My training has had many frequent ups and downs and some periods I would like to forget.
Interesting. Last night one of my senior students asked how I was doing and I said that I was currently going through a phase of only going through the motions. I had only just used him to demonstate some hard technique and he dutifully laughed and said the obvious things. I interupted him and told him I was serious, that I was not 'feeling' anything currently and going through the motions of Aikido. I felt it was okay for him to hear this, he is a sandan after all, but I could tell it disturbed him.
I went on to say that I knew that it was only a phase and that it meant something was happening in me, on my way to a new learning experience. He mentioned that it might be the season, or that I was emptying the mind for Shihan training next month with Saotome Sensei. I don't know, but it is a real void. A sense of emptyness and lack of caring that is quite disturbing brings a certain introspection that is always good, but it can't be denied.
Opher, this has happened to me regularly. Let me think about this some more before I get into a decent retrospective.