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Old 02-16-2011, 09:16 AM   #1
Mary Eastland
 
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Dojo: Berkshire Hills Aikido
Join Date: Aug 2002
Posts: 1,214
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Trusting center. Trusting god.

The process of finding and trusting my center is similar to my experience of finding and trusting god. First I was taught where my center was. Next I learned to feel my center as long as there were absolutely no distractions. Slowly through repeated references to my center, simple exercises done daily that help you focus on centered movement and Aikido technique with focus on feeling your center through technique my awareness of my center grew. I have learned to trust that feeling of centeredness. This has allowed me to not have to rely on controlling others or muscling my ukes around.
I remember the day I decided to trust my center. Gary and I were brown belts and good pals. We were working together at Summer Camp. One of us would kick and then place our foot down and the other would gently push on the kicker’s shoulder. This provided the kicker with the opportunity to reference their own center and keep balance. I was struggling when tested. I tried gripping the mat with my toes and not fall over. It’s not the most effective way to keep your balance. I was all in my head about how I was a brown belt and should be able to do this by now. I kicked and Gary pushed. Murayama Sensei pushed Gary away and said something (I never could understand him). Sensei pushed soft at first and progressively harder. I decided to let go and see what happened. I trusted my center. I leapt off the cliff. I decided it was okay to fail. But no, what happened was so exciting. I felt my center and kept my balance. I trusted that vague feeling. Sensei didn’t push me over. He grunted something. I think it was positive and walked on. Since that day I have trusted my center and developed a strong positive feel to my Aikido.
When I first started believing in god the process was much the same. I would turn something over to a something other than myself and watch what happened. Lo and behold, it was the same thing as my centered leap. My life got really different. Better different. It didn’t get perfect. Yet life felt much easier. Every time I trust my center it is there and every time I trust god things work out all right.
I don’t have to jump through any special hoops or do rituals. I don’t have to be a certain weight or religion. I trust. I just trust and there is my center and there is god. For me this creates connection. That connection helps me blend with people. Aikido’s lessons of centering and connection help me become the person I was meant to be all along,
Thank god for the willingness to center and let go and trust. I am stronger, calmer, happier, and easier to get along with, safer, lighter, funnier, and more loving because of my willingness to trust my center. I may not be always be able to connect with other people’s minds but I can connect with their hearts through our centers.
Mary
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Old 02-16-2011, 02:48 PM   #2
carina reinhardt
Join Date: Oct 2005
Posts: 433
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Re: Trusting center. Trusting god.

Very nice thoughts Mary trusting your center you become a stronger mind also, mind and body go together.I believe too that everything turns out right, it is like trusting god.
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Old 02-16-2011, 03:29 PM   #3
dps
Join Date: Apr 2006
Posts: 2,174
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Re: Trusting center. Trusting god.

Quote:
Mary Eastland wrote: View Post
I don't have to jump through any special hoops or do rituals. I don't have to be a certain weight or religion. I trust. I just trust and there is my center and there is god. For me this creates connection. That connection helps me blend with people. Aikido's lessons of centering and connection help me become the person I was meant to be all along,
Thank god for the willingness to center and let go and trust. I am stronger, calmer, happier, and easier to get along with, safer, lighter, funnier, and more loving because of my willingness to trust my center. I may not be always be able to connect with other people's minds but I can connect with their hearts through our centers.
Mary
Masakatsu Agatsu

Thanks Mary.

dps
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Old 02-17-2011, 05:39 PM   #4
Diana Frese
Dojo: Aikikai of S.W. Conn. (formerly)
Location: Stamford Connecticut
Join Date: Nov 2010
Posts: 382
United_States
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Re: Trusting center. Trusting god.

KATSU HAYA HI

Does this part mean" there is no fast or slow, only the universe as it is" ?

I think this is from one of the earliest Aikido books in English.
The thought always fascinated me. I saw the book before there was an opportunity to study.

I am irresistibly drawn to Mary's threads and not only because I had the same teacher at camps and seminars many many years ago.

I always found that test valuable and tried to use it, especially with a friend of mine who had studied with Ralph Chiaradia in Hartford when she lived there briefly and then when she was in NYC Imaizumi Sensei. Part of the same tradition if I remember correctly.

Maruyama Sensei always had a sense of humor, including raised eyebrows and other facial expression to get the point across kindly.

People like that have an influence far down the years thru successive "generations" of students.

Concerning God, Morihei Ueshiba was a believer, and a follower. He listened to the Kami. Amazing things happen when we do that, at whatever level we are at. Wherever we are in life or in the dojo.

I didn't study for as many years as some of you, and I didn't teach for many years either, but there were astonishing things that just happened in class, techniques I hadn't known.

Sometimes I would ask my students if it looked like a real technique. We had a little ritual where a soft fist on the back of the hand mimicked the validation stamp you got if you went outside during the intermission of the movies in the old days. Our little Validation Ritual, and I needed it. I would stick my hand out after class for one from one of my friends.

Believe me being a teacher was scary at times, but exploring the techniques with students was something irresistable to me, a chance for me to get people to help me with my "homework"

Then like clockwork two weeks later at a seminar or other class I would see a higher ranked person teach the same thing, and I breathed a sigh of relief.

But I always had to hold my breath for two weeks.

I know I'm out on a limb here, but it's Mary's fault. She always posts such fascinating thoughts and observations.
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Old 02-17-2011, 05:48 PM   #5
Diana Frese
Dojo: Aikikai of S.W. Conn. (formerly)
Location: Stamford Connecticut
Join Date: Nov 2010
Posts: 382
United_States
Offline
Re: Trusting center. Trusting god.

Now that I've shared a story or two, let me say thank you for the inspiration. You all have given me something important I need to remember and think about every day.
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