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Old 12-17-2007, 09:52 PM   #1
Kevin Leavitt
 
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Moving Towards Fear and Adversity.

I was listening to a book on Buddhist Psychology the morning by Jack Kornfield.

One thing that was mentioned on it struck me as interesting.

He talked about desire. He said that we tend to move towards the things we like, move away from the things we don't like, and take no notice of those things that are neutral. Although to grow spiritually, we really should do the opposite sometimes.

I think that Aikido is a good practice in this respect because it teaches us to move towards fear and adversity, and how to cope with it.

We are always entering and moving towards the negative and learning how to more skillfully approach it.

Anyway, that thought came to mind as I was walking to work!

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Old 12-18-2007, 09:48 AM   #2
James Davis
 
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Re: Moving Towards Fear and Adversity.

Quote:
Kevin Leavitt wrote: View Post

I think that Aikido is a good practice in this respect because it teaches us to move towards fear and adversity, and how to cope with it.

We are always entering and moving towards the negative and learning how to more skillfully approach it.

Anyway, that thought came to mind as I was walking to work!
I think my Sensei's favorite word is probably "adapt". When tough situations present themselves, it helps to just shrug your shoulders and start figuring things out rather than belly-ache about it. In most cases, somebody has to, or else nothing gets done.

"The only difference between Congress and drunken sailors is that drunken sailors spend their own money." -Tom Feeney, representative from Florida
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Old 01-13-2008, 03:45 PM   #3
edshockley
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Re: Moving Towards Fear and Adversity.

I'm not trying to sound like Yoda but most often the experience of something as negative or positive, good or bad, has nothing to do with that thing and everything to do with ourselves. This is the lesson of my Aikido study. Sensei says, "Thank uke of his attack, it allows you to be."
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Old 01-13-2008, 04:46 PM   #4
SeiserL
 
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Re: Moving Towards Fear and Adversity.

IMHO, motivation usually moves away from or towards. Many say we move towards pleasure and away from pain, but I have seen far to many who perhaps have that confused a bit. The move away from is often fear based and negative. The move towards is more love based and positive. A good propulsion system pushes you from behind while pulling you forward. Often the circular path of extending ki is a good example of that. Just a thought.

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 01-13-2008, 07:11 PM   #5
Karen Wolek
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Re: Moving Towards Fear and Adversity.

Quote:
James Davis, Jr. wrote: View Post
I think my Sensei's favorite word is probably "adapt". When tough situations present themselves, it helps to just shrug your shoulders and start figuring things out rather than belly-ache about it. In most cases, somebody has to, or else nothing gets done.
At a restaurant recently, they were out of my fave menu item, the food I GO there to have. I was quite bummed. "Aw man, what am I gonna have NOW?" One of my teachers said, "Karen. It's ok. Adapt."

I know that was just a minor annoyance, but I did adapt and the food I ordered was quite delicious. And a few days later, I went there for lunch and got my favorite food.

The way I "deal" with a lot of hard things is to ignore the problem, hide, pretend it doesn't exist, procrastinate. But I am learning to work through problems. Slowly. In aikido, I still sometimes cringe, freeze, duck, etc... instead of entering. My teacher says that I am just asking for a beating, ha.

I'm not sure though if that is moving away from the fear, but it sure isn't entering towards it!

Karen
"Try not. Do...or do not. There is no try." - Master Yoda
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Old 01-15-2008, 11:43 PM   #6
Misogi-no-Gyo
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Re: Moving Towards Fear and Adversity.

...the two (umm, three) furthest things from O-Sensei's Aikido

1. Buddhism

2. Psychology

3. Conflict Resolution (actually, this is #1)

as for the bulk of user commentary on the comparison between aikido and these three things... Go Figure!

Last edited by Misogi-no-Gyo : 01-15-2008 at 11:44 PM. Reason: duh!

I no longer participate in or read the discussion forums here on AikiWeb due to the unfair and uneven treatment of people by the owner/administrator.
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Old 01-16-2008, 05:03 AM   #7
SeiserL
 
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Re: Moving Towards Fear and Adversity.

Quote:
Shaun Ravens wrote: View Post
...the two (umm, three) furthest things from O-Sensei's Aikido

1. Buddhism
2. Psychology
3. Conflict Resolution (actually, this is #1)

as for the bulk of user commentary on the comparison between aikido and these three things... Go Figure!
I personally never had a conversation with O'Sensei to discuss the matter, so don't know if its furthest or not. If you mean he personally did not study Buddhism, Western Psychology, or preach "conflict resolution", then I would agree, I've seen no reference to it.
Being a big old white western boy it helps me get my head around it. Since I lead with my head (understanding/mental mapping), it helps to be able to move my body more congruently.
So maybe its not O'Sensei's Aikido, but it is mine and I quite enjoy not being afraid of adversity or people who see it differently (I certainly accept input and know I don't know everything, just my own opinion.).

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 01-16-2008, 06:08 AM   #8
Mark Mueller
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Re: Moving Towards Fear and Adversity.

Isn't there a word for moving into "fear and adversity".....I think it is irimi....figuratively anyway.
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Old 01-16-2008, 06:44 AM   #9
SeiserL
 
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Re: Moving Towards Fear and Adversity.

Quote:
Mark Mueller wrote: View Post
Isn't there a word for moving into "fear and adversity".....I think it is irimi....figuratively anyway.
"Don't think. Do." Yoda channelling O'Sensei.
BTW, totally agree. The figurative is often the literal of the mental map that directs the body to "enter" into.

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 01-17-2008, 01:02 PM   #10
Aikibu
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Re: Moving Towards Fear and Adversity.

The MAD GERMAN (though not a Buddhist like me) put it best...

"That which does not kill us makes us stronger."

Now before I spew anymore about the devine secrets of the great gooooogly mooogly I have a life to go live ha ha ha ha ha ha!

Love is an action word. Do you have the Huevos to Love!

William Hazen

PS Kevin Sir...Jack Kornfield is oookey doookey However have you ever heard of Pema Chodron?

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pema_Chodron

Check out... "Comfortable with Uncertainty: 108 Teachings on Cultivating Fearlessness and Compassion"

Good Stuff for the Warrior Monks among us.

Last edited by Aikibu : 01-17-2008 at 01:12 PM.
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Old 01-17-2008, 02:14 PM   #11
SeiserL
 
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Re: Moving Towards Fear and Adversity.

Quote:
William Hazen wrote: View Post
However have you ever heard of Pema Chodron?
Oh yes, a favorite here.
Lets not forget the Dalai Lama, Lama Surya Das, or Mark Epstein.

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 01-17-2008, 03:26 PM   #12
Chris Parkerson
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Re: Moving Towards Fear and Adversity.

I was always enamoured by Chuang Tzu's story regarding the death of Lao tzu. It appears he felt that Lao tzu had failed in his teaching because people would not let him die and move forward.

Is this not a living example of how quickly we run to O sensei's words as if we fear to go elsewhere or suffer the fate of being a heretic?
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Old 01-17-2008, 04:39 PM   #13
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Re: Moving Towards Fear and Adversity.

Quote:
Shaun Ravens wrote: View Post
...the two (umm, three) furthest things from O-Sensei's Aikido
...
3. Conflict Resolution (actually, this is #1)

as for the bulk of user commentary on the comparison between aikido and these three things... Go Figure!
Here's another quote, I think O-Sensei wrote it:
[Doka of the Day - January 16, 2008.] Aiki is the power of harmony between all things. Polish it ceaselessly, Everyone of the Way

Am I missing something? Is this a semantic issue or something deeper? Also is it commonly accepted that Omoto-kyo has no similarity at all to Buddhism, and that O-Sensei's aikido was uninfluenced by his religion?
--JW
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Old 01-17-2008, 06:16 PM   #14
Kevin Leavitt
 
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Re: Moving Towards Fear and Adversity.

Shaun Raven's wrote:

Quote:
...the two (umm, three) furthest things from O-Sensei's Aikido

1. Buddhism

2. Psychology

3. Conflict Resolution (actually, this is #1)

as for the bulk of user commentary on the comparison between aikido and these three things... Go Figure!
I am not really sure I understand your point? Could you explain this a little more?

There are commonalities among many practices based on non-violence, and harmony.

Do you mean that concept of conflict resolution is not apart of aikido?

That the basic tenants of buddhism have no correalation or intersection with those of aikido? (the founder did not even need to know buddhism to have commonality with it).

Psychology. That there is no underlying psychology that can be applied to aikido, buddhism, or any other practice? Are there not parallels in western and eastern psychology and philosophy?

Does it not help us to understand things in our own context and experiences to relate what the we learn and experience in aikido to "applied concepts" that we understand?

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Old 01-17-2008, 06:22 PM   #15
Kevin Leavitt
 
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Re: Moving Towards Fear and Adversity.

WIlliam,

absolutely I have heard of Pema Chodron. I started working my way through 8 Hours of "Boddhisatva Mind" on my iPod, but got side tracked. I am very interested in this concept as I think that the concept of Boddhisavta applies most to those that follow a martial way as a method to achieve Harmony...which is an paradox in and of itself, of course!

I am enjoying Mr Kornfield's work, but there are a few challenges it poses for those in my profession, as he tends to be very "core" in his talks vice "practical". Not that I deep down disagree with what he discusses in concepts of establishing happiness and transcending fear, conflict, desire...just not much room for guys in my profession to wiggle! It makes you think though!

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Old 02-04-2008, 10:57 PM   #16
Ryan Sanford
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Re: Moving Towards Fear and Adversity.

Quote:
Lynn Seiser wrote: View Post
Oh yes, a favorite here.
Lets not forget the Dalai Lama, Lama Surya Das, or Mark Epstein.
I'm a fan of the Dalai Lama's books as well. Currently reading "Ethics for a New Millennium."

Not to sidetrack the thread, but I recommend Thich Nhat Hanh. Just finished "Going Home: Jesus and Buddha as Brothers," which was a really wonderful book, although, admittedly, desperately unrelated to this thread. Sorry.
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Old 02-05-2008, 10:57 AM   #17
Kevin Leavitt
 
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Re: Moving Towards Fear and Adversity.

Ethics for a New Millennium is an excellent book. Read the Thicht Nhat Hanh book as well many years ago.

They really make you think about a different way of responding and looking at the world!

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Old 02-05-2008, 06:56 PM   #18
Irv Lachow
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Re: Moving Towards Fear and Adversity.

Quote:
Kevin Leavitt wrote: View Post
I was listening to a book on Buddhist Psychology the morning by Jack Kornfield.

One thing that was mentioned on it struck me as interesting.

He talked about desire. He said that we tend to move towards the things we like, move away from the things we don't like, and take no notice of those things that are neutral. Although to grow spiritually, we really should do the opposite sometimes.

I think that Aikido is a good practice in this respect because it teaches us to move towards fear and adversity, and how to cope with it.

We are always entering and moving towards the negative and learning how to more skillfully approach it.

Anyway, that thought came to mind as I was walking to work!
Kevin,
Thanks for your posting. Kornfield's words resonate with me, and it's great to be reminded now and then that what we tend to do is not always what we need to do in order to grow.

See you on the mat!
--Irv
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Old 02-06-2008, 04:22 AM   #19
Kevin Leavitt
 
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Re: Moving Towards Fear and Adversity.

Thanks Irv, see you there!

Kevin ( who should be doing bokken cuts right now instead of typing on aikiweb) Leavitt

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Old 02-07-2008, 09:43 AM   #20
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Re: Moving Towards Fear and Adversity.

Quote:
Kevin Leavitt wrote: View Post
we tend to move towards the things we like, move away from the things we don't like, and take no notice of those things that are neutral. Although to grow spiritually, we really should do the opposite sometimes.
I completely agree. I think it is natural that we move towards what is familiar, comforting, and similar to ourselves. People often befriend those who have similar religious beliefs, similar political beliefs, same lifestyles, are of the same race, age, and background. We watch the news stations that we agree with, vote for the person that holds our own interests. As a result, we create a world of "yes men" around us, a support group for our ego, and a comfort zone that eliminates any need for real growth. In the classroom, the teacher gives the most praise and support to the "good kids", the "gifted ones", the ones who are gonna "be somebody" someday. But it is the "bad ones", the ones that "just don't get it" that really need the skills of the teacher. When learning new things, people often focus on what they can do well, what they already know, what they are good at. But i say if you can already do it, then you don't need a teacher, do you?
I think to grow as human beings, we need to befriend those who are unfamiliar and different to us, listen to what sounds confusing and doesn't make sense (because it does make sense to someone), learn what we can't or don't know how to do, teach those who can't be taught, help those who can't be helped, and do that which we think can't be done.

In my experience as a teacher, i have seen many students give up, or not try their hardest because "it is hard". Well anytime you learn anything new, isn't it supposed to be? If it isn't, then maybe you should bump it up a level.

As far as your comments on fear and adversity, the following phrases come to mind; "We must do that which we fear most" and "Safety is found at the heart of danger".

-John Matsushima

My blog on Japanese culture
http://onecorneroftheplanetinjapan.blogspot.jp/
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Old 03-04-2008, 07:22 PM   #21
boyana
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Re: Moving Towards Fear and Adversity.

The best is to face fear.
I have left a very comfortable life in California to live in Port Morseby!
Was I scared at first.YES!
Now I am OK!I can live and do anything in the future.
In a way,this was the best I have done in my life!

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