important today as it was when O-Sensei was alive. We are going to find that we each need that needle to stitch together the fabric of the art we say we are studying. Without it, we will merely be left with the current world-wide parade of Aikidoka all clad in the Aikidoka's new clothes. Oops!


.

Misogi-no-Gyo
03-19-2005, 05:39 PM
Shaun,

Most of that is difficult to describe because they end up being feelings, but I can give one example. When I consider the kotodama sound of "AHH" while practicing technique, I found it really helped in a tangible way with respect to the direction of my study. Keeping both myself and the uke endlessly expanding throughout the technique has been quite helpful to me personally. Especially in ikkyo (as opposed to shoving the person's hand down).

What are your thoughts Shaun? Everyone else?

Rob

Mr. Liberti,

Thank you for your clear description. I have several questions:

1. Do you understand why the sound does that?

2. If yes, then are you able to apply that principle to all of your techniques?

3. If yes, then are you able to extrapolate the meaning and relevance of the additional sound currents and also apply these in a dynamic manner.

4. If yes, have these principles exponentially elevated your techniques such that if you did not use said principles your technique would appear empty or even depleted by comparison?


.

gregstec
03-20-2005, 09:43 AM
Um... Well, while I believe the first part of your answer to be a bit glib, the second part has me want to know what you have done with that knowledge. Of course, my original point in asking was to point out that if your aikido hasn't moved off the scale, perhaps you may want to consider that the knowledge you believe you have gained may not be much of anything at all.



Great, but what does this have to do with what kotodama might really be, and what it was for O-Sensei and his aikido?.

I want to thank you for taking an interest in my comments. I am sorry to have appeared glib, it was not my intention. As far my Aikido moving off the scale, that all depends on where it was initially in reference to a scale. There are many things that can affect one's Aikido at any given moment. Having just recently read Inochi, I am still digesting what it appears to mean and I have not come up with any personal determinations at this point. Do I believe the 50 sounds of the Kototama are the lost secret to the meaning of the universe? No, not at this point. However, I do not disbelieve it either - I just do not have enough knowledge or personal experience to make that determination.

If O Sensei (or anyone else for that matter) believed that the utterance of a sound could help them stay relaxed and centered or improve their inner strength, then yes that belief is true to them. The belief could consist of the detailed 50 sounds in the Kototama, or it could be some rambling lyrics from some obscure rock and roll song. As long as the individual believes it will make a difference, it will make a difference for them. This I believe is the true secret to the Kototama - If one truly believes in it, like O Sensei did, then it will impact their Aikido, and everything else they do as well.

From your posts, it appears you are very knowledgeable in this area. Therefore, could you please share what your beliefs are and how they have impacted your Aikido.

Thanks

Greg Steckel

Don_Modesto
03-20-2005, 02:35 PM
Hi, Shaun,

Thanks for your detailed reply. Comments follow.
I believe it is simply a depletion of the center or removing the heart of the art.
Yes. Something was lost with Osensei, but I'm not sure that all was worth keeping. We remember Newton as a titan for just 10% of what he did. The magical/alchemical stuff has been jettisoned. I suspect some or much of Osensei is of the same nature, better jettisoned. He seemed marvelously egalitarian about his religious beliefs, pushing them on no-one (although lecturing from that point of view incessantly). He probably expected fold to insert their own beliefs and interpretations.

Kotodama probably has some value as spiritual discipline, as inspiration. I think it has no place as explanation, however. Stevens pointing out that the KATAKANA EIGO rendering of Christ as KIRI SU TO, "one who has cut off all ties" [to the profane world(presumably)] is a gimcrack non sequitur: Capital "B".
I read time and time again how O-Sensei didn't make any sense, or how he didn't leave a specific method of study for others to achieve similar goals. However, I am sure you would agree, just because 99.99% of the people don't seem to know where to look, are too lazy to look and wouldn't know what to do should they happen to actually find what they keep insisting doesn't exist, doesn't mean that .01% of those might actually can get passed the commercial misinformation propagated by the numerous books and tiresome lectures found online.
Maybe. But maybe if it quacks like a duck...it actually is a duck. In his virulent attack on the postmodern excesses of the Modern Language Association--which being not unsimilar to the strategies of KOTODAMA--physicist Alan Sokal relates the story of a highly educated mathematician thinking he didn't understand when literary theorists started throwing around mathematical concepts. He couldn't understand them because the math didn't match the math he'd done. In fact, the writers were faking it but the mathmetician lacked the "closed mindedness" to blame them.

I don't mean that Osensei was deliberately faking anything, but geez, look at the company he kept, the enterprises he supported, and the ludicrous expeditions he went off on during his life. Perhaps for all his wonderful enlightenment, he wasn't the most sophisticated individual to be patterning your life after.
Interestingly these are postulated by individuals whom if were correct in their assumptions would actually rule out O-Sensei's development of the art, itself.
Nineteenth century scientist Ernst Haeckel believed that embryology was a map of a species' evolution. He found a stage in human embryos which led him to predict the existence of a species theretofore unknown to us and, indeed, one was found. But that we found one doesn't mean that Haeckel's explanation was right. As it turns out, the ontogeny recapitulating phylogeny thing can't work because evolution occurs at the beginning of the life cycle, at the end, AND in the middle. The "new form" was irrelevant as it could have been an adaptation to the womb and not the external environment. Haeckel was successful in predicting a species but for the wrong reasons his brilliant explanation is completely wrong. Osensei was successful in creating something wonderful, but he might not be the best person to explain it.
I am not familiar with any power that Mr. Farrakhan actually developed using his system, regardless of the nature or ultimate truth upon which said system my be based.
He sure had the power to inspire ridicule. But he has typically been judged by outsiders, a situation not suffered to the same degree with this small pond of aikido. When outsiders do take a look, they can be pretty scornful, and that may be healthy. See Harry Cook's comments (A Precise History of Shotokan Karate) on Inoue's rendering of circle, triangle, square in Stanley's interview.
We are going to find that we each need that needle to stitch together the fabric of the art we say we are studying. Without it, we will merely be left with the current world-wide parade of Aikidoka all clad in the Aikidoka's new clothes. Oops!
Or, as Heraclitus had it, you can't step twice into the same river. Osensei's aikido is long gone. Long live aikido.

I take your point, Shaun, but there have been remarkable people who became that way sans Kotodama. If there's something there to be mined, I'll be interested to hear about it. But moving forward has integrity, too. Keep me posted.

Charles Hill
03-20-2005, 08:12 PM
Hi,
A couple comments,

Carlos bought one of John Stevens` books and has an interest in Kototama. Rob cautions him (us?) about the book saying that there are mistakes in it. Yet Rob doesn`t give any explanation. So that leaves us with the question of who is Rob Liberti and does he know more about the subject than J. Stevens. I think the post was a bit irresponsible of Rob and not in line with the usual high quality of his posts. J. Stevens, for some reason, comes under heavy fire on the internet. If it prompts debate and the exchange of info, I think it is a good thing. Don Modesto, for example, has been critical of Prof. Stevens, but Don always writes why. We can take what Don writes and look at the books and see if it jibes. If there is just the comment that J. Stevens is wrong, there is nothing to do with that comment.

As for the Kototama and Prof. Stevens, his main two resources seem to be the books and tapes of the Founder`s talks plus what J.S. learned personally from Rinjiro Shirata. As far as I can tell, what is written in "Secrets.." is what Ueshiba believed explained through the filter of John Stevens. In contrast, "The Essence of Aikido" is what O`Sensei taught. "Essence" is a difficult book, and this seems to be one reason JS wrote "Secrets", to explain it in somewhat clearer terms. Of course, this means the ideas are going to be watered down.

But is this a problem? My third point is that it isn`t due to what I personally learned from Stevens Sensei. I once asked some detailed questions about the meaning of the kototama, and Sensei told me that the meaning of the kototama that he could explain to me would not be the true meaning. He said that by studying, practicing, and reflecting on the kototama, the meaning would come to me. So my advice to Carlos (or anyone else) is to go somewhere where you would feel comfortable making strange sounds and try vocalizing the sounds. See how they affect you. Keep reading all the books you can find on the subject. Try to meet John Stevens and ask him questions. Try to avail yourself of Shaun`s "opportunity." Take singing lessons, maybe. And go back to vocalizing the sounds on your own again seeing how they affect you.

Sorry about the length.:)

Charles

Don_Modesto
03-21-2005, 02:38 PM
So my advice to Carlos (or anyone else) is to go somewhere where you would feel comfortable making strange sounds and try vocalizing the sounds. See how they affect you. Keep reading all the books you can find on the subject. Try to meet John Stevens and ask him questions. Try to avail yourself of Shaun`s "opportunity." Take singing lessons, maybe. And go back to vocalizing the sounds on your own again seeing how they affect you.

Thoughtful post. Nice.

I'd just add that you might take in a seminar with Gleason, too. He brings it across more accesibly in person than I got it through his book.

rob_liberti
03-21-2005, 04:21 PM
Charles, I have no nefarious scheme here. Feel free to disregard my caution. I do have every intenion of supporting my claim fully when I time permits; I simply cannot help it that the subject is incredibly merky. I appreciate that you feel I usually write high quality posts.

Shaun, I'm not ignoring your post, I am simply out of time at the moment.

Rob

rob_liberti
03-22-2005, 08:11 AM
Mr. Liberti,

Thank you for your clear description. I have several questions:


You may certainly call me Rob if you like. Also, if you would like to be called Mr. Ravens, that is perfectly fine with me.


1. Do you understand why the sound does that?


My working theory when you apply kotodama to aikido is that physical movements of the body have certain vibrations. If you scale that vibration to the audible range, you might hear with your ears what your body already feels. For instance, I've never heard anyone yawn and say "EAUUU" or anything other than "AHH" - even monkeys...


2. If yes, then are you able to apply that principle to all of your techniques?


To my way of thinking, certain feelings don't have good names. In that particular example, if something doesn't feel quite right, I might start thinking about that sound which will act as a mental pointer to help me bring the feeling associated with that sound into focus which will tend to help me stay on track of attempting to manifest principle by means of doing technique. Am I able to apply this to all of my technique? - Well I'm not perfect so probably not - and there are many other feelings besides that one to any technique.


3. If yes, then are you able to extrapolate the meaning and relevance of the additional sound currents and also apply these in a dynamic manner.


Certainly not all of them. Not to as obvious of a tangible result as "AHH". SU, KA, RA, and MU have been helpful to me in terms of connecting to some of the primitive feelings associated with ikkyo. I'd say I can apply some of these in a dynamic manner. I still have a long way to go and while I remain passionate, I'm not in any particular rush.


4. If yes, have these principles exponentially elevated your techniques such that if you did not use said principles your technique would appear empty or even depleted by comparison?


In a sense I'd say so, personally. I'd say that it has helped me the most in that it gives me pointers that allow me easier access to feelings that otherwise wouldn't have names (and therefore wouldn't have pointers easily available to them). I prefer to learn on all of the modalities. I think I could learn just as well devoid of a lot of the different things which are part of my training - probably just not as efficiently.

It is possible that O-sensei taught some students wrong as a joke.

Rob

Ron Tisdale
03-23-2005, 11:06 AM
Nor have I been spinning a jo in the air screaming Suuuuuuuu-uuuuu, or what have you.

Interesting...I just saw a video clip of Hikitsuchi Sensei doing much the same...would your statement apply to him as well? Just currious...

Best,
Ron

Misogi-no-Gyo
03-23-2005, 04:57 PM
Interesting...I just saw a video clip of Hikitsuchi Sensei doing much the same...would your statement apply to him as well? Just currious...

Hi Ron,

Well, like I said, it doesn't really matter. Had I been doing said jo-waza it wouldn't mean I knew anything, had extracted the significance of the "su" kotodama, nor would it be indicative that I had not. With regards to Hikitsuchi Sensei, I have no doubts whatsoever. Did you think I did? Do you? In any case, what was it that you were implying with your question? Just curious...



.

Mike Sigman
03-23-2005, 07:16 PM
Thank you for your clear description. I have several questions:

1. Do you understand why the sound does that?

2. If yes, then are you able to apply that principle to all of your techniques?

3. If yes, then are you able to extrapolate the meaning and relevance of the additional sound currents and also apply these in a dynamic manner.

4. If yes, have these principles exponentially elevated your techniques such that if you did not use said principles your technique would appear empty or even depleted by comparison?. Shaun... we've all been waiting for days. Could you answer your own questions, please? :)

Regards,

Mike Sigman

Misogi-no-Gyo
03-23-2005, 07:46 PM
Shaun... we've all been waiting for days. Could you answer your own questions, please? :)


Mr. Sigman,

I thought it clear that these were my questions and were therefore not posed to me. I asked it of Mr. Liberty with regards to something he was experiencing to initiate a line of thinking for him, not because I really wanted, or even needed to know his responses, although having shared them, we are all the wiser as to where he finds himself at the moment. I think it also clear that since I initiated the line of thinking here what my own answers would be. But of course, you already knew that, right?



.

Mike Sigman
03-23-2005, 08:13 PM
I thought it clear that these were my questions and were therefore not posed to me. I asked it of Mr. Liberty I admit this tickles me... "Mr. Liberty". ;) with regards to something he was experiencing to initiate a line of thinking for him, not because I really wanted, or even needed to know his responses, although having shared them, we are all the wiser as to where he finds himself at the moment. I think it also clear that since I initiated the line of thinking here what my own answers would be. But of course, you already knew that, right? Actually, no... I don't really know if it's clear what your answers would be. I just re-looked and it's certainly not clear, so I'm asking as politely as possible if you would answer the same questions you asked.

Many thanks.

Mike Sigman

Misogi-no-Gyo
03-23-2005, 08:47 PM
I admit this tickles me... "Mr. Liberty". ;)

Um, why does a careless spelling mistake need re-mentioning?


Actually, no... I don't really know if it's clear what your answers would be. I just re-looked and it's certainly not clear, so I'm asking as politely as possible if you would answer the same questions you asked.

...Well, politely or not makes no difference to me. I tend to reply to people regardless of there level of politeness.

If I ask you if you find that one and one are two, there is a good chance that I may already be thinking along those lines. Besides, what would you get out of knowing what my answers are. If your stand is that a man should answer all of the questions he asks of another, then please feel right at home and answer away... I can only say that should one take that to an extreme, one would find themselves quite unnecessarily busy.

In any case, should you post a compelling enough reason, or share with us how the knowing of any of this would improve upon your own training, I might be more motivate, or even be interested enough to restate the obvious, as apparent as it seems not to be... or is it? Huh?



.

Mike Sigman
03-23-2005, 09:06 PM
If I ask you if you find that one and one are two, there is a good chance that I may already be thinking along those lines. Actually, from the way you asked Rob the question, I felt it was pretty obvious that you were thinking along those lines, so after Rob politely answered your questions, I simply asked in order to see your answers. In any case, should you post a compelling enough reason, or share with us how the knowing of any of this would improve upon your own training, I might be more motivate, or even be interested enough to restate the obvious, as apparent as it seems not to be... or is it? Huh? Hmmmmmm. I'm not sure how all those questions about my motives and an affirmation of what the anwers would do for me are pertinent. You asked the questions, Rob answered, and I thought it might be polite to express an interest in your views. Not to mention that I'm genuinely curious to hear your answers.

Regards,

Mike Sigman

Misogi-no-Gyo
03-23-2005, 09:29 PM
Not to mention that I'm genuinely curious to hear your answers.


Mr. Sigman,

I thank you for your genuine curiosity. I guess at this point, for the sake of clarity mind you, I will say that I choose to pass on your invitation. However, should you decide to politely post your own answers, I am sure it would be a positive for the thread on the whole.



.

Mike Sigman
03-23-2005, 09:38 PM
I thank you for your genuine curiosity. I guess at this point, for the sake of clarity mind you, I will say that I choose to pass on your invitation. However, should you decide to politely post your own answers, I am sure it would be a positive for the thread on the whole. Well, I'm a little uncertain why you won't "restate the obvious". I don't personally think the reasons are obvious, but then I might be missing the obvious. :)

I think the answers for what these things are is fairly obscure, Shaun, and that they go back to antiquity... before the Chinese learned from travelling Indian Buddhist monks..., but at the same time there is an honest function to these things and I was surprised when you indicated that you knew. It would give me renewed respect for your knowledge if you were to even post a hint. :cool:

Kind Regards,

Mike Sigman

Misogi-no-Gyo
03-23-2005, 10:48 PM
Well, I'm a little uncertain why you won't "restate the obvious". I don't personally think the reasons are obvious, but then I might be missing the obvious. :)

sometimes this can happen.


I think the answers for what these things are is fairly obscure, Shaun, and that they go back to antiquity...

Obscure? Depends on where you hang out. As far as how it may be, I don't see how that applies.

before the Chinese learned from travelling Indian Buddhist monks..., but at the same time there is an honest function to these things and I was surprised when you indicated that you knew.

Well, when you take into account the principle of synchronicity, it becomes clear that the knowledge of which you speak did not travel in the linear path to which you so often ascribe. As for your surprise, you may also be surprised to know how much else there is to know, and even more surprised who knows it and is sharing it somewhat openly... and who does not and therefore can not.

It would give me renewed respect for your knowledge if you were to even post a hint. :cool:

Well, thank you for the opportunity, but alas, once again, I am not out to gain anyone's respect, be it misplaced or otherwise. In the end though, since you seem to be saying that you already know all about the thing you keep asking me to talk about, I just don't get the point of any of it.

I guess it might be helpful if you would choose to share what, exactly it is you study, and with whom and for how long... What I personally wouldn't mind knowing is if you already know all of this material, then why come to these boards in the first place? Not that we don't welcome you and all that, but it is a bit curious and all.



.

Ron Tisdale
03-24-2005, 07:39 AM
Hi Ron,

Well, like I said, it doesn't really matter. Had I been doing said jo-waza it wouldn't mean I knew anything, had extracted the significance of the "su" kotodama, nor would it be indicative that I had not. With regards to Hikitsuchi Sensei, I have no doubts whatsoever. Did you think I did? Do you? In any case, what was it that you were implying with your question? Just curious...

No, I had few doubts, but thought I would check. I think your words speak pretty much for themselves...as does your willingness to share what you've trained so hard to achieve...so I was a bit thrown off by some of the gratuitous .... comments. :)

No, I have no doubts about Hikitsuchi Sensei...not that I am in any position to truly say one way or the other...

I wasn't implying anything...but I do, as always, appreciate the forth coming insights.

Thanks,
Ron

Misogi-no-Gyo
03-24-2005, 08:56 AM
No, I had few doubts, but thought I would check. I think your words speak pretty much for themselves...as does your willingness to share what you've trained so hard to achieve

Thank you for your comments. As I had earlier indicated, if you are interested in some of the things that I have mentioned in various threads, I would like to contact you privately with an opportunity in which you may be interested. Please send me a private message with you phone number and the best time to contact you so that we may discuss this directly.


...so I was a bit thrown off by some of the gratuitous .... comments. :)


gra•tu•i•tous - adj.
1. Given or granted without return or recompense; unearned.
2. Given or received without cost or obligation; free.
3. Unnecessary or unwarranted; unjustified: gratuitous criticism

Okay, presuming that you were referring to item number 3, above it may seem to be that I was, indeed, criticizing something, or someone. If that is the case, and that on first reading and you or anyone else did read it that way, let me step forward and say then that I truly apologize, as that is not how I meant to sound... in this case, anyway. However, if you would reread my statements, they are perhaps better understood as a method of inquiry, but not that of my own seemingly selfish curiosity, as in the case of Mr. Sigman. For me, I was simply asking Mr. Liberti to ask himself these questions, so that by doing so he might gain a better understanding of what, if anything he actually knows. This particular style of inquiry is designed to encourage the thinking man to encounter a leap forward by being introduced to a progression of thought that he may not before have encountered or considered. The non-thinking man will either dismiss it, question the motives, or miss it entirely. To be clear, since I have no idea what Mr. Liberti (in this case) knows, I am certainly in no place to judge it or him, or criticize it or him at any level. As for who really is in a place to judge, it is all relative. One's teacher is certainly charged with judging the student on many levels and then figuring out how to move the student forward in the face of the student's shortcomings, but more importantly to move the student forward in spite of the teacher's own prejudices, justified, or otherwise. Wouldn't you agree?



.

Mike Sigman
03-24-2005, 09:04 AM
....selfish curiosity, as in the case of Mr. Sigman. :)

Ron Tisdale
03-24-2005, 09:08 AM
One's teacher is certainly charged with judging the student on many levels and then figuring out how to move the student forward in the face of the student's shortcomings, but more importantly to move the student forward in spite of the teacher's own prejudices, justified, or otherwise. Wouldn't you agree?

Yep. :) No harm, no foul...or was that fowl...oh, never mind...

I would like to contact you privately with an opportunity in which you may be interested. Please send me a private message with you phone number and the best time to contact you so that we may discuss this directly.

Message underway...

However, if you would reread my statements, they are perhaps better understood as a method of inquiry, but not that of my own seemingly selfish curiosity, as in the case of Mr. Sigman.

Well, Mike does have his own unique style of interaction on these boards. Let's just say he and I do not always agree on the pre-requisites of fruitfull conversation...or that just because you've invested a lot of time in one method of training that doesn't include a focus on 'ki', that you aren't necessarily doing aikido. But I have found his perspectives and information to be usefull...and if you think about it, he usually gives a lot more info than he gets. I think being with the two of you in the same venue would be very usefull to someone like myself. But that's just my opinion...I guess I'm pretty easy going about that sort of thing.

Best,
Ron

Misogi-no-Gyo
03-24-2005, 09:49 AM
:)


Mr. Sigman,

You seem to have left out the key word, "seemingly" that prefaced my comments. My point being that it is up to you to show your intentions, or not before asking the same of someone else. I asked you several direct questions which you chose to ignore. This did not go unnoticed. However, skipping over these questions, you continue to ask, and ask, and ask away for information from the members of the message board who may actually have something to offer you. Asking for information, but not giving it in return could be seen as seemingly selfish, be that misconstrued, or otherwise.

Many apologies for my lack of political correctness, in which so many others here seem to be my senior, but I tend to be very straight forward, saying what there is to be said. In any case, I try to do it without highly charged words, or by being sourced by negative emotions, but I reserve the right to do so at any time in the future. With that in mind I would like to say that so far, I don't believe I have encountered a time where you have admitted that someone has posted any information that you might not already know. I am sure this has not gone unnoticed. What would be the chances that you just happen to know everything there is to know about Aikido, or at least everything that everyone here knows? I mean the truth is, you really have no in depth knowledge of the art, or the actual training methods of the many various groups and organizations that make up the art, let alone those of the Founder, himself. However, you seemingly come off as though you believe you do. While you may, indeed be interested in these things, it comes off more like you are only out to prove that you know more anyone else about how the Founder came about his art, or what methods he used to do so, or even how he accomplished his "tricks" as you so interestingly chose to put it. At times you remind me of a short-winded version of Bruce Baker. Albeit in your case you are someone who probably actually knows something to some depth, rather than completely nothing, as in his case. These are only my observations, for what it is worth. Perhaps it is as obvious to others as it is to me what you will choose to do with my comments.

On the other hand, to be fair, I would like to say that to your credit you have chosen not to remain anonymous and certainly do not seem to be a troll. Many people find your comments to be helpful. That is good and certainly a benefit to the board as a whole. I read all of your posts with interest, and will continue to do so in the hopes that things move forward towards you being able to see things from the perspective of those from whom you seek to learn something, or someday even choose to train with.

I, for one, would invite you to come out to California for the Aiki-Expo and meet with those with whom you have been conversing. Perhaps you are more open with people in person, and it would be a perfect opportunity given the somewhat vast cross-section of individuals with whom you would have the opportunity to meet, observe or choose to interact.

As I said, it is up to you how you choose to be seen. Regardless of what choice you make, you have been seen, nonetheless.


.

Mike Sigman
03-24-2005, 09:58 AM
Thanks for the rundown on me as you see me, Shaun. It's apt that you do so in the "Spiritual" section. :)

Regards,

Mike Sigman

rob_liberti
03-24-2005, 01:15 PM
Mr. Liberty is fine with me, as I'm always working on freedom of movement. (I think that's spiritual enough for this thread.)

Rob

Mike Sigman
03-24-2005, 01:21 PM
Mr. Liberty is fine with me, as I'm always working on freedom of movement. (I think that's spiritual enough for this thread.) As soon as I saw it (and yes, I took it as a simple typo, nothing more), I thought "Captain America & Mr. Liberty!". ;)

Misogi-no-Gyo
03-24-2005, 02:30 PM
These are only my observations, for what it is worth. Perhaps it is as obvious to others as it is to me what you will choose to do with my comments.



Thanks for the rundown on me as you see me, Shaun. It's apt that you do so in the "Spiritual" section. :)

Wow... No surprise there, but then again, duly noted.



.

Mike Galante
12-20-2006, 06:47 PM
HI Carlos,
When we practiced with Nakazono in 1971 in NY, we would practice A O U then a breath then E I. Or A E I, breath, O U.
The sound A is done with the teeth apart.
The other sounds are teeth closed.
Keep mind in one point and let the sounds emanate from there.
Hope this Helps,
Mike Galante
Of course don't forget the consonants. The vowels are not the only practice. Get the Kototama books.

Mike Galante
12-20-2006, 07:10 PM
Let me add a little solidity to this thread.
Nakazono said that the sounds (vowels) among other things represent different levels of being.
Briefly:

A ah= the level of expansion, the heart centered spiritual seeker, the artist, musician, creative person. A person who achieves a sense of oneness as long as they are playing their instrument, (obvioiusly not all) or creating their art, an innocent state etc.

O - oh = the intellectual level, looking back and remembering. Analysis (opposite of synthesis) knowlege (opposite of wisdom)

U- Uh = the level of survival, food, water, shelter, fear, survival instinct.

E eh = The level of perfect personal freedom and happiness, spiritual attainment, the level of A all the time, no need for the arts or anything else to maintain it. the level of saints.

I EEE = The level of the perfected being, who can also TEACH, a world spiritual teacher, messiah.

If you practice these sounds and the 50 others, you will be able to discern whether a person is mostly on one level or another.

This is MY take on some of it:

eg: A person on the U level is concerned about making a living, eating food, and making love. their gods are on the intellectual level.
A person on the O level, eg. a student, their gods are the artists, musicians.
A person on the A level will look to the saints.

From here it is more conjecture, the E (eh) level saints look to the I level messiahs?
I (EEE) who knows what these guys are? messiahs, etc.world spiritual teachers.


Just to add: What is the sound of a dog howling at the moon?
What is the sound of recognition of a fact?
What is the sound of satisfaction during creation?
(Answers in the next post ! )

So the highest level is I, lowest is U, and in between are E, A, O.
of course they all cannot exist without each other.

Nakazono said that the order of each civilization followed certain sound patterns. So when we practiced, we would practice the various civilizations order. such as aouei, aeiou, etc.
He said that the present civilization to which is entrusted the development of technology, for which mankind must suffer greatly, as spirit takes a back seat.

Next post Izanami and Izanagi

All the Best,
Mike Galante

Don_Modesto
12-21-2006, 10:18 AM
Next post Izanami and Izanagi
Looking forward to it. Thanks.

gregstec
12-21-2006, 11:48 AM
[QUOTE=Michele Galante]HI Carlos,
When we practiced with Nakazono in 1971 in NY.../QUOTE]

Hello, it is nice to hear from someone who has actually trained with Nakazono sensei - I have read his books; some more than once. I am curious if he ever commented on the subject of generating a physical vibration ( kind of like what happens when one hums) when practicing the Kototama sounds? I look forward to your response.

Thank you

Greg Steckel

Mike Galante
12-21-2006, 11:06 PM
Hi Greg,

Answers to the previous questions:
Sound of dog howling at the moon: WWUUUUUUUUUU survival level.
Sound of intellectual recognition: OOOOOHHHHH "Oh, Oh yes, I understand"
Sound of creative expression: opening, AAAHHHHH.

To answer your question, "I am curious if he ever commented on the subject of generating a physical vibration ( kind of like what happens when one hums) when practicing the Kototama sounds?"

I am not sure what you mean, practicing the sounds creates a physical vibration, a strong one. It is the transcendental nature of them that we are trying to tune into with the sound. The connection to the spiritual world. He emphasized keeping mind in Tanden.

As promised, the concept of Izanami and Izanagi is simply, the spiraling nature of life force itself. When one has practiced enough, there is an invisible connection between the "opponent" and the Nage. An arching bridge between the participants.
He used to occaisionally demonstrate by keeping one hand, "almost in simulation of a sword" in front of his one point, and pointing only his index finger, foward with the base of his wrist against his Tanden, the finger moving slowly in a small circular (clockwise from his perspective) direction as he moved around the mat, to remind us to keep mind there and try to feel the energy. He would come out with various kototama sounds as well,
The Izanami is the outward flow and the Izanagi is the return flow from Uke. (or is it the other way around) Anyway that is how i recall it.
You see why i firmly believe in strong stilling of the mind and meditation such as Zazen to open these energies which transcend time and space. How can one achieve O Senseis level with just mat practice? It just ain't going to happen. Oh yes, a talented few may achieve a high state. But, it doesn't surprise me that the most talented practitioners of Aikido ever were Ueshiba and Tohei, both
strong practitioners of meditation and prayer. There is a fluidity and deep relaxation in their movement that is too rare.
BTW i see you are a sailor, I have a motor sailor on the Hudson, made by Fales, 1975, 32' i am a member of the nyack boat club.

All the Best,
Maybe when you are in this area, we can practice together.
Mike

gregstec
12-22-2006, 10:51 AM
I am not sure what you mean, practicing the sounds creates a physical vibration, a strong one. It is the transcendental nature of them that we are trying to tune into with the sound. The connection to the spiritual world.

Hi Mike - thanks for the reply. When practicing the sounds you can generate physical vibrations within your throat by varying the pitch of your voice - lower pitch equates to a stronger and deeper vibration. I have found this to be beneficial in transmitting the sound through the body when practicing the mother and father rhythms. I know Nakazono wrote about the three orders of Kototama, but I mainly focus on the third order (Futonolito) of AIEOU.


He used to occasionally demonstrate by keeping one hand, "almost in simulation of a sword" in front of his one point, and pointing only his index finger, forward with the base of his wrist against his Tanden, the finger moving slowly in a small circular (clockwise from his perspective) direction as he moved around the mat, to remind us to keep mind there and try to feel the energy.

I first started my Aikido training back in the mid 70s with the Ki Society in Guam. During that time Koretoshi Maruyama (Ki Society chief instructor then) came the the island often and spent a few weeks teaching at a time. He also would demonstrate something similar to emphasize keeping ones mind in the hara so all energy came from (and through) the tanden; which certainly worked well when moving and performing techniques.


BTW i see you are a sailor, I have a motor sailor on the Hudson, made by Fales, 1975, 32' i am a member of the nyack boat club.

All the Best,
Maybe when you are in this area, we can practice together.
Mike

I am familiar with the Fales 32, there is one in our marina - nice seaworthy boat. We used to sail a 1985 S2 9.2A, but we sold it last year and moved over to the 'dark side' - we now have a President 35 Sundeck double cabin motor yacht that we keep on the Chesapeake bay around Baltimore. The wife got tired of messing with the sails and wanted all the creature comforts that come with a twin diesel boat with generator, refrigerator, air condition, ice maker, etc...

I do like to get around for seminars and maybe we will get a change to train sometime.

Greg Steckel

Erick Mead
12-22-2006, 12:18 PM
I am not sure what you mean, practicing the sounds creates a physical vibration, a strong one. It is the transcendental nature of them that we are trying to tune into with the sound. The connection to the spiritual world. He emphasized keeping mind in Tanden.When practicing the sounds you can generate physical vibrations within your throat by varying the pitch of your voice - lower pitch equates to a stronger and deeper vibration. I have found this to be beneficial in transmitting the sound through the body when practicing the mother and father rhythms. I know Nakazono wrote about the three orders of Kototama, but I mainly focus on the third order (Futonolito) of AIEOU. The nature of kotodama is part of something much broader connected with the fundamental human condition and not limited to Japanese culture or its specific language.

If there is any truth to the old saw about Kobo Daishi basing his Japanese syllabary in part on Sanskrit, then there is a common basis at the level of sounds and root meaning between the kotodama system and other Indo-European expressions of the same sensibilites (feelings) from sounded forms -- as in, say -- Gregorian chant in Latin and Orthodox chant in Greek and Russian. There are Hindu and Buddhist examples also. They all move me at a place below categorical language.

That's why opera doesn't need translation, and the quasi-vocal rock riffs of guitars on a Boston album, the moaning, sometimes unintelligible vocals of Audioslave or Live -- and almost any bagpipe piece you care to name -- are words beyond words.

We needn't necessarily be tied to the kotodama formulary to grasp the application of its principles to what is all around us even now.

Kris Delmhorst paraphrased an old Robert Browning poem in a wonderful song, " Galuppi Baldassare" ostensibly about Venice and the named Venetian operatic composer. It captures something of the play of fundamental but uncategorical meaning in sounds: And the minor third so bitter, the six chord like a sigh,
suspension, solution, asking must we die, must we die must we die?
And the seventh says well fellas, life might not last, but we can try… A cut:
http://www.krisdelmhorst.com/albums/music/galuppibaldassare.mp3

The whole lyric: http://www.krisdelmhorst.com/lyrics/galuppi.html

And the Browning original: http://www.victorianweb.org/authors/rb/toccata.htmlOh Galuppi, Baldassaro, this is very sad to find!
I can hardly misconceive you; it would prove me deaf and blind;
But although I take your meaning, 'tis with such a heavy mind!

gregstec
12-22-2006, 12:53 PM
The nature of kotodama is part of something much broader connected with the fundamental human condition and not limited to Japanese culture or its specific language.

If there is any truth to the old saw about Kobo Daishi basing his Japanese syllabary in part on Sanskrit, then there is a common basis at the level of sounds and root meaning between the kotodama system and other Indo-European expressions of the same sensibilites (feelings) from sounded forms -- as in, say -- Gregorian chant in Latin and Orthodox chant in Greek and Russian. There are Hindu and Buddhist examples also. They all move me at a place below categorical language.

That's why opera doesn't need translation, and the quasi-vocal rock riffs of guitars on a Boston album, the moaning, sometimes unintelligible vocals of Audioslave or Live -- and almost any bagpipe piece you care to name -- are words beyond words.

We needn't necessarily be tied to the kotodama formulary to grasp the application of its principles to what is all around us even now.

Sort of the point I was eluding to with the relationship between a sound and a physical vibration or harmonization within the body. Interpreting the meaning of sounds we hear is filtered by ones understanding of the language. However, when you 'feel' sound there is no misinterpretation since it is the basis of all energy; which is vibration/resonance/rhythm of sub-atomic particles. When someone says the 'music moves me' they really mean it - the music rhythms are synchronizing with their internal bodily rhythms. How does all this relate to Aikido? Well, it can lead to a better understanding that may help to recognize and use your internal energies.

Greg Steckel

Erick Mead
12-22-2006, 02:19 PM
Sort of the point I was eluding to ... Sort of a backhanded description of ura waza, eh? :D

gregstec
12-22-2006, 02:28 PM
Sort of a backhanded description of ura waza, eh? :D

Well, we have to keep up the esoteric tradition and not make things too clear :D

Greg

Mike Galante
12-23-2006, 06:42 PM
Greg,

Exactly, the assumption I often make is that most people here will be over analyzing all this Aikido stuff- coming from the head.
Although the analytical mind, is needed, the feeling nature is the link to this transcendence. So much more sensing and much less thinking. That is what the practice of the sounds does, opens up these different areas so we may become conscious of them and make it ours. O Sensei said practice as if you were in water.

Hard to talk about things we "might" be able to master sometime in the future. Sometimes I feel quite foolish speaking about these things but I feel that so few practitioners of the Art of Peace are achieving the ultimate goals, including myself.

BTW, I agree with your wife, the sails, and lines are all too much. My wife, too, we haven't put the sails up in year and a half. Hope to see you in New York.

All the Best,
Mike

gregstec
12-27-2006, 12:33 PM
Exactly, the assumption I often make is that most people here will be over analyzing all this Aikido stuff- coming from the head.
Although the analytical mind, is needed, the feeling nature is the link to this transcendence. So much more sensing and much less thinking. That is what the practice of the sounds does, opens up these different areas so we may become conscious of them and make it ours. O Sensei said practice as if you were in water.

Hi Mike,

I know what you mean - sometimes you can really think yourself into confusion. Although others may disagree with your analytic conclusions, you will always be right with any decision you come to by intuition or feeling - it may not be correct for everyone, but it is certainly correct for you and it is something you can live with, etc. Hope to see you on the mat sometime...


best regards

Greg Steckel

Mike Galante
01-01-2007, 01:18 AM
I agree, Greg,
Man, I wish I had a dime for every time I over analyzed.
It seems that we have been trained to think that if we are intelligent, and can demonstrate it, that that this is the cat's meow, the brass ring, holy grail, and mother lode! That this makes us superior to others. Ask Einstein how he came to the conclusions he did. He starts talking about God.
Then if you go to study Zen, you have to let go of all of it!

Mind is the slayer of the soul, so says the bible.

Happy New year,
Mike,
(looking forward to that meeting sometime)

Jorge Garcia
01-01-2007, 09:48 AM
Hello People!:)

I got a copy of John Steven's Secrets of Aikido, and I'm interested in the Kototama. My question is, how is Kototama chanted? for example, is the kototama A-O-U-E-I chanted in one breath or one vowel, one breath? Thanks!:)


To Carlos, who asked the question on 3-10-05, I think there is an example of the Kotodama being chanted at the end of the Shinto priest Koichi Barrish video at http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=-948814286351794180&q=aikido+ki

Best wishes,
Jorge

Mike Galante
01-01-2007, 10:49 PM
Jorge,
I checked out the video, but didn't hear any chant at the end.
Mike :cool:

Jorge Garcia
01-02-2007, 10:34 AM
Jorge,
I checked out the video, but didn't hear any chant at the end.
Mike :cool:

Some kind of chanting starts at the 25 minute place on the counter. Right about the 26:15 mark, I think he talks about the chant using the letters but it seems to me he was adding some other stuff as well.
Best wishes,
Jorge

Mike Galante
01-02-2007, 12:11 PM
Thanks Jorge,
Sensei Barrish said that they are practicing SU, O, A, E , I.
Su the sound of the physical, connecting all material, and people.
O-intellectual
A- level of spiritual seeker (artist, musician, etc.)
E (eh) perfect personal freedom and happiness (don't need the instrument, or paint brush to achieve this)
I (EEE) Level of the world teacher, who has achieved E but can now teach and impart it to others.

When we practiced with Nakazono, he would change the order of the sounds.

A O U E I symbolizing the present civilization

A E I O U the coming third civilization

They were done by one breath the first three (either aou or aei) then the second breath the other two.

This was done slowly, eg if your breath cycle was 30 seconds, then 10 seconds for each of the first three sounds and 15 seconds each for the second two sounds.

I would like to point out that these are vowels, not only in Japanese, but in English as well.

He emphasized the sound coming from the Tanden.

Thanks for the opportunity to share,
Mike

Mike Galante
01-02-2007, 12:13 PM
Thanks Jorge,
Sensei Barrish said that they are practicing SU, O, A, E , I.
Su the sound of the physical, connecting all material, and people.
O-intellectual
A- level of spiritual seeker (artist, musician, etc.)
E (eh) perfect personal freedom and happiness (don't need the instrument, or paint brush to achieve this)
I (EEE) Level of the world teacher, who has achieved E but can now teach and impart it to others.

When we practiced with Nakazono, he would change the order of the sounds.

A O U E I symbolizing the present civilization

A E I O U the coming third civilization

They were done by one breath the first three (either aou or aei) then the second breath the other two.

This was done slowly, eg if your breath cycle was 30 seconds, then 10 seconds for each of the first three sounds. On the second breath,15 seconds each for the second two sounds.

I would like to point out that these are vowels, not only in Japanese, but in English as well.

He emphasized the sound coming from the Tanden.

There are many other sounds we practiced, the gods of Kototama, we can talk about that sometime.

Thanks for the opportunity to share,

Mike

Michael Young
01-02-2007, 01:21 PM
Hi everyone,

Though this is somewhat of a "Seminar Plug", but I figured some of you may be interested since Gleason Sensei's book has been mentioned on this thread a few times:
Gleason Sensei will be conducting a seminar at our dojo, Alamo City Aikido, on February 23-25th, 2007. The details can be found here (http://www.alamocityaikido.com/id19.htm)
I'll have a flyer with all of the cost and schedule information up by the end of the day today hopefully. Gleason Sensei is very approachable and he often uses descriptions of Kototama principles during his teaching, relating his understanding directly to the physical practice shown.

Best Regards,

Mike

Mike Galante
01-06-2007, 10:54 PM
Shaun,

Most of that is difficult to describe because they end up being feelings, but I can give one example. When I consider the kotodama sound of "AHH" while practicing technique, I found it really helped in a tangeable way with respect to the direction of my study. Keeping both myself and the uke endlessly expanding throughout the technique has been quite helpful to me personally. Especially in ikkyo (as opposed to shoving the person's hand down).

What are your thoughts Shaun? Everyone else?

Rob

Try doing katate-tori tenkan with the initial sound uuu and as you turn and as you change to palms skyward, change the sound to aaa, as you mentioned. This will unite heaven with earth (U)
This helps to contract the ki (u) and absorb ukes energy as he comes as you breathe him in, then out again (a) giving him the now ascending, (transcending) transforming rising, compassionate energy.
Spiritual alchemy.

You do the hokey pokey and turn yourself about
That's what it's all about!

PS: Nakazono would, amongst many others, have us practice, the sound Ahhh, Uuuuu, then again Ahhh in one breath. The sound Ahh is practiced with teeth apart (whether combined with consonants or not) all other sounds are done with teeth together.
Hope this helps. Also see my other posts about this. :cool:

Jorge Garcia
01-24-2007, 01:05 PM
To Carlos, who asked the question on 3-10-05, I think there is an example of the Kotodama being chanted at the end of the Shinto priest Koichi Barrish video at http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=-948814286351794180&q=aikido+ki

Best wishes,
Jorge

Terry Ezra Shihan has produced a DVD of the kotodama chanting they do in their dojo. You might ask Marc McDermott at
secretary@aikido.co.uk if they have any available for sale.

best wishes,
Jorge