Thursday 30 October 2014
As you enter the 13th Chamber, written above the door in Gold Letters is:The Floating Bridge.
Inside the first lesson is Compassion and Humility.
As you look and find out about heaven you meet Father and Son. The divinity of which is compassion.
The male side and the male side is compassion. For all the heavens are ruled by compassion.
Heaven is compassion.
Then you look to Earth and there is Mother and Daughter. The divinity of which is Humility.
This is the female side.
For Mother nature is Humility in action.
Together Heaven and Earth form the great circle.
The essence of Mother nature, mother and Daughter, is the spirit of loving protection for all things.
In you therefor there is both Heaven and Earth which need to be in balance. Compassion for All and the spirit of loving protection for all things. Compassion and Humility.
This is the way of the Jo and at the centre of the Jo is the great Jewel.
When your centre is also that jewel there lies the floating bridge.
Friday 24 October 2014
Bu. Love. Yes true Bu is love and so true Budo is the way of love. This is the heart of Aikido. So what is love? Also what is the martial aspect of love?
The first view to take if you want to understand is actually space, to look at love first and foremost as space.
Now, when you have got your head around that idea you have to take it the next step.....universal space or as I prefer....infinite space.
We are used to calling the area between things space, in other words dependent on solid things. Well, true space isn't dependent on matter, it is of itself. Now some say it's a matter of beyond space and time. From one perspective yes but for for in truth it is true space which is beyond the mind concept of space and time.
When showing someone who was 'well into' the love aspect this he was taken aback. For it is not just a good idea...it is real. It is a matter of reaching out...opening up to that infinite....beyond the 'sphere' of your own 'personal' space.
So now let's look at what love does....let's look at the rules, the principles, it follows. The discipline of love. Love comforts...so part of it's job is comforting. Love supports so part of it's job is supporting. Love embraces. Now there's an interesting facet.
So a loving space is what a baby expects to be born into...to feel comfortable and supported.
But let's look at the embrace part. I just saw a brief intro. to an article about O'Sensei and a course on such given by the Aiki Journal. The fascinating thing to me was how they were interpreting this aspect. They noticed O'Sensei was doing something first and concluded it is all about enveloping the opponent. Fascinating. Just look at the difference between EMBRACING and ENVELOPING.
You may hug a tree that's to do with embracing. You don't envelope a tree. I suppose that's 'jaki's' version.
So how comes it's so important? Universal love. It embraces all. Loving space embraces and supports all. It embraces and supports centre, etc. It is all embracing.
Feeling wise on letting go and accepting this universal love you feel the associated energy and Ki. So now think of this. As with centre line and circle and the principle thereof where Ki flows along those pathways now we must add into that equasion the energy of infinite space...the loving energy of that infinite space. They of course work together, they are interdependent and influences on each other and so comes about the wave. The all embrasiveness brings about the wave but waves are no square, they are round. They are the ups and down curves that form waves.
There are of course waves to do with any emotion, you can have a wave of fear or any other emotion but the discipline is the discipline and that is the disci[line of only the wave from universal love. Only the true way of the heart.
This infinite love embraces all universes...that is it's divinity and thus the practice of being at one...oneness.
Wednesday 22 October 2014
As you enter the tenth chamber, written above the door in Gold Letters is True Centre.
As stated before a principle of centre is acceptance but now we go to the essence and truth of centre.
It's purpose is balance. That's the first thing to know. Centre is centre because of what? Because it is connected equally with all which make up the whole. It has a job to do and that is to make sure all is in balance.
Centre is the SEAT OF GOODNESS. To understand centre you have to understand that point. Not love, not kindness, not compassion......GOODNESS.
Only goodness brings balance....nothing else.
So how do we 'square' that circle? Well, this is where beneficence comes into play. It takes beneficence to understand this.
Goodness and in operation Beneficence means EVERYBODY WINS......THAT is the condition of CONTINUOUS WINNING.
No greatest good nonsense, no yeah but what if's.......EVERYONE WINS. That Alone brings balance.
So now look to your Aikido. You move, via centre, to the position where you can benefit the other and self. That's the first thing to notice. So throw out the notions of positions where you can do x, y, z, to the other or where you can 'take their centre' nonsense. That's not beneficence thus it's not good.
Moving to the position of beneficence makes you centre not only in yourself but with the universe for that is what centre is.....the position of beneficnce....the position from which everyone wins.
As you enter the ninth chamber you enter the Neutral zone.
Written above the door at the entrance to this chamber in Golden Letters is the term ZEN.
I have already mentioned about one point and zen before but now we enter the core of Zen and so we find the form and the active essence.
Centre Line. The first thing to know for in knowing centre line you are knowing Neutral. Again I have mentioned this before too for the axis which is centre line is neutral and the axis of anything else too is neutral as well as the axle of a car. Things turn around a neutral axis.
Well first let's tell you about centre line in more depth. It's purpose and what it does. Well the main axis ie: centre line connects the stillness of heaven to the void of earth and nature. It has to be neutral to do this.
So this is a neutral path and being neutral means it has non resistance, thus it is always there...unmoved...doing it's job.
So we come to the Zen attitude or the mind of Zen if you like. Neutral....a divine neutral....unmoved. The Zen attitude is non opposition, non aggression, non control and thus lives with non disturbance as his way. This is all non resistance in action.
So we see the form of an axis...the straight line so what other form is there due to this neutral? Well many talk about various forms in Aikido like the spiral etc. but the first real form which is there because of the axis is related to that thing called communication. Through being neutral and non resistive then the pathway of connecton and interchange with anything and all becomes thus a circle. Communication is a circle. It is a neutral, non resistive circle. Being so it can carry all that needs to be passed through and given and received.
As such it then also is a circle around the centre line and this is what can be called the orbit. When all is non resistive then the orbit is a perfect circle. Non resistive pathways allow kI TO FLOW THROUGH THEM, in fact ATTRACT KI TO FLOW THROUGH THEM.
Zen is unmoved by that which is not neutral. Being against is not neutral, taking sides is not neutral, sympathy is not neutral, fighting against is not neutral etc. etc. etc.
That is the job, the function of non resistance and it's forms and pathways. It's principle is ALLOWANCE.
The famouse zen koan called "Is that so?" showed this.
Without allowance there is no communication with. Thus there is instead resistance to and weak communication or no communication or all manner of 'disturbed' communication...but no true or pure communication.
The sword does not protect the body for that sword is the idiots sword. The sword protects centre line and thus it protects the connection and communication with heaven and earth.
Monday 20 October 2014
As you enter the eighth chamber of Golden Center you enter the chamber of divine light.
Written above the door of the chamber in Golden Letters is The Cross Of Aiki.
You have looked through one point and now you see what it is. It is mind. The divinity of mind.
"I am a to you a point. I am a point of light. Come closer."
Then as you approach you see more.
"I am divine mind. I am divine light." says the mind.
"I serve you so that you may see."
Then a new form appears in the shape of the cross.
"I am The Law." says the cross, and all goes still.
"I reach down from heaven to Earth and reveal the laws of the universe. I reveal the immovable laws of heaven and the immovable laws of earth. Thus I reveal the immovable laws of divinity and the immovable laws of nature.
I show you that such is their truth, their holiness, that they spread out across the breadth of all realms and all universe and all that is. Thus my symbol is the cross."
"Freedom lies within me for freedom does not exist by escaping law but only by committing to law...true law.Thus I serve also as a reminder for as you do not according to the laws of heaven and earth then you create karma and suffer as a result."
"I am mind and I am the freedom to create thus I am your creativity. Thus I am and always will be part of creation and life."
"I belong to All religions and all philosophies for I am but the spark of truth, the symbol of the cross, the foundation of the cross of Aiki."
"Thus I shine light upon the divine principles of the heart, of the soul, of the spirit, of nature, of centre, of the void, of non resistance and of harmony."
Thursday 16 October 2014
As you enter the seventh chamber written above the door in Golden Letters is the principle of that chamber.
In Aikido throughout we see the false statement of 'you must not be a compliant uke.' It's understandable too. For from an egocentric point of view it makes complete sense.
So entering the seventh chamber you enter a truer meaning of the 'mind' called shoshin. Where ego is left at the door....collect it later.....if you must.
You enter the chamber of the seventh and you enter the chamber of humility......a scary place.
Yet without compliance you cannot learn.
We are talking Aikido here...we are talking True Aikido. O'Sensei was the most compliant person around and thus the most humble. When he visited other teachers in order to learn he did so with complete humility and compliance. When he had achieved what he was there to learn he thanked them and left.
To learn you MUST be a compliant uke. This is the job...the only job of uke.
O'Sensei was very compliant, he knew this chamber well but apart from the Golden Rule there is also a Golden Question. What was O'Sensei compliant with?
He was compliant with the true nature of the universe. Non compliance with the nature of the universe is of course foolhardy and therein lies resistance and pain and suffering and force and....small self.
So an uke is to learn also to be compliant with the rules of nature and the universe or else they waste their time. So as an uke there is no opponent...there is only the universe. You are not dealing with an opponenet you are dealing with the universe. Only ego thinks it can fight the universe.
As you learn and accept the principles of the universal ways, the ways of universal love etc. as you comply with those you become more and more at one with. This is the path of shin no budo, wago no michi, true Aikido, True Aiki....not the Aiki of the past, Golden Centre.
And so...you are an uke in life and an uke of life. You are an uke of nature and an uke in nature. You are a universal uke.
Comply or die takes on a whole new meaning.
Taisabaki is a motion. There are many 'levels' to this one motion but what is it in essence?
Well, one of the best statements I can give here is "take your partner's place."
You ever heard the saying "try walking in the other man's shoes"? That's taisabaki.
Notice it involves high level empathy, notice it involves therefor open heart, notice it involves Being With.
So that's just for starters. Taisabaki is also one of the ways of what is called Entering in Aikido.
Entering is usually associated with Irimi and entering 'off line'. That is but another motion.....that is Irimi motion. The 'form' is different and from where it comes is different. The form of Irimi Motion is a straight line and as it means enter behind it becomes a zig zag. That is Irimi motion. It is a crossroads motion on the figure 8 ie: the symbol of infinity. Irimi Motion comes from Koshi...entering from 'nothing.'
So back to taisabaki...Entering. Entering from centre. It is entering on a curve not a straight line. It is entering into the centre of the others 'place.'
So taking your partners place puts you at centre and they into your orbit. With a good taisabaki this should happen without effort. When doing taisabaki kote gaeshi the partner should be 'sent' to your orbit and thus be circling around you. You are now centre of the 'technique'. Centre of the whole 'happening'.
Taisabaki is the effect of the triangle and the circle. As the circle then turns the other goes out from centre and rests in orbit. When the triangle and circle operate this way it also forms a spiral.
So now we enter an even deeper aspect of taisabaki. You are the centre and indeed calm centre line of such a spiral. It now becomes a matter of 'breath'. A matter of yin and yang. A matter of in and yo. Taisabaki done with 'in' or yang makes the person go out from your centre to the orbit. From yo or yin it brings the person in towards your centre. Perfect for the 'technique' of iriminage done from taisabaki motion rather than irimi motion.
Taisabaki is more than just turning the body.
Tuesday 14 October 2014
Consciousness. Some say awareness, some say intuitiveness, I say communication, I also say awake...ness.
In the spiritual field much is said about cosmic consciousness. O.K. Universal. I don't disagree for there is universal consciousness.
All well and good except for a more sound explanation of it as far as I am concerned.
So I return to Aikido. I return to Bu and heart and love. The spirit of loving protection, universal love, etc.
This thing called consciousness is actually of the heart. It has space and in purity it has peace. It flows through the universe as a universal thing and then too you have it as well.
Now I'm going to not use the word love here and I'm going to use a word used by Inoue Sensei, who used the word affinity. He saw that energy of affinity and how it was the binding force of the universe. The consciousness of the universe.
Love is pure affinity but affinity gives it that more real feeling when communicating.
So straight away some may be thinking of the attractive force of affinity. All well and good but that's o.k. as study but not as aim. What it means is innately in you is this great affinity. You are therefor conscious to the degree you use it. You are conscious to the degree have affinity for, to the degree you can see through the eyes of affinity.
Universal love....universal affinity.
Think of something you like....think of something you have affinity for or with. Aha...right there...you felt more awake. You became more conscious and in fact more in communication did you not?
So universal love..Bu.. is to do with that awakened consciousness.
Let's now get more real. YOUR consciousness...YOUR Affinity.
Time for honesty. Can you look at something with affinity? Unperturbed affinity? Without doing so you are to that degree out of communication with and to that degree looking and speaking from unconsciousness...unawareness.
Those without much heart are thus not very awake or conscious or aware.
Now take someone you don't like. You have anything good to say about that person? You have no affinity for and so your communication about will be negative....unconscious communication. Honesty. Unconscious communication is no more than jaki. It is not universal love. Thus we must polish our own hearts and wake up.
When you have love for everything and that means love for everything 'bad' too then you will be awake. Then also you will be more aware. Unperturbed affinity...for all things.
Then you will have wisdom too for it will join with such purity.
Then your affinity...your love will be so much more pure. It is yours is it not? Do you want to be awake?
It is yours so thereafter you can give affinity to goodness, to kindness, to improvemnts of all kinds but if you think not having affinity for someone or something is good then you imprison yourself in unconsciousness and unawareness and proceed with weeping and wailing and bawling and gnashing of teeth.
Aikido is for life.
Monday 13 October 2014
Keep one point. Keep. What great advice once again.
At first one point is said to be a matter of keeping attention at centre at all times. You could benefit by the feeling thus of keeping connected to your own centre at all times. So it's all good.
But one point is not centre. One point is not Dantien. In fact it is a self created point you place at the location of centre. That's the first thing to know about one point.
Create a point at centre. So one point is not a Fixed thing....it is a matter of discipline to KEEP one point for it is you who create it.
In fact to make it even more disciplined our teacher used to get us to create it outside of the body....next to centre.
This action of one point is all part of zen, is all part of yoga, is all part of misogi, is all part of Aikido. It can be denied and thus much wisdom will be there lying dormant, yet to be discovered.
One point is not a matter of heart. It is not a matter of spirit. It is not a matter of soul. It is inherently aligned to non resistance but is not it. So what is one point fundamentally?
It is mind. Pure one point is pure mind. When you are told to put one point at centre you are actually learning to put your mind at centre to help keep it quiet.
Misogi is not only polishing the spirit it is polishing the mind polishing the heart polishing all.
True mind is divine. It is a divine point. It is clear. It is untroubled by anything whether internal or external, whether a life situation or a world situation. It is unmoved and unmovable.
Your mind moves to a world situation and complaints and fears etc. You have been led. Your mind has been led.
You see the macdonalds symbol.....mind led. You see the beautiful girl...say no more.
One point gone.
Shin shin toitsu.....the joining with divinity....the divinity of the other. It is there no matter how hidden the spark, the one point is somewhere there.
Divinity is in all and along with it comes wisdom. Deny it and all that is formed then is a chattering, 'logical' ego mind.
My first Aikido teacher was my Mother,
In truth..how could it be any other.
She took me in...in from the cold,
I was lost and only three months old.
Not only me, she took in others too,
A divine undertaking, an angel through and through.
Form different places...of different races..it mattered not.
Only an Angel knows that...and that was her lot.
Not rich, a child survivng war, a real east ender,
Not a family destroyer but a family mender.
Not a complainer but a warrior on her path,
Kindness her sword and humility her staff.
Rose was her name and rose was her nature,
Universal loving protection her stature.
Thank you mother..angel...teacher...
And may these thoughts in prayer reach her.
A great life of 96 years. R.I.P.
What is Ki? To really understand Ki you would have to also understand Misogi and you would also have to understand spirit.
When training in Aikido we learn to relax and use Ki. Toheis principles of Aikido are great in this respect and to take away the thought of them as principles but rather as great advice then if you really understand them you will find they are......great advice.
Respect your partner's Ki. Great advice. Extend Ki. Great advice. Lead your partner's Ki. Great advice.
Thus it say's to study Ki.
Now if you don't get what Ki is then what is it you are respecting in your partner? What is it you are extending?
Now from a spirit point of view you are spirit. Forget about heart. From a heart point of view you are heart but this is about Ki. This is about Misogi.
Now in Aikido we practice the ways of Ki. To help in this we do techniques. Why? Because the techniques developed were and are techniques which follow the natural pathways of Ki. So when you are trying to use Ki and doing a technique and then all of a sudden the technique works and it was so easy and effortless and different then what happened there? Well the pathway you followed was precisely the pathway of Ki and so you experienced the difference. Wow!
Respect your partner's Ki. Don't hear that spoken of much nowadays. Firstly because respect is not administered and secondly because the mind gets in the way. So many times I have been told 'yeah but......what if?.....blah blah blah. Simple answer......irrelevant!
It does not say respect the persons energy. It does not say respect the persons attitude. It does not say respect the persons power or strength. It says respect the persons Ki.
Many times of course people put themselves in some kind of 'immovable' position in Aikido or if an experienced martial artist put themselves in a position of ready and able to counter anything you try to do using Ki. This is great...this is good practice or really should be looked at rather as a good drill. So Bill grabs my wrist and proceeds to block me doing Nikkyo. Do I follow his energy? No.Do I follow his skill? No. Do I care? No.
Here's the thing....his energy is not his Ki. Even if he has quite good extended energy. I respect only his Ki and thus despite all then that is what I connect to. All else is your own mind led.
Ki is of spirit. Ahhhh...but what spirit? True spirit. So what is true spirit? PURE Spirit.Ahhhhh, in comes Misogi. Misogi is purification. Ki is pure spirit. Thus impure spirit is not Ki. Any old energy is not Ki.
It's no good only having pure heart for that is but one fifth of Aikido. To know Ki you must have pure spirit and thus comes a clarity on Kindness not known before.
It's all good.