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Nothing Works... Blog Tools Rate This Blog
Creation Date: 04-12-2012 03:29 PM
James Sawers

This poem and others are available in my books, Nothing Works: Meditations on Aikido, Buddhism, the Tao, Zen, and other inconsequential things....and, Nothing Special..., available thru Amazon.com, in print and Kindle editions and Barnes & Noble websites.....Also available as an e-book via Smashwords.com. Try this link: www.nothing-works.com for the full array of options.
Blog Info
Status: Public
Entries: 133
Comments: 62
Views: 102,959

In General Go Board Entry Tools Rate This Entry
  #93 New 01-12-2014 01:52 PM
Go Board

I look across the
Field of play
At my opponent
Our eyes meeting

The intangible link
That now connects us
Is as strong and real
As steel cable

And forged in the
Same fires
No turning back

Vision narrowed
Yet, paradoxically
Taking in the universe
The six elements

The five senses
And the mind
Focusing on the moment
I let the universe settle

Around us
Breathing deeply
Thoughts clear
Ki stored and ready

The outcome
Is already there
But still in flux
As I mentally

Watch the Go board
Move itself
The moves too
Ethereal for chess

Following the
Lines of confluence
To their ultimate

Views: 399

In General Meditation & Murder Entry Tools Rate This Entry
  #92 New 01-05-2014 04:03 PM
Meditation & Murder

Meditation and murder
Do they go hand-in-hand?
A mind furnished in shadows
Dark shadows, I close my eyes
Settling down physically
And emotionally, breathing
Breathing deeply, slowly
Gathering my wayward
Angry feelings and thoughts
I watch them, twisting and roiling
Seeking to maintain my attention
Watching them fall away, slowly
Over the edge, still screaming
Other thoughts, feelings come
To replace them, more shadows
Seeking my attention
I sense my steady breathing, distantly
Like a long-distance runner
Settling in for the long haul
Thoughts and feelings come and go
Without clinging
Murder and mayhem
Now seem so long ago
And far away

Views: 429

In General Aikido Holiday Entry Tools Rate This Entry
  #91 New 12-31-2013 03:21 PM
Aikido Holiday

I sit
In a coffee shop
Watching snow fall
And street traffic
Crawl on by
Lampposts garlanded
With Christmas wreaths
And Christmas lights
The holiday season
Full of cheer and joy -
For some
For others...
Perhaps something else?
But, what I think about
Is that the dojo is closed
For Christmas and New Year
And that my body
And spirit misses
The struggle and fellowship
Of Aikido practice!

Views: 336

In General Control? Entry Tools Rate This Entry
  #90 New 12-29-2013 03:21 PM

In an aikido attack
Who controls the technique?
Nage or uke?
Aikido is described as
An invincible budo
Invincible as in: too strong
or skillful to be defeated?
Or, invincible as in
Without enemies?
Each definition requires
Different outcomes
Requires a different mindset
As nage and uke enter
Into an aikido attack
Or is it more an uchidachi
And shidachi relationship?

Who controls the technique?
The joining, the interplay
Of bodies and energies
Perhaps masakatsu agatsu:
True victory is victory over self
But what does this mean
Operationally, functionally?
Again, who controls the technique?
Perhaps as harmony and balance
Are created and maintained
And a unified center is manifested
Both can claim control
A control that results in
Neither winning nor losing
But in a resolution where violence
Becomes dissipated and neutralized
And both can learn and leave
The battlefield unharmed

Views: 309

In General Haunting Sound Entry Tools Rate This Entry
  #89 New 12-22-2013 04:12 PM
Haunting Sound

The dojo bell's thrice ring
Echoing out the open door
And into the surrounding air
Foreshadowing my leave-taking
With its last gently rolling softness
Reinforcing the impermanence
Of things, people, and worldly affairs

Aikidoka practice in the humid air
Sweat and effort reflected in their techniques
I yearn to join them in kinship and struggle
But my time has passed
I turn down a different path
Moving away, slowly, savoring
The last echoes of that drifting, haunting sound

Views: 278

In General Tao of Jim Entry Tools Rate This Entry
  #88 New 12-15-2013 02:15 PM
Tao of Jim

The movement, the balance
The effortless subtlety,
The power as she threw me!

Taking ukemi, I roll up, smiling
Ah, good practice, good training, joy!
Swiftly, I move in to attack again...

Views: 337

In General Katsujinken or Setsuninto? Entry Tools Rate This Entry
  #87 New 12-08-2013 05:00 PM
Katsujinken or Setsuninto?

Your attacker is closing
Kime -- decision time:
Katsujinken - the sword that gives life?
Or, setsuninto - the sword that takes life?
Ruthless forgiveness and dynamic compassion?
Or, a cold detachment, killing without remorse?
Once positioned, decide!

Still, even if you have the skill
Is the choice really that simple?
Or, perhaps it is a case of:
One life to save a thousand
Taking this one life
Will save many others - now
Or even into the future...
Of course, you could be wrong -- decide!

Operating in a state of fluid perfection, I...
Whoa...what? Seriously, really, you are?!
Well....now, maybe not so much....???
So, katsujinken or setsuninto?
Not so black and white
Not so simple, after all
Which sword is which? -- Decide!

Views: 492

In General Mountains Entry Tools Rate This Entry
  #86 New 12-01-2013 04:26 PM

There is a story told
Of a place, a time
On a mountain
Harshly, bleakly beautiful
Where clouds are born
And winds blow wildly
Over the mountain ridges
Caressing and punishing
In turn...

A time when courage
Is no longer enough
Where exhaustion
Suffering and frustration
Are only small
Road marks on the way
To somewhere else

Till finally the wayfarer
Sits, gratefully
Breathing, breathing deeply
On the mountain top
Looking beyond in
Despair and wonder
At all the other mountains

Views: 396

In General The Shape of Water Entry Tools Rate This Entry
  #85 New 11-24-2013 04:03 PM
The Shape of Water

What is the shape of water?

I ask myself, my mantra
Not really expecting an answer
More to remind myself
To expect anything
And everything
To enter into the flow
Without disturbing it

To penetrate the spaces
Between uke's movements
Such that his movements
Become my movements
My form shapeless, like water
Taking on the shape of
Its container - his attack

Views: 463

In General OODA Loop Entry Tools Rate This Entry
  #84 New 11-17-2013 04:32 PM

Observation to action
Who can do this fastest?
Leading to victory/non-victory
The so-called OODA loop:
Observation, orientation,
Decision, then action...

Seems so elegantly simple
But, try applying it
To Aikido practice -- so slow -
At first.....But, after more and
More practice, the process
Becomes more and more intuitive
Till an Aikido OODA loop
Is achieved:
Spontaneous, dynamic,
Chaotic, and non-linear
The cycle time
Capable of handling one uke
Or, multiple randori opponents
Your opponents' mind-time-space
Disrupted, internal harmony lost,
Mental and physical paralysis
And collapse created till you
Take tactical control and
Impose your own non-structure
A process without a process
A form without a form
A takemusu OODA loop

Views: 565

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