Thread: RE: Elegance
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Old 09-10-2012, 09:56 AM   #36
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Re: Elegance

Oisin Bourke wrote: View Post
Here are the words of a master of the shakuhachi, a Japanese bamboo flute.

I think it resonates with this topic.

"Geido (the Way of Art)

The secret of the way of art is in wabi and sabi. Like seeing all of life in a single stem of a flower, as a player you put all of life's force into the sound of one note, and this transcends life and death. This is true of any Eastern philosophy and art. Sometimes its called kyo or mu. With the tangible you participate in the intangible. With the visible, you go into the invisible. These are deep and high truths, and hard to understand by lay people. Shakuhachi koten honkyoku is an extreme example of this. So when you live in the rarified world of koten honkyoku where nothing is there, that is where you live limitlessly. Like Bashō, Rikyű, Saigy§, you live in Jakubaku (aloneness).

"Autumn evening, This path, no-one is walking
At the foot of the mountain in Winter,
is there anyone else who is enduring this loneliness?"

Unlike Western culture which analytically tries to express the height of the human spirit (extrovert), Eastern culture looks for the heavenly world in this invisible, hidden arena of wabi and sabi. "Willow is green, flowers are red" That is the essence of creation. "Duck's feet are short, crane's feet are long". We want to cultivate the goodness of Eastern culture and learn the benefits of Western culture. Everything goes back to one-ness

This was taken from
Those are wonderful quotes. I don't think words like grace and elegance reflect the truth of budo.

So I'll add a quote from Gozo Shioda Sensei. I used it in a column about demonstrations in the martial arts.

In aikido demonstrations, the more advanced the persons executing the techniques and taking the falls are, the more balanced their minds, techniques and bodies become. As their kokyu or breathing becomes united, the artistic beauty of harmony emerges. This beauty is different from the elegant beauty of dancing or gymnastics. I would describe it as a severe beauty, that is, like an autumn frost.
Gozo Shioda Sensei

we can make our minds so like still water, and so live for a moment with a clearer, perhaps even with a fiercer life
w b yeats

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