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bgkarma 06-26-2000 06:10 PM

I was wondering if someone could say something about meditation. So far it hasn't really been mentioned in my classes, and I'm curious to know if this is something I have to look forward to.

Chuck Clark 06-26-2000 06:44 PM

It depends on your teacher, but I've never experienced anyone who does any serious meditation during aikido practice other than a brief "mokuso" or clearing the mind before and after practice.

It's my experience that budo practice can be and often becomes a form of moving meditation at advanced levels of practice.

Good luck with your practice.

George S. Ledyard 06-26-2000 06:56 PM

Meditation
 
Quote:

Originally posted by bgkarma
I was wondering if someone could say something about meditation. So far it hasn't really been mentioned in my classes, and I'm curious to know if this is something I have to look forward to.
I do not do much meditation in class. I feel that there is a limited amount of time each week that people have access to the mat and partners. So I purposely do not spend clas time on something that they can do on their own at home. There are many volumes on how to meditate and if the person is interested in really getting deep into meditation, they are best off finding a really qualified meditation master and working with him or her.

That said, I think that having some sort of internal practice that augemnts the work you do on the mat can be a very important part of your practice. I have licky to be able to host William Gleason sensei each year at my school and aside from the depth of his Aikido practice (he trained in Japan with Yamaguchi Sensei) I find that the active Zen practice which he maintains makes his insights into the spiritual side of the art something much deeper than just academic.

akiy 06-26-2000 11:33 PM

About the only meditation that I've done during aikido practice (on the mat, clad in dogi and hakama kind of thing) has been short meditation for, let's say, fifteen minutes; that's about it.

I do know of teachers who add a lot of meditation into their daily aikido teachings, though.

Most of the people who do aikido and meditation sort of do it "separately." One of my former teachers meditates for an hour after she gets up in the morning. One of my dojo mates has been sitting for over twenty years now. Others go on meditative retreats ranging from one weekend to one month.

If it interests you, I say pursue it. I just have never been able to sit still and meditate for very long; of course, this probably means that I need it the most, huh?

-- Jun

Chuck Clark 06-27-2000 10:28 AM

I've been meditating since I first got involved with yoga and zen as a young teenager. I still sit and am a zen Buddhist, however my main sitting practice and my budo practice have merged. I think they are the same thing when practiced with focused mind.

As I said in my earlier post, I have seen no real teachers of aikido who spend time during class on meditation. Does anyone know of anyone who does this?

I have heard of a couple of people who included a half hour of "meditation" in their hour class on aikido, but I suspect it was really meant to take up time because I know the depth of their aikido training.

Erik 06-28-2000 01:02 AM

I was wondering if someone could say something about meditation. So far it hasn't really been mentioned in my classes, and I'm curious to know if this is something I have to look forward to.

I've seen it done but more in the visualization/energy realm and it wasn't emptying the mind as meditation is often viewed as.

You've reminded me of the whole month of Tae Kwon Do I took when I was 13. The instructor would take us through the warm ups and then tell us to meditate. We'd do whatever meditate meant for less than a minute and that was it--his homage to meditation.

Personally, I use a modified form of TM as a quick relaxant. TM is a meditation where you repeat a phrase over and over. I find after 15 minutes I'm much more relaxed.

More of my teen years but when I was in high school I played around with visualization as a basketball player and achieved some phenomenal results. It was very hard to maintain though as finding privacy was almost impossible in that environment. I've tried it in Aikido but have not achieved the same results but then I didn't try it with the same enthusiasm I did when I was younger. I should revisit this one of these days.

Nick 06-28-2000 11:20 AM

But then this poses the question- shouldn't you have the mindset of meditation during all your daily activities?

-Nick

Chuck Clark 06-28-2000 11:30 AM

I guess that I wasn't precise enough in my earlier post. Sitting, budo keiko, budo renshu, and all daily activities are the same to me.

Just this, just now...

Erik 06-28-2000 12:15 PM

I just have never been able to sit still and meditate for very long; of course, this probably means that I need it the most, huh?

I've never been able to jump out of a flying plane without a parachute. I've just got some mighty big issues with that idea and I don't know what to do about it.

Does that mean I need to do it?



[Edited by Erik on June 28, 2000 at 12:18pm]

Nick 06-28-2000 07:23 PM

Perhaps jumping out of a plane unrestrained is not the smartest idea, however, it may be argued that when you do jump out of the airplane, that few seconds before your splat, you achieve total satori. It's like in James Clavell's Shogun, Anjin-san is dissatisfied with the way things are going, so in the presence of Toranaga (fictional depiction of Tokugawa), he takes a tanto and brings it into his chest. Though stopped, from that moment on, he became samurai, and feared nothing. Perhaps only in our greatest trials, when death seems imminent, do we become our strongest.

Kanpai,

-Nick

Erik 06-29-2000 12:12 AM

Quote:

Originally posted by Nick
Perhaps jumping out of a plane unrestrained is not the smartest idea, however, it may be argued that when you do jump out of the airplane, that few seconds before your splat, you achieve total satori. It's like in James Clavell's Shogun, Anjin-san is dissatisfied with the way things are going, so in the presence of Toranaga (fictional depiction of Tokugawa), he takes a tanto and brings it into his chest. Though stopped, from that moment on, he became samurai, and feared nothing. Perhaps only in our greatest trials, when death seems imminent, do we become our strongest.
Wow, a long way from where I was going with it. All I really wanted to say was that it's ok to not like carrots.

Nick 06-29-2000 07:33 AM

sorry, I was feeling a bit philosophical :). I suppose what I said still holds true.

Kanpai,

-Nick

Mike Collins 06-29-2000 07:43 AM

If you decide you don't like carrots, aren't you making it okay for carrots to not like you, thus escalating the psychic violence of the paradigm?

Mike Collins 06-29-2000 07:44 AM

Maybe you could just "be okay" with carrots

Nick 07-01-2000 12:34 PM

If a carrot ever tells me he doesn't like me, that'll probably be the least of my problems...

-Nick

Mike Collins 07-01-2000 09:44 PM

What the carrot says to you is not nearly as important as the fact that you are having a conversation with vegetation.

Nick 07-02-2000 07:29 AM

The question is: If the carrot doesn't like you and is able to tell you so- does that mean that all vegetation will dislike?

Forever bringing things off-topic,

-Nick

AikiTom 07-02-2000 09:35 PM

I like carrots.
Seriously, though, some recent interviews I've read of older students of O-sensei say he hated Zen and advised his students not to practice it. Thus, I think it would be hard to argue that aikido is "moving Zen" or "moving meditation."
I would say the only similarity it has to Buddhist thought is the idea of "non-attachment" which frees the mind to respond to an attack more quickly.
I think I've also read that O-sensei considered Zen almost the opposite of aikido. Buddhism's goal is to reach Mu, the Great Void, which is essentially "nothingness," whereas Aikido aims just for the opposite, the realization of the fullness of creation, the continuous "Takemusu Aiki," techniques created spontaneously, and in a sense furthering creation.
So, on the one hand you have "nothingness," and with aikido "something-ness."
I would say meditation for the aikidoist/ka is really more the Shinto "chinkon kishin," which is "calming the spirit and returning to the origin," that is tuning in to God. In that sense, yes, I think meditation connects with Aikido. In our classes we begin and end with short meditation. We refer to it as "misogi." I see it as a nice transition between the world we came from and the world on the mat, and sets the stage for focused practice. :)

Hipnosus 07-03-2000 12:00 AM

A bit late in this conversation, but in shogun, he was not in the company of Toranaga, but one of his officers. It was out of the shame of baring the fate of an entire village he wished to commit serpico.

Erik 07-03-2000 02:01 AM

Quote:

Nick wrote:
sorry, I was feeling a bit philosophical :). I suppose what I said still holds true.

Kanpai,

-Nick

Actually, I'm allergic to either carrots or something they are putting on them these days. I can eat a couple baby carrots and mostly be fine but even a handful puts me through an hour or more of stomach gyrations.


Nisanga 07-03-2000 06:04 AM

I only began reading this thread a short time ago, but I recall someone posing the question about whether or not (and I am paraphrasing here) meditation had a place along side of Aikido. AikiTom makes a good point about Aikido not being quite like meditation. But I disagree. Whether or not O-sensei hated Zen to me is irrelevant. Aikido is meditation.
All throughout history there have been people, such as the Whirling Dervishes who have done what I like to call "active meditations". Just because you are moving doesn't mean you can't be aware.
I come to Aikido having been a meditator for over 21 years and I can tell you from experience that you *can* be in meditation while moving through all the 10,000 movements we do in our lives.
To me, any action done with awareness becomes meditation.So, I say, carrot or no carrot, Aikido can be your meditation
As it was said earlier, it depends on the perspective of the person...

Would love to hear from you have also been meditating since before your days of Aikido...

Nick 07-03-2000 08:32 AM

Thanks- I forgot, he was with Yabu and Omi, and Mariko if I remember correctly. Anyways-

One reason I can imagine O-sensei would disallow Zen would be in part with his interest in Omotokyo. Tohei-sensei said that he said a lot of things that were hard to decipher, that he had learned from the Omotokyo faith.

-Nick

AikiTom 07-03-2000 11:45 PM

Re: Shogun. I thought Serpico was a NY cop.

So this yogi goes to the dentist, who says, "You need a tooth pulled. Would you like some novocaine?" The yogi replies, "No, thanks. I'll just meditate while you work, and transcend dental medication."

(rim shot)

Nisanga 07-04-2000 01:48 AM

Ah, great joke, AikiTom! (though I've heard it before), still a great joke.

A Zen Story:

The Zen master is hungry and finds a hot dog cart passing by.
So the Zen master steps up to the hot dog cart and says:
"Make me one with everything."

The hot dog vendor fixes a hot dog and hands it to the Zen master, who
pays with a $20 bill.

The hot dog vendor puts the bill in the cash drawer and closes the drawer.

"Where's my change?" asks the Zen master.

And the hot dog vendor responds:
"Change must come from within."
*** ***
Now guys, I'm not yet real familiar with all the Japanese terms of Aikido, But I want to know why I haven't heard any of you say something about Za-zen..??
If anything in Japan is meditation,
THAT is meditation.
Comments, please?
Oh, and P.S....
Here's a site for you all to check out:
http://www.geocities.com/Tokyo/7731/
It's a web-page on the founder of
Omotokyo... :-)

AikiTom 07-04-2000 08:32 AM

Interesting web site. Summarizes omoto in understandable terms.
Za-zen is mentioned from time to time with aikido, but as it is stationary and usually done for long times, it probably doesn't fit into many people's time frame for aikido practice.
I've read of people doing something similar in Hawaii in the ki schools, which they call "breathing," where they meet specifically for that, sit in zazen, breath in and out while someone rings a bell over and over. It's supposed to build physical strength and ki from what I understand. PErhaps on some of the aikido pages for schools on Maui you could find more, specifically the Shinichi Suzuki school at Wailuku, Good luck.


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