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Old 12-19-2005, 06:39 AM   #51
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Re: Have you ever experienced this?

Quote:
Ignatius Teo wrote:
Read it. Interesting is a good description. Weird, would be another. Personally, I've never experienced the whole in-tune with the universe thing or the in-tune with all the masters of a martial art thing. I don't discount the idea, but it's like everything else in this realm of spirituality. Direct experience is about the only way to actually believe.

Mark
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Old 12-29-2005, 11:35 AM   #52
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Re: Have you ever experienced this?

So, I read this article by Ellis Amdur:
http://www.aikidojournal.com/?id=1517

Interesting. It goes along with this thread in the spiritual realm of aikido. How do you get there?

There was a reply by Daniel Harden that was very interesting. To paraphrase him, Isn't Ueshiba the person who never taught a single soul what he knew. Daniel's answer to why was ego. And I won't deny that it could be possible. But I would offer another road less travelled answer -- maybe it's because Ueshiba just couldn't get across his knowledge to his students. In other words, maybe he wasn't a good teacher when it came to the spiritual aspects. After all, in quite a few dojos, the training atmosphere was show them but don't explain it and then let the students repeat it until they understand it. Works for physical aspects, but it's a really horrible way to explain spiritual stuff. Might explain why he would come in an yell -- because the students just weren't getting it all. Not that he didn't try to explain the spiritual side. I've read various articles where the students would say that he would come in and talk about religious things and they never understood what he was talking about. To me, Ueshiba could have been trying to get his students to understand not just the physical, but also the spiritual aspects of aikido but maybe, he just wasn't very good at explaining the spiritual part. The physical was easy enough for him, it appears, to pass on.

So, how do you explain to students the spiritual aspect to aikido. Um, that question is for those who are involved in studying the spiritual side. For those who don't care, don't believe, or aren't interested, you can skip this all.

Mark
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Old 01-05-2006, 10:41 AM   #53
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Re: Have you ever experienced this?

Quote:
Mark Murray wrote:
Read it. Interesting is a good description. Weird, would be another. Personally, I've never experienced the whole in-tune with the universe thing or the in-tune with all the masters of a martial art thing. I don't discount the idea, but it's like everything else in this realm of spirituality. Direct experience is about the only way to actually believe.

Mark
i agree with you there about you need to experience it. i did when i was about 22 i was skiving off sitting on the works roof sun bathing chilling out that was the first time but i didnt realize what it was but it felt damn good
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Old 01-05-2006, 11:42 AM   #54
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Re: Have you ever experienced this?

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Paul Rubery wrote:
i agree with you there about you need to experience it. i did when i was about 22 i was skiving off sitting on the works roof sun bathing chilling out that was the first time but i didnt realize what it was but it felt damn good
Yeah, there are a lot of experiences I've had that I just can't describe. And usually when I do try, I just get the "he's crazy" look.

O'sensei most likely had many spiritual experiences, but I think what hindered him was that he couldn't explain how to get those experiences to his students. I do think he tried because you read about a bunch of his students who listened to him but just didn't understand what he was saying.

And I think he was able to blend that with the physical aspects of Aikido. Just once and only once I was on the uke end of a sen sen no sen kind of timing thing. It totally disrupted my attack and was quite an experience. If O'sensei could achieve that even 75% of the time, then he'd definitely be hard to attack.

Now, take that one step further and you might have what several of his students used to say. I looked for an opening but there was none. Disabling the attack even before a sen sen no sen kind of timing?

Mark
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Old 01-05-2006, 01:38 PM   #55
John Boswell
 
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Re: Have you ever experienced this?

Quote:
Ignatius Teo wrote:
Hi Ignatius,

Thanks for the link. That was an interesting thread there, all the other experiences, etc. This particular story, to me, is a bit far fetched, but I won't discount it as impossible. Her "dream" about the bo was interesting. I'm curious enough to contact her via e-mail, but maybe at a later date.

One thing I noticed about a lot of the stories was this common thread of "knowing" and a sensation of light (as in weight) feelings that... I personally have felt and guess took for granted.

I have yet to really concentrate on tying my aikido together with my meditation experiences, etc. I usually do one then the other, meditate and then practice or vice versa. I find that if I meditate before practice, I do tend to do considerably better. I guess I need to work a little harder at it.

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Old 01-05-2006, 04:13 PM   #56
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Re: Have you ever experienced this?

Hi John,

Well, the idea is to open the energy gates in the body rather than seek the experience directly. More ukemi....

Ignatius
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Old 01-06-2006, 09:26 AM   #57
John Boswell
 
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Re: Have you ever experienced this?

After sleeping on it and thinking about it, I've just about come to the conclusion that I have experienced these energy releases before. AND, if people are considering them the goal, then they definitly are on the wrong track.

I would equate these releases with dan rankings. Shodan means... you're ready to start learning, right? (surely I'm not the only one to have heard that?)

So... once you've opened up your spiritual self and have released that energy inside you... you're ready to start learning.

Makes sense, if you think about it. How many people are still struggling just to open up their spiritual side? And even if they do, how many people recognize what just happened? Either way, you're still really just starting at Square One.

Time to reach out and figure out what Square Two is.

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Old 01-20-2006, 10:30 AM   #58
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Re: Have you ever experienced this?

Quote:
John Boswell wrote:
After sleeping on it and thinking about it, I've just about come to the conclusion that I have experienced these energy releases before. AND, if people are considering them the goal, then they definitly are on the wrong track.

I would equate these releases with dan rankings. Shodan means... you're ready to start learning, right? (surely I'm not the only one to have heard that?)

So... once you've opened up your spiritual self and have released that energy inside you... you're ready to start learning.

Makes sense, if you think about it. How many people are still struggling just to open up their spiritual side? And even if they do, how many people recognize what just happened? Either way, you're still really just starting at Square One.

Time to reach out and figure out what Square Two is.
I reread your post and realized that I'd covered this subject in my latest blog entry. I'll paste it here. Let me know what you think about it. I would equate my level 3 with Shodan rank. So, yeah, what is Square Two? And how many more levels do I have to go through to get there?


Mark

Begin paste:

Before class last week, we had visitors in the dojo. They wondered about Aikido and I was demonstrating how in Aikido we move and blend during an attack. I had someone attack, I moved and blended, but this time something different happened. Let me take a step back for a moment and explain some things first.

Initially, in my training, there were blocky movements and attempts to get where to step and how to step down. Next, I worked on getting timing right. Slowly I progressed from really hard and muscular to somewhat softer techniques (but still not great). At one point, I performed a technique where I ended up going, hey, why are you (uke) on the mat. I didn't do anything, or so I thought.

To sum up the levels I experienced:
1. Starting. Working on movement.
2. Timing. Working on timing.
3. Body. Working on using less muscle and more aiki.
3. Correct movement, timing, and body.

In level 1, it was all beginnings and getting to moving where I should be. At times, my moving would be just right but my timing was off. Still, my aikido definitely worked better.

Examples. Yokomenuchi Shihonage (YS). I'd initially move to the inside of the attack, but be way too far away from uke to really keep moving for shihonage. Then I'd get better and actually be just right so that I could start shihonage but I was looking at my feet or too surprised that it was working that I'd lose the timing.

In level 2, I worked on getting where I should be at the right time so that the technique worked smoothly.

Example of YS -- My movement was good and my timing was good such that shihonage flowed, but I used an extra amount of muscle to get things done.

In level 3, I took out more muscle and just used enough energy to make the technique work.

Example of YS -- Aikido happened and I'm left wondering why uke was on the ground. I didn't really feel like I did anything at all.

So, in a basic overview that was the levels that I went through. And I'm okay with attempting to be softer, use less muscle, and finding uke just on the mat and me feeling like I didn't do anything. That was where I was at.

Now, however, I got a glimpse at another level in my Aikido. (And no, these levels aren't linear. They intermesh with other levels, both known and unknown.) From my first paragraph above, when I moved and blended, something strange happened. It was exactly like a technique from level 3, but this time, all during the technique, I could feel everything that was happening. I felt uke's presence/energy/attack and I felt myself blending and moving uke to where I wanted uke to go. I knew throughout the technique that I was doing one of those "Hey, why are you on the ground, I didn't do anything" only this time, I DID know what I was doing. But I wasn't thinking what to do; I was just in that moment in time with me, with uke, and with Aikido. Aikido happened and this time, I was the whole, but yet not the whole. It was a very definitive feeling. Something I've never experienced before but something that I do want to train towards. It was one of those "cool" moments in Aikido.
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Old 02-01-2006, 02:40 AM   #59
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Re: Have you ever experienced this?

Hi ya everyone, I have read some posts here about O'Sensei not being a good teacher, but there is also another part to this process, the student. Most people have an idea of what they are going to do, our brain is meant to function in this way, and in the normal every day world this is a good thing. But when it comes to the inner world this function does not work and in fact actually holds the student back. Pre conceived ideas/concepts cannot work if you have had no previous experience, to go by. This is one facet, and then there is the fact that words cannot describe the inner world in a normal learning way. Kensho/ Enlightenment/ inner peace, or what ever label you wish to stick on this ethereal thing, is an experience, like say pain, can you describe pain? Or say the taste of a fruit, the best way to would be to give someone an apple to eat and then they will know. But with this inner stuff it's not so easy, although there have been masters that have seemed to have the power to reveal this experience but there is a part that the student must play in this too, to come as a child, no preconceived ideas. In ‘The Art of Peace' O'Sensei could not be any clearer, take for instance:
From the ‘Art of Peace' No 1
The Art of Peace begins with you. Work on yourself and your appointed task in the Art of Peace. Everyone has a spirit that can be refined, a body that can be trained in some manner, a suitable path to follow. You are here for no other purpose than to realize your inner divinity and manifest your innate enlightenment. Foster peace in your own life and then apply the Art to all that you encounter.
No 18
Your heart is full of fertile seeds, waiting to sprout. Just as a lotus flower springs from the mire to bloom splendidly, the interaction of the cosmic breath causes the flower of the spirit to bloom and bear fruit in this world
Ten
All the priciples of heaven and earth are living inside you. Life itself is the truth, and this will never change. Everything in heaven and earth breathes. Breath is the thread that ties creation together. When the myriad variations in the universal breath can be sensed, the individual techniques of the Art of Peace are born.
Eleven
Consider the ebb and flow of the tide. When waves come to strike the shore, they crest and fall, creating a sound. your breath should follow the same pattern, absorbing the entire universe in your belly with each inhalation. Know that we all have access to four treasures: the energy of the sun and moon, the breath of heaven, the breath of earth, and the ebb and flow of the tide.
So you see, there is the reason why, and then the technique (meditation) to achieve the result. But our brain/mind/intellect wants explanations, answers as though we were learning maths, but this can't happen because ‘IT' is outside of the realm of our bodily senses, just like radio waves etc. This must cause the masters from all eras a lot of problems in their dissemination of inner peace /Kensho, because the student in some ways has to unlearn a lot of his ideas, to become the empty cup. We love complexity, simplicity we hate so we have a Yoga mat, incense sticks, whale music, mandalas, special diets, the list is endless. And yet it is very simple.
The technique in O'Sensei's quotes is also called the Pranayarma in Yoga but there are a lot of things that have been added to yoga over the centuries. The word Yoga is a derivative of the word Yog meaning Union, so standing on one leg, chanting, counting beads, beds of nails, etc, are not required for Union, in fact stillness, eyes closed in a comfortable position is the best and then take that experience you find into what ever you do. One of the great teachers and there have been many was Socrates, I can't imagine him sticking his head up his you know what. A good way to try to put a handle on this ethereal thing is that, it is the bedrock of your being. I was at the birth of my daughter and I was left alone with her minutes after her birth. There was this baby, no name, religion, nationality, language, no up, no down, etc, just life it self!! no contamination, now some 20 odd yrs later she is Claire, she's British, she likes this she doesn't like that, so on and so on, But she is really still that pure essence of life, as are we all. If we can be still, (just like the clock ticking in a noisy room it can't be heard, until there's quiet) we will become aware. We all have this innate quality, at the core of our being, it will take time and more effort than anything you've ever tried. Have you ever sat still for 1hr or more everyday? It's hard and the mind won't shut up, what about this, what about that, you haven't time today so leave it now and do twice as much tomorrow, etc. In a normal day we have a thought we respond it, it's only when we become still that we realize that we are being pulled this way and that all day long. To some one like my self who has gone through this process over some 30yrs O'Sensei couldn't be clearer. YOU ARE ALREADY THERE you just don't know it. For most it won't come in a minute, an hour, a week it may take yrs, it depends on us and we are all unique. It took 2yrs for me to experience ‘Kensho' but it's worth the wait and effort and I have a great teacher which has really helped me. I'd better shut up now, but I love to talk about this wonderful experience even if it can't be explained. All the best malc

"To practice properly the art of peace, you must: Calm the spirit and return to the source"
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Old 02-01-2006, 10:15 AM   #60
John Boswell
 
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Re: Have you ever experienced this?

Hi Malcom, and welcome to our little esoteric discussion here!

I enjoyed what you had to say. But what comes next? Once you've found the quiet and have heard the clock... THEN what do you do? Keep practicing? Is there something beyond the quiet to strive for?

I can get to that place you've discribed. When I'm there and on the mat, my skill is better and aikido is more fun. I guess striving to be there more often and with less effort could be the goal. Dunno.

Anyhow, I'm listening if you have more to say. As Ken Watenabe said in "Last Samuari" " This has been a good conversation."

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Old 02-03-2006, 11:27 AM   #61
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Re: Have you ever experienced this?

Hi ya John, Sorry to take so long to get back to you. How about ths, the Art of Peace 113
The Path is exceedingly vast. From ancient times to the present day, even the greatest sages were unable to perceive and comprehend the entire truth; the explanation and teachings of masters and saints express only part of the whole. It is not possible for anyone to speak of such things in their entirety. Just head for the light and heat, learn from the gods, and through the virtue of devoted practice of the Art of Peace, become one with the Divine. O'Sensei is so clear!
I am only a student myself on this way/path all I can say is; just keep going practicing stillness everyday. It's a long road, Enlightenment/ Satori (or any other label you like) is about a focus/awareness on this inner force, in your everyday. It requires a commitment, that is hard to do when so many things attract our attention and obviously we have family and work commitments. It is a hard task to follow this path to return to simplicity, just keep going every day, and even in hard times find that time to practice your meditation. O'Sensei uses the word always and that's what he means, and slowly you will feel it more and more. I am sorry to dwell on this point but it is where so many people get lost, they sit there and perhaps think nothings happening, it's just boring sitting here, and doubt sets in and focus is lost. My teacher told me," if you plant a seed you wouldn't dig it up every day to see if it had sprouted would you", and this is the same. Also I have found that as I went deeper I found my thought processes became more difficult to ignore, my Teacher told me that my mind wouldn't like the idea of me trying to break it's strangle hold on me and would come back at me. This reminds me of No 51 in the Art of Peace
There are no contests in the Art of Peace. A true warrior is invincible because he or she contests with nothing. Defeat means to defeat the mind of contention that we harbor within
As you practice. the inner world will expand inside you (sorry best word I can think of) and for me it let me understand the illusory quality of the 3 dimensions in which we function, then you begin to realize that your experience of Life is limited. And the mind, doesn't like uncertainty, it may bring doubt, but your rock of practice is what helps here. And then comes a feeling of LOVE, no we don't have to kiss every one, it's the source of Love, it is not conditional, the weak link is us it is there all the time we just need to focus, no matter what you do it's there, like hidden treasure.
At times I feel like Socrates when he said, "One thing I know is I know nothing" but the feeling in me is strong and I try to focus all the time on that ROCK OF LIFE ITSELF, it's very hard but the rewards are great. It's a shame that O'Sensei is not here but still we can read his words and be inspired to try harder.

No42, The Way of a Warrior Cannot be encompassed By words or in letters: Grasp the essence And move on toward realization!
No 67 Always try to be in communion with heaven and earth; then the world will appear in its True Light. Self-conceit will vanish, and you can blend with any attack.
No97 The Art of Peace can be summed up like this: True victory is self-victory; let that day arrive quickly! "True victory" means unflinching courage; "self-victory" symbolizes unflagging effort; and "let that day arrive quickly" represents the glorious moment of triumph in the here and now

. No 99 To truly implement the Art of Peace, you must be able to sport freely in the manifest, hidden, and divine realms.

No 108 Unite yourself to the cosmos, and the thought of transcendence will disappear. Transcendence belongs to the profane world. When all trace of transcendence vanishes, the true person - the Divine Being - is manifest. Empty yourself and let the Divine function
No109 You cannot see or touch the Divine with your gross senses. The Divine is within you, not somewhere else. Unite yourself to the Divine, and you will be able to perceive gods wherever you are, but do not try to grasp or cling to them.
This inner experience will help your Aikido I think you have already noticed, it certainly helps my Tai Chi. I remember some one asking my teacher what he thought of (hatha)Yoga he said, "Zero" she got up and left, but if she had stayed she would have heard that knowledge of the ‘Self ‘is 1 and Yoga is 0 put them together and you get 10. Remember keep it simple, it comes as standard equipment you need add nothing. Thanks for letting me share this. Masakatsu Agatsu Malc
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Old 02-03-2006, 03:31 PM   #62
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Re: Have you ever experienced this?

Ive been doing Qigong and meditation for a little while and Ive definitely experienced Ki, gonna start Aikido next week at a dojo that focuses allot on balancing your ki, so hopefully will experience allot more there.
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Old 02-15-2006, 01:59 PM   #63
Jennifer Grahn
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Re: Have you ever experienced this?

I've definitely experience "seeing" (mentally) and feeling ki in my center, and extending to surround me. and i also feel it through hands/fingers often in practice. It's like a force-field of invisible energy. I think that meditation really helps in developing ki-awareness. Also, if you learn about the chakras, there really is a chakra there, it deals with life issues such as compassion, nurturing of self and others, and security. Interesting corelation to aikido principles???
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