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Old 07-03-2011, 12:23 PM   #30
David Warden
Dojo: UKUA Hartlepool
Location: Hartlepool
Join Date: Aug 2004
Posts: 19
United Kingdom
Re: Shugyo: Mindfully Train

Hi Lynn
thanks for the excellent column. An interesting subject and some fun conversations.
Doing Aikido mindfully, an interesting concept.

My understanding on doing things mindfully comes from a Buddhist weekend retreat, where one of the many things we were asked to do was to do everything mindfully. By this they meant be present in what you are doing and focus on the task in hand. So if you were washing the dishes, that is all you did. You were not thinking it was warm outside, the water was too hot, what am I doing next, I am not allowed to talk etc, you just did the task. On this task and other simple tasks, acting mindfully was difficult to do because I was not use to it, but it was made possible, because I was competent at the tasks anyway so did not have to think how to wash, clean, eat etc.

However when it comes to Aikido, acting mindfully is more of a challenge. I definitely feel that I am present and generally when I am in the dojo, the problems of the outside world are forgotten about.
I am usually focusing on the technique I am supposed to do, but whilst doing that my monkey mind is asking such questions as, why is this not working (or working), the attack is too slow/fast/weak/strong, they are too big/small/just right, did I turn too much/too little, ouch my elbow/wrist/knee hurts etc...
I know the basics of the techniques but every time is different, and the interactions are complex so it is possible to be really mindful.
Was going to try and be mindful yesterday but was playing with weapons so although I was concentrating a lot, I do think I was mindful.
I will have to experiment again tomorrow.
Thanks again
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