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I've been through highs I've been through lows,
I've been to the places where everyone goes;
Is Aikido life? Giving you painful techniques and throws,
Subtly teaching you with it's ikkyos and nikkyos?
When it seems all is lost and you feel it's all too much,
When peoples advice sounds to you double dutch;
Maybe all seems against you, hopeless and dark,
Remember there is one thing, you, a light, a spark.
And what is that spark? For it is not a quantity,
For you are not a thing my friend you are a quality;
When things look too much it appears quantity rules;
It's only belief in such make us blind and as fools.
For five and five or three and seven may indeed equal ten,
Until you get the eye of zen and then look again;
For then all is just one, more than that is a number,
And one is a quality which no quantity can asunder.
And quality my friends transcends both time and space,
One quality sword cut is worth a thousand misplaced;
You may have had a thousand flings but there's only one quality wife,
You may try a thousand things but there's one quality life.
So if I may be so bold and use someone else's phrase,
Quality gives you correct feeling, quantity leaves you in a daze;
So always remember no matter where or what you do,
Quality transcends all and that quality is you.
Love is all embracing, love is kokyu, life's breath,
That joins with the universe and puts my soul at rest;
As I stand in the void, the true place of all birth,
Aikido becomes kokyu joining heaven and earth.
And though my soul's in stillness my spirit opens a path,
Of a thousand Buddhas pointing to 'you can be free at last';
Yet this spirit as Ki illuminates and suddenly I see,
Revealed the truth unhidden but residing in you and me.
Now together uniting there is borne the true Aiki,
Ingested, manifested, like the blossom of the cherry tree;
And from infinite capacity to the infinity of my space,
Everything manifesting in a circle and that circle is pure faith.
One true source shows through goodness and I see everybody's sentience,
Whilst Hara fills with compassion revealing the centres entrance;
Through which lies a bridge, on which what do I see?
Someone looking at me smiling and that somebody is me.
I am holding kokyu as a fan and also faith as a bowl,
Then flashing stillness as a spear and Hara turns into a jo;
And spirit becomes a sword cutting through the universe and all is revealed,
Silence, no more doubts or confusions, the way of peace, healed.
Just returned from a Japan Matsuri,
Like I've been home, a certain vibe runs through me;
Ikebana, Kendo and Taiko;
Aikido, Judo, Karate, It's all my flow.
My chance to donate, like a personal pilgrimage,
A chance to give and give some more,
And come away with cherished image;
Japan, physically far away yet today it felt so near;
So glad that though I couldn't go there a part of it came here;
For some it is another place, the land of the rising sun,
For me it's just a reminder that in truth we are all one.
When I'm talking balance I'm talking centre,
A place where all can leave and all can enter;
And after much trial and error all one rehearsal,
To feel the in and out breath of the universal.
So much talk about moving weight or being weightless,
But wait, centre is the gate that is actually gateless;
There's no insistence, resistance or intent to flow,
There's only courage and the faith of truly letting go.
For then the gravity, earth energy, doesn't dissipate,
For with you in harmony it just becomes the weightless weight;
And all the energy of heaven brings with it a sense of clarity,
As heaven and earth join as one removing all disparity.
No internal, no external, for that's been transcended,
No superman, no strategic plan, nothings started or ended;
No winning or losing which to some is confusing, it's never ending;
The Tenchi infinity, pure in it's divinty, Aikido, the Art of blending.
If you train with the spirit of loving protection,
You're Aikido takes on brand new direction;
Focus increases and discipline too,
Cos you realize eventually it's not about you.
Self defence is very good for the selfish,
Yet do they know what the truth of the self is?
Searching for power to make them feel safe,
An illusion, a deception, but an alluring place.
True spirit expressed through the spear and the knife,
Through the Jo of the Hara, through the Sword that gives life:
Through the warrior spirit, filled with humble politeness,
Where the selfless self replaces wrongness and rightness.
I ain't a preacher or a monk or a llama
I'm just in tune with the sound of kotodama,
And the spirit of universal loving protection,
It's all around us in all eight directions.