Monday 30 December 2013
In my Aikido I have said all I teach is principles. So Aikido to me or rather the dojo is a place to practice universal divine principles and thus is a place of self development.
So I also say that each part of the whole in Aikido is a centre of itself and in this way I study the art. Koshi is a centre, centre is a centre, centre line is a centre, one point is a centre, hara is a centre, peace is a path and golden centre is my way.
The first Dharma I shall give here is the Dharma of centre line.
Zen is also the expressiion of centre line. Centre line is neutral. To be neutral is a discipline and when you are being such then centre line becomes active. Centre line is if you want to look at it mechanically the axis around which all turns. Like the axle of a car without which no whells would turn. So we have have here the principle of neutrality in action.
So spiritually what does centre line do? It connects heaven to earth. It connects all chakras. It is the one which gives birth to two. From neutral comes the principles of Allowance and Calm. Thus we can say that centre line produces the three principles of neutral, allowance and calmness.
It connects, it allows, it is calmness personified. So what is it thus allowing?
It allows Communication. It allows action. Allowance is thus the activator, the principle preceding the motion. Centre line allows your body to perform the perfect tai sabaki. The neutral horizontal axis allows you to do the perfect break fall. The axis of the earth allows it to turn. It allows connection and interchange.
The yin and yang of neutral is allowance and calmness.
The centre line of the tornado is calm.
In a crisis or in the middle of confusion or when all is in disarray all around can you be centre line? Can you be the calmness, neutral centre line? Can you allow it and thus be undisturbed? Fundamental. Thus springs out another principle spoken of only by the wise....Let it be. Can you let it be? This is all part of zanshin also.
From neutral you allow yourself to be in communication with all, calm, settled. Thus you are not in any kind of denial but quite the opposite for you are in true obsevation yet observing from the principle of non interference. Zanshin. Open.
So in it's essence and truth centre line is the centre of motion. Welcome to the the first part of the way of the sword, the cross of Aiki.
In life may you discover the power of neutral for in recognising and practicing the principle it opens new doors to understanding. We have Demands in life, we have Commands in life. People get in positions of so called power where they thus can command and demand. The way of ego not Aikido. In neutral there is no demand and there is no command yet it is of itself a true power. So what is this power? Request, it is actually divine request. Have you ever heard of the power of prayer?
There is no demand or command in the power of prayer for it is neutral. Thus from there does the vibration of peace expand outwards like the ripples in a pool. Thus from there does true communication, benificent, reach through all in its path. Thus from there do we welcome all to the path of peace.
Welcome to Aikido. G.
Sunday 22 December 2013
The founder of Aikido said Ai has two meanings....love and harmony. It's hard enough getting a reality on the true budo of love let alone addressing the Ai of harmony. Suffice to say I have written a few posts on the love aspect and so now I will address the harmony aspect. So many aspects apply to the truth of Aikido but I find little written on the harmony aspect. I am not surprised by this for there is little reality extant on what it is. It is actually real, it is active, it is an infinite truth and as such has an infinite flow.
Space and capacity. Universal love has actually infinite space whilst harmony has infinite capacity. You could say volume of one and capacity of the other.
Attendant with universal love is a state, a transcending state and I shall put a name to this state and I will call it serenity. Below serenity is not universal love. Aikido in it's essence is about transcending in the here and now. From such a state you can admire all. No complaining, no weeping and wailing and gnashing of teeth, oneness. Meanwhile attendant to harmony comes the quietening of the mind. The quiet mind. When in harmony the mind is quiet.
Here lies peace...inner and thus producing outer. In peacetime life excels, people and living and business and social activities all excel. In peace life itself flourishes. This is thus the root of Aikido. Meanwhile in war death flourishes for it comes not from quiet minds, it comes not from peace, it comes not from harmony for harmony is perfect. Harmony is Ai.
Ai and Ai.
Divine quietness of mind, divine harmony. Many think that the state of harmony allows you to be at peace with nature. Well indeed it does but that is merely the tip of harmony for true harmony puts you at peace with the whole of life. Ay peace with the wife and family, at peace with all people, at peace with all goings on in the world for they too are all part of life. A quiet mind is complete in all directions. To be at peace before you can bring peace. This is the discipline of Aikido. This is the path untrodden by too many. Thus they deny harmony.
You cannot fight for peace you can only make it. You cannot make it if you are not at it.
The power of harmony is supported by universal love. Ai is complimentary to Ai.
Sunday 15 December 2013
Shu Ha Ri. A term used in martial arts to do with stages of study. Shu is basically about learning and practice as we generally understand it. Ha is about then taking responsibility for what you have learned and can do and basically reviewing and creatively adding to. In other words still studying even when you know and can do. Ri is the ultimate, the realm of mastery and making it yours.....apllicable to all you see no matter what the situation.
Now, as usual I am going to put some perspective on this. Although we can go deep and see how it starts with the shoshin mind and ends with Fudoshin I will prefer to show how these principles are alive and well and operational in your daily lives and training. Once again in order to study we must be able to see when we are doing what's being studied and when we are not.....in daily life.
Shu...When training we are taking in data and knowledge and getting to a point of understanding. We build up these understandings. Meanwhile we practice the application of these understandings and thus we have study and practice. No different to a musician who has to physically practice or when you learned to read or write where there too was the same thing....mental learning and physical application. So SHU is about mind and body coordination. Thus you gain skill.
Ha...The next step. 'What's left?' you may ask. Well let's go back to mind. You have a set mind view, a stable to that degree understanding. Does this set understanding work in various situations? Is there still that 'opponent' who always gives you trouble? Is there situations where you have to revert to something else? Do you still have 'yeah buts' and 'what ifs?'
In other words we must look at the mind. Mentally you see what should happen when you apply your understanding but as you do the result is not what was envisioned. So it's time for humility. It's time for review. It's time for a greater understanding. It's time for responsibility. It's time for Ha.
This is truly the next stage of learning. So there you are confused because how you see it and how you generally apply it isn't working in this particular case. So Ha is also a test. It's an ego buster. It shakes your faith. Yet the solution is not to revert to another way by ditching the learned principles but rather to accept with joy that there is a new thing to learn. To be honest. To be disciplined. So a new discipline and honesty is all part of Ha. The result? Simple....when your mind and body are back in coordination. When what you mentally see happens as seen for real. All becomes easy once again.
Ri....So we can see here what the realm of Ri is. It's universal. It's the condition of doesn't matter. It doesn't matter what scene or situation or 'opponent' presnts itself you can see what to do and do it comfortably and thus what is in your mind happens via your application. You may have a favourite technique for example that you are sure you can use on anyone at any time no matter who they are or what the situation.....universal. Meanwhile you can also have others you are not so confident in. Thus one is nearing the Ri aspect whilst the others are shu or ha.
I am at Ri with regards to tying my shoelaces.
So shu ha ri.....it's not so hard to understand really. Taking the mystery out of it.
To do with tying your shoelace you too are standing on the floating bridge between heaven and earth....no explosive power or any other nonsense.....just centred and in harmony.