Re: Deepening Our Training
I'd just like to touch on one of the issues in the other thread. We were discussing moving beyond "desire", but from saying it along those lines it got distorted into "you have no choice, you must practice regardless your feelings". I personally don't think that was the main message that was being conveyed. If it were the message then one could interpret it as, "the minute you walk through that door more then once, you have committed yourself to this training", because indeed the desire to get you through the door is gone, and unimportant, you are already through the door. However that initial desire that got you through the door the first time may have transformed into the other direction. Perhaps after the first month a student will decide it's not the path they wish to walk, therefore what they initially considered commitment, turns out to be temporary, or "untrue" commitment. Or maybe it takes even longer to realize this, perhaps months or years down the road, someone just says "what am I doing?"
I believe what Dave initially posted was true, that to truly understand Aikido one must move beyond training only when one "desires". I believe my Aikido will benefit greatly from that post as well. This is true commitment, and important to the mature development of Aikido. If one simply says "I don't want to train because I don't feel like it today", it is insanity to think they will develop along the same lines of someone who trains regardless their "feeling of the day". I'm not saying that anyone who does not practice every chance they get will have poor Aikido, but the later will be far better of in their pursuits of Aikido.
My understanding was that desire is unimportant because it is somewhat selfish. The desire we were discussing implies you do something for the self and the self alone. If you are in search of your own inflated ego, then this is not a good form of desire to train. However Aikido is about more then the self. Of course you can also have the desire to work with others and make them better at their Aikido. So I guess there are two desires, "Selfish desire" and "Benevolent Desire". Perhaps Benevolent Desire is not that bad in Aikido.
I'm understanding that for true "mature training", one has to move beyond desire, but I think the definition of desire may also have to be altered a bit. Perhaps to a more benevolent form. To continue something we must have some form of desire to do so, but it should not be our main motivation. Perhaps desire to understand the chosen art is important to the continuation of the practice? it would seem to me that if desire was completely none existent, then it would just be mechanical. Of course it also would show dedication, but dedicating to something we do not desire to dedicate to seems confusing. It seems like we are hollowly following a path. Perhaps desire goes through several phases? We begin with the desire to enter into an area of interest, and then once we do so that desire transforms into committed "attendance" (for lack of a better word) to that activity. Once we have established that, then we go through a desire to learn, once we begin learning that desire is meant, and hence we become committed to learning. Learning on the mat, or in ever day situations. Hence we slowly progress beyond the desire stages of each. The next would probably be desire to understand what has been taught. The interesting thing about this, is it is difficult if not impossible to understand all Aikido, hence there is only shifts in this stage, but there is a commitment to staving to understand Aikido. When we decide that we have reached a level of understanding, we satisfy that stage temporarily, but then we have to have a form of "want" to progress any further, because if one doesn't want to progress then one won't.
Perhaps I have simply confused the meaning of desire. I to no extent believe desire is a good enough motivation to study. It is as Dave said an "outer" force of study. I just believe that desire may be a push to the "inner" force of study and therefore somewhat important to the continuation of study. This is simply my attempt to not only understand Dave's post, but to attempt to expand an idea. I could however be wrong.