5/6/10 NOTE: So how does all this internalization I blathered on about in the blog on 5/01 relate to what I am trying to do for the vets with PTSD? I mean, if I think I'm going to get these guys doing any "meditative Aikido" in six weeks, I will just end up frustrated. Also, I will not be giving them anything of real value, no hints of different ways to deal with aggression, vulnerability, stress.
After some thought, I think my own awareness of the meditative aspects of Aikido can be of benefit in two ways;
The first lies in how I approach the way I teach and run the class. If I stay centered on what I want to accomplish, and how I model aikido it will help me deal with the frustration of having a different group of people every week, with no one for longer than 12 classes. It will help me avoid getting caught up with guys who want to muscle or otherwise "test" my Aikido. [
I've already screwed up once on that!] And it will help me keep my ego under control and focus on what these vets need that I can provide through Aikido. It will also help me keep my sense of humor. [
A very important issue and one I will try to write on later]
Secondly, if I keep the emphasis on the breath/relax to center, discuss it as an important part of every technique, give "homework" to use this in their everyday, and occasionally speak of it as active meditation, I think I can ground the point with them. Then I can hope, when the occasion arises, they will be able to "meditate" as a practical, functional life tool. Conscious or not.
I realize that my approach to meditation needs to be much more along the lines of the Taoist "wu wei", [
action that does not involve struggle or excessive effort] than either of the zen schools I mentioned. It kind of means being in the here-and-now, natural action. I realize this is a gross over simplification, but it's the best I can do with out writing another thesis on the subject. I will probably return to it later though.
(Original blog post may be found here