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Old 12-28-2006, 07:37 AM   #26
stan baker
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Re: Zazen necessary for training

Hi jo,
who are these several people.

stan
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Old 12-28-2006, 10:05 AM   #27
Qatana
 
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Re: Zazen necessary for training

Some are meditation teachers, some are aikido teachers and some are simply people who embody Love in everything they do.Enlightnement as defined as "A person who is light in their own Being, and/or who can shine a light for others to see by"
Which I just made up.

Q
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Old 12-28-2006, 10:26 AM   #28
Kevin Leavitt
 
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Re: Zazen necessary for training

I think enlightment is hard to define. That said, I know a few people myself that I look up to that seem to be much more enlightened than myself. These people I turn to for advice, guidance, and to serve as an example of how I want to be.

I don't beleive there is any test to determine who is enlightened and who is not. Some people may be enlightened in one area of life, but not in another as well.
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Old 12-28-2006, 03:49 PM   #29
Kevin Wilbanks
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Re: Zazen necessary for training

Coming on here and telling everyone they need to do a specific type of meditation connected to a quasi-religious dogma that is not expressly connected to Aikido or they won't understand Aikido is ridiculous... especially considering the number of high level teachers/shihan who visit this board. This kind of arrogance and dogmatism is exactly why I have never had much use for strict zen, or at least what we get of it here in the west. I have no doubt that zen was a very useful way to achieve certain mental states and insights for those to whom it was an organic extension of their time and culture. Maybe some people from the contemporary industrialized west can get the same from it, but too often it seems like people get caught up in the exotic trappings and it becomes some kind of ego-adornment - something to make oneself feel like some kind of special insider that is superior to the unwashed, unenlightened, materialistic masses. For an antidote to this type of narrow approach to eastern thought, I recommend reading Alan Watts - he seems to get to the marrow and allow you to consider and even experience some of these insights without getting caught up in incidentals.

I have tried zazen and other forms of static meditation in the past and found that they weren't very useful to me. Either nothing was happening or whatever was happening was so slow that I'd have wasted half my life before I got anywhere. I have experienced states that fit various descriptions of what meditative methods purport to be their goal, even 'enlightenment(s)'. Sometimes these were drug experiences, but mostly they were working meditations.

The most interesting states for me come from sculpting, particularly prolonged welding, often in the midst of a sort of storm of vent fans, grinding, loud music, etc... I find what I call time dilation particularly interesting - time moves more slowly, and extremely deft, fast physical responses and actions become effortless. I begin to invent and self-learn at an astonishing rate. If I get in that zone for a while, I find it sometimes takes several minutes to an hour until I can talk to people without feeling like I'm somewhere else or sounding like a monosyllabic caveman. The linguistic communication parts of my brain seem to be shut down.

Long distance driving also has some interesting meditative qualities. Even certain, simple computer games lend themselves to meditative experience. Any kind of repetitive chore can have some of these properties, and many kinds of martial arts kata seem well-suited. In my view, the kinds of states and insights pointed to by various eastern religions and practices aren't really rare or special at all. They are available to anyone who is willing to let go of their assumptions and habits of overthinking and get really involved in something. The different paths of meditation and getting to enlightenment are nearly infinite because these activities and ways of being are natural and relatively normal to humans. It's only because we are so carefully and rigorously thought-conditioned by our culture and religions that it seems to be hard.

Last edited by Kevin Wilbanks : 12-28-2006 at 03:57 PM.
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Old 12-28-2006, 05:17 PM   #30
Mark Freeman
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Re: Zazen necessary for training

Interesting post Kevin, thanks.

I only sporadically practice the Ki meditation I have been taught, and sometimes wonder if my aikido would be improved if I did it more often. As I have been steadily progressing since I started I haven't attached too much importance to it, maybe I should?

For me aikido is the most effective form of meditation, it is dynamic and just as beneficial as any sitting meditation you can come up with. With sitting, you may be able to reach some places that aikido doesn't get to, but with aikido, the mind and body, rather than the just the mind, are required to function in dynamic movement. For me, this is where the 'ki of heaven and the ki of earth' can be found. I've had enough 'glimpses' to know that it is there. Not that sitting doesn't give you a similar 'end result', but I find it hard on my old legs

Quote:
I find what I call time dilation particularly interesting - time moves more slowly, and extremely deft, fast physical responses and actions become effortless. I begin to invent and self-learn at an astonishing rate.
Aikido!

regards,

Mark
p.s. Happy New Year to all, I'm off skiing for the first time, so I'm going to be doing a lot of getting up off the ground, in the next week. Aikido!

Success is having what you want. Happiness is wanting what you have.
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Old 12-28-2006, 07:56 PM   #31
Fred Little
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Re: Zazen necessary for training

Kevin,

To be fair to the original poster, and to answer Stan's question precisely, "zazen" doesn't necessarily mean anything other than "seated meditation," a practice that can be found in a variety of Buddhist sects, Taoism, Confucian practice, Shinto, and some forms of contemplative Christianity.

I'm glad that you have found other methods that you find effective in reaching what you believe to be the goals of zazen, having found that practice not helpful.

Personally, I don't think there is a one-size-fits-all approach. If there were, the world would be a much less interesting place.

If you had settled for zazen, we might not have your sculptures, and that would be a damn shame.

FL
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Old 12-28-2006, 08:33 PM   #32
Kevin Wilbanks
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Re: Zazen necessary for training

Thanks Fred,

My understanding is that zazen is actually a specific meditation technique connected to zen dogma. In addition to sitting in one of a very few specific postures, one is also instructed to focus on the sensation of breathing and keep a repetitive count of breaths, usually up to 10. If the mind wanders, one is supposed to return to counting at 1. Over time, the mind wanders less and the attention does not waver from counting and breathing, thus quieting what they call the "monkey mind". I know of several other types of meditation, which can be done while seated, which are not called zazen.

However, it could be that the term was being used more loosely than what I have encountered. My thought would be that in this case, they are misusing the term, but maybe an actual eastern religion/philosophy scholar will show up to clarify.
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Old 12-28-2006, 09:02 PM   #33
Fred Little
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Re: Zazen necessary for training

Quote:
Kevin Wilbanks wrote:
However, it could be that the term was being used more loosely than what I have encountered. My thought would be that in this case, they are misusing the term, but maybe an actual eastern religion/philosophy scholar will show up to clarify.
Kevin,

While I am no great shakes as "an actual eastern religion/philosophy scholar" I did pass the doctoral qualifying exam for same at Columbia.

I'm no great Buddhist either, but I do practice in a tradition other than either Rinzai or Soto Zen. The "counting to 10" method is one of a number of introductory techniques found in Zen Buddhist meditation, but it has as much to do with full-bore meditation -- even in the Zen School -- as first grade block printing practice has to do with writing poetry.

Some sectarian Zen Buddhists would be pleased as punch to have a trademark on "zazen," and some people do use the term in a proprietary way. That's an unfortunate fact that leads to unfortunate confusion.

D.T. Suzuki was, from all accounts, a very sweet man, but he really cobbed up a couple of generations of scholars by his early emphasis on Zen Buddhism as central to understanding Japanese culture, and nobody pays attention to his late work on Pure Land, but that's another story.

Best,

FL
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Old 12-28-2006, 10:10 PM   #34
Kevin Wilbanks
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Re: Zazen necessary for training

I see. I must have put too much stock in something I read at some point a long time ago - although I seem to remember getting that same line from several sources. I'm sure Suzuki was one of them. It makes sense that the meaning/reference of a key term like that would be a matter of controversy and dispute.

I was just thinking about what you said about the loss of my art to the world if I had become a zen monk. Putting aside the 'me' portion, that seems to speak to something about buddhism that never sat well with me. What if Beethoven, Michealangelo, Frank Lloyd Wright, or, I don't know, Mick Jagger, Joss Whedon... whoever's work has really floated your boat had decided to sit around in zazen all the time instead of doing whatever it is they did that enriched your life?

I recall Nietzsche dismissing buddhism as a philosophy/religion of a culture which was old, dried up, and mostly longing for extinction. I don't know if I would go that far, but I find the idea that alleviating suffering is the main goal in life a bit defeatist, in the same way that something in me rebels against the idea of spending a major portion of my life sitting still and meditating. I think I subscribe to the good life as something being a lot more torrential and Shakespearean than that... like the recipe includes Shakespeare by the cup and Buddha by the teaspoon.
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Old 12-29-2006, 08:52 AM   #35
Mike Galante
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Re: Zazen necessary for training

I posted the original zazen comment.
Let me say that it is so difficult to talk about spiritual things. Words are so inadequate to begin with, but then consider that the individual words mean different things to different people. Consider these words:
zazen
enlightenment, enlightened being
oneness
emptiness
spiritual

What do they mean to you?

I have been cursed and reviled for saying what i did! Where's all the compassion out there? LOL

All I can say is when I lived with Sensei Nakazono we sat Zazen style for a good hour and then practiced Kototama sounds like he learned from O'Sensei. Then we practiced weapons and Aikido.

He was a student of the master. I am just relating how I was trained in 1970's.

What I got out of my Aikido training was that osensei had an enlightenment experience during which his spirit expanded considerably, which transformed him and his Aikido.

I am trying to stir up the pot which seems to be empty of the masters teaching. How many out there are practicing Kototama sounds?

Happy Holidays to all.
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Old 12-29-2006, 09:05 AM   #36
Mike Galante
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Re: Zazen necessary for training

Kevin
As far as judging enlightenment, that has been the job of spiritual teachers. The problem is nowadays, everybody thinks they know something, just because they read it.

People should distinguish the intellectual thoughts and concepts from the actual expansion and rooting in the hara and spine, a real and organic flow.

In the beginning of meditative practice the imagination is quite active, all this mind activitiy is considered maya, or illusions. In fact, life itself is considered this.

HOw many times have you practiced and thought, am i really doing this Aikido correctly?
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Old 12-29-2006, 12:12 PM   #37
Kevin Wilbanks
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Re: Zazen necessary for training

Cursed and reviled? 'Where's the compassion?' Sounds like some pretty high drama hyperbole coming from someone implying their own enlightenment and understanding in contrast to us benightened, confused, ordinary people.

I saw people, including myself, criticising what you said and disagreeing with it. I did not see any cursing, reviling, nor any surplus of or lack of compassion directed at you personally. I propose you added that for yourself. If you want people to respond more agreeably, I suggest toning down the whole "you guys don't know jack about Aikido" angle.

As for the rest, I simply don't buy into your set of assumptions or glossary of terms. Since you apparently made no attempt to understand anything I wrote, I feel no motivation to translate and try to bridge the gap.
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Old 12-29-2006, 03:32 PM   #38
Mike Galante
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Cool Re: Zazen necessary for training

Kevin, Please,
-It was a joke, did you see the LOL? (it means laugh out loud)
-What glossary? That was a list.
-I am not implying any enlightenment.
-I am specifically trying to provoke discussion. I am not attacking anyone. I am not interested, in this context, in toning down anything. This is, in my mind, too important to gloss over.

You want to know why?

Because that is how I was taught by Nakazono, who was taught by Usheba. Zazen, Kototama sounds, Aikido.

Because after 26 years off the mat, I just recently returned and it seems that there is still hardly a mention about the real essence of Aikido. In my humble opinion. It is like the emperors new clothes.

I admit, I can bee too critical at times, and for this I do apologize, I really don't wish to offend, just wake up!
Peace be with you Kevin

It is just so easy to misconstrue the written word. Much better in person, maybe we could talk sometime in person.

Last edited by Mike Galante : 12-29-2006 at 03:41 PM.
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Old 12-29-2006, 04:20 PM   #39
Qatana
 
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Re: Zazen necessary for training

Maybe Nakazono Sensei advocated sitting zazen, but I think many of the rest of us have never been told by our teachers who were also direct students of O'Sensei htat sitting zazen was necessary for aikido.
In my dojo we do a practice that was taught to Bob Nadeau Sensei by O'Sensei directly. But neither Nadeau Sensei or my sensei have stated that it is Necessary to practice Energy work in order to do aikido well or properly.In fact most aikidoka probably think we're strange.

Q
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"It is not wise to be incautious when confronting a little smiling bald man"'- Rule #1
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Old 12-29-2006, 04:28 PM   #40
Aristeia
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Re: Zazen necessary for training

Quote:
Michele Galante wrote:
Zazen, Kototama sounds, Aikido.
to most here these are three seperate, unrelated practices. The fact taht Ueshiba happened to do all three does not necessarily we have to any more than we have to wear the same clothes he did or drink his brand of coffee.

"When your only tool is a hammer every problem starts to look like a nail"
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Old 12-29-2006, 09:20 PM   #41
Kevin Wilbanks
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Re: Zazen necessary for training

Quote:
Michele Galante wrote:
Kevin, Please,
-It was a joke, did you see the LOL? (it means laugh out loud)
-What glossary? That was a list.
-I am not implying any enlightenment.
-I am specifically trying to provoke discussion. I am not attacking anyone. I am not interested, in this context, in toning down anything. This is, in my mind, too important to gloss over.

You want to know why?

Because that is how I was taught by Nakazono, who was taught by Usheba. Zazen, Kototama sounds, Aikido.

Because after 26 years off the mat, I just recently returned and it seems that there is still hardly a mention about the real essence of Aikido. In my humble opinion. It is like the emperors new clothes.

I admit, I can bee too critical at times, and for this I do apologize, I really don't wish to offend, just wake up!
Peace be with you Kevin

It is just so easy to misconstrue the written word. Much better in person, maybe we could talk sometime in person.
I think you are seriously confused, being disingenous, or both. Claiming that you are "joking" as a way to deflect criticism, whilst simultaneously reaffirming how "important" your points are and how serious you are taking this isn't going to work. I am not offended, even though you just implied I lack awareness to the point of being asleep in the same sentence. I can't see why you would keep trying to make this about personal insult, unless it is just more in the way of dissimulation and intellectual dishonesty. It is clear to me that you are not trying to provoke a discussion, but instead deliver a lecture. The implication that you know best and we don't is unmistakable, and you have reiterated it repeatedly. I see no evidence that you are listening to what I or anyone else here is saying. I suggest you abandon the evangelism and look to your own awareness, enlightenment, and training... especially if you haven't trained for decades.
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Old 12-30-2006, 01:40 AM   #42
tedehara
 
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Re: Zazen necessary for training

Quote:
Michele Galante wrote:
...Because after 26 years off the mat, I just recently returned and it seems that there is still hardly a mention about the real essence of Aikido. In my humble opinion. It is like the emperors new clothes...
After 26 years you're like Rip Van Winkle, waking up. You'd be better off getting yourself acquainted with your new surroundings.

People practice aikido techniques. How they practice is usually determined by their relationship to the various national organizations. Some groups do not practice weapons. Few groups practice any form of spiritual training. Even if a group practiced weapons and spiritual training, it might not be in the forms you are familiar with.

John Stevens wrote about kototama in his book Secrets of Aikido. Kototama also appeared in William Gleason's book, The Spiritual Foundations of Aikido. Nakazono's books about kototama are still in print due to the efforts of his former students in New Mexico. You can view their web site at Kototama Books.

So the topic is still alive in aikido, as is the desire by some to practice spiritual training. However if you simply declare your beliefs, it can be seen by others to be a challenge to their own beliefs and practices. Instead of starting a discussion, you'll start an argument.

You might want to check out the above books and maybe get in touch with Nakazono's former students. Nakazono Sensei was always interested in the founder's spiritual practices. This was an area that was generally ignored by most of the founder's other students. Because of your training with Nakazono Sensei, you could be able to contribute greatly to understanding the founder's spiritual training.

It is not practice that makes perfect, it is correct practice that makes perfect.
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Old 12-30-2006, 03:03 AM   #43
Aristeia
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Re: Zazen necessary for training

The point being there are some groups that practice the way you want to. Don't assume that's the way everyone else wants to or even should train.

"When your only tool is a hammer every problem starts to look like a nail"
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Old 12-30-2006, 12:57 PM   #44
Kevin Wilbanks
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Re: Zazen necessary for training

Quote:
Ted Ehara wrote:
However if you simply declare your beliefs, it can be seen by others to be a challenge to their own beliefs and practices. Instead of starting a discussion, you'll start an argument.
Not necessarily. I think in an attempt to be diplomatic, you're adding to the dissimulation. Simple declaration would consist primarily of "I statements": 'I like to do Aikido this way', 'I got much more out of Aikido because I did it this way', even 'I think Aikido works better when you add x,y,z', etc... What the poster repeatedly said was not declarative, but accusatory. He did not just say what he believed, or what he liked, he said everyone else was doing it wrong, and that they should be doing something differently. It was not really a choice to see this as a challenge, as you are claiming here. Argument was inevitable.
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Old 12-31-2006, 10:13 AM   #45
stan baker
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Re: Zazen necessary for training

I studied with nakazono acupuncture and aikido in the early 80's.His main point was principle rather then technique.

stan
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Old 12-31-2006, 12:18 PM   #46
tedehara
 
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Re: Zazen necessary for training

Quote:
Kevin Wilbanks wrote:
Not necessarily. I think in an attempt to be diplomatic, you're adding to the dissimulation.
I'm not being diplomatic, I'm being greedy. I would like to know what you think. I would like to know what he thinks. However I'm not going to learn anything if everyone spends their time telling each other to shut up!

Of course you can react immediately to what anyone posts on these threatds. typing out a quick reaction that speeks from the gut would give you a small ammount of emotional satisfaction and amisspelled reply, but who cares? Grammarn, spelling puicnctiona goes out the window with rationality, wince this is all an emotioinoal outburst...i mean WHAT THE&%$*()%$%$# ANYWAY!!! WHY ARE THESE PEOPLE TELLING EM HOW TO DO AIKIDO?? i ALREADY KNOW HOW!!

When you read reactions like that, you have to ask yourself, "Who looks like the fool here?" What's interesting is that you can't hide anything you've written. As long as the server is up, anyone with internet access can read your reply. Your message can be read for years to come by people who know you as well as complete strangers. An interesting thing to do is to go over your old messages and read them as if they were written by someone else. Do I write like an idiot? Do I still agree with that point of view?

You didn't even let him get to the good stuff. Why would he think zazen is so important? What are the benefits of aikido and zazen? What does he think is the essence of aikido that kototama and zazen uncovers? How has aikido changed as he sees it, after a 26 years absence? Why did he stop practicing and why did he restart? Did he do zazen and kototama during that period? How can you expect people to explain their positions, unless you allow them to speak?

Quote:
Kevin Wilbanks wrote:
...Argument was inevitable.
If you let it happen. Your reaction is a major part of the equation. Of course you could use your skill and technique to avoid conflict. We know that since we both do aikido.

It is not practice that makes perfect, it is correct practice that makes perfect.
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Old 12-31-2006, 02:28 PM   #47
Kevin Wilbanks
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Re: Zazen necessary for training

I have looked at things I have said in the past, from time to time. I have almost never used bad grammar, typed in extreme haste, or written anything that looks 'idiotic' to me later. If anything, it sometimes looks a little overblown and too verbose.

Of course, I have changed my opinion on things, but there are many things I haven't changed my opinion about. Among these are the distastefulness of rigid, dogmatic thinking, the perpetration of fallacy as fact, and especially the practice of dissimulating - as the saying goes 'don't piss on my head and tell me it's raining'. On some level, I consider combating these as a sort of duty - right now our country is going to hell largely because so few are upholding standards of basic reasoning and intellectual honesty.

To put it more simply, we are practically drowning in bullshit these days. Unlike you, when someone offers up a steaming heap of it, I'm not that concerned about jewels of wisdom being buried within, and I'm definitely not interested in pretending it's a delicious dessert confection. I'm interested in calling it out for what it is. Regardless of his or your magnanamous intent, your characterization of what he was doing as a 'simple declaration of belief' was simply more dissembling, as is your characterization of what I am doing as a semi-literate, "quick reaction" for my own emotional satisfaction. I don't think useful inquiry can proceed from lies.

As far as the sample questions you've provided, I don't see the relevance, and I question your sincerity in bringing them up. Nothing is stopping you from ignoring the argument and asking them. You could have asked them by now if you were truly interested... technically you still haven't. Instead, you've only brought them up as a hypothetical to try to paint me as a philistine as part of your own argument.
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Old 01-02-2007, 12:51 AM   #48
Mike Galante
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Cool Re: Zazen necessary for training

Quote:
You didn't even let him get to the good stuff. 1) Why would he think zazen is so important? 2) What are the benefits of aikido and zazen? 3) What does he think is the essence of aikido that Kototama and zazen uncovers? 4) How has aikido changed as he sees it, after a 26 years absence? 5) Why did he stop practicing and why did he restart? 6) Did he do zazen and Kototama during that period?
Thanks for your comments, Ted I will try answer your questions.

In my humble opinion:

1)Many forms of meditation, I believe, can take you to the same place. Since we are martial artists, with a cut to the chase type attitude, zazen is such a direct and fast way to sensing oneness or nothingness "becoming one with", in my experience.
This takes a very calm mind to begin with. How can any of us realistically talk about facing death with a calm mind without intense training? That is my premise. How many people to you know? I certainly don't think I can. Many don't have the discipline to not get sucked into a disagreement let alone a mortal confrontation.

2) About 15 years ago I had the good fortune to volunteer and begin a zazen group in Sing Sing prison. I brought a hatha yogi in who did 45 minutes of stretching, then we did 3 sessions of 40 minutes sitting, with 2 10 minute walking meditations interspersed. We counted breaths 1-10.
I wanted to teach Aikido but they, understandably, wanted no martial arts taught. Of course I could have tried to convince them of the peaceful nature of aikido, but .
So after the 3rd sitting, (2 plus hours) these lifers, most of them in for murder, were so charged with ki, that it didn't matter where we were. You could cut the peace and harmony in the room. We did this two times a week for 3 years and then I turned it over to a Zen monk, who wrote a book about it later.
So you see I have seen intense Zazen, permeate the most disturbed of people, and bring them into harmony. As an aside, I felt more protected in that prison than outside it. I felt they would have protected me.

http://www.homeopathyone.com/MEDITAT...o_meditate.htm

3) The definition of Aikido is really a definition of a path to enlightenment. This subject is so vast and difficult to talk about, that I feel foolish even trying to explain it because I am not there. I have had glimpses.
Kototama definitely helps in that the movements on the mat, can correspond to the sounds.
The essence of Aikido is as Usheiba taught: to unite heaven and earth and make human beings one family. A kind of spiritual alchemy, converting the U and O levels toward the A, E, I levels. (See other posts in this thread)

My original point was that, yes, there is a lot of Aikido out there without spiritual practice, but the Aikido of our founder is virtually nowhere to be found. That kind of calm, flow with joy.

Once the mind is calm (2-3 yrs) then the higher energies can begin to take root in a person. Without a calm mind, it is not possible. My question was and still is, can Aikido practice alone achieve this end? Or maybe the question should be how long does it take to achieve a spiritual end with mat practice alone?

4) After 26 years, you see I had a distorted view of Aikido. I was living at a Kundalini Yoga ashram, at age 22, for 4 years in upstate ny. The guru there was a man named Rudrananda.

My original Aikido teacher, Greg Brodsky, also a student of Rudra, brought Nakazono (student of Usheiba) over here from France.
So being an Uchi-deshi for Nakazono and Brodsky was an intense experience, combined with Kundalini yoga with a guru in the eve. I was doing karma yoga during the day refinishing furniture at the antique store we ran.
We did 2 hours of zazen, Kototama sounds, weapons, Aikido with Nakazono every morning. Then if it was cold enough, we would disrobe and do Misogi in the icy mountain stream next to the dojo.

So getting back on the mat at a "commercial dojo" with normal people, not so intensely interested in spiritual commitment is a change in itself. Let alone the fact that times are changed since 1970. I wasn't really allowed to do Aikido without strong Ki. I noticed that some of the practitioners I have seen are missing basic mechanical points that make me think that somebody should have taught them this by this time. e.g.: Basic same side Katatatori tenkan, leaving the wrist behind with no extension of ki by a person practicing for 2 years.
To me it is pretty sloppy. Now granted, I have only been back, about 3 weeks.
I am looking forward to visiting the NY Aikikai again, I hear they maintain a good level there.

5) I had to stop practicing because of medical school and residency. My teacher told me to teach Aikido, so I did teach in Mexico City in 1976 while going to Med school near there. After medical training, for 11 yrs. I left all the western medicine behind to learn Electro acupuncture, then Homeopathy. I never practiced allopathic medicine even though I am licensed to do so.
With a sick wife and small family to raise, being on call, and then driving them to soccer tournaments practically every weekend, well, you know. Now that my children are both grown, and graduated college, I have restarted my Aikido practice with a 58 year old body. Tough. Will take some time to tone the muscles and ligaments.
6) I did not, however stop my spiritual practices, breathing exercises, Kundalini, zazen, Kototama, and prayer. So calling up the ki, is still working.
The reason I restarted Aikido was to finish what I had started for the first 7 years. I figure, I have another 10-12 or more years left and I am hoping that I can help others along the way. I have always been an athlete, and the physical, ego grinding experience of Aikido can only help to advance my spiritual state.
The self defense aspect of Aikido is real, but I never concern myself too much with it. It is the least of what Aikido has to offer. For me, the ability to sense the tension of conflict before it ever has a chance to kindle, is a joy.
Most physical conflicts will be avoided because your "enemy" will not sense any fight building. People who fight want to feel that resistance, it offers a challenge, it stimulates the passion for dominance. An Aikidoist projects positive and nourishing Ki all around, so those near are disarmed by the peaceful and happy nature of the aura. You see, if the energy is only in the Tanden, then it becomes a power center, but the heart must be open to really be free, to really sense the oneness, otherwise, without the universal love, it is ego, and duality.
For me all the spiritual practices boil down to, surrender to God, allow the grace, ki, whatever to permeate deeply throughout the entire being. Keep asking and digging deeper and striving to increase and open deeper and deeper with time. Then learn to live in tanden and heart. Get out of the head. We here in the west are too head oriented. On your deathbed, the only technique is total surrender.
Hopefully this is some of the "good stuff". I can go on and on if you want me to! Thanks for asking.

Peace and Love for 2007

Mike

Last edited by Mike Galante : 01-02-2007 at 01:00 AM.
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Old 01-02-2007, 04:05 AM   #49
Kevin Leavitt
 
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Re: Zazen necessary for training

Mike,

I can tell I am going to enjoy discussing things with you! Don't have time right now, but I will think about a few things to discuss later on. We have much in common from a different perspective that I think will make for interesting exploration.
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Old 01-02-2007, 05:41 AM   #50
tedehara
 
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Re: Zazen necessary for training

Mike,

Thanks for taking the time to explain. While I may not practice what you practice or train in the way you do, I think there is enough bandwidth for all.

Take care

Ted

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