George S. Ledyard
I don't understand this last comment...
It seems that sometimes words get in the way. For that reason I train in silence and let aikido speak for itself through my training. Here, words can lead down strange paths and it seems to me, in this case, they have. Like aikido at times, the story is in between the lines.
I feel the points you brought up are excellent in a general sense. The points you brought up don't relate to what I need to newly incorporate into my practice, although I understand they were inspired by my post. Along with many amazing teachers, I have been in the process of training in these "key" concepts for my entire life. I've met these lessons in many forms and many voices. Your points are beautiful and good reminders.
Motomichi Anno Shihan (8th Dan Dojo-Cho, Kumano Juku Dojo, Shingu; for those who don't know this incredible human being) my primary teacher, insisted that I lose my form completely 6 years ago when he was certain I had absorbed the above lessons in body, mind, and spirit. He said "You're good now". Since then, it has been free form and an open ability to maintain the lessons within me, through all the amazing and unusual places I roam (including boxing gyms, pubs, and the occassional rodeo). He still says, "You're good now. You be yourself. Aikido is you."
I hope other people are as lucky as I am to have such an amazing instructor and human being in their lives. An instructor who can see when we've crossed the threshold and a person we can witness, love, and respect who has crossed it before us. A person who's shoulders we can stand on.
Thanks for your patience in reply, George.