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Monday, 30 December 2013

Centre Line_Neutral. The Dharma of Golden Centre Aikido.


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

Aikido..Ai is Harmony.



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.


Peace.G.










Sunday, 15 December 2013

AIKIDO..SHU HA RI


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.


Peace.G.












Saturday, 30 November 2013

Universal Love...AIki..


Aikido has as one of it's fundamental principles the concept of universal love. This is not a philosophy but a real component of Aiki itself.

So what is this universal love? Why do so many folk describe it in so many different ways?

Well the reason in my opinion is down to how most folk think. We are brought up and taught how to think in terms of THINGS. This is why the main focus of much of Aikido is on technique because they are things, they have shape and form. They can be seen. Yet they of themselves are not Ai, are not Ki and are not the Do either. They are results of it.
                                   
So back to the mind and thinking. As I said earlier most think in terms of things. Thus they think in terms of QUANTITY. Along with this we may get timing and geometry and movement but still in terms of quantity.

Well to understand the basics a simple thing has to be recognized and that is that this universe and all in it is not just physical and in fact the physical is the result of underlying non physical principles. In fact to make it nice and simple we could look at it in terms of Quantity (physical) and Quality (non physical).
                                       
QUALITY. Can you think in terms of quality? Quality is spiritual, quality comes before quantity. When we all just follow quantity we end up with a world based on economics and profit where everyone is into image and bits of paper and titles and accumulation of more and more things and wealth of such and so we enter a hollow world lacking ant true notion of quality.

Universal love is a quality. Ki is a quality. Spirit, heart and soul are qualities. Faith itself and thus you too are actually a quality.

The path of peace.......peace is a quality too. No wonder those who think in terms of things can only see peace as a thing which relies on another thing being absent ie: war. Unenlightened thinking.

QUALITY. Love. Yes let's take love as an example. People think they can have a lot or a little of it, they think in terms of quantity. Yet love is a quality. You cannot look at it from the viewpoint of quantity except from the one aspect of quantity relevant to it and that is that it is either there or is not there. You do a technique with it or you don't.

Why? Because a quality is infinite. Hence UNIVERSAL love. kI is infinite. Peace is infinite. Harmony is infinite. Only quality is infinite.
                                       
Truth is infinite facts are temporary.

Aikido is the practice of the infinite.

Peace.G.                                                    





Sunday, 22 September 2013

Aikido and Balance


What is balance? The result of balance is stability but many within and without Aikido do not fully understand what balance is.

There is a concept in Aikido which is mind and body co-ordination. This is also to do with balance but first we must know that mind and body are always co-ordinated. The problem is 'which mind?' and the missing data is balance.

An angry mind is an imbalanced mind.

Then there is intention. A lot of emphasis is placed nowadays on intention. Yet an intention to control, an intention to harm, an intention to take anothers' centre or balance is not a balanced intention.

We see in life those who support something good and worthwhile yet are extreme. We see animal rights activists who may act very violently. Imbalance. They are thus unbalanced. When you get angry or protesty or any negative way you are suffering from an imbalance. You are at that point unbalanced.

You may feel very loving and yet lack inner peace and thus lack balance. Aikido is about developing balance. From balance comes true energy.

There is another concept in Aikido called Kuzushi. Taking someones balance, taking their centre. Where this idea comes from I don't know for it is not Aikido and is of itself an unbalanced intention.

Aikido is about giving back that which is missing. It is about restoring the attackers lost centre not taking advantage of it. Why would I take someones balance when balance is what they need?

So in Aikido it must be recognized that the attacker and the attacking mind is already an unbalanced mind, lacks true centre and is asking for restoration.
There is a problem in this world and in your world and it can be understood from the view of balance.

I say to you now that I know what you need and indeed what you want and this applies to everyone. We may search and search for happiness and contentment but without knowing what we search for we will never find it.

A little powerful word. ENOUGH. Enough gives balance.

When the body is hungry you feed it. Too much and it is not happy and too little it is not happy.

Poor people may have not enough and yet rich people may have more than enough and so both feel unhappy, like something is missing and thus they crave more yet this is self defeating. Too much is just as unbalanced as too little.
 The greedy mind, the jealouse mind, the angry mind, the controlling mind, the manipulating mind, the dominating mind etc. are all unbalanced. Thus they lack something.

 Restoration is a devine action. Aikido.

Thursday, 19 September 2013

Aikido is non violence.


Aikido is the art of non violence. The power of non violence. The dynamic way of peace.

Peace itself is a real thing, an energy. You cannot fight for it, you cannot force it, in fact you cannot defeat it for it itself is power also.

Peace moves mountains. But can you hold it? It is held by faith and faith is you.


Non violence. Aikido follows a principle of non resistance and this leads to a world of non. A simple but powerful word.....NON. Thus within Aikido we enter the realm of neutral for neutral is the axis of the universe. All things turn around an axis and the axis is thus always neutral.


So principles extant and in operation in Aikido include non aggression, non disturbance, non control, non opposition, non dominance, etc. The divinity of non. The divinity of budo.

Peace moves mountains. Goodness moves the universe. G.



Thursday, 5 September 2013

Eight Directions of Aikido

http://youtu.be/U_6RCG_HEnY

In Aikido there is much to learn from the viewpoint of energy and geometry. The paths, natural paths of energy.


Aikido deals with motion and energy thus ut has nothing to do with fighting, the true art of 'fighting' without fighting. So we nust learn the techniques, yes, but only in order so that we can transcend them and Be Aikido. In doing so we find the view of 'opponent' changes for all we see is a motion in alignment with anothers motion and a joining with and fun. Yet it takes great discipline to learn and reach such a level.


Once techniques are known and comfortable then the paths of motion within Aikido become more apparent. It is quite funny to see and and really realize that no matter how you are attacked or held there are always Eight Directions you can go.

Thus you cannot really be trapped except by your own mind.

Now, if we look at this on a plane so to speak and geometrically then we find there are Eight paths, from north, north east, east, south east, south, south west, west and north west. If you move north then you are moving straight unto the attacker. There is more to these paths than reach the eye.
 
When talking about straight paths of motion, paths you can walk along, natural energy paths of non resistance, then we find they are always there waiting to be seen. This is to do with motion, this is to do with lower body movement from hips to legs and feet and has nothing to do with upper body and arms. A different discipline. In the end the upper and lower become one but for many they never find the true art art of motion in harmonious movement, oblivious to the natyral pathways waiting to be found.

     Seek and you will find. Harmony is waiting. Peace.G.

Monday, 13 May 2013

Budo is Fearless.




The one factor which fits budo and warriors is fearlessness. Here I am going to talk about this but am going to talk about Shin no Budo. True Budo. The Budo of Ueshiba and Aikido.

Bu is love. There is no fear in love itself. It is only we ourselves through fear who disconnect from it.

Once upon a time there was a battle. A samurai battle. In this battle it involved one set of Samurai attacking a monastery. So the monks got involved in this battle too. A group of Sohei monks. Now after the battle the Samurai who had fought alongside the monks had won and were celebrating and the monastery allowed celebrations inside it's walls.

As one monk sat quietly watching a Samurai who recognized him from the battle came over to him and congratulated him on his courage and bravery and skill and asked how he learned to be so fearless. The monk in return said to the Samurai how he had noticed him too and commented on how fearless he was also and reversed the question inquiring as to how that was so for him.

The Samurai proudly explained how they meditated on being dead already, how to die in battle was indeed an honour, how he focused on the one thing and that was to serve and that was his centre. As such he had no fear.

The monk acknowledged him and bowed to him in respect. "Interesting" he said, then returned to just being there peacefully. The Samurai realized he hadn't answered as to what his secret was and inquired once more and added there was something different about the monk that he couldn't fathom. The monk smiled and explained that like him he feared not death, like he he served, like him but that they served different masters. "I meditate like you and focus on the one but in my case the one is life." said the monk. "Whilst you focus on facing death, we focus on facing life, thus we become fearless."



Shin no Budo. Apart from love it is the discipline of non resistance. From non resistance comes Ki and you could even say non resistance is Ki. For from fear comes resistance, from resistance comes suffering and pain and from suffering and pain comes the opposite budo, the budo of war and fighting, the untrue budo.



Many try to assign great similarity between Ueshiba's Aikido and a certain man he met who he said opened his eyes to true budo but I would say it definitely opened his eyes for he found a man skilled in the untrue budo and luckily also met a man of shinto who showed him a way to true budo. Thus he learned the difference and thus came about Aikido.

So it is wise to know the two Budo's or existence there of to save confusion. There is no fear in true Budo and thus it is to be a state of peace and harmony within yourself. Unmoved by fears of self or others, unmoved but words and tricks and dramas and all kinds of cleverness. Unmoved by worries or negative emotions of any kind. Moved only by goodness and love and kindness and thus in harmony with heaven and earth.



Thus there are and have been many great true warriors of the past following shin no budo. From Jesus to Mohammed,from Buddhas to Yogi's, from Martin Luther King to Ghandi. I watched a film before called A Bronx Tale and there in that film was a father who drove a bus. Another following the path of shin no budo. A warrior. No fear.

Only the tool of non resistance and thus Ki leads to the truths you are after and only the truth will set you free.

T


Fear builds walls and plants seeds of destruction.

Faith moves mountains and is the essence of Budo.

G.


Sunday, 5 May 2013

Yin and Yang



The basic principles of harmony. Much is written and much has been said about yin and yang and the whole theory of complimentary opposites and even today in Aikido there are those who try to discover the mysteries of it within Aikido and what some now refer to as 'aiki'. Unfortunately the mind and ego likes the thought of opposites and balance but fails to see the truth behind such things and thus we wind up with expertise on the matter which seems to make sense but is actually far from the truth.

The two forces of yin and yang, what are they fundamentally? For they are complimentary and thus do not oppose each other. In fact they are needed by each other in order to create balance and harmony.


Goodness and love. There you are. Yin and yang.

Now in Aikido true budo is love. So that's half of Aikido. That's 'bu'. The other 50% is 'bun' which fundamentally is goodness.



So I ask you to stop for a moment and consider this. We have in this world many who recognize the true power of love and those people are usually quite spiritual people and more in tune with nature also for they recognize the true power of budo by doing so. True budo, shin no budo. But now look at this aspect of it. We have many folk who due to their love for animals or nature or indeed people then go and do very rebellious and outright harmful things due to their love for. They get very passionate and end up fighting and even killing in the name of what they love, even religion.

There is an imbalance there. They lack 'bun' goodness. 'Bun' has been described as education and yes they lack eduction, education in goodness.



Aikido is the way of both goodness and love and thus is the way of devine. Devine is thus true and balanced.

As these two principles combine from the centre comes the sword. From the centre of yin and yang comes the sword of kindness. Opening up the universe to Ki and life.

This is Aikido.


Peace.G.

Saturday, 6 April 2013

Responsibility in Learning...part 1.




This is a little write up on a view I teach about learning. I base this view on three principles I use in Aikido and as I call call it three parts of self. Ie:Heart, spirit and soul.

Anyway suffice to say what it leads to is that I say you are therefor responsible for three parts of yourself and in the field of study, in the field of learning then there are three of you within yourself to take account of.



So when you go to study something you are starting off obviously as a student. So there you are being a student. This is a function of heart, love. Always open, open to learn, to perceive, to embrace. So far so good, all makes sense.

So now I'll move on to spirit. Spirit is the discipline part of you but the disciplined energy, the doer, the rule giver according to which you flow your enrgy and put effort into. So the one who is interested in the rules and the doing, that's spirit. Funny thing is that's also the teacher.



So part of you is also the teacher. You are in yourself both student and teacher. Now you may have a teacher telling you what to do but you the student is taking in the instruction and then you the teacher is saying yep, so lets do it.

We are responsible for both parts in equal measure. Much is said in Martial arts about student teacher relationships and indeed in life and schooling but actually we are both within ourselves so fundamentally we can look at our own relationship within ourselves. It's no good concluding I'm a useless student but good at teaching or that I think I am a good student but wouldn't be any good at teaching for all we are saying is that part of ourselves needs addressing for we can't escape it.


Now, what I introduce into the equation in the third character. The charachter based on soul. What is soul? Well I say that when we talk about intuition or such like we are talking about soul. When we talk about conscience then we are talking about soul. We are talking about that overseeing part of us that looks at the results of what we do and tells us if it's any good or good enough etc. We are talking about the supervisor.

So not only are you the student and the teacher but you are also the supervisor.

The supervisor takes in the whole scene and the aim of the supervisor is harmony ie: all going well. Student doing well, spirit and thus discipline doing well and results good and as expected. In studying and practice in Aikido for example we are always reviewing and going over the movements and repeating and practicing so it's a good example of the overviewing part of ourselves, the supervisor.



So then we can look at the different qualities of each and thus start to polish them.For example the highest quality of spirit, how to stay focused, active, energetic, disciplined is actually non-resistance. The more non-resistant we are the less reasons we are giving ourselves why we can't do. The more positive we are.

The more loving we are the more perceptive, the more all embracing, the less blinkered. Thus the more open to learning.

The more patient and calm we are the more we can receive and take into account and oversee the whole. Thus each character has it's own beneficial qualities to offer. A supervisor with no patience is basically a pain in the ****. A doer or teacher who is short tempered and full of blameing everything and everyone for things going wrong or people not listening is just a pain in the ***** for he lacks that non-resistance.

And so on. I find this method of approach very rewarding and have used it many years helping others with their problems in study etc. Hope you like it and maybe find something that helps you.

Peace.G.

Saturday, 16 March 2013

Hara......A Gift to Carina.




Hara. Usually associated with centre and indeed one point but as I say in my Aikido each are different. Each are aspects of Aikido and each has a different function but all are interdependent too and thus work together.

Hara, location body wise being the stomach area. When using Hara all is effortless and the Hara feeling itself is softness. These reflections are to take you on a journey into Hara.


In my Aikido Hara is the home of the soul. Hara connects with nature, puts you in connection with nature and thus with mother nature. Those in touch with their soul are thus in touch with nature.

Hara looks for something, it is the guardian of something, it is from the realm of something and that something is harmony. For mother nature creates life forms which are all cells and molecules etc' working in harmony. This is the energy of hara at work.

The devine aspect of Hara is innocence. The home of soul. Thus we see a principle of Hara and that is the principle of allowing in. Innocence allows in. Thus we also see humility being born. Hara the seat of harmony.

Also there is another aspect or realm to Hara as to where it operates from and where it operates in. In operates in the realm of here. Thus the mind associated correctly with Hara is zanshin now that we are differentiating from centre.

So when travelling in the countryside enjoying the world of mother nature we are feeling and connecting from hara and we are enjoying here. When doing kokyudosa from hara we are using that soft harmonious energy to blend and move. When someone in life says you must look at that bad thing over there or that potential threat over there or the bad government or ...well..etc.etc. then they are tricking you usually into coming out of the realm of here and joining them in some mental drama.

When a cup falls and smashes do you jump? Do you let your hara get taken and thus you are jumping into a realm which is not here? Or do you calmly look and see what happened? If you expand on that then you may find you reach out and catch the cup before it smashes......operating from hara.

Innocence can and does allow in and move. Isn't that amazing?



As I throw a stone in the well and roughen the water I look and see the rflection of the moon is still here.

Peace.G.