It's All About Connecting

It's All About Connecting

In the years I have trained in aikido the most immportant lesson I have taken away is how to quickly make a strong connection with my training partners. On the mat this means a smoother, better looking technique, but most importantly, fewer injuries. This take-away is helping me in my pursuit to study medicine. In my opinion the connection between a medical practitioner and his, or her patients is the most important aspect of medical care. My aikido training makes forming this bond second nature.

Vigorous Force

Pondering (the state of) this world
I fall into a lament
Only to be reinvigorated again
When the light of the tumbling clouds
Builds the “vigorous force” inside me.

This is one of my favorite doka’s from the Founder of Aikido Ueshiba Morihei. For me this doka resonates deeply as I see how my aikido practice has become a part of my everyday life. A life that is filled with ups and downs, just like my practice has faced ups and downs.

But each time I have made the choice to get back on the mat, to do Hitori waza or taiso practice, or just wake up and connect with others, I am reminded on why I am grateful to find this practice.

For me that “light of the tumbling clouds” has been my Sensei and the other members of the dojo who are on this patch of Aikido. The sharing, the connection with others and myself, the continual process of refinement and exploration. This is the ever moving, never stagnate part of our practice that keeps me coming back for more.

And that “vigorous force” inside, manifests in ways beyond technique, it shows up in how I interact with others. That has been one of many things I have learned from Shugenkai Aikido. And I continue to look forward to many years of building that vigorous force within myself and others.

Elevator!

Elevator!

Aikido So what's it like, only if your Ready!

YOU'RE FLYING AT RIDICULOUS SPEEDS like on one of those crazy awesome rollercoaster rides OR a HURRICANE and we're talking on an unprecedented scale here a category 5+ and it's smashing into the Islands or even the coast as the storm rages there is a complete calm a peace unlike all that is around it's the center it's the core it's the eye no it's you oh WOW there it is you are the eye of the storm. So what's Aikido it's  Aikido!  The word Aikido broken down Ai-harmony Ki-energy Do-way. Aikido can be described many ways from fun to nearly everything. Just a few thoughts at the moment, if you don't already and you get the chance to train check it out for yourself! 

We move and are moved

We move and are moved

NOW is the moment.

Always approaching; always receding.

All my tiny Nows strung together.

They penetrate and then, spinning, shoot off from me

in all directions.

No ... wait ...!

NOW is the moment!

Wait ... language obsessed with linear temporal movement,

obscuring the truth that--

NOW is the moment.

My brain is melting.

No spinning, no lines flowing,

only this resonating point.

But I cannot handle this high-velocity stillness; 

cannot take this ... intimacy ... for long.

~ NOW is the moment ~

I cannot hold the point, cannot hold on.

Shattering and remaking me

at a speed beyond my conceptualization.

How can I survive this?!?

     ((( NOW is the moment )))

There is no duration, no one point, no I to survive.

Only permeation.

-- NOW is the moment --

No with or without

Not at all what I thought ...

Still

 

 

 

 

I feel darn good in a hakama

I feel darn good in a hakama

So I've written several things on what I like about aikido the practice, and how I like people.  I guess something I've never really talked about (so why not?) is getting a black belt, and gradings.  I think sensei has talked about it before, but we expect to see in a "black belt grading" is a lot, like a lot a lot.  But it does mean that getting it feels really good, and at least I felt like I really worked hard and I really earned that belt.  I think a lot of people like myself feel imposter syndrome.  But putting that hakama for the first time the morning after my grading felt so right, it was a rare time I didn't actually think "oh I probably actually didn't earn this".  

Me and my hakama hit it off right away.  One or two trips sure, but nothing serious, and I felt great in it.  And I still really like the feeling of putting on hakama.  It is probably more of a mental boost than anything, but I think I do better in full dogi and hakama.  That's probably not a great thing, I should try to be at the top of my game all the time, but even on some of the hardest days putting on (and even folding) my hakama always seems to lift my spirits a bit.  And make me feel a little more centered.  

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