Hello and thank you for visiting AikiWeb, the
world's most active online Aikido community! This site is home to
over 16,000 aikido practitioners from around the world and covers a
wide range of aikido topics including techniques, philosophy, history,
humor, beginner issues, the marketplace, and more.
If you wish to join in the discussions or use the other advanced
features available, you will need to register first. Registration is
absolutely free and takes only a few minutes to complete so sign up today!
This topic has been on my mind on and off for several weeks, and even occasionally over the years. But more on the latter later, I'll start with this year.
I know I can look it up on AikiWeb on search, but for now I'll just mention the connotation it seems to have for others, and what it means to me personally. For a start, I can even cite the weather: It is raining, so what do we do with that? Do we go outside in rain gear or do stuff inside? (The we I use can mean those of us in places where it is raining right now, or just the general what do you or I or anybody else do when it rains....)
I think I read something recently here on Aiki Web that seemed to say that sunao meant the quality of humility, of being unassuming, maybe, but before I, and maybe you look it up if not too fluent in Japanese ... I'll just mention something one of my first teachers, Yamada Sensei said. I think someone asked him about what he thought was an important quality to have, it may even been the most important quality to have according to the questioner or maybe even Yamada Sensei himself. Maybe you will even get to ask him someday soon. (Maybe I will...)
The strange thing is that particular day years ago I just got a fleeting impression that it meant accepting what comes in life. Often there are choices, and similar choices often come up, so if some of us need to make different ones the next time, sometimes we do..... But I think it's important to look at what comes, and see
This is a "daily life" type blog entry some people might be interested in....
When we do the clean up that in some ways is part of the Shinto belief and maybe also Buddhism, it is a chance to reflect on gratitude. Maybe thinking of this will make it seem less of a "chore".
But, to begin with, an interesting concept is brought out in the Japanese version of "grace before meals." They say "Itadakimasu" which means, "I receive.."
When I first learned this word, it was explained that there is a chain of events and people that resulted in this meal, or this particular food item ... the store, the commercial carrier, the farmer, etc. And I'm sure all the way back to God. I've seen this concept in writings by Christians too....
But how about after the meal, when rinsing the cans for the recycle or if you have recycling for plasic wrappers and food trays (our town just set that up a couple of years ago a few years after a woman who manufactured lawn chairs etc. out of previously unrecycled categories of plastics could no longer keep her company going...)
Anyway, whatever your town does or doesn't recycle, cleanup is a great chance for gratitude over the "Eew, what a drag, cleanup type feeling." It might help get the job done quicker, or then again you might want to take a bit longer, thinking about your feelings of gratitude for whatever you ate, or whatever you enjoyed in the container .... for example, they now take broken plastic flower pots.