Re: Men and Women and Developing Internal Power
When I started aikido in my early 20s, I had a few conflicting notions going on. I'm quite sure I still have some remaining . . . Of course, one doesn't know they are conflicting when we have them, but in any case this is a little bit about what I've learned along the way.
One of my stated reasons for decided to train aikido is to deal with people better. More gracefully, in any case. Not a strong suit of mine, and I thought aikido would help me a lot with that. Very well.
I also had the idea that aikido would be something that would only attract people who were aware and kind and all those lofty ideals about it. The brutes would go to whatever other MA they did, but that people who were looking for something deeper came to aikido dojo.
So, I experienced about 5 years of frustration, and I didn't really understand why. I was indignant that people were being . . . people. Regular old people, with all our jerkiness and foibles. But this was aikido! (I don't know how I was expecting to get all that practice at dealing with people more gracefully, in the perfect haven I imagined aikido was . . . but what can I say? These things are not always logical.)
Then I started going to Zen Mountain the Gleason Sensei. I thought, well, buddhists who do aikido - that must be where it's at! They must be really peaceful!!
They were just like everyone else. People. Just folks.
On the drive home of one of the seminars, Gleason Sensei asked me what was going on - he always knows when his students are spinning things in our minds. So I told him how disappointed I was. In his usual way, with one perfect stroke, he said: Hmmm, yes. Those who find the path are the ones who most need it.
And that completely unstuck me from that weird dichotomy I was in. I got it. We're all just folks being folks.
The best we can ever hope for is awareness. And ever-deeper, or increasing awareness is great. Morality is in many ways an illusion. I'll see if I can find a quote I like about awareness vs morality . . . back in a bit . . .
Last edited by sunny liberti : 06-23-2008 at 11:54 AM.