Breathe in; where and when
Breathe out; what, how, and why
In journalism, there are very basic considerations to a story: who, what, where, when, why, and how.
In mediation, there is a sequential process. First, learn to relax the body, concentrate the mind, contemplate through the ignorance of illusions, and then meditate beyond the learned ego identity.
Oddly enough, these are the same steps necessary for true generative and transformational change.
Where: (1) in or to place, (2) what purpose, (3) in situation in which, (4) unknown
When: (1) while, (2) as soon as, (3) at some point, (4) each time that, (5) if, (6) although, (7) at or during which time, (8) unspecific time period
Relax, breathe in, and concentrate. Mindfully be present in the here and now.
The dojo is a destination. It is a place to go. It is sacred ground. No one ends up in a dojo by mistake. For many of us, it is like coming home. The dojo is where we go to train both body and mind. I suppose it trains spirit, but the best way to train spirit is to get out of the way. This is where I do that. In the midst of conflict and chaos, I first need to know where I am. Many come through the door of the dojo, but their mind and heart is still somewhere else. They are not here. When you are present, you are mindful of being here and being here right now. It is a place and time to sweat and to laugh.
In life, we need to know where home is. We yearn to know where we belong. Too often, when we are at work, we want to be home and when we are home, we only think of work. When we are with someone, the mind wonders to someone else, and if we were with someone else, our mind would wonder elsewhere. Most relationships start because we share space and time. Many relationships end when we stop sharing that space and time. Love is about sharing this space and this time. Love is the journey and the destination.
What: (1) request information, (2) that which, (3) emphasizing reaction, (4) how, (5) at guess, (6) exclamation
Why: (1) asking reason, (2) because of, (3) exclamation, (4) reason
How: (1) in what way, (2) to what extent, (3) like what, (4) used in exclamations, (5) in whatever way, (6) method, technique, system, tactic, (7) condition , state, circumstances
Relax, breathe out, and contemplate. See through the illusions of ignorance and attachment.
In the dojo, we are told not to talk about much. Many compare teaching and training to a Zen koan where the instructor points the way and provides the context, but the students must figure it out for themselves. Perhaps these teachers have better students than I have ever been or see something I do not, or believe in a potential I am not sure is there. They say wherever the head goes the body will follow, so how do I get my head around something I know nothing about? Sequentially, I seldom lead with my body learning through physical training first. Even when it does, it is the mental reflection on that training that creates a shift in my mind before it creates a shift in my body movement.
In life, we walk many roads without knowing where we are going, why we are going there, and how we are going to continue. We often wonder why we do not really end up anywhere or with anyone special. They say if you are not planning to succeed, then you are already planning to fail. I remember realizing that I was my sons primary identification object (their identity has a lot to do with what I modeled for them). I decided to figure out what type of men I wanted them to be and get up every day and walk in that direction no matter what. What did they need, why do they need it, and how can I provide it? In a moment of clarity, I realized that this journey is not all about me. Life was about empathy, compassion, and altruism. Love and life is like that. Love and life is an opportunity and experience to find what you are here for, why you are here, and how to express yourself.
We do not change what we resist, avoid, or deny. We only change when we see through the illusions produced by ignorance. It takes courage and clarity to walk the walk.
Who: (1) introduces question, (2) introduces relative cause, (3) the person
Relax, breath in and breathe out. Meditate, let go of the self.
In the dojo, we are teachers and we are students. We step out of our real world of business and manufacturing, of doctors and patients, of lawyers and clients, or workers and management. We are men and women, boys and girls, fathers and mothers, brothers and sister, sons and daughters, husbands and wives. We are just people. We show up, put on the same uniform, and bow in next to each other. We train together and help each other. We bring out the best in each other and at times show the worst of ourselves. We are who we are and we are who we want to be. We are individuals and we are a unity.
In life, there is a lot of emphasis and advice to finding and strengthening the individual self. We are told the ultimate journey is to answer the question of who we are. Many go through life never finding an answer. Many never know there is a question or a quest to find themselves. They mindlessly facilitate and perpetuate the personality pattern passed down through multi-generational roles, rules, and beliefs. We are not present in our lives and loves, we are acting out the scripts given us. Perhaps we can mindfully meditate to let go of the adolescent self-referencing and self-centered thinking of our current social norm. Perhaps we can see it is not about me, it is about us. Perhaps the Zen koan of the journey is that there is no self and no journey.
Relax and concentrate on where we are and being in the here and now together. Contemplate and see through old illusions and ignorance to know what we are doing, why we are doing it, and how we can make life and love work. Let go and meditate, see through the conceptualization of who I think I am, through meta-level of supposed higher (still individual) selves, until we let go and get lost in all that is and all that we collectively are.
Breathe in; where and when
Breathe out; what, how, and why
Thanks for listening, for the opportunity to be of service, and for sharing the journey. Now get back to training. KWATZ!
Lynn Seiser (b. 1950 Pontiac, Michigan), Ph.D. has been a perpetual student of martial arts, CQC/H2H, FMA/JKD, and other fighting systems for over 40 years. He currently holds the rank of Yondan (4th degree black belt) from Sensei Dang Thong Phong of the International Tenshinkai Aikido Federation and Sensei Andrew Sato of the Aikido World Alliance. He is the co-author of three books on Aikido (with Phong Sensei) and his martial art articles have appeared in Black Belt Magazine, Aikido Today Magazine, and Martial Arts and Combat Sports Magazine. He is the founder of Aiki-Solutions and IdentityTherapy and is an internationally respected psychotherapist in the clinical treatment of offenders, victims, and families of violence, trauma, abuse, and addiction. He is a professor of clinical and forensic psychology with an expertise in family violence and treatment. He currently lives in Marietta, GA and trains and teaches at Kyushinkan Dojo, Roswell Budokan.