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Old 02-08-2005, 12:05 PM   #26
Dojo: Shobu Aikido of Connecticut
Location: East Haven, CT
Join Date: Jul 2004
Posts: 1,402
Re: Where's the hara?

I agree with your line of thinking almost entirely. I admit that the majority of my class is kihon waza - but what I'm researching is certainly not basics for the sake of basics. I've read several papers on shu-ha-ri but I think I have it well understood. My assumption is that the shu level is like the shoden level, the ha level is like the chuden level, and the ri level is like the okuden level, but that's just my guess from trying to figure it out from context. I keep hoping someone will write a shu-ha-ri for dummies book.

I love the idea of ego-centric being an anti-center to the way we are thinking about center. My thoughts are that ego is what separates you from your true self (the true self you are supposed to be working on manifesting by means of aikido practice). I suppose I consider my true self to be the center of how my mind and hara form an inderdependent relationship and therefore my ego can never truly be "centric". The term "ego-centric" seems to consists of antipodes.

"because of the law of interdependency, we have to acknowledge that these things do not exist until they all exist."

My thoughts to add about this are:
1) I think I call this the principle of corespondance. (As above, so below, as it is below, so it is above). Basically, all principles are meta-principles of that one.
2) I guess I feel that my center, and the center of the Universe exist, and the center of the technique, and the center of the uke all exist even if the uke is unaware that any of these centers exist.

So, while I see no disagreement here. I not convinced about "understanding center not as some thing or some things we should gain but as some thing or some things we should lose." Maybe - again I'm a bit dense. But I see it as you probably have to gain a few things - as well as - lose a few things for center. It's not very easy to give some things up. Some parts of my ego are really fun at parties.

(As an aside, there are very few books written in English about yin and yang. I'm looking for a good picture where there is a white circle in black side, and a black circle in the white side for an illustration of "anything to its extreme becomes its opposite" - as in iriminage).

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