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graham christian 03-08-2013 05:09 AM

The home of spirit
 
In my Aikido and it's structure and philosophy there five homes to be addressed and this small post is to do with one of them, the home of the spirit.

Dressed up in many various sayings from many martial Masters spirit is referred to with various analogies. O'Sensei referred to daily polishing the spirit as part of training, as part of progress, as part of the path.

Mind is not spirit so it's not polishing the mind. Heart is not spirit so it's not polishing the heart. Two examples right there of two other factors with different homes.

So to understand true spirit for in our 'unaware' and 'egotistical' human conditions we are in it is first necessary to recognize the home of spirit for without doing so we will find we have so many different and indeed crazy views on the subject.

The home of spirit is non-resistance. When spirit is well polished that is it's natural home.

Therefor it's natural location is centre.

Two simplicities, two markers to help keep you on the Aikido path.

So when you find yourself resisting things or thoughts or situations or communications then one thing is for sure......part of the problem is your own as yet unpolished spirit. Small steps....long journey. A journey home.

Peace.G.

aiki-jujutsuka 03-08-2013 09:09 AM

Re: The home of spirit
 
hi Graham, some interesting thoughts, could you please explain what you mean by the natural location of the spirit is centre? Is this your physical centre, i.e. your hara or tanden? Or is this about being psychologically centred or being calm and maintaining perspective in different situations if the home of spirit is non-resistance?

Secondly you speak of a long journey home - where is "home"? Is it the mastering of Aikido? Enlightenment? Heaven? Nirvana?

I have my own beliefs on the heart, mind and spirit so I just want to understand whether we are using the same conceptual frame of reference. :)

graham christian 03-08-2013 09:49 AM

Re: The home of spirit
 
Quote:

Ewen Ebsworth wrote: (Post 324418)
hi Graham, some interesting thoughts, could you please explain what you mean by the natural location of the spirit is centre? Is this your physical centre, i.e. your hara or tanden? Or is this about being psychologically centred or being calm and maintaining perspective in different situations if the home of spirit is non-resistance?

Secondly you speak of a long journey home - where is "home"? Is it the mastering of Aikido? Enlightenment? Heaven? Nirvana?

I have my own beliefs on the heart, mind and spirit so I just want to understand whether we are using the same conceptual frame of reference. :)

Hi Ewen.

Regarding centre, well yes your physical centre and let's say in terms of more esoteric viewpoints ie: the buddhist 'true self' then it is also the centre of true self. In terms of physical objects then their centre is a point of non-resistance as is the centre of even an atom.

So in terms of religious statements and such things as yoga etc. where the terms spirit, heart, soul, etc. are used I see them as all part of self. Hence MY soul, MY spirit, MY body etc.

As Ueshiba also put emphasis on such things and indeed most martial arts Masters too then it led me to find it all fascinating ultimately understandable.

When you say psychologically then yes and no. Yes as spirit is part of self. No if we say that is all there is to it. Yes if you take the basic meanining, the root and original meaning of psyche, which is spirit. No if you take the meaning to mean mind.

Mind however is another aspect of self and thus different to spirit. They are all of course interdependent. The home of mind would thus be different. I would say the home of mind is stillness.

I use the word home also in relation to the 'do' of Aikido, the path, the journey. A journey back to your true self, your true nature etc. A journey home.

Where is home? indeed. Aikido to me comes from home. A person reaching an ultimate enlightenment ie: satori would be home. Heaven is the home of the heart and universal love and thus leads to understanding kokyu is also what I say.

Such are some of my conceptual frames of reference. Thanks for asking.

Peace.G.

aiki-jujutsuka 03-08-2013 11:47 AM

Re: The home of spirit
 
do you believe enlightenment is purely esoteric/mystical or can it be concrete in terms of realization and actualization? In other words can enlightenment be achieved by doing x,y and z, or if it is more subjective how does one know they have truly achieved enlightenment?

graham christian 03-08-2013 12:14 PM

Re: The home of spirit
 
Quote:

Ewen Ebsworth wrote: (Post 324427)
do you believe enlightenment is purely esoteric/mystical or can it be concrete in terms of realization and actualization? In other words can enlightenment be achieved by doing x,y and z, or if it is more subjective how does one know they have truly achieved enlightenment?

Not sure what you mean by 'esoteric' or more 'concrete'

It's a spiritual term which comes from spiritual practices. The phenomenon itself is obviously spiritual ie: esoteric the result of which is very concrete. If you take historical accounts of zen masters for example then you could say that after contemplating a zen koan given to you personally by one such master then whilst doing very concrete in life things you may notice something and become enlightened.

Apparently that wasn't such an unusual thing in some parts of the world once upon a time.

Personally I prefer the term path towards.

How does one know when they have reached enlightenment?

One knows when they have achieved understanding to do with riding a bicycle. No more resistance, fear, confusion, trepidation, blame, regret etc. etc. just oneness and ability and enjoyment with a bicycle. It took theory (data, subjective) and practice (concrete action) to achieve.

Lots of mini enlightenment's

Peace.G..

aiki-jujutsuka 03-08-2013 12:38 PM

Re: The home of spirit
 
Quote:

Graham Christian wrote: (Post 324428)
Not sure what you mean by 'esoteric' or more 'concrete'

It's a spiritual term which comes from spiritual practices. The phenomenon itself is obviously spiritual ie: esoteric the result of which is very concrete. If you take historical accounts of zen masters for example then you could say that after contemplating a zen koan given to you personally by one such master then whilst doing very concrete in life things you may notice something and become enlightened.

Apparently that wasn't such an unusual thing in some parts of the world once upon a time.

Personally I prefer the term path towards.

How does one know when they have reached enlightenment?

One knows when they have achieved understanding to do with riding a bicycle. No more resistance, fear, confusion, trepidation, blame, regret etc. etc. just oneness and ability and enjoyment with a bicycle. It took theory (data, subjective) and practice (concrete action) to achieve.

Lots of mini enlightenment's

Peace.G..

This is what I was driving at, of course enlightenment is a spiritual term and so in that respect is a result of spiritual practices but I just wanted to know whether it had tangible manifestations i.e. my use of the term concrete. Sorry if I wasn't clear with my meaning but you seem to have understood based on your example of zen masters and the analogy of riding a bicycle.

graham christian 03-08-2013 12:51 PM

Re: The home of spirit
 
Thank you Ewen. Happy to share.

Peace.G.

Travers Hughes 03-10-2013 04:45 PM

Re: The home of spirit
 
Quote:

Graham Christian wrote: (Post 324413)
So when you find yourself resisting things or thoughts or situations or communications then one thing is for sure......part of the problem is your own as yet unpolished spirit.

Hi there, Graham. Good to read you again. Quick question - think I'm missing something here, so can you please clarify?
What about self-assertion / conflict? eg. If I find myself in a situation unacceptable to me, and I resist the situation, is this being unpolished? I'd like to think that I was being self-aware in this situation, and looking out for my own/others welfare. (Of course, how I managed the conflict/conversation would be very telling in my attitude towards myself and others).

Look forward to your comments

graham christian 03-10-2013 05:22 PM

Re: The home of spirit
 
Quote:

Travers Hughes wrote: (Post 324521)
Hi there, Graham. Good to read you again. Quick question - think I'm missing something here, so can you please clarify?
What about self-assertion / conflict? eg. If I find myself in a situation unacceptable to me, and I resist the situation, is this being unpolished? I'd like to think that I was being self-aware in this situation, and looking out for my own/others welfare. (Of course, how I managed the conflict/conversation would be very telling in my attitude towards myself and others).

Look forward to your comments

Yes in my opinion it is indeed being 'unpolished' as you put it.

Here we come up with hitherto agreed with but uninspected ways of acting which we consider right or usual. Right or usual to me doesn't mean they are the best.

Let's take your example of situation unacceptable to you and also then your view of self assertion.

Now I have said before that acceptance is all part of, a principle of, being centred. Therefor finding anything unacceptable is an uncentred attitude to have. Unpolished. Only once we thus make that as a rule can we then discipline ourselves to review and learn new lessons.

As a result I can say to you that potentially you can accept anything. So with full acceptance you can then address the situation from a condition of acceptance, from a stable centred position and condition of being.

So yes you can non-resist it and accept it and in fact if you do it will be easier to make it better.

Then we come to assertive and assertiveness. Limited, in my view. Not optimum. For someone who is very withdrawn then it is a good exercise to practice. However of it'self it is lacking quite a lot as far as I am concerned. Bullies and liars for example can be very assertive as can those hiding behind a gun or some 'power' group or system etc. So just using that as a solution or seeing that as a blindly great thing is lacking something is it not? In other words assertiveness without sense is of no good use to anyone.

Seeing a scene is not optimum you can thus accept it, non-resist it and armed with that step in and take responsiblity for it's correction and act accordingly. Done with non-resistance and acceptance (from love) the results will be much more effective, better for all and thus much more powerful.

So just as with Aikido in it's potential you don't have to be against, to oppose in order to be moved to handle something. You do it because it is there to be done without opposition.

Peace.G.

Travers Hughes 03-10-2013 07:45 PM

Re: The home of spirit
 
Thanks Graham. Here's the part I'm having difficulty with:

Quote:

Graham Christian wrote: (Post 324525)
Seeing a scene is not optimum you can thus accept it, non-resist it and armed with that step in and take responsiblity for it's correction and act accordingly. Peace.G.

If you've already accepted the situation is what it is, then why the need to correct it?

I'll use an example that I think highlights both our points:
Someone says something highly insulting to my wife and leaves her visibly upset. My response is "Dude, you're out of line. That's not acceptable behaviour. Now, let's move on.."
(I like to think that's how I handle the situation anyway)

So, the outcome is positive. I have been assertive (but not aggressive), got my point across and moved on. In this particular instance, the other person may not have been aware of the transmisson of their message, and it has become a learning opportunity for us both. This would not have been realised without my resistance. How is this unpolished?

Cheers

graham christian 03-11-2013 09:27 AM

Re: The home of spirit
 
Quote:

Travers Hughes wrote: (Post 324527)
Thanks Graham. Here's the part I'm having difficulty with:

If you've already accepted the situation is what it is, then why the need to correct it?

I'll use an example that I think highlights both our points:
Someone says something highly insulting to my wife and leaves her visibly upset. My response is "Dude, you're out of line. That's not acceptable behaviour. Now, let's move on.."
(I like to think that's how I handle the situation anyway)

So, the outcome is positive. I have been assertive (but not aggressive), got my point across and moved on. In this particular instance, the other person may not have been aware of the transmisson of their message, and it has become a learning opportunity for us both. This would not have been realised without my resistance. How is this unpolished?

Cheers

Acceptance doesn't mean agree with. In acceptance there is neither agreement or disagreement. Thus you accept fully what is without 'mind interference'. You can thus plainly see the dudes behaviour is not good and enter with appropriate action. Entering without resistance, without drama or fear, with a healing sword rather than a hand grenade.

Recently I was coming back from the local shops in Archway and saw a bunch of 'louts' in the car park next to my friends pub setting fire to something right by a garage door. All gathered round thinking how funny it was and how clever they are. I calmly walked up to and through the melee and without even a word just stamped on the fire repeatedly and put it out. No words, no drama, just quiet affimative action . It was like the ripples in a pond as they who were circling me moved away unsure of what had just occured yet I know they got the message.

To me that's all part of Aikido.

Peace.G.

aiki-jujutsuka 03-11-2013 11:18 AM

Re: The home of spirit
 
Quote:

Graham Christian wrote: (Post 324549)
Acceptance doesn't mean agree with. In acceptance there is neither agreement or disagreement. Thus you accept fully what is without 'mind interference'. You can thus plainly see the dudes behaviour is not good and enter with appropriate action.

Hi Graham, a couple of questions: what do you mean by "mind intereference"? and regarding your language of "acceptance" are you suggesting that moral judgements of situations i.e. abusive language directed against your wife is wrong?

graham christian 03-11-2013 01:34 PM

Re: The home of spirit
 
Quote:

Ewen Ebsworth wrote: (Post 324555)
Hi Graham, a couple of questions: what do you mean by "mind intereference"? and regarding your language of "acceptance" are you suggesting that moral judgements of situations i.e. abusive language directed against your wife is wrong?

Hi Ewen. Judgement yes. You may call it 'moral' if you like but it's not based on right or wrong. Thus no mind interference means no negative, no against. Neutral.

In the scene you described I would thus see a negative influence entered, the effect of such, where that's led to and where it is leading to. Nothing to do with right or wrong but a lot to do with good. Not good.

Good brings about harmony. So the disharmony requires action.

I accept there are stupid people, I accept there are many things. The more I accept the more I am not surprised or shocked or even disturbed. The more I am also clear in thought and thus clear in action and even choice of actions.

Peace.G.

aiki-jujutsuka 03-11-2013 01:42 PM

Re: The home of spirit
 
How do you define a "good" action if you are neutral in your mind state? I think I understand your point about remaining objective in every situation; I agree when assessing how to relate and react to a situation not allowing emotions to get the better of your judgement is important. However, if your judgement is not based on right or wrong then how do you know the action you choose to take is the right course of action or the morally obligatory form of action to restore harmony?

graham christian 03-11-2013 02:16 PM

Re: The home of spirit
 
Quote:

Ewen Ebsworth wrote: (Post 324565)
How do you define a "good" action if you are neutral in your mind state? I think I understand your point about remaining objective in every situation; I agree when assessing how to relate and react to a situation not allowing emotions to get the better of your judgement is important. However, if your judgement is not based on right or wrong then how do you know the action you choose to take is the right course of action or the morally obligatory form of action to restore harmony?

First and foremost morals are man made rules. Man in his wisdom makes rules and calls them right and wrong. Unfortunately man ain't too wise so we end up with things and actions called right which obviously are not good.

Neutral to me is real and dynamic. In fact I often say to people that the axis around which all turns is neutral and indeed has to be. Like the axle on a car.

Your universe, your world, revolves around you. Therefor you as self should be neutral or else wherever you go you will create unfortunate accidents and blame others.

Then their are qualities other than that of true self. One is that of the desire for harmony and goodness. That innate quality leads you to action. Thus we have various innate qualities which work together and Aikido can be a vehicle of practicing and expressing such.

Peace.G.


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