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Old 11-11-2004, 01:08 PM   #20
Kevin Leavitt
 
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Dojo: Aikido of Northern Virginia
Location: Stuttgart, Baden Wurttemberg
Join Date: Jul 2002
Posts: 4,376
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Re: Is cleaning the dojo part of training?

In the western world today we have all kinds of mechanisms in place to make society much more efficient. In industrialized nations it doesn't make monetary sense to have a CEO or President of a company take out trash or clean his floors, and that can be okay.

That type of thinking has prevaded our society down to everyday life. We go to the Starbucks, buy a mocha frappachino drink it as we walk down the street and casually without thought throw the cup in the waste can in the shopping center. We don't really think about all the things that went into getting that wonderful smelling and tasting drink in our hands, and what happens to it when we throw the cup in the trash can.

What about the guy that picked the beans? Or the young person with mulit-colored hair and pierced tongue working behind the counter? How about the person that empties the trash can? How about the cup and the tree that it came from....what kind of impact is it going to have in the landfill?

There is nothing wrong with going to Starbucks, I do it myself...my point is, that it is important to think about the everyday things we do and the impact we have on things. Our society has become so automatic we are in constant threat with loosing touch with reality.

Doing service is a part of the dojo environment. It serves to remind us of our responsibilities and that things just don't happen automatically. Particpating in cleaning is as much a part of the experience as taking the lessons. Some of the best conversations and teaching points I have recieved have occurred during this time.

We need to slow down our lives. Take time to realize what "goes into life".
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