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I used to think people were afraid of death;
They would fight their enemies till the very last breath,
They would learn to face weapons from the sword to the knife;
Then I realized actually they were afraid of life.
Afraid of humility so they translate it as weak;
Afraid of compassion so they critically speak,
Afraid to admit that they can live without fear;
Afraid to accept why Aikido is here.
If there are no enemies that means we all are just friends,
But how many see this? Or hide behind 'it depends'.
How many have seen Aikido's truth in resplendence?
How many know it's a gradual path of transcendence?
Afraid to look many cling to the past;
Ideas of self defence guide them like a ships mast,
But that wind has one direction and it's continually blowing;
It takes you backwards so you end up less knowing.
Defending the indefensible, they they talk about Aikido in a fight;
Not even sensing that's insensible yet it's hidden in plain sight,
Thinking that against greater strength Aikido helps you escape;
Thus the truth is missiing thus they are yet to awake.
Aikido, a path of harmony following truth that are always there;
Truths don't fight or clash or fear but bring about life to share,
Expressed through a martial art, that's new and quite unique I say;
Thus it brings about a whole zen koan, for you to work out one day.
I'm gonna start with the mind of Shoshin;
Principles to learn and to live and even wash in,
Beginners mind like a sponge with a light inside it;
Every barrier you come to love it and ride it.
Then while you practice and improve towards ability;
Shugyo your catchphrase? well it should include servility,
Always aware of all that is in your vicinity;
For Zanshin is the start of all divinity.
Plenty to do and learn to develop both states of mind;
Plenty of gains to earn as you search and seek and find,
Before you relax, let go and enter the void;
Where new gains and new rules are yet to be employed.
The state of no mind, nothing yet not nothing at all;
The state of stillness yet yet stuckness don't exist at all,
Mushin, where courageous live but brave must fall;
Where you have nothing yet in truth you have it all.
Now you can pick up your sword and truly begin;
Learn the ways of focus whilst maintaining still Zanshin,
Learn the ways of bright clearness yet leaving no opening;
Not a mind that can't move but one that doesn't: Fudoshin.
Then the clouds evaporate and out and in are blending;
Any forces come your way you borrow as they're for lending,
You, the universe, nature, sharing all as one breath breathing,
Do you know that for every part of Aikido there's a spiritual side?
Do you know it, use it and grow it or do you spiritually hide?
Do you know the sword, jo and spear that you see as effective deterrent,
Have their spiritual sword jo and spear in you so theyre actually inherent.
Do you know for every technique their's a spiritual one on which it is based?
Do you know the physical is just a reflection of what you think you've erased?
Do you know the physical principle of ma-ai has a spiritual one that actually invincible?
Do you know you have mental and physical but primarily spiritual is the principal principle?
Do you know or do you just think, do physical training then go for a drink?
Do you know or do you surmise, intellectualize, yet still can't see the link?
Do you know that Aikido is universal so all your answers inside it reside?
Do you know that without spirit Aikido would have already died?
So when you practice you should ask yourself are you doing it from the right spiritual place?
Physically you have the walls around you but universal love is the spiritual space.
And did you know everything has an axis around which everything turns?
And thus centre line must be understood spiritually if indeed you truly want to learn.
So do you know or do you have 'knowledge', a poor substitute I must say,
For when knowing meets understanding then you may throw all knowledge away.
And when truth like the element
What is Aikido? Or what is it to me?
When I look at it then what is it I see?
A heavenly creation, a heavenly gift,
Where all martial arts combine, joined in a time shift.
And in all techniques I see abundantly clear,
Manifestations of the sword, the jo, the spear.
Those timeless principles, yes they were always here;
They are so hard to see because they are so near.
Techniques though are but part of one gigantic ocean,
Spontaneous results of divine ai-ki motion;
And those motions cover all geometry and all directions,
And then I realize that they are in essence faiths reflections.
The eye of hara sees as it looks through compassion,
That there's more to this art than merely following fashion;
The selfless self enters and joins with the spirit and the soul,
The elements align and heaven and earth become whole.
The yin of kokyu, the yang of koshi expand from centre,
And all are one so there's nothing to escape or even to enter;
Pure self, pure heart, pure mind, pure spirit, complete non- resistance,
True nature in stillness, in motion, the art of co-existence.
And as I look at it more my whole being begins to laugh,
I see inherent in it, itself reveals a path;
The path's a circle yet it's straight and bright and clear,
The end is masakatsu and agatsu, the beginning is right here.
I love the way of the sword because it's so unique,
The only way to lose yourself is to focus on technique;
A samurai sword, many folds, balanced, universal admiration,
A deadly weapon? A work of art? From a divine inspiration.
Is it meant for defence or attack? What is it really meant to do?
Is your sword a weapon of peace? Is your sword part of you?
It defends only one thing in truth, and that is your centre line;
The axis around which everything turns, the connection or spirit ,body and mind.
And in attack it doesn't chop, block or parry, or even thrust like a spear,
It does one thing only and that is cut and when you know that you will finally hear;
For the true cut is through the universe not through person or physical thing,
Only when you achieve this will you hear the sound of silence begin to sing.
A discipline, a focus, where the end and beginning are one,
A timeless motion without question, execute, done;
Non violent, non resistive, a healing tool of the Lord,
And if you interfere not but align, one cut and all is restored.
So how could such a thing teach you focus and such a state of pure calmness?
And make you face up to all of your fears and even find the truth of harmless?
And clear the path of ignorance, self doubt, arrogance and reveal such a prize, a forgotten goal,
Because through all that training may you one day find the truth of the sword, you own soul.