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Old 08-18-2002, 09:17 AM   #1
Bruce Baker
Dojo: LBI Aikikai/LBI ,NJ
Location: Barnegaat, NJ
Join Date: Sep 2001
Posts: 893
Personal vision, verses Aiki vision

The most difficult part about growing up from a child and becoming an adult is to learn the vision of how and why the world works, let alone find you place in society to make your life enjoyable and somewhat comfortable.

Maybe my sights were set somewhat low, as I espouse the middle of the road, have an average happy life mentality.

Yet with the deterioration of my conditions, that have forced me to disability retirement, I have taken the time to reflect, write, and try to answer the "unanswerable questions" that make life seem worthwhile, sensible,and explain some of the "unanswerable questions" that were always taken on faith.

Is it the ability of Aiki vision that takes the lessons being mean rough tough individual sho can not overcome the clear minded centered Aikidoist, or is it that "the personal conflicts of survival", i.e. the everyday hunt for home, family, fun, and advancement in our workaholic lifestyle that drives us to retire with lots of money in a society that overlook a bigger picture.

Do we get caught up in such an emotional struggle to gain material wealth and status that our turmoil blinds to the simplest of lessons, learning to think for ourselves, we throw aside the lessons of Aikivision. The ability to look around us and consider more than what is in front of you?

Of maybe you ignore the lessons of becoming one with your surroundings to sense what is to come by endorsing physical Aikido practice only?

What do you think?

Emotional turmoil overtaking your reason in the first forty years of life?

An option for learning from an Aiki vision to open your eyes to more than the mechanical physical strength?

Or maybe just putting down any voice that doesn't take what you believe to be true because of taking what others have espoused on pure faith?

Consider each of your views in experience in your teens, twenties, thirtys, fortys, etc.

Maybe some thoughts to help those with trouble in changing to become the Aikido peaceful leaders instead of learning to fight for trophys and records books might be claified with some sage advice.


Review some of your emotional/ intellectual views in each decade of your growth. How did it change, what are your goals for your future changes to gain even more understanding?

Hopefully, this spiritual review will help us all to see the changes in ourselves.
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Old 08-18-2002, 01:15 PM   #2
Kevin Leavitt
Kevin Leavitt's Avatar
Dojo: Team Combat USA
Location: Olympia, Washington
Join Date: Jul 2002
Posts: 4,376
Think I am following your post Bruce.

I have been on a path to change my life for about 10 years now. Didn't even know I was on that path until about two years ago. In the last year it has become crystal clear to me however.

I started out graduating from college full of myself and the fact that I was going to "master the world" capitalist style and make lots of money and be powerful.

5 years of this lifestyle left me overwrought, emotionally drained, broke, and out of shape. Enrolling in a martial arts program at a local health club I thought would give me the ability to get in shape and take out some of my frustrations.

Long story, but it ultimately my martial arts led me to switch after 10 years in the Air Force Reserve to join the Army and go to OCS. Graduating from OCS, I went into the infantry and onto Infantry School, and onto Ranger School where I graduated into the ranks of the Rangers.

During this time, Martial arts continued to be a big part of my life. As a big guy, 6 2 and about 230lbs, I relished in the development of my physical, mental, and martial skills.

Did a couple of those tough man things, and sparred and fought just about anyone who came my way. I wouldn't classify myself in the least of a martial arts master...far from it infac, but I did not run across too many people that gave me a problem martially.

Which brings me to the present. After 5 years of studying aikido, quiting for a while, seeing first hand the affects and horrors of war, and losing two good friends in the 9/11 thing in the Pentagon, I found myself still wanting and lacking as a person.

There has to be more out there than this! What is the meaning of life? all those BIG questions that seem to go unanswered in life.

Even though I felt competent as a martial artist, I still didn't feel like I have master much of anything. Running into people I consider masters in fact, I pale in their comparison.

All the mental and physical training I received in military arts and martial arts...why did I not feel "right" ...what am I unhappy with myself and unfullfilled? What is missing from the equation?

Still looking for many of those answers, but I now know where they come from. The answer is from within. There is a common element I am finding from all masters, from Sun Tzu, to Mushashi, Jesus, to Buddha, to our current day Shihans in Aikido. They all believed that the answers come from within you. Through introspection and self examination...true master comes from not mastering techniques, but mastering yourself.

You must strip away all of the "distractions" in life and get to the core. That is the tough part, sorting through the distractions and deciding what really is core and important. It may take you a life time....but the first step is awareness of the problem. (sounds like AA huh?)

I think that Aikido is a wonderful tool for allowing us to develop the connectedness with ourselves.

How can we move on to love others or the world if we first cannot love ourselves!

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