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A friend recently gave me a book she thought I might enjoy, and I really have. It's the sort of book that whatever you open it up to, there's something relevant to whatever's going on. It's poetic without being sappy, and inspiring without being preachy. Calming. Sensible.
Just yesterday day a friend on Facebook mentioned that it must have been really sad for me to give up riding. My reply began "Surprisingly not all that sad. Trying to remain committed to something I was really no longer committed to was difficult. Finally seeing things clearly was a relief. …" And just hours later I randomly picked up the book, and opened it to this, which is also relevant to Aikido technique, and Aikido in everything:
Everyone will tell you
"Change is hard,"
Transformation is the greatest
On your spiritual journey.
But it's not true.
Change is not hard.
Resistance to change is
If you let go
Surrender into the
Open your fists and
All you are clutching
And simply be still as the
Winds of transformation
Blow through you
Then everything in you that is
Will be carried away with the
Leaves and dust and debris
Lifted into the air and
And all that will remain
If you stop trying so hard to change
Like a strong breath clearing a
Palmful of ashes
Just let the
by Nicole Grace,
from her book: Bodhisattva - How To Be Free
Today marks the beginning of my third year in Aikido.
When I first started training, I meant to become a better horseperson. I have, but part of the process has been to discover that I don't want to have a horse of my own, and so he is off with a friend, looking for his new person.
At first I thought I would not bother with weapons. I've never been into swords and ninja and samurai. I was just going to stick with the open-hand stuff. Instead I discovered that I love weapons work.
When I first called Sensei to ask about training, I explained how I could only be at the dojo one night a week. Now I train four or five days a week, plus workshops and seminars.
At first I disregarded the "woo-woo" stuff I'd heard about. Now I see that the emotional, energetic, spiritual, and embodiment aspects are where the real fun is. Well, there, and flinging each other around the dojo.
This year is a new adventure. I see a few familiar things on the horizon, a couple of seminars, and testing for 3rd kyu in July, but mostly I'm walking the path in wonder, open to discovering whatever lies ahead.