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Old 08-08-2006, 10:16 AM   #2
Dojo: Aikido of Midland
Location: Midland Texas
Join Date: Dec 2000
Posts: 1,652
Re: Changes: Into the second decade

- I have lost my enthusiasm for teaching newcomers, and that worries me, because I have always seen my attitude towards them as an indicator of my own conviction, dedication and compassion. P.
You did not explain much about why you think you lost your enthusiam. Are you bored? Do you just not like teaching them?

I have found that, concerning the relations between the mind, the body and spirituality -- one area of inquiry that attracted me to aikido - I now learn a lot more in a much shorter time from seated meditation, psychotherapeutic approaches or body work classes than from aikido. At the same time, I am less and less confident about the self defence aspect of our art.P.
Have you tried integrating the meditation into your art-moving meditation?

In this context, I have become disillusioned (I do note that this assumes an illusion…) about our leading Shihan, because I feel he knows not as much about spirituality and personal maturation as he likes to imply in his presentation of the art. Since his example used to be one important source of motivation for me, something is lacking now.
- Generally speaking, I find a lot of the passion I used to put into aikido training a little neurotic these days. There can be much wisdom in having a sunset beer instead of going to train for the fifth time in a week, cant there? P.
Perhaps you are moving beyond what your shihan knows of the spiritual/personal side. This area is likely emphasized differently based on the interest and training of the shihan. The Buddhist would suggest you look within for answers and not rely on others. I spent some time under an organization that I felt was not fulfilling my development at all. I took it upon myself to take charge of my own training and evolve my aikido. When the time was appropriate, I found an instructor already in the direction I was headed, albeit slowly. Unfortunately, I had to stick it out under the previous organization much longer than I prefered to do. I realized that they were not going to teach me what I wanted or needed and I was the one responsible for getting it.

Finally, I am losing confidence on the technical side. I find that I would have to do so much more training both in the very martial and the very meditative direction even to start to understand aikido technique in a serious way, that I get a little exasperated when I think of it. Of course this last point is probably banal for anybody who takes aikido seriously. However, my growing feeling that my time on Earth passes more and more quickly makes it a somewhat more pressing issue these days. It sometimes almost feels immodest to wrestle with the art of aikido when I could, let's say, help feed the homeless in order to promote compassion and well-being. P.
. Ah, just when you think you're getting it you realize there's a lot more to understand. This can be exasperating or stimulating depending on how you frame it. I personally love to learn new stuff-spiritual or technical. I'm constantly searching for ideas and ways to shift my understanding and evolve it over time. I take the mental attitude that I look forward to learning something every time I step on the mat or pick up a book or something related to the art. I even look at other arts for ideas about aikido. With that mind set, I never get exasperated because my mind wants to, needs to and seeks to learn. My exasperation is that I'm getting older and the body isn't what it used to be.

Something seems to have shifted in how you represent the art to your mind. We all get frustrated with our progress and the process of getting to where we think we ought to be. There's so much to study and understand about the art, which can be daunting. Best of luck dealing with your concerns.
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