Thread: Peace
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Old 09-13-2010, 04:16 AM   #52
Anita Dacanay
Dojo: Cleveland Aikikai, Cleveland, Ohio
Location: Cleveland, Ohio
Join Date: Nov 2009
Posts: 80
Re: Peace

I was once part of a theatre troupe that presented at an "Arts and Peace" conference. In addition to performing a play, we conducted a short workshop about trying to define or describe "peace." It was very eye-opening indeed. We saw there, as we see in this thread, that there are many, many definitions of and perspectives on what we call "peace."

After calling myself a "peace activist" for years, I one day woke up to realize that I really knew nothing at all about peace. How could I go out into the world demanding a spiritual commodity like "peace" when I was not even sure what I myself really meant by that?

When I first encountered Aikido, it was so attractive to me because I thought that Aikido might help bring me closer to achieving, or at least defining that elusive quality - peace. To me the idea that is somewhat radical or unique is the concept that there is another choice beside the dualistic quandry of aggression versus passivity.

My intellectual understanding of the principles of Aikido leads me to envision or seek a state in which I can hold my own space, or express my own right to exist, without causing undo harm to others. My physical experience of Aikido supports this view. Aikido asks my body to move in a way that feels new and different, yet also natural and free, in a way that feels good and right to me. (Except in the moments when I fail miserably, of course.)

In the end, I don't know that the human race will ever agree on what "peace" is, let alone if we will all agree that that is what we should seek. But Aikido, like yoga, asks us to train our bodies and our beings to discover that place of peace for ourselves. Peace, I think, cannot be given to others. But I like to think that I can find it within myself; and that if I do, that that will be a good thing not only for me, but for others as well.
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