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Old 01-18-2011, 08:05 AM   #1
Mary Eastland
 
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winter thoughts

The other day the sun made long blue shadows on the fresh white snow. Today we have a wintry mix. The light is even and duller, no shadows, just soft hues of grey, brown, green and blue accented by white snow.
Ukes are like that. Each day, each uke brings new opportunities to relax, blend and explore. Assumptions can be acknowledged and then let go. When resistance is met I relax more, I turn or enter as I blend and down they go. Each time I choose to stay with, to let my center return, to be committed to my uke, my practice, my growing centered feeling. I watch. I notice. I feel. I continue. No matter what my mind might think, my center knows better.
Mary
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Old 01-18-2011, 10:19 AM   #2
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Re: winter thoughts

Beautiful post, Mary. Thank you.

we can make our minds so like still water, and so live for a moment with a clearer, perhaps even with a fiercer life
w b yeats


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Old 01-18-2011, 11:36 AM   #3
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Re: winter thoughts

That's a nice way to look at things Mary. I need to rediscover how to see the beauty and good in winter myself. Anymore I just find it very depressing and tiring. Like randori that has gone on for far too long.
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Old 01-18-2011, 12:03 PM   #4
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Re: winter thoughts

I like this. Winter is a good metaphor for any situation (or broadly defined class of situations) that doesn't always go just as we'd like. I don't believe that it's necessary, or even desirable, to try and convince yourself that you like it when things go this way...that strikes me as drinking the Pollyanna-flavored koolade. It's sane to say, "Hey, I don't like this," when in fact you don't. But having said that, it's a mistake to dwell on it. That's how small irritations and inconveniences get built up in our minds into a major grievance, that occupies your mind and saps your energy and blocks your vision so that you can't see the good that is there.

Not every winter day is a bluebird day; not every session on the mat is an epiphany. Some days it's just the literal or metaphorical equivalent of digging out your car. There's nothing wrong with that. Better to just pick up the shovel and get to work, than fume over the fact that you live in a world where cars need to be dug out if you ever hope to get anywhere in them.
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Old 01-18-2011, 12:36 PM   #5
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Re: winter thoughts

Yes it is a great post, I saw it this afternoon and thought about our winter with tourists going to the beach.
But lbbs reply made me think that sometimes we go through a winter in our life, we live quietly, reflecting, recovering from any physical or mental injuries,disappointments, sadness, in that time we mature and grow up and when spring comes we'll enjoy again everything..
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Old 01-18-2011, 03:23 PM   #6
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Re: winter thoughts

Winter.. great time for aikido - the dojo is closed and worm
aikidoka smells less stinky..
the rain outside brings me the feeling from an old Japanese movie...

i love the smell after the rain..

Watch Aikido videos on Aikido Sensei - Aikido Videos
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Old 01-18-2011, 03:40 PM   #7
graham christian
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Re: winter thoughts

Quote:
Mary Eastland wrote: View Post
The other day the sun made long blue shadows on the fresh white snow. Today we have a wintry mix. The light is even and duller, no shadows, just soft hues of grey, brown, green and blue accented by white snow.
Ukes are like that. Each day, each uke brings new opportunities to relax, blend and explore. Assumptions can be acknowledged and then let go. When resistance is met I relax more, I turn or enter as I blend and down they go. Each time I choose to stay with, to let my center return, to be committed to my uke, my practice, my growing centered feeling. I watch. I notice. I feel. I continue. No matter what my mind might think, my center knows better.
Mary
PERFECT!
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Old 01-19-2011, 11:49 AM   #8
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Re: winter thoughts

Reading again more carefully your post the second paragraph past the beautiful description of your winter I realized the great description of connection with uke, leaving just fluid your center. After a few years practicing you can really enjoy aikido that way.
thank you very much Mary..
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Old 01-20-2011, 08:48 AM   #9
Mary Eastland
 
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Re: winter thoughts

The long blue shadows are back, stretched out long and lonely on snow broken by tiny squirrel tracks. The sun shines on snow sparkles still clinging to the evergreens. Melancholy dances in my soul.
Yesterday in our small child and parent class I watched a young girl fight for her composure when technique touched a sensitive spot. She struggled to not cry. We let her be yet still included her. Soon she suggested a rowdy game of “steal the tail” to finish class. We ended sweaty and laughing. Seeing her pain, reminds me of the cruelty of the world. Providing space for healing, however small, seems important.
Mary
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Old 01-20-2011, 09:25 AM   #10
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Re: winter thoughts

Very nice description of the winter again Mary.
And about the young girl I imagine her how she fighted with herself and after that forgeting all her pain with the funny game
Of course it is very important, it would be good if more people would think like you.. that is the wonder of aikido
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Old 01-21-2011, 08:41 AM   #11
Mark Uttech
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Re: winter thoughts

Onegaishimasu, the only wintry thoughts I have about practice is how important it is to really warm up and how susceptible one is to injury in the cold.

In gassho
Mark

- Right combination works wonders -
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Old 01-21-2011, 09:24 AM   #12
Mary Eastland
 
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Re: winter thoughts

Slowly drifting snow is changed to faery dust sparkling thought the trees by the wan January sun. My mood has shifted as easily to peace and joy and contentment. I can’t change the world or fix a sad child. I can come from a place of love consistently for myself and others. It wasn’t always so. My training has changed my perception of what is and what can be. Plain snow can turn to sparkles in a moment of quiet.
I just got back inside from an hour of shoveling show. Who needs the gym? Faery dust gets really heavy on the ground. ;o) The dojo is ready for class tomorrow morning.
Mary
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Old 01-23-2011, 08:26 PM   #13
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Re: winter thoughts

Pink is not a color I expect to see in the winter pallet, yet there it was on the mountain top and the cloud. The cold gray sky accented the light and darker pink above. As long as I keep my expectations low and my hopes high I can be surprised daily.
Today in class we worked on exaggerating our posture, opening our chests and exposing our hearts. During freestyle I noticed one student’s posture stayed more open than usual. High hopes.
Mary
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Old 01-24-2011, 02:53 AM   #14
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Re: winter thoughts

Beautiful when the clouds are pink, I like to take photos of that, all the colours of clouds.
It is good to open the chest, very positive for posture and inside growth
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Old 01-24-2011, 09:06 AM   #15
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Re: winter thoughts

My winter thoughts du jour: spring can't come soon enough.

-14 at 7:30 in the morning, and that's not celsius.
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Old 01-25-2011, 09:36 AM   #16
Mary Eastland
 
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Re: winter thoughts

The snow is barely visible yet it is falling steadily again. The trees are all outlined with white from the burly knots to the tiniest needle on the huge evergreens that surround our house. Gray sky, purple mountain, silent snow, muted white outlined greens and browns make it seem like I am alone in a quiet world.
Tonight the dojo will be warm and filled with good folks. I love the feeling of days we have class. I do winter one day at a time. I can get though another day. Soon will be the January thaw…and then spring and then July when I feel young again on the mat in the warmth of summer.
Mary
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Old 01-25-2011, 09:55 AM   #17
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Re: winter thoughts

Thanks, Mary. I like the idea of this thread. It's like a vertical blog with everything connected. Summer still seems so far away.

we can make our minds so like still water, and so live for a moment with a clearer, perhaps even with a fiercer life
w b yeats


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Old 01-25-2011, 10:05 AM   #18
Diana Frese
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Re: winter thoughts

Revisiting this thread because I like it, suddenly a memory from years ago in Swampscott, Mass. I was visiting a friend I had met at summer camp a couple of years previously.

I'm not sure if it was her clock or her mother's but the clock was late, therefore so were we. We only realized it when we got to the dojo and class had already started.

I think it was snowy, I'm sure it was beautiful, a crescent shaped
beach beautiful in any weather, but I think that day we were just
conscious of being late but wanting to practice anyway.

Oh wow, I know that technique, and I joined in, with the instructor's permission and forgot to warm up. Well, my shoulder wasn't too bad as a result but bad enough to be a lesson in itself.

This is just a winter's tale answering one of the posts on this excellent thread.

Now I'll go back and read the ones I may have missed. Thanks, friends, it's nice to have company on a snowy day!
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Old 01-25-2011, 11:17 PM   #19
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Re: winter thoughts

Very nice Mary
Have you noticed the blue hues and shades of grey under the full moon these days under the sky we share.
I got all decked out in my winter gear and laid out in it the other night with my dog. I have no city glare out here so I get a beautiful sky view.
Good job
Dan
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Old 01-26-2011, 09:08 AM   #20
Mary Eastland
 
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Re: winter thoughts

The mountain is the color of old blue jeans, the sky so light a gray it is pearly, almost white but not. The trees are dull gray and brown, no flirty sunlight to make the colors dance. A quiet cold surrounds me, am I lonely or peaceful?
A lone crow just flew overhead. Ki exercises felt dreamlike this morning. I had better get to the grocery store before I sit for the whole morning just because I don’t want to scrape the snow off my car or hear the crunch of snow under my feet. Acceptance doesn’t mean I have to love something…acceptance means I see what is real right now…the feeling will shift as I keep moving.
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Old 01-26-2011, 10:08 AM   #21
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Re: winter thoughts

Beautiful again, yes acceptance is the main thing to feel good, to accept the coldness, the rain, the snow as well as the hotness, dampness or dryness of every season..
And acceptance in the contact with every uke.
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Old 01-26-2011, 10:11 AM   #22
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Re: winter thoughts

Thank you, Carina...and yes, acceptance of every uke turns to compassion for me after I let go of ego about how something should look or feel.
Mary
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Old 01-26-2011, 09:57 PM   #23
graham christian
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Re: winter thoughts

Love it Mary and may I also add on a poetic note as acceptance turns to compassion......

Then perception turns to non-resistance,

Reality turns to humility,

And I enjoy understanding harmony.

Given from Hara. G.
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Old 01-31-2011, 07:56 AM   #24
Mary Eastland
 
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Re: winter thoughts

What color is a shadow? Purple, absence of white, bluish black? It depends who is looking at it. The mountain looks black, the hot ball of fire is directly in front of me making me squint and shy away. Long thick shadows cover the snow that still looks fresh save for small animal tracks. All is well.
Shomen attack can make people squint and shy away…yet they are safer if they enter or turn…
What color is Ki? Is it red or deep blue? It must depend on who is feeling it. Mine feels deep and dark and good. My center got shook up in the last couple of weeks by events of the past. It is part of the process…before my ki deepens it scatters and percolates then it settles and becomes more dependable. I stay with the process…the feelings shift on and off the mat. All is well.
Mary
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Old 01-31-2011, 02:30 PM   #25
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Re: winter thoughts

Thanks Mary for the nice description of the landscape.
Shomen attack should be observed and acccepted raising the arm at the same time as uke. There is no time to squint and shy away.
On the mat is no place for nothing else besides ukes attack, our center and the contact
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