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Old 11-03-2010, 07:14 PM   #1
graham christian
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Square Ki is Kindness.

When you perform a good technique you have completed something, something very special, you have just handled an opponent to a satisfactory end. That's very kind of you.

Do you ever question why the techniques are based on circles, center, alignment, harmony?

When a person in your vicinity is all flustered and panicky because they have forgotten their phone and need to make an important phone call and on seeing this you give them your phone then what effect did that act of kindness have? Relief and a return to center.

Kindness cuts through the confusion completely!

Ki is non-resistive therefore it cannot be opposed and reaches through to the being. It brings about a betterment of well being or condition thus it never harms. This is kindness in action.

Notice it is very definite as is true kindness. If a madman attacks you he is actually looking for someone to stop him just like the bully in school and so he is looking for this definite kindness.

Do not faulter and spiritually run away and revert to force but face him with with all of your spirit, reach through to his being and excercise your aikido with KI, unwavering, unperturbed yet definite and this madman will be on his backside feeling like he has smashed into an invisible wall and yet he is unharmed.

Unharmed yet thoroughly defeated.

You see every time you do a harmonious technique the opponent knows where he felt vulnerable during that technique and knows what you could have done to him if your intention had been to harm and so realizes he has lost in more ways than one.

It is no accident that the techniques are as they are for they follow the path of kindness, they follow the path of ki.

If this small dissertation benefits just one person I will be happy.

Thank you, G.

(To show you I do practice what I preach in Aikido you can see my videos on youtube under the name 'humblegee')
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Old 12-02-2010, 11:02 AM   #2
mathewjgano
 
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Re: Ki is Kindness.

Quote:
Graham Christian wrote: View Post
Kindness cuts through the confusion completely!

...You see every time you do a harmonious technique the opponent knows where he felt vulnerable during that technique and knows what you could have done to him if your intention had been to harm and so realizes he has lost in more ways than one.
I agree very much! I have almost always found that sincere kindness has a profound effect on people. I believe we are social animals by nature, and as such the default position of social interaction is to help and be friendly to each other, but that through the oft difficult navigation of life, we develop self-defense mechanisms which short-circuit our social interactions. Some folks pride themselves on being an Ass Hole, for example, because "Ass Holes get things done; nice guys finish last; etc." I don't view that as strength though, like many people seem to do. It just seems to be an easy way to dismiss the other for the sake of self, and in a way that causes disconnection and resentment. When someone is kind when they don't have to be, most people seem to respect it...but there has to be that obvious strength attached to it or they just think you're nice because you're weak and need to cover up for it...in my personal experiences anyway.
As usual these days I don't feel like I'm very organized in my thinking here so I'll just finish it up with this: Kindness is an approach that is underappreciated in many aspects of our modern world...and thank you for the opportunity to consider it more deeply.
Take care,
Matthew

Gambarimashyo!
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Old 12-02-2010, 12:13 PM   #3
carina reinhardt
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Re: Ki is Kindness.

I agree with both of you. At the dojo our teacher sometimes must remember us when we train with a newbie that we are doing a martial art, although you must treat your uke as you will be treated, he is lending you his body to train. But in daily life I think you always win more and might come earlier to a solution in a dispute if you treat anybody with kindness.
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Old 12-02-2010, 03:47 PM   #4
C. David Henderson
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Re: Ki is Kindness.

I understand what you are saying, and I think it's a very nice ambition (but see, "Are we that good?"). I also understand the underlying values reflect a prominent view in some circles, and I don't want to focus on (or dispute) that.

However, while I'm seldom sure what folks mean when they talk about "ki," the statement "ki is kindness" I find about as easy to understand as the statement "heat energy tastes good."

Do you think that budo styles which teach how to harm are devoid of "ki?"

Did Takeda train his students, including O Sensei, how to use ki?

If so, then the spiritual element of aikido to which you're alluding seems like it needs a different conceptual scaffolding.

I may, of course, be mistaken.

David Henderson
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Old 12-02-2010, 03:54 PM   #5
SeiserL
 
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Re: Ki is Kindness.

IMHO, Ki is energy.

Kindness is how one may choose to express that energy.

Lynn Seiser PhD
Yondan Aikido & FMA/JKD
We do not rise to the level of our expectations, but fall to the level of our training. Train well. KWATZ!
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Old 12-02-2010, 04:17 PM   #6
graham christian
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Re: Ki is Kindness.

Quote:
Matthew Gano wrote: View Post
I agree very much! I have almost always found that sincere kindness has a profound effect on people. I believe we are social animals by nature, and as such the default position of social interaction is to help and be friendly to each other, but that through the oft difficult navigation of life, we develop self-defense mechanisms which short-circuit our social interactions. Some folks pride themselves on being an Ass Hole, for example, because "Ass Holes get things done; nice guys finish last; etc." I don't view that as strength though, like many people seem to do. It just seems to be an easy way to dismiss the other for the sake of self, and in a way that causes disconnection and resentment. When someone is kind when they don't have to be, most people seem to respect it...but there has to be that obvious strength attached to it or they just think you're nice because you're weak and need to cover up for it...in my personal experiences anyway.
As usual these days I don't feel like I'm very organized in my thinking here so I'll just finish it up with this: Kindness is an approach that is underappreciated in many aspects of our modern world...and thank you for the opportunity to consider it more deeply.
Take care,
Matthew
Hi Mathew,
Your thinking seems well organized to me.To consider this concept more deeply was precisely my intention.

Thank you for your response. G.
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Old 12-02-2010, 04:30 PM   #7
graham christian
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Re: Ki is Kindness.

Quote:
Carina Reinhardt wrote: View Post
I agree with both of you. At the dojo our teacher sometimes must remember us when we train with a newbie that we are doing a martial art, although you must treat your uke as you will be treated, he is lending you his body to train. But in daily life I think you always win more and might come earlier to a solution in a dispute if you treat anybody with kindness.
Hi Carina.
Like the lending body part as it reminds me that's precisely what my teacher used to say. In life? Likewise.

Regards. G.
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Old 12-02-2010, 06:27 PM   #8
graham christian
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Re: Ki is Kindness.

Quote:
Charles David Henderson wrote: View Post
I understand what you are saying, and I think it's a very nice ambition (but see, "Are we that good?"). I also understand the underlying values reflect a prominent view in some circles, and I don't want to focus on (or dispute) that.

However, while I'm seldom sure what folks mean when they talk about "ki," the statement "ki is kindness" I find about as easy to understand as the statement "heat energy tastes good."

Do you think that budo styles which teach how to harm are devoid of "ki?"

Did Takeda train his students, including O Sensei, how to use ki?

If so, then the spiritual element of aikido to which you're alluding seems like it needs a different conceptual scaffolding.

I may, of course, be mistaken.
Hi Charles.

Thanks for your response, I'll try to answer you as best I can. I just had a look at the post you mentioned so I understand what you mean there.

As to my view on budo styles which teach how to harm are devoid of Ki, well, good question.

If the sole purpose of a so called budo style is to harm and thus all techniques and movements have that as their goal then yes, I consider they are devoid of Ki. They are following a negative line of thought and negative energy which is of the mind and not the true spirit. Such is my view.

Did Takeda train his students, including O'Sensei how to use Ki? Well I have no idea on that, I don't even have an opinion on it.

As to the spiritual element to which I am alluding needing a different conceptual scaffolding? Yes, I agree and I do have one.

So I hope that answers those questions for you and understand that even that rather short, slightly curt, explanation would lead to other questions about my view.

For a taster of my view on what you have already mentioned above ie: the statement of Ki is kindness I ask you to do the following execise;

Imagine a mouse or some other animal or even a person, let's say an old lady in the street.(or anywhere for that matter)
O.K. So now imagine doing something really mean to that old lady.....

Now on doing that exercise notice what energy you feel, what energy effects you feel on your body, whether your body tightens to any degree, o.k.

Now do the exercise using the same image but this time imagine yourself doing something kind for the old lady and once again feel the energy as a result, feel the change in your spiritual space, feel the energy effects on your body and whether it tightens or relaxes.

This is what I call the first differenciation and experiencing the feeling of Ki. In fact I point out that when a person intends to harm they thus tense up and in so doing revert to force, or another way of putting it, revert to constricted Ki. They are blocking their own Ki and thus not developing it and getting used to using it and so will have extreme difficulty ever understanding what it is.

From this view you can imagine what happens when they pick up a sword to practice. Of course they tighten up and grip it too hard and have trouble doing a smooth powerful cut for even their shoulders will be too tight for the sword has this unerring ability to trigger off harmful images in the mind and fear of harming etc. etc.

Hence I tend to say things that may sound totally rediculous to some and like some kind of zen koan to others for instance when I tell my students that there are many blades you can cut with. You can cut with the blade of anger, the blade of fury, the blade of evil itself, but the must powerful and the sharpest blade of all is the blade of kindness.

Anyway, just my view, my way.
Keep living it. G
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Old 12-02-2010, 06:38 PM   #9
lbb
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Re: Ki is Kindness.

Ki is gas.

Beans, beans, full of vitamin B,
The more you eat, the more you got ki.
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Old 12-02-2010, 06:51 PM   #10
eyrie
 
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Re: Ki is Kindness.

Dr. Nefario: Here's the new weapon you ordered.
Gru: No, no, no. I said DART gun.
Dr. Nefario: Oh yes. Cause I was wondering... under what circumstances would we use this?

Ignatius
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Old 12-03-2010, 04:00 AM   #11
Tony Wagstaffe
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Re: Ki is Kindness.

Ki is what opens my door.....
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Old 12-03-2010, 10:32 AM   #12
C. David Henderson
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Re: Ki is Kindness.

Hi Graham,

Please call me David; "Charles" is a name I don't use, but rules is rules 'round here, so ....

I think being able to "relax" and access the kinds of physical performance associated with that (including aikido techniques done in that manner) does not require an intent to be kind.

In fact, if you find a really, really bad person, who enjoys inflicting pain, you may find they are quite relaxed and even enjoying themselves -- they get their fix giving pain, the pain is flowing, and so, to them, it's all good....

Takeda was famous for both his martial prowess and other reported talents, including being able to read another person's intentions, much in the same way you'll find O Sensei credited with seeing into a man's heart who bowed to him, hoping O Sensei would respond and give an opening for an attack....

But in him, this "talent" appeared associated with extreme distrust -- the kind of attitude that would enable one to be on guard against ambush and assassination. With Ueshiba, he projected a quite different persona. (But do keep in mind his position as a bodyguard in the Mongolia expedition).

O Sensei reportedly said that Takeda opened his eyes to true budo, but that O Sensei discovered "aikido" on his own.

"Ki," and indeed "aiki" may each in my view, be used to wield either a life-giving sword or a life-taking one, albeit with different consequences for the wielder himself.

In my view, the difference may lie more in the difference between
"jutsu" and "do," not "ki" or "aiki."

And, since I'm taking this long, I'll close by remarking that due to the inaccessibility of Ueshiba's religious beliefs, making aikido a "path" is problematic. The vessel is there, but what to fill it with?

Regards

David Henderson
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Old 12-03-2010, 04:55 PM   #13
graham christian
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Re: Ki is Kindness.

Quote:
Charles David Henderson wrote: View Post
Hi Graham,

Please call me David; "Charles" is a name I don't use, but rules is rules 'round here, so ....

I think being able to "relax" and access the kinds of physical performance associated with that (including aikido techniques done in that manner) does not require an intent to be kind.

In fact, if you find a really, really bad person, who enjoys inflicting pain, you may find they are quite relaxed and even enjoying themselves -- they get their fix giving pain, the pain is flowing, and so, to them, it's all good....

Takeda was famous for both his martial prowess and other reported talents, including being able to read another person's intentions, much in the same way you'll find O Sensei credited with seeing into a man's heart who bowed to him, hoping O Sensei would respond and give an opening for an attack....

But in him, this "talent" appeared associated with extreme distrust -- the kind of attitude that would enable one to be on guard against ambush and assassination. With Ueshiba, he projected a quite different persona. (But do keep in mind his position as a bodyguard in the Mongolia expedition).

O Sensei reportedly said that Takeda opened his eyes to true budo, but that O Sensei discovered "aikido" on his own.

"Ki," and indeed "aiki" may each in my view, be used to wield either a life-giving sword or a life-taking one, albeit with different consequences for the wielder himself.

In my view, the difference may lie more in the difference between
"jutsu" and "do," not "ki" or "aiki."

And, since I'm taking this long, I'll close by remarking that due to the inaccessibility of Ueshiba's religious beliefs, making aikido a "path" is problematic. The vessel is there, but what to fill it with?

Regards
Hello again David.
Well said. The exercise I said to do gives a person a feeling of good energy and a feeling of body relaxing. The explanation I gave in the original theme shows how it works in life which shows it's power. How to apply that to Aikido is a spiritual aspect of Aikido.(just one spiritual aspect of my Aikido)

Your explanation of someone really bad who gets a fix giving pain is flowing and very relaxed is very good. True, they can flow that negative energy and to a degree be relaxed but there are two differences here. It is not as sustainable as Ki or good energy and also their body is nowhere near as relaxed in comparison, the body instead of being tight and constricted is quite hard in comparison. Their energy is a kind of mad excitement. A different effect on or through the body.

So in my view that energy is not ki for ki is pure, they are negative energies of different kinds and if I were to say define them in terms of 'all energies are made from ki' then I would differentiate and say they are negative ki or polluted ki or impure ki etc.

Now, on your explanation of Takeda and O'Sensei and the two different views, thank you, I didn't know that but on reading it it does make sense to me. It makes me see that O'Sensei was not taught true budo by Takeda but through seeing the difference between what he could do and what Takeda could do was based on two entirely different 'ways' or principles it led him to his realization on Budo.

On the point of his religious beliefs being inaccessable I'm not sure what you mean there for buddhism, taoism is there to inspect. However that would explain why my approach to Aikido seems to be back to front to some because for me the spiritual 'religious' aspects were my starting realities.

This is easily mistranslated by many as meaning I was only interested in the airy-fairy side of it but I understand that view because I used to be disappointed by the false view that I thought all others wanted was the physical aspect only. Actually I wanted the harmony of all three elements of it- Physical-Mental-Spiritual. I realized O'Senseis Aikido had all three in equal amount.

So the path, which is a major concept in those religions, implies a self developing journey.

Aiki to me is to do with harmonious motion, motions which follow the path of good energy and thus are harmonious paths, and in Aikido translate into harmonious motions.

On the other hand a 'destructive' person is learning these ways of moving through studying the geometry of the motions and practicing them and so you coul see two people, one good and one bad doing the same harmonious moves but each has different intentions. One is Being Aiki, one is Following the path made by Aiki.

Finally may I expand on this view of mine. I also say that ki can be like a rainbow or like light which breaks up into many colours. So when say Kindness is Ki then I must now say that all GOOD energies are Ki and therefore innately harmonious which brings me to the point of true budo.

From my viewpoint Budo is love and whereas I explain Kindness as being non-resistive, harmonious yet definite and relate it to the sword in Aikido, Budo I see as love and thus infinitely accepting, non-resistive, all embracing and translating in Aikido as center and expanding out to kokyu.

Sorry if it sounds too philosophical but the western response to truths given in eastern philosophies is to disregard them by calling them 'nice philosophy.' Anyway, I enjoyed the communication.
Regards .G.
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Old 12-03-2010, 08:33 PM   #14
C. David Henderson
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Re: Ki is Kindness.

Quote:
Graham Christian wrote: View Post
It makes me see that O'Sensei was not taught true budo by Takeda but through seeing the difference between what he could do and what Takeda could do was based on two entirely different 'ways' or principles it led him to his realization on Budo.
Well, Ueshiba didn't say that. He said Takeda opened his eyes to true budo, implying that it was the "real deal." As to whether one could do stuff the other couldn't -- (a) I don't know what you're referring to, really, and (b) my point was to focus on some of rather extraordinary things both men were supposed to have been able to do.

Quote:
On the point of his religious beliefs being inaccessable I'm not sure what you mean there for buddhism, taoism is there to inspect
.

Ueshiba reportedly had some early training in buddhism, and there are certainly "taoist" concepts that are reflected in some of what he said. But for the majority of his adult life, he adhered to an esoteric Shinto sect. Many of his prominent students acknowledged they didn't understand his lectures, because they were couched in these terms.

If you are interested in this topic, a lot has been written here and elsewhere about it.

Quote:
So the path, which is a major concept in those religions, implies a self developing journey.
And, thus hence, my observation. Because he was an adherent of a different religion than these, it's "problematic" to declare that one is following his "path," especially since, to him, aikido was an expression of his religious reality, when most of us have but a vague understanding of that reality.

Quote:
Aiki to me is to do with harmonious motion, motions which follow the path of good energy and thus are harmonious paths, and in Aikido translate into harmonious motions.
Harmonics -- ever seen the famous video of the suspension bridge across the Puget Sound in Washington State harmonizing with a storm? It breaks itself apart, taking some cars with it. Harmony can mean "peace," but it equally can mean destruction. To me, "good" is a separate but necessary issue.

I have to agree with Satre on this -- our freedom, and responsibility for our freedom, are inescapable. It might be nice to live in a world where the choice to cultivate personal prowesss and the choice to be "good" were one and the same.

Fact is, most folks who are really peices of work have lives that reflect that in one way or another. But in the meanwhile, I don't think it's plausible to suggest they are incapable of accessing the physical side of budo simply because their hearts are impure. I'm not even certain it raises their cholesterol.

Quote:
Finally may I expand on this view of mine.
Certainly; take care of yourself.

Last edited by C. David Henderson : 12-03-2010 at 08:36 PM.

David Henderson
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Old 12-04-2010, 10:29 AM   #15
graham christian
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Re: Ki is Kindness.

Quote:
Charles David Henderson wrote: View Post
Well, Ueshiba didn't say that. He said Takeda opened his eyes to true budo, implying that it was the "real deal." As to whether one could do stuff the other couldn't -- (a) I don't know what you're referring to, really, and (b) my point was to focus on some of rather extraordinary things both men were supposed to have been able to do.

Ueshiba reportedly had some early training in buddhism, and there are certainly "taoist" concepts that are reflected in some of what he said. But for the majority of his adult life, he adhered to an esoteric Shinto sect. Many of his prominent students acknowledged they didn't understand his lectures, because they were couched in these terms.

If you are interested in this topic, a lot has been written here and elsewhere about it.

And, thus hence, my observation. Because he was an adherent of a different religion than these, it's "problematic" to declare that one is following his "path," especially since, to him, aikido was an expression of his religious reality, when most of us have but a vague understanding of that reality.

Harmonics -- ever seen the famous video of the suspension bridge across the Puget Sound in Washington State harmonizing with a storm? It breaks itself apart, taking some cars with it. Harmony can mean "peace," but it equally can mean destruction. To me, "good" is a separate but necessary issue.

I have to agree with Satre on this -- our freedom, and responsibility for our freedom, are inescapable. It might be nice to live in a world where the choice to cultivate personal prowesss and the choice to be "good" were one and the same.

Fact is, most folks who are really peices of work have lives that reflect that in one way or another. But in the meanwhile, I don't think it's plausible to suggest they are incapable of accessing the physical side of budo simply because their hearts are impure. I'm not even certain it raises their cholesterol.

Certainly; take care of yourself.
Hi David,
Thanks for your view. Nice ending! G.
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Old 12-10-2010, 11:19 AM   #16
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Re: Ki is Kindness.

The post is certainly interesting...

I'll set my preface with this, very little of the loose "interpretations" of what O'Sensei said are actually translations. I think we all need to take with a grain of salt any doctrine that comes down defining how O'Sensei expressed his views on the world. I am also a firm believer in self-reliance and accountability, so this perspective is difficult for me to understand given the lack of support. While I believe that we should advocate that our students responsibly use their knowledge, I do not advocate a spiritual agenda in class.

Quote:
Ki is non-resistive therefore it cannot be opposed and reaches through to the being. It brings about a betterment of well being or condition thus it never harms. This is kindness in action.
I would like to see more [any] supportive evidence for this statement. I don't know if I buy the claim that "ki" has a little conscious sitting on his shoulder telling him what to do. Ki is a tool, wielded by one who may express positive or negative attributes. Hammers are great tools too. A hammer can build a house, but it can also whack a finger. I think it may be reasonable to assert that those who train diligently in aikido are more prone to positive behavior, but I do not believe you can make an assertive claim like ki is kindness. And seriously, if you bring up midichlorians...

Quote:
If a madman attacks you he is actually looking for someone to stop him just like the bully in school and so he is looking for this definite kindness.
I believe this statement is false. Madmen are, by definition, incomprehensible as defined by their action. Madmen are not comparable to school yard bullies. People are responsible for their own decisions, good and bad. Now if you are claiming a juvenile mindset reasons that acting out in behavior will yield attention (positive or negative), I'll buy that... Heck, anyone who has children can buy that. But equating a juvenile mindset to the calculating and incomprehensible mindset of a truly evil person? Not buying...

Ki's got nothing to do with kindness. A correlation? Sure. Is there an overlap between those who practice budo and express kindness? I believe so. But there is also a correlation between those who practice aikido and wear their pajamas in public. So is ki adult undergarments?

You wanna preach about kindness, knock yourself out. You want to conform your students to a social model of philosophy as part of their training, knock yourself out. But I am not sure I'd go and start making these kinds of claims without some evidence. Maybe refine them with some concrete proof? but don't say "you have to feel it"...

There used to be a time when you were accountable for your actions and responsible for their consequences, now we get to say, "well, if someone cared enough about me, I never would have done those terrible things..."
Geico Drill Sergeant
Some people really do need help, its a shame we have chosen to bury those troubled individuals amongst the masses of self-excuse.

Thanks for spurring interesting conversation Graham.
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Old 12-10-2010, 04:05 PM   #17
graham christian
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Re: Ki is Kindness.

Quote:
Jon Reading wrote: View Post
The post is certainly interesting...

I'll set my preface with this, very little of the loose "interpretations" of what O'Sensei said are actually translations. I think we all need to take with a grain of salt any doctrine that comes down defining how O'Sensei expressed his views on the world. I am also a firm believer in self-reliance and accountability, so this perspective is difficult for me to understand given the lack of support. While I believe that we should advocate that our students responsibly use their knowledge, I do not advocate a spiritual agenda in class.

I would like to see more [any] supportive evidence for this statement. I don't know if I buy the claim that "ki" has a little conscious sitting on his shoulder telling him what to do. Ki is a tool, wielded by one who may express positive or negative attributes. Hammers are great tools too. A hammer can build a house, but it can also whack a finger. I think it may be reasonable to assert that those who train diligently in aikido are more prone to positive behavior, but I do not believe you can make an assertive claim like ki is kindness. And seriously, if you bring up midichlorians...

I believe this statement is false. Madmen are, by definition, incomprehensible as defined by their action. Madmen are not comparable to school yard bullies. People are responsible for their own decisions, good and bad. Now if you are claiming a juvenile mindset reasons that acting out in behavior will yield attention (positive or negative), I'll buy that... Heck, anyone who has children can buy that. But equating a juvenile mindset to the calculating and incomprehensible mindset of a truly evil person? Not buying...

Ki's got nothing to do with kindness. A correlation? Sure. Is there an overlap between those who practice budo and express kindness? I believe so. But there is also a correlation between those who practice aikido and wear their pajamas in public. So is ki adult undergarments?

You wanna preach about kindness, knock yourself out. You want to conform your students to a social model of philosophy as part of their training, knock yourself out. But I am not sure I'd go and start making these kinds of claims without some evidence. Maybe refine them with some concrete proof? but don't say "you have to feel it"...

There used to be a time when you were accountable for your actions and responsible for their consequences, now we get to say, "well, if someone cared enough about me, I never would have done those terrible things..."
Geico Drill Sergeant
Some people really do need help, its a shame we have chosen to bury those troubled individuals amongst the masses of self-excuse.

Thanks for spurring interesting conversation Graham.
Hi Jon.
Good response. May I a bit more about my view.

I understand how in this day and age people will equate kindness with sympathy and poor me attitudes which is why I emphasised how true kindness is definite. If you sympathise with someone or something then you become. Then you want to defend the person or thing you sympathise with. The problem here is that the sympathiser has BECOME.

On the other hand, if you EMPATHISE then you remain stable, you can now look at the pro's and cons etc. etc. etc. The difference? You are still BEING rather than becoming.

In life there are subjects, bodies of knowledge about an area or thing. ie: Biology, cosmology, physics, politics et al.

Now in Aikido there is the subject of the body, the physical aspects of the art. Katas get the body used to those movements. Repetitive movements of all kinds done in practice is to get the body used to those movements. Physios and osteopaths can tell you all kinds of other useful things about the body and mechanics thereof.

Then there is the mind aspect of Aikido. This is the body of knowledge to do with movements and techniques. As it has concepts like ma-ai, center, circles etc. in the art then part of this data, theory, has to include geometry. Further than that, as this art has a thing called Ki as part of it then it brings energy into the equasion and thus physics comes into play in it's study. This is all the mind of the art.

By applying the theory along with the physical we discover how and why and thus understand. Thus I differenciate this way:
There is a physical center of the body, the center of balance, all things physical have a center and thus we see if you spin them they turn around their center. So there is a principle involved here.

Now what is the center of the mind? Well it is understanding. When you understand then your mind feels centered, stable. So for me a student of the art obviously has to study and see how the theory and practice work together.

Then we come to the spiritual part of the art.

In life there are people and groups of people who dedicate there lives to helping people with their physical well being. Doctors for example. Then there are people who dedicate their lives to helping people with their mental well being. Teachers, psychologists etc. Then there are people who dedicate their lives to helping others with thei spiritual well being.

This third one has so many connotations nowadays that the mere mention of the word spiritual conjures up the image of weird or mystyrious or unreal. Now my view is that the area of spiritual well being originally was religion but alas it has now in this day and age been defined as the study of god or gods. O'Sensei was very spiritual I think everyone would agree and talked about spiritual principles and how they apply to Aikido. These were not physics, they were not geometry, they were of the subject of your spirit.

The avoidance of this subject leaves aikidoka wondering what he meant, it's that simple.

There is for example a physical ma-ai, a mental ma-ai and a spiritual ma-ai and when a person understands all three then they can review what O'Sensei said about ma-ai and then understand what he meant. Otherwise they can say it's all to do with the different meanings of japanese words or that it's because he was involved in some mystical group..... Wow. That's all I can say on that.

Anyway this is how I look at it and study and practice it. Ki is of the spirit so unless a person is willing to add that viewpoint to their training they will never understand it and how it works in what they are doing. You have Ki whether you like it or not for if you didn't you would be dead.

Finally, here's an interesting thought. If a person was to show how a spiritual principle applies to a physical action would that be preaching?

Good talking to you. G.
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Old 12-10-2010, 04:49 PM   #18
Flintstone
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Re: Ki is Kindness.

I missed this one. Ki is non resistive? Really? Graham, do you know anything at all about Japanese culture and its usage of the word and concept of "ki"? Or Chinese for that matter?
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Old 12-10-2010, 05:13 PM   #19
graham christian
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Re: Ki is Kindness.

Quote:
Alejandro Villanueva wrote: View Post
I missed this one. Ki is non resistive? Really? Graham, do you know anything at all about Japanese culture and its usage of the word and concept of "ki"? Or Chinese for that matter?
You sure did miss this one, obviously.
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Old 12-10-2010, 07:24 PM   #20
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Re: Ki is Kindness.

Quote:
Graham Christian wrote: View Post
You sure did miss this one, obviously.
No problem. I catch up fast. You don't, obviously.
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Old 12-10-2010, 07:40 PM   #21
C. David Henderson
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Re: Ki is Kindness.

Graham,

How can you speak with confidence to what Ueshiba meant if you don't understand the meaning of his concepts within his own religious tradition or the cultural or linguist idioms involved? You allude to him (again), but you don't address Jon's point about the translation problem any more than you did my point about the religious transposition problem.

With due respect, it's my impression that the view you're presenting is maybe 75 to 80 percent your own. That certainly doesn't make your view right or wrong. But, in fairness, what Jon requested was support for your view, not elaboration of it.

I hope you look up the series of articles referenced in the "a bit of history" thread soon. It would be interesting to hear how your point of view survives its encounter with historical fact and context.

I know a shihan (in the sense that I've attended seminars he has taught) who was an uchideshi of O Sensei -- one of his last. He is always mindful not to be too close when he bows to the kamiza. He remarked one time it made it easier for him to remember O Sensei as a human being.

Respectfully,

David Henderson
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Old 12-11-2010, 02:43 AM   #22
graham christian
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Re: Ki is Kindness.

Quote:
Charles David Henderson wrote: View Post
Graham,

How can you speak with confidence to what Ueshiba meant if you don't understand the meaning of his concepts within his own religious tradition or the cultural or linguist idioms involved? You allude to him (again), but you don't address Jon's point about the translation problem any more than you did my point about the religious transposition problem.

With due respect, it's my impression that the view you're presenting is maybe 75 to 80 percent your own. That certainly doesn't make your view right or wrong. But, in fairness, what Jon requested was support for your view, not elaboration of it.

I hope you look up the series of articles referenced in the "a bit of history" thread soon. It would be interesting to hear how your point of view survives its encounter with historical fact and context.

I know a shihan (in the sense that I've attended seminars he has taught) who was an uchideshi of O Sensei -- one of his last. He is always mindful not to be too close when he bows to the kamiza. He remarked one time it made it easier for him to remember O Sensei as a human being.

Respectfully,
Hi David.
I do know the concepts of his own religious tradition thank you so I speak with confidence. If I go to study spiritual healing, the laying on of hands by some indian mystic and he shows me how he does it and tells me it's based on prana energy then I understand what he means, I don't need to know his cultural history and language variances thank you.

Most things O'Sensei said make sense to me so I tend to speak confidently on the subject.

There is no translation problem there is only an unacceptance of what he said being true.

When he said true budo is love it is the unacceptance of that which leads people to scurry around finding reasons for him meaning something else. When he says Aikido is absolute nonviolence, that you do not oppose the attacker, that he who attacks has already spiritually lost completely, he means just that.

The fact that many can't get their heads around it shows me that they need to improve their spiritual awareness for they won't find the understanding in linguistics.

There are many people with lots of data. Data, data data. To me they are walking libraries, computers, robots. Don't get me wrong I like robots and computers but I could give you all the data and history and meanings and variances according to traditions and climate to do with trying to get you to understand the taste of a strawberry but until you've eaten one you will never know.

I would even go so far as to say that many, including all those great intellectuals, do not know clearly the meanings of words in their own language, love being a prime example. An old zen saying about 'your cup is full' is precisely about this.

So let me offer my own piece of zen, modern day. Once I knew how to read and write, I had understood how the sounds were represented by letters and how it all came together and then resulted in an ability called reading and writing, I then threw all of that data away for I could now DO it. I now KNEW it. To me it was now SIMPLE. The same goes for tying up my shoelaces.

When you know, can demonstrate (do) and all in an easy manner then you know you know. You don't go around intellectualizing about it. Data is useful and needed on the way to understanding but does not show intelligence, only the apparency of intelligence.

Respectfully yours. G.
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Old 12-11-2010, 09:16 AM   #23
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Re: Ki is Kindness.

This conversation reminds me of a dinner party I attended around 15 years ago in a little village south of here called La Cienega. A very friendly woman sincerely offered to read fortunes using "Native American Tarot" cards.

I certainly can suspend my skepticism and enjoy having my fortune read, but there simply is no such thing as "Native American Tarot cards" other than something invented to appeal to vague notions of Indian spirituality that percolates through a lot of the new ager venues around here.

I had no problem with that either.

I did feel it wasn't right to pass it off as a part of another people's traditions, though -- it should stand or fall on its own feet, not by a faux appeal to someone else's supposed beliefs.

(I think that showed, as I got a pretty unfortunate interpretation of my fortune that night.)

I'm certain your understanding of Ueshiba is a lot more accurate than this woman's understanding of Native American cultures.

But at one level, your lack of curiosity or interest in what O Sensei may have meant from his own cultural milieu strikes me as similar, if only in that it makes it difficult for me to accept your assertions that your own beliefs are based on what he "said," or that there is no "translation problem," followed by an English rendering of what he "said."

Again, that doesn't make you wrong in your beliefs about the world itself.

However, if you present it as based on another persons' ideas and thoughts, rather than your own beliefs, it invites discussion.

I don't think the correctness of someone's belief system can rationally be debated.

But appeals to authority that sometimes arise can, and, in my view, such debates do not reflect an easy division of the world into folks who are alienated by their own rationality versus those in touch with a deeper reality.

BTW, take a look at the "Kung fu for Philosophers" link in one of the current threads here. I think its suggestive of ways in which some of these concepts are often "mistranslated."

Meanwhile, I'm bowing out of this discussion. I need to go sit before class.

David Henderson
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Old 12-12-2010, 08:49 PM   #24
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Re: Ki is Kindness.

In elaborating on your original point, I think you are still missing some elements of evidential support to support your claims. It sounds like you dismiss the need for evidential support, citing instead the need to (ahhhh) "feel it":
Quote:
There are many people with lots of data. Data, data data. To me they are walking libraries, computers, robots. Don't get me wrong I like robots and computers but I could give you all the data and history and meanings and variances according to traditions and climate to do with trying to get you to understand the taste of a strawberry but until you've eaten one you will never know.
But the point is you can confirm strawberries taste sweet; the point of contention would be how sweet and what flavor of sweetness. For the sake of your argument, I am willing to concede that ki exists as an energy form. However, I think you do not built a case sufficient to explain how ki can possess a trait (kindness). Kindness is a emotive state of being. You do not explain how ki, conditional upon accepting it possesses a emotive state, can possess a singular emotion (positive in connotation). This is (I think) what some of the other posters are hinting at... Your interpretation of ki is somewhat different than most and asserted without any supporting evidence. Which is fine, but your posts imply you derived your comments from some factual base that you are withholding from this thread.

Secondly, O'Sensei simply did not say many things attributed to him. In these paraphrases, most often his comments were translated to English, then interpreted in their meaning; sometimes both being performed by the same person. I would expect that in interpreting O'Sensei's teachings, you should at least provide the paraphrase or quote used in your interpretation. Again, your posts imply that you have confirmed factual quotations and historical information from OSensei that support your position but you are withholding this information as well.

Your beliefs are your own. But I think if you choose to share them as part of a discussion you would like to share how you arrived at your educated decisions.

Quote:
If a person was to show how a spiritual principle applies to a physical action would that be preaching?
Preaching is the presentation of [religious] doctrine, a sermon. This is a tongue and cheek comment to raise caution about presenting an idea for discussion to a group of like-minded individuals who will not questions the statements validity (as in "preaching to the choir" to describe the preacher speaking to the only regular members in church...the choir). If you choose to present and idea as fact beyond your group of like-minded individuals, you should darn well be able to back up that comment.

Good luck.
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Old 12-12-2010, 10:43 PM   #25
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Re: Ki is Kindness.

What if we view ki as having a naturally positive nature which gets twisted into something negative? My meager lessons in Jinja Shinto would seem to support this view. "Genki" (source ki, yes?) implies positivity and health, despite the fact that we can describe states of ki that are unhealthy or otherwise negative also. So while we might say some person is byouki, it's only because the original nature of the ki has been twisted, and returning to health would be returning to a genki state (the original state of ki?). Just a quick thought I had anyway.
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