Re: How do you train/achieve nothingness?
Larry, I think you bring up a vey good point about mushin and aikido and a light bulb sort of went off in my head. I believe you are correct. I think my good friend Min illuded to this, but I missed it in his post until know.
If aikido does nothing else, it develops mushin better than any single practice I have done. Not sure how this differs from states derived in yoga or say Tai Chi, but I think figuratively at least we concentrate on this one point greatly in aikido. Especially in bokken work. In order to be successful, you must acheive mushin.
I will have to give this a great deal of thought for sure, as I do believe that we achieve no mind in BJJ as well. We call it muscle memory I think. I don't really think about what I am doing, simply respond to what is in the moment. However, the key difference I think between the methodology of BJJ and Aikido is that mushin is more directly critical or rewarded as an isolated dynamic in aikido maybe than in any other art I have practiced.
I think mushin can probably best be practiced in solitary meditation, but It seems like we always talk about the challenged associated with maintaining that state in daily life. I think, just maybe aikido is a wonderful practice that allows us to bridge that chasm and allows us to translate the practice into the physical and secular world a little more, especially when confronted with conflict and things that want to disrupt that state.