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John Boswell
10-18-2005, 09:08 AM
Doka of the Day - October 18, 2005

The honored techniques of ki
May manifest the spirit of the Great Snake
Or that of Bees.
To make such spirits (tama) appear
Is the Way of Takemusu.

- Morihei Ueshiba

I have read one or two other cases where a martial artist had become so involved in their art, that they felt they had opened up a "chakra" at the 'one point' location. Upon doing so, they can feel and actually see the energy from one point come up through their body and permiate throughout.

When I read today's "doka" of O'Sensei, I knew that was what he was refereing to. However, "to make such spirits appear is the Way of Takemusu" makes me wonder why more aikidoka don't experience this phenomenon.... or do they?

Has anyone on this forum ever experienced this? I'd be curious to hear what others have seen and felt. I realize this is also a rather personal subject, so if you don't want to elaborate, that's okay. But to know others out there HAVE felt this would be good information.

Thanks!

aikigirl10
10-18-2005, 09:12 AM
:confused:

John Boswell
10-18-2005, 09:35 AM
Sounds wierd, I know. But those who know what I'm talking about will definitly know what I'm talking about.

:p

po_courcelles
10-18-2005, 09:44 AM
Yeah Opium or LSD does that to some people.... :hypno:

SeiserL
10-18-2005, 09:47 AM
Know what you are talking about.

Nope, never personally experienced it.

O'Sensei also said that no one was following him. IMHO, he meant that few, if any, of us follow the mystic side of him. Those are the techniques and application that open, balance, and clear chakras as well as clear or eliminate the mind to allow kami (spirits) to spontaneously manifest.

James Davis
10-18-2005, 09:49 AM
When I was at a seminar with Mary Heiny Sensei at the University of Miami, she instructed us to visualize something similar to what you described. When uke took hold of my wrist, I moved toward him so that our hands were closer to my center. When I lifted my hand, keeping it close to my body until it was above my head, it seemed effortless. After I had brough uke's hand nice and high, I dropped it in an arc to the floor.

I had done all of this stuff before, but only thinking of body mechanics and how best to throw a person. When Sensei Heiny told me to visualize my ki as a fountain, it changed my technique a little. :) He wasn't being thrown, he was riding a wave! :)

I've also observed the changes that come over people when you think about how your mood is affecting them. When I'm angry, you see me coming a mile away, regardless of my facial expression. When I'm happy, it's generally infectious to those around me, and they end up being happy too. :)

So far, I haven't "seen" the flow of my ki, but I can visualize it. For those that don't believe in ki's existence, my visualizing it just makes me better able to effect body mechanics; to some it's just physics. Wierd how it works, either way. :confused:

Eric Webber
10-18-2005, 10:11 AM
Doka of the Day - October 18, 2005



I have read one or two other cases where a martial artist had become so involved in their art, that they felt they had opened up a "chakra" at the 'one point' location. Upon doing so, they can feel and actually see the energy from one point come up through their body and permiate throughout.



Reminds me of Carlos Castaneda's books, particularly "Tales of Power."

tedehara
10-18-2005, 10:21 AM
Although the founder had a deep interest in philosophy, he probably would not have known of the philosophies of ancient India.The Mysterious Power of Ki pg 143

One could say that opening up a chakra is an interpretation of what the founder's doka is about. However the doka does not mention one point or hara or tanden. There is no mention of the human body at all.

In any poetic interpretation there is a certain amount of latitude involved, but I try to interpret within the structure of the piece, rather than use it as a mirror of my own mind.

nekobaka
10-19-2005, 01:55 AM
I have not heard of fellow aikidoka being able to do it, but the "real" feng shui practitioners are supposed to be able to see the ki in order to do an accurate assessment. I do know someone who does chalkra meditation, and is working on seeing auras. This kind of spiritual awareness doesn't come from just doing aikido regularly, it requires a lot of time devoted to meditation as well. In fact this person started doing aikido in order to work towards such an ability. She's only been practicing a year now, and therefore just keeping up takes up most of her energy. I have thought about it myself, but most of the time I am too caught up in practice itself and forget to concentrate on anything that is beyond the physical . I think even if you concentrate on it, it would take a very long time. After 10 years I'm still not there, maybe after 20 or so I hope I will be. For most people in the secular world it's not going to happen.

ChrisHein
10-19-2005, 10:49 AM
We're all in our heads.

NagaBaba
10-19-2005, 11:34 AM
Chakra openings and spirit appearance are routine phenomenon not only during our every aikido classes, but in daily life. That’s how aikido influences daily life of many aikidoka.

nekobaka
10-19-2005, 07:05 PM
ChrisHein wrote:
We're all in our heads.
I completely agree. Anyone see "what the bleep do we know"?

NagaBaba wrote:
Chakra openings and spirit appearance are routine
phenomenon not only during our every aikido
classes, but in daily life.
That's how aikido influences daily life of
many aikidoka

I wonder if it's just that I live in Japan and very few people talk about spirituality. I think I would expect to hear about it more in boulder, colorado, than osaka.

PeterR
10-19-2005, 09:06 PM
I wonder if it's just that I live in Japan and very few people talk about spirituality. I think I would expect to hear about it more in boulder, colorado, than osaka.
Ani states what so many of us eventually discover.

Charles Hill
10-19-2005, 11:38 PM
I wonder if it's just that I live in Japan and very few people talk about spirituality. I think I would expect to hear about it more in boulder, colorado, than osaka.

But is this a good thing or a bad thing? To the Founder, the spiritual part was primary. This aspect seems to have largely disappeared in the general Japanese Aikido world, upon his death. I have heard and read many comments that Japan is spiritually bankrupt. There was a recent tv program on religious rituals in Japan and they quoted a poll that found that only about 30% of Japanese people believe in God (in whatever form.) This was far less than any other country listed in the poll.

When George Ledyard wrote about the difference between Aikido in Japan and out in his what is Aikido article, this kind of thing is what came to my mind. There seems to have been more of an effort to change the Founder`s Aikido into something that fits prevailing cultural norms inside of Japan than out.

Charles

PeterR
10-19-2005, 11:54 PM
There seems to have been more of an effort to change the Founder`s Aikido into something that fits prevailing cultural norms inside of Japan than out.
I wonder how true that is. I found a marked tendency to describe Aikido spirituality along Judeo-Christian lines outside of Japan or at least in the some of the forums. Sounds like a prevailing cultural norm to me.

Ueshiba M. was famous for his philosophical discourses (understood by students or not) but I don't see much discussion of this during and after practice today. Do you think that tendency (prevailing cultural norm) has changed over the years? I was under the impression that it was always so or at least the proportion of dojos that engaged one way or the other has not changed.

John Boswell
10-20-2005, 09:33 AM
See, we live in a world of political correctness these days. O'Sensei's philisophical teachings were greatly misunderstood at the time and think, therefore, were widely disregarded. This seems to have perpetuated a teaching of aikido that focuses on the "art" of aikido and the martial aspects of it, leaving a great deal of the spirituality completely out of the picture... and thus, Aikido today is missing something.

And it's a big something, imho.

Right now, aikido in the world we live in is very hit-and-miss when it comes to finding just what the founder was trying to teach. Kato Shihan, at age 72, says that he is only now starting to understand some of the things O'Sensei was trying to teach 40 and 50 years ago. I think, to focus solely on the techniques, the martial aspects, the form of aikido... leaves the art incomplete.

Terry Dobson was quoted once as saying,"The form of aikido is the enemy of aikido." He never went on to explain what he meant by that. But as I type, I think I'm getting an idea of what he was saying. We can get so wrapped up in the form: hand position, foot work, atemi, angles, ma ai, etc. that we forget about the philisophical ramifications of what Aikido is a manifestation OF! :confused:

I'm getting really deep. I'll stop right here and see who's keeping up. ;)

Please, chime in! This is becoming a better thread than I had hoped. :D

Camille Lore
10-20-2005, 10:03 AM
I found a little book over the weekend- it's a pocket book called The Way of Peace, which is some of O Sensei's thoughts and writings. I've been having a rough week and trying to focus on them and doing more ki excercises. Last night in class, we did the rowing exercise and with the first breth out, I experienced this mental image of my breath being gray with all of these black flecks and kind of asterisks in it coming out of my mouth. This is the first time I've ever experienced this. It's nothing I saw with my eyes, but I meantally saw it... if you know what I am saying. This brought to mind the manifestation of the bees.... I wonder if this is the type of thing he wasy talking about.
Can anyone define takemesu for me?
Thanks....

John Boswell
10-20-2005, 10:20 AM
TAKEMUSU AIKI
AIKI which gives birth to martial techniques. An expression coined by Morihei UESHIBA to refer to the highest level of aikido where one is capable of spontaneously executing perfect techniques. These characters appear frequently in Ueshiba's calligraphic pieces. It is also a popular choice for dojo names.

http://www.aikidojournal.com/encyclopedia.php?entryID=667

James Davis
10-20-2005, 10:46 AM
Aikido is about "letting go" for me. When I train with my classmate, I don't think about his eight years of training in the marines or how much larger he is than me. I don't think about his years of MA training since his return to civilian life. I don't think about how (grrr) serious he is about "getting" me, be it with a punch, a kick or a grab. I just relax, smile, and toss him on his duff. Then a person, who only moments ago was serious as a heart attack, is on the floor laughing like a little kid. :D

Don't try to stop the train; just hop on.

A "trick" that helps me sometimes is visualizing a sword in my hand. I send my ki through my fingers and extend it like the blade. If I've grabbed someone, then they get to be the sword. :)

Step 1: (In the words of my sempai) Move your body and get the hell up out of the way! :D
Step 2: Let the uke be the one that works hard. ;)

John Boswell
10-20-2005, 12:22 PM
A "trick" that helps me sometimes is visualizing a sword in my hand. I send my ki through my fingers and extend it like the blade. If I've grabbed someone, then they get to be the sword. :)


JAMES! I've had this thought... about 70% of the thought... off and on over the years, but you just NAILED it for me! And it suddenly makes kotegeishi make SO much more sense!

Sensei was showing us kotegeishi the other night, and we needed to bring our hands up and over quickly. Seemed weird at the time. BUT... if you capture the hand and you're standing tenkan, mirror image with the uke, suddenly I see you MUST raise the sword turn and cut!

I'm getting off subject, but this was killer... good point! Thanks... gonna steal this one. ;)

Tim Heckman
10-20-2005, 12:46 PM
I was at a seminar with Abe Seiseki sensei last month, and I did have a similar experience. He was performing a technique towards the end of the Sunday session, and I saw his hands (and the energy he was projecting) extend like swords and open like blooming flowers.

Now, I will admit that I did not see anything outside the realm of physical experience, but the effect of observing this was very direct, very powerful, and (to me) completely undeniable. It certainly will continue to inform my aikido experience and training.

MaryKaye
10-20-2005, 01:09 PM
I once saw Mary Heiny sensei apparently cut down an uke with the sword in her hands, only there was no sword there. The impression of the sword was so strong that it was difficult to believe what I was seeing.

I also found it incredibly difficult to see which techniques she was doing no-touch and which she was doing with contact--there didn't seem to be any dividing line at all. The strong impression was that there was always contact but sometimes from quite a distance.

This is the closest I've gotten to being able to see energy in aikido; I've trained to do so in other contexts but haven't been able to transfer that training very much so far.

Mary Kaye

James Davis
10-20-2005, 03:44 PM
JAMES! I've had this thought... about 70% of the thought... off and on over the years, but you just NAILED it for me! And it suddenly makes kotegeishi make SO much more sense!

Sensei was showing us kotegeishi the other night, and we needed to bring our hands up and over quickly. Seemed weird at the time. BUT... if you capture the hand and you're standing tenkan, mirror image with the uke, suddenly I see you MUST raise the sword turn and cut!

I'm getting off subject, but this was killer... good point! Thanks... gonna steal this one. ;)

You're welcome Bozz. You could also think of sankyo as hasso no kamae... :D

John Boswell
10-20-2005, 03:55 PM
Hasso no kamae...?

Stolen. :D

Oh, the fun I'm gonna have at my next weapons class!

James Davis
10-21-2005, 10:00 AM
Hasso no kamae...?

Stolen. :D

Oh, the fun I'm gonna have at my next weapons class!

All right, Boz, that's two. When are you gonna come up off something cool for me? :p

John Boswell
10-21-2005, 12:22 PM
Well, James...

If this thread leads to something, and I find people who have tapped into the spiritual side of Aikido, you may indeed have something very cool on your hands!

But, in the meantime, I'll slip you a little gem I've learned over the years. But keep this under your hat, okay? It's a secret!

To learn and become proficent at Aikido, you have to get on the mat and actually DO AIKIDO!

Shush! Don't tell anybody... ;)

James Davis
10-21-2005, 03:15 PM
Thanks, Bozz. :rolleyes:

If I don't float away in flood waters this weekend, I'll talk to ya later. :)

mathewjgano
10-21-2005, 06:54 PM
See, we live in a world of political correctness these days. O'Sensei's philisophical teachings were greatly misunderstood at the time and think, therefore, were widely disregarded. This seems to have perpetuated a teaching of aikido that focuses on the "art" of aikido and the martial aspects of it, leaving a great deal of the spirituality completely out of the picture... and thus, Aikido today is missing something.

Perhaps in a general sense, but I think that depends on how one would define "missing." I think there are places which more or less mirror what OSensei was trying to convey. I think a big part of why this is generally true has to do with your remark about the state of the world today. Certainly in America there is a general tendancy to avoid anything non-Christian. Not that intolerance is rife, but simply that people tend to absorb information through the lense of their previously standing inclinations and presumptions, right or wrong. The dojo I train at in the states is a Shinto shrine and there has certainly been a level of adjustment for me...and I'm very very open-minded when it comes to spirituality, so i can imagine how that plays out for others with stronger opinions. Coincidentally, I may have been having a flash-back but I recall seeing a spark of bright blue light at the finger-tip of the Sendai Guji, Yamamoto Yukitaka, of Tsubaki OKami Yashiro of Mie-ken. He never trained in Aikido so far as i know though. It was after a particularly genki experience carrying the Mikoshi of Tsubaki America. All that "wa shoi"-ing can really go to the head.

And it's a big something, imho.

For me spirituality is a big part of life. Aikido reflects my personal philosophy about life in general and so, for me, there is a strong spiritual aspect to Aikido. At Tsubaki Kannagara Jinja (in America), we practice a short Shinto meditation at the end of training whenever Sensei Barrish teaches.

Terry Dobson was quoted once as saying,"The form of aikido is the enemy of aikido." He never went on to explain what he meant by that. But as I type, I think I'm getting an idea of what he was saying. We can get so wrapped up in the form: hand position, foot work, atemi, angles, ma ai, etc. that we forget about the philisophical ramifications of what Aikido is a manifestation OF!
I think most people who are interested in martial arts are interested in learning physical self-defence. However, I also think it's next to impossible for people these days to have the time OSensei did to devote toward budo. You say it's rare that people are doing what OSensei intended for Aikidoka to do, but it's just as rare that we find someone who devotes that much time to it. The ascetic life-style is itself very rare these days.
Take care,
Matt

aikido funky monkey
10-21-2005, 07:14 PM
Now i'm not sure if this exactly what your talking about but I once while training at an in dojo special one week class for more advanced students i got this feeling like the earth shot an enormous amount of ki into my legs and throwing up in the air. I had kind of experianced mushin(no mind) and it was almost as if I was watching a video when the video camera is the persons eyes. the video showed me throwing this girl over and over again with incredible energy and each throw shot out bursts of ki( i didn't physically see it.) i would then take incredible ukemi like id never done before.

tedehara
10-22-2005, 01:51 PM
See, we live in a world of political correctness these days. O'Sensei's philisophical teachings were greatly misunderstood at the time and think, therefore, were widely disregarded. This seems to have perpetuated a teaching of aikido that focuses on the "art" of aikido and the martial aspects of it, leaving a great deal of the spirituality completely out of the picture... and thus, Aikido today is missing something.

And it's a big something, imho...

Today people write about learning the founder's Aikido. Has anyone really has gotten a direct understanding? What people call "Aikido" today is a result of his students' interpetations. See:
Is O-Sensei Really the Father of Modern Aikido? (http://www.aikidojournal.com/article.php?articleID=34&highlight=koichi+tohei+saito)

The one thing about the founder was his inability to communicate. A good example of this was his speech during the Hawaii dojo opening. See:
Nonaka Sensei (http://www.furyu.com/archives/issue4/nonaka.html)

While this story is given as a humorous incident, if you think about it seriously it has large implications. A senior Aikido instructor and a Buddhist priest, both native Japanese speakers, could not honestly understand what the founder was saying. Today there are several translators who can give you their spin on the founder's philosophy. It seems that some translators are actually giving their point-of-view rather than simply translating the founder's philosophy.

There was a spiritual side to post WWII Aikido. However it wasn't the founder's Omoto derived understanding. It was Koichi Tohei's exposition of Ki. His teachings are also influenced by Tempu Nakamura (http://www.senninfoundation.com/tempu.html) and Tetsuju Ogura of Ichikukai (http://members2.jcom.home.ne.jp/ichikukai/eayumi.htm)

To support this, you can read about it from someone who was there before Koichi Tohei's departure from Honbu. See:
Msg from Bill Knittle May 6, 1993 4:37pm (http://groups.google.com/group/rec.martial-arts/browse_thread/thread/c80c8799a67a3611/5ee42c124335b9db?lnk=st&q=aikido+ki+society+koichi+tohei&rnum=14&hl=en#5ee42c124335b9db)

So this spiritual void was actually created by the political process.

John Boswell
10-24-2005, 10:18 AM
TED!

Thank you! Excellent information! Nonaka Sensei has been a VERY lucky man to have lived the life he has. The have the honor of meeting O'Sensei, Tohei Sensei and been able to ask questions of both of them to get a very full picture of Aikido.

I'm looking forward to reading the rest of the information you've presented here, but I felt compelled to say THANKS after reading that first link, because I think you are spot on in answering my question. This article was very relevant and a joy to read.

One thing in particular stood out from Nonaka's article:

There are three ways to win over someone:

by brute force, but the person will never forget that and will get back at you.

by intelligence. You trick him. Say you dig a hole so that when he attacks, he falls into the hole. But he still won't forget and you can't trick him twice.

by winning the person over by showing him respect. . . But you must show respect first and earn respect from the other side. That's true victory, and it must come from the heart.
That magnanimous spirit is what Tohei calls intoku, which is akin to the Buddhist and Christian ideal of unconditional love or compassion.

"So marriage is not 50/50. It's 100%-100%. You give 100% and your wife gives 100%, and so two sides are totaling 200%. I've got to keep reminding myself of that! I have to practice what I preach!" Nonaka admits sheepishly.

I once told a friend of mine that THAT was what True Love was: 100% given in exchange and 100% received in return. The concept of marriage being 50/50 partnership is too business-like and degrades the roles of husband and wife to just being "co-haitants." That takes out off the emotion and leaves just "paying bills" and "taking care of the kids" and totally ignores the reasoning behind getting married in the first place. No wonder we have such a high divorce rate in America these days.

Anyhow... I greatly enjoyed the article. Looking forward to the rest of it as well!

James Kelly
11-14-2005, 03:52 AM
Doka of the Day - October 18, 2005
Has anyone on this forum ever experienced this?
Never happened to me, but i had a sensei once describe something like it and then say, 'when that happens, sit down!'...

Chizikunbo
12-02-2005, 09:11 PM
Hello,
I dont want to say I have, but I kow what you are talking about.
I am also a reiki teacher/practicioner, and in Reiki you have to open up chakras in order for them to flow. I think that we all who practice the way of Aiki manifest this but mostly it is not relized until the time has come that we have a deeper understanding of the true spirit of Aikido, and we have the understanding to encounter and utilize the energy we have had all along. This side of Budo is all to often ignored in place of the physical, howeer it is essential, and without it the art is not whole. However too much focus on this does not allow us to develop correctly in the way. Just let it happen naturally and you will know when the time is right, all I can say is practice, practice practice, and make the way of compassion, love and harmony the very essence of your being, and things will natrually flow into place, like the flow of a river fills all crevices it may encounter, it just takes time and steadiness for it to reach them. In time all things manifest themselves and become apparent, just let it happen.
Yours in aiki,
--joshua paszkiewicz

MM
12-14-2005, 09:16 AM
I have read one or two other cases where a martial artist had become so involved in their art, that they felt they had opened up a "chakra" at the 'one point' location. Upon doing so, they can feel and actually see the energy from one point come up through their body and permiate throughout.

When I read today's "doka" of O'Sensei, I knew that was what he was refereing to. However, "to make such spirits appear is the Way of Takemusu" makes me wonder why more aikidoka don't experience this phenomenon.... or do they?


I think that most aikidoka don't experience this for two reasons.

1. They have enough trouble learning the physical aspects that they haven't yet opened their mind to learning the spiritual aspects. Until you reach about a yondan level, you are still learning a lot of physical timing, body placement, relaxing, etc. An aikidoka doesn't really get into the deeper spiritual realm because they haven't yet mastered the physical one.

2. They block out/ignore/don't believe/etc in the spiritual aspect. It's just a bunch of BS about seeing energy, no-hands throwing, etc. And sadly, there are some out there who teach a "no-hands" throwing that is fake, so it justifies these aikidoka who say it's all a bunch of BS. There are very few who can "show" or "teach" in the spiritual realm.


Has anyone on this forum ever experienced this? I'd be curious to hear what others have seen and felt. I realize this is also a rather personal subject, so if you don't want to elaborate, that's okay. But to know others out there HAVE felt this would be good information.


Personally, I've seen, felt, and experienced too much for me to NOT believe in the spiritual aspect. So, yeah, you can put me in the seen and felt and done column. Can I do it at will? Nope. I don't feel like I'm even close, but ask me again in a few years. :) And I don't know much about chakras but I do know about state of mind, breathing, and being highly receptive. I really can't describe things well, but it's like your breathing becomes so insignificant that you can't tell it's there. Your breathing has no sound, but you are breathing. The state of mind is almost like you've stepped outside yourself and you feel like if you moved just a bit more, you could see yourself. Weird, I know. Almost like a disconnected feeling or the start of one. My theory is that your mind is either connecting to the subconscious or the layer below that and that's why you feel a disconnectedness -- your conscious self is being bypassed. Just my theory, though. At times, it isn't like I really "see" energy, but rather my mind displays the energy for me. Almost like there's two projections being displayed in my mind -- one from my physical eyes and one from my mind and they're both overlapped. Other times, it seems like I am "seeing" energy.

Anyway, some believe, some don't. Some experience it, some don't. Everyone has their own life to live. :) Me, I just do the best I can with what I have. And that's usually way too many questions and way too few answers. LOL.

Mark

Mark Uttech
12-14-2005, 03:06 PM
sigh... everyone is looking for shortcuts, there are no shortcuts. Wonderland.

John Boswell
12-14-2005, 03:22 PM
Who said anything about a shortcut? I'm looking to understand a possible phenomenon, find out if it exists, if it does not, if it does... who has experienced it and how/when/why/what/where, etc.

I take it you, Mark, think the whole thing is hogwash? Great. Thank you for your input. Exit is to the right.

Have a very Merry Christmas! :D

PS: Read my post # 26 at the top of page 2. ;)

Mark Uttech
12-15-2005, 02:14 PM
Read post #26. Very good post. I noticed I have a certain meanness of spirit that arises from time to time. Sigh. Another thing for me to study, or at least be mindful of. In gassho.

James Davis
12-15-2005, 03:16 PM
Read post #26. Very good post. I noticed I have a certain meanness of spirit that arises from time to time. Sigh. Another thing for me to study, or at least be mindful of. In gassho.
You're not alone in that, Mark. ;) We all have rough days.

Ron Tisdale
12-16-2005, 08:24 AM
Yeah, but most of us don't admit it. Kudos.

Best,
Ron

John Boswell
12-16-2005, 09:28 AM
I not only admit it... I post on it and ask for ADVICE!

MAN! Am I a humble guy or what??? :confused: :eek: :D :p :o ;)

James Davis
12-16-2005, 10:40 AM
I not only admit it... I post on it and ask for ADVICE!

MAN! Am I a humble guy or what??? :confused: :eek: :D :p :o ;)
Yes, Boz. The whole world loves you. :p

John Boswell
12-16-2005, 10:49 AM
It's good to be the King... humble though I may be. ;)


(ROFL! I crack myself up sometimes. ;) )

Ron Tisdale
12-16-2005, 10:57 AM
;) Well, SOMEBODY has to do it... :)

Best,
Ron

JAMJTX
12-16-2005, 03:07 PM
I took a photo of Aikidoka/Iaidoka while he was joingly cutting a cake with a sword. Although it was a "fun time" he was still instinctively in a proper stance with correct grip, etc.
When the photo was developed there was a ball of light right at his "one point" and another at his forehead.

I showed the photo to a friend who is not a martial artist. He said that his martial arts are so highly developed that he opened up a chakras.

I never discussed this with the subject of the photo. I might do that some day and see what he thinks.

Mark Uttech
12-16-2005, 05:40 PM
this might be a dumb question, but do you think a firefly might be a flying chakra?

JAMJTX
12-16-2005, 10:32 PM
It was no firefly, or anything else other than a ball of light.
I would post the photo but I don't want to dp anything to embarrass or put this Sensei on the spot here.

Maybe I can scan the photo and do some photoshop work to make the person un-identifiabel and upload it.

John Boswell
12-17-2005, 09:39 AM
this might be a dumb question, but do you think a firefly might be a flying chakra?

You know, Mark... That's a very interesting question. Chakra? No. But is there a corelation to the light that fireflies give of... and other living creatures? If they produce enough energy to give off light.. wouldn't everything that lives? Is THAT energy Ki?

Very interesting.

(*Man... are people gonna think I'm a whacko! ROFL! I don't care. I like being philisophical! I wish more people would be. This world is to damned "hard core" these days... people need to lighten up and broaden their horizons!*)

Mark Uttech
12-17-2005, 12:19 PM
Onegaishimasu. Wow! There actually is a Japanese story where a huge swarm of fireflies are actually a torch bearing army and they depict a famous battle yearly by the sea. I believe Lafcadio Hearn wrote about the phenomena.
In gassho

Mary Eastland
12-18-2005, 06:25 AM
I am not sure about the feeling described in the quote.

However, I don't think there is a separation in practice of technique from spiritual seeking. (For me).

I think the very mindful-ness of leading, receiving, accepting and taking care of uke's energy can only make us more compassionate.

Mary

eyrie
12-18-2005, 08:55 PM
This might be of interest....
http://kundalini-gateway.org/awaken/a_narda.html

MM
12-19-2005, 06:39 AM
This might be of interest....
http://kundalini-gateway.org/awaken/a_narda.html

Read it. Interesting is a good description. Weird, would be another. :) Personally, I've never experienced the whole in-tune with the universe thing or the in-tune with all the masters of a martial art thing. I don't discount the idea, but it's like everything else in this realm of spirituality. Direct experience is about the only way to actually believe.

Mark

MM
12-29-2005, 11:35 AM
So, I read this article by Ellis Amdur:
http://www.aikidojournal.com/?id=1517

Interesting. It goes along with this thread in the spiritual realm of aikido. How do you get there?

There was a reply by Daniel Harden that was very interesting. To paraphrase him, Isn't Ueshiba the person who never taught a single soul what he knew. Daniel's answer to why was ego. And I won't deny that it could be possible. But I would offer another road less travelled answer -- maybe it's because Ueshiba just couldn't get across his knowledge to his students. In other words, maybe he wasn't a good teacher when it came to the spiritual aspects. After all, in quite a few dojos, the training atmosphere was show them but don't explain it and then let the students repeat it until they understand it. Works for physical aspects, but it's a really horrible way to explain spiritual stuff. Might explain why he would come in an yell -- because the students just weren't getting it all. Not that he didn't try to explain the spiritual side. I've read various articles where the students would say that he would come in and talk about religious things and they never understood what he was talking about. To me, Ueshiba could have been trying to get his students to understand not just the physical, but also the spiritual aspects of aikido but maybe, he just wasn't very good at explaining the spiritual part. The physical was easy enough for him, it appears, to pass on.

So, how do you explain to students the spiritual aspect to aikido. Um, that question is for those who are involved in studying the spiritual side. For those who don't care, don't believe, or aren't interested, you can skip this all. :)

Mark

early rub up
01-05-2006, 10:41 AM
Read it. Interesting is a good description. Weird, would be another. :) Personally, I've never experienced the whole in-tune with the universe thing or the in-tune with all the masters of a martial art thing. I don't discount the idea, but it's like everything else in this realm of spirituality. Direct experience is about the only way to actually believe.

Mark
i agree with you there about you need to experience it. i did when i was about 22 i was skiving off sitting on the works roof sun bathing chilling out that was the first time but i didnt realize what it was but it felt damn good :hypno:

MM
01-05-2006, 11:42 AM
i agree with you there about you need to experience it. i did when i was about 22 i was skiving off sitting on the works roof sun bathing chilling out that was the first time but i didnt realize what it was but it felt damn good :hypno:

Yeah, there are a lot of experiences I've had that I just can't describe. And usually when I do try, I just get the "he's crazy" look. :crazy:

O'sensei most likely had many spiritual experiences, but I think what hindered him was that he couldn't explain how to get those experiences to his students. I do think he tried because you read about a bunch of his students who listened to him but just didn't understand what he was saying.

And I think he was able to blend that with the physical aspects of Aikido. Just once and only once I was on the uke end of a sen sen no sen kind of timing thing. It totally disrupted my attack and was quite an experience. If O'sensei could achieve that even 75% of the time, then he'd definitely be hard to attack.

Now, take that one step further and you might have what several of his students used to say. I looked for an opening but there was none. Disabling the attack even before a sen sen no sen kind of timing?

Mark

John Boswell
01-05-2006, 01:38 PM
This might be of interest....
http://kundalini-gateway.org/awaken/a_narda.html

Hi Ignatius,

Thanks for the link. That was an interesting thread there, all the other experiences, etc. This particular story, to me, is a bit far fetched, but I won't discount it as impossible. Her "dream" about the bo was interesting. I'm curious enough to contact her via e-mail, but maybe at a later date.

One thing I noticed about a lot of the stories was this common thread of "knowing" and a sensation of light (as in weight) feelings that... I personally have felt and guess took for granted.

I have yet to really concentrate on tying my aikido together with my meditation experiences, etc. I usually do one then the other, meditate and then practice or vice versa. I find that if I meditate before practice, I do tend to do considerably better. I guess I need to work a little harder at it. ;)

eyrie
01-05-2006, 04:13 PM
Hi John,

Well, the idea is to open the energy gates in the body rather than seek the experience directly. More ukemi.... ;)

John Boswell
01-06-2006, 09:26 AM
After sleeping on it and thinking about it, I've just about come to the conclusion that I have experienced these energy releases before. AND, if people are considering them the goal, then they definitly are on the wrong track.

I would equate these releases with dan rankings. Shodan means... you're ready to start learning, right? (surely I'm not the only one to have heard that?)

So... once you've opened up your spiritual self and have released that energy inside you... you're ready to start learning.

Makes sense, if you think about it. How many people are still struggling just to open up their spiritual side? And even if they do, how many people recognize what just happened? Either way, you're still really just starting at Square One.

Time to reach out and figure out what Square Two is. ;)

MM
01-20-2006, 10:30 AM
After sleeping on it and thinking about it, I've just about come to the conclusion that I have experienced these energy releases before. AND, if people are considering them the goal, then they definitly are on the wrong track.

I would equate these releases with dan rankings. Shodan means... you're ready to start learning, right? (surely I'm not the only one to have heard that?)

So... once you've opened up your spiritual self and have released that energy inside you... you're ready to start learning.

Makes sense, if you think about it. How many people are still struggling just to open up their spiritual side? And even if they do, how many people recognize what just happened? Either way, you're still really just starting at Square One.

Time to reach out and figure out what Square Two is. ;)

I reread your post and realized that I'd covered this subject in my latest blog entry. I'll paste it here. Let me know what you think about it. I would equate my level 3 with Shodan rank. So, yeah, what is Square Two? And how many more levels do I have to go through to get there? :)


Mark

Begin paste:

Before class last week, we had visitors in the dojo. They wondered about Aikido and I was demonstrating how in Aikido we move and blend during an attack. I had someone attack, I moved and blended, but this time something different happened. Let me take a step back for a moment and explain some things first.

Initially, in my training, there were blocky movements and attempts to get where to step and how to step down. Next, I worked on getting timing right. Slowly I progressed from really hard and muscular to somewhat softer techniques (but still not great). At one point, I performed a technique where I ended up going, hey, why are you (uke) on the mat. I didn't do anything, or so I thought.

To sum up the levels I experienced:
1. Starting. Working on movement.
2. Timing. Working on timing.
3. Body. Working on using less muscle and more aiki.
3. Correct movement, timing, and body.

In level 1, it was all beginnings and getting to moving where I should be. At times, my moving would be just right but my timing was off. Still, my aikido definitely worked better.

Examples. Yokomenuchi Shihonage (YS). I'd initially move to the inside of the attack, but be way too far away from uke to really keep moving for shihonage. Then I'd get better and actually be just right so that I could start shihonage but I was looking at my feet or too surprised that it was working that I'd lose the timing.

In level 2, I worked on getting where I should be at the right time so that the technique worked smoothly.

Example of YS -- My movement was good and my timing was good such that shihonage flowed, but I used an extra amount of muscle to get things done.

In level 3, I took out more muscle and just used enough energy to make the technique work.

Example of YS -- Aikido happened and I'm left wondering why uke was on the ground. I didn't really feel like I did anything at all.

So, in a basic overview that was the levels that I went through. And I'm okay with attempting to be softer, use less muscle, and finding uke just on the mat and me feeling like I didn't do anything. That was where I was at.

Now, however, I got a glimpse at another level in my Aikido. (And no, these levels aren't linear. They intermesh with other levels, both known and unknown.) From my first paragraph above, when I moved and blended, something strange happened. It was exactly like a technique from level 3, but this time, all during the technique, I could feel everything that was happening. I felt uke's presence/energy/attack and I felt myself blending and moving uke to where I wanted uke to go. I knew throughout the technique that I was doing one of those "Hey, why are you on the ground, I didn't do anything" only this time, I DID know what I was doing. But I wasn't thinking what to do; I was just in that moment in time with me, with uke, and with Aikido. Aikido happened and this time, I was the whole, but yet not the whole. It was a very definitive feeling. Something I've never experienced before but something that I do want to train towards. It was one of those "cool" moments in Aikido.

malc anderson
02-01-2006, 02:40 AM
Hi ya everyone, I have read some posts here about O’Sensei not being a good teacher, but there is also another part to this process, the student. Most people have an idea of what they are going to do, our brain is meant to function in this way, and in the normal every day world this is a good thing. But when it comes to the inner world this function does not work and in fact actually holds the student back. Pre conceived ideas/concepts cannot work if you have had no previous experience, to go by. This is one facet, and then there is the fact that words cannot describe the inner world in a normal learning way. Kensho/ Enlightenment/ inner peace, or what ever label you wish to stick on this ethereal thing, is an experience, like say pain, can you describe pain? Or say the taste of a fruit, the best way to would be to give someone an apple to eat and then they will know. But with this inner stuff it’s not so easy, although there have been masters that have seemed to have the power to reveal this experience but there is a part that the student must play in this too, to come as a child, no preconceived ideas. In ‘The Art of Peace’ O’Sensei could not be any clearer, take for instance:
From the ‘Art of Peace’ No 1
The Art of Peace begins with you. Work on yourself and your appointed task in the Art of Peace. Everyone has a spirit that can be refined, a body that can be trained in some manner, a suitable path to follow. You are here for no other purpose than to realize your inner divinity and manifest your innate enlightenment. Foster peace in your own life and then apply the Art to all that you encounter.
No 18
Your heart is full of fertile seeds, waiting to sprout. Just as a lotus flower springs from the mire to bloom splendidly, the interaction of the cosmic breath causes the flower of the spirit to bloom and bear fruit in this world
Ten
All the priciples of heaven and earth are living inside you. Life itself is the truth, and this will never change. Everything in heaven and earth breathes. Breath is the thread that ties creation together. When the myriad variations in the universal breath can be sensed, the individual techniques of the Art of Peace are born.
Eleven
Consider the ebb and flow of the tide. When waves come to strike the shore, they crest and fall, creating a sound. your breath should follow the same pattern, absorbing the entire universe in your belly with each inhalation. Know that we all have access to four treasures: the energy of the sun and moon, the breath of heaven, the breath of earth, and the ebb and flow of the tide.
So you see, there is the reason why, and then the technique (meditation) to achieve the result. But our brain/mind/intellect wants explanations, answers as though we were learning maths, but this can’t happen because ‘IT’ is outside of the realm of our bodily senses, just like radio waves etc. This must cause the masters from all eras a lot of problems in their dissemination of inner peace /Kensho, because the student in some ways has to unlearn a lot of his ideas, to become the empty cup. We love complexity, simplicity we hate so we have a Yoga mat, incense sticks, whale music, mandalas, special diets, the list is endless. And yet it is very simple.
The technique in O’Sensei’s quotes is also called the Pranayarma in Yoga but there are a lot of things that have been added to yoga over the centuries. The word Yoga is a derivative of the word Yog meaning Union, so standing on one leg, chanting, counting beads, beds of nails, etc, are not required for Union, in fact stillness, eyes closed in a comfortable position is the best and then take that experience you find into what ever you do. One of the great teachers and there have been many was Socrates, I can’t imagine him sticking his head up his you know what. A good way to try to put a handle on this ethereal thing is that, it is the bedrock of your being. I was at the birth of my daughter and I was left alone with her minutes after her birth. There was this baby, no name, religion, nationality, language, no up, no down, etc, just life it self!! no contamination, now some 20 odd yrs later she is Claire, she’s British, she likes this she doesn’t like that, so on and so on, But she is really still that pure essence of life, as are we all. If we can be still, (just like the clock ticking in a noisy room it can’t be heard, until there’s quiet) we will become aware. We all have this innate quality, at the core of our being, it will take time and more effort than anything you’ve ever tried. Have you ever sat still for 1hr or more everyday? It’s hard and the mind won’t shut up, what about this, what about that, you haven’t time today so leave it now and do twice as much tomorrow, etc. In a normal day we have a thought we respond it, it’s only when we become still that we realize that we are being pulled this way and that all day long. To some one like my self who has gone through this process over some 30yrs O’Sensei couldn’t be clearer. YOU ARE ALREADY THERE you just don’t know it. For most it won’t come in a minute, an hour, a week it may take yrs, it depends on us and we are all unique. It took 2yrs for me to experience ‘Kensho’ but it’s worth the wait and effort and I have a great teacher which has really helped me. I’d better shut up now, but I love to talk about this wonderful experience even if it can’t be explained. All the best malc

“To practice properly the art of peace, you must: Calm the spirit and return to the source”

John Boswell
02-01-2006, 10:15 AM
Hi Malcom, and welcome to our little esoteric discussion here!

I enjoyed what you had to say. But what comes next? Once you've found the quiet and have heard the clock... THEN what do you do? Keep practicing? Is there something beyond the quiet to strive for?

I can get to that place you've discribed. When I'm there and on the mat, my skill is better and aikido is more fun. I guess striving to be there more often and with less effort could be the goal. Dunno.

Anyhow, I'm listening if you have more to say. As Ken Watenabe said in "Last Samuari" " This has been a good conversation."

malc anderson
02-03-2006, 11:27 AM
Hi ya John, Sorry to take so long to get back to you. How about ths, the Art of Peace 113
The Path is exceedingly vast. From ancient times to the present day, even the greatest sages were unable to perceive and comprehend the entire truth; the explanation and teachings of masters and saints express only part of the whole. It is not possible for anyone to speak of such things in their entirety. Just head for the light and heat, learn from the gods, and through the virtue of devoted practice of the Art of Peace, become one with the Divine. O’Sensei is so clear!
I am only a student myself on this way/path all I can say is; just keep going practicing stillness everyday. It’s a long road, Enlightenment/ Satori (or any other label you like) is about a focus/awareness on this inner force, in your everyday. It requires a commitment, that is hard to do when so many things attract our attention and obviously we have family and work commitments. It is a hard task to follow this path to return to simplicity, just keep going every day, and even in hard times find that time to practice your meditation. O’Sensei uses the word always and that’s what he means, and slowly you will feel it more and more. I am sorry to dwell on this point but it is where so many people get lost, they sit there and perhaps think nothings happening, it’s just boring sitting here, and doubt sets in and focus is lost. My teacher told me,” if you plant a seed you wouldn’t dig it up every day to see if it had sprouted would you”, and this is the same. Also I have found that as I went deeper I found my thought processes became more difficult to ignore, my Teacher told me that my mind wouldn’t like the idea of me trying to break it’s strangle hold on me and would come back at me. This reminds me of No 51 in the Art of Peace
There are no contests in the Art of Peace. A true warrior is invincible because he or she contests with nothing. Defeat means to defeat the mind of contention that we harbor within
As you practice. the inner world will expand inside you (sorry best word I can think of) and for me it let me understand the illusory quality of the 3 dimensions in which we function, then you begin to realize that your experience of Life is limited. And the mind, doesn’t like uncertainty, it may bring doubt, but your rock of practice is what helps here. And then comes a feeling of LOVE, no we don’t have to kiss every one, it’s the source of Love, it is not conditional, the weak link is us it is there all the time we just need to focus, no matter what you do it’s there, like hidden treasure.
At times I feel like Socrates when he said, “One thing I know is I know nothing” but the feeling in me is strong and I try to focus all the time on that ROCK OF LIFE ITSELF, it’s very hard but the rewards are great. It’s a shame that O’Sensei is not here but still we can read his words and be inspired to try harder.

No42, The Way of a Warrior Cannot be encompassed By words or in letters: Grasp the essence And move on toward realization!
No 67 Always try to be in communion with heaven and earth; then the world will appear in its True Light. Self-conceit will vanish, and you can blend with any attack.
No97 The Art of Peace can be summed up like this: True victory is self-victory; let that day arrive quickly! "True victory" means unflinching courage; "self-victory" symbolizes unflagging effort; and "let that day arrive quickly" represents the glorious moment of triumph in the here and now

. No 99 To truly implement the Art of Peace, you must be able to sport freely in the manifest, hidden, and divine realms.

No 108 Unite yourself to the cosmos, and the thought of transcendence will disappear. Transcendence belongs to the profane world. When all trace of transcendence vanishes, the true person - the Divine Being - is manifest. Empty yourself and let the Divine function
No109 You cannot see or touch the Divine with your gross senses. The Divine is within you, not somewhere else. Unite yourself to the Divine, and you will be able to perceive gods wherever you are, but do not try to grasp or cling to them.
This inner experience will help your Aikido I think you have already noticed, it certainly helps my Tai Chi. I remember some one asking my teacher what he thought of (hatha)Yoga he said, “Zero” she got up and left, but if she had stayed she would have heard that knowledge of the ‘Self ‘is 1 and Yoga is 0 put them together and you get 10. Remember keep it simple, it comes as standard equipment you need add nothing. Thanks for letting me share this. Masakatsu Agatsu Malc

Grammaton
02-03-2006, 03:31 PM
Ive been doing Qigong and meditation for a little while and Ive definitely experienced Ki, gonna start Aikido next week at a dojo that focuses allot on balancing your ki, so hopefully will experience allot more there.

Jennifer Grahn
02-15-2006, 01:59 PM
I've definitely experience "seeing" (mentally) and feeling ki in my center, and extending to surround me. and i also feel it through hands/fingers often in practice. It's like a force-field of invisible energy. I think that meditation really helps in developing ki-awareness. Also, if you learn about the chakras, there really is a chakra there, it deals with life issues such as compassion, nurturing of self and others, and security. Interesting corelation to aikido principles???