Jon Reading wrote:
I think my trepidation about take musu aiki is the fact take musu aiki is difficult to reproduce and therefore difficult to communicate. ... Ultimately, the question still confounds me.
A thought occurred to me in a response to a point made in another thread. It seemed to have relevance to this discussion and so I thought I would quote myself (exceedingly vain though that may be): The context was trying to translate O-Sensei's sometimes impenetrable (even in Japanese) oral teaching and relate it to his physical training instruction:
Erick Mead wrote:
... Ueshiba spoke very much in terms of in myth. ... To grasp O-Sensei's meaning you have to unfold the ideas and concepts embodied in those myths into an immediate given circumstance. That particularized expression will then point to other meaning in the myth that you did not see going in at first. Then you find particular application or expression of that new meaning, and then see new meaning in the myth from that expression, etc. etc. ...
Takemusu aiki, it seems to me is much the same process in physical form. Thus, O-Sensei's mythic model of teaching, his mode of physical instruction, and his ultimate goal in training were really all of one piece -- implicate [enfolded] information, holographic, in a sense.
A branching cascade of unfolding, both in learning and of actual application of techniques in response to changing situations, seems to mimic the process of mythic understanding that O-Sensei's scheme of oral teaching (or any mythic learning) requires. Takemusu aiki is a perceptual process as much as anything, that to my way of thinking depends on faithfulness to the form of training, whatever it may be. In mythic teaching the approach to learning and the learning itself are one and the same thing -- in both Western and Eastern traditions:
Non-anticipation (shoshin) (vedana);
Calm observation (fudoshin)(samjna),
Intuitive action (mushin)(rupa),
Reflection on action (zanshin)(samskara)
These properly describe what I have been taught as the proper process of training in budo -- what I have come to perceive as the application of takemusu aiki that is developed in that training -- the integration of the elements of self in Buddhism -- and also, among other things -- the scientific method. One large unspeakable thing with many phenomenal aspects that unfold into actual experience.
In short, I find that wrestling with the form of the training is as much a part of the teaching as the things being taught. Hence, my initiation of this discussion, for that purpose, and the point of much, if not all, of the discussion in settings like this.
All learning begins in an admission of fundamental error. The humility to be corrected, either by a teacher or a concrete reality, is the ticket to being taught. This should be true whether the initial approach chooses its acknowledged error on the side of "too loose" or "too tight" as a step on the road to "just right."