Monday, November 15, 2010
Wednesday, October 27, 2010
even if I am broken or bent? "Of course!" I say to others.
Tuesday, October 19, 2010
It is tiny and fragile
Like a small bird newly born
So when fear steps in
I must resist the urge
To clench too tightly
To crush the hope
I need most then
Instead let my hands
Hope to be realized
Must leave me
And enter the world
To grow its wings
Fly to the hand
felt what not being on the mat four times a week does for me. I felt lost, alone and that it was always going to feel this way. Dark thoughts seem like reality in the middle of the night. Hearing Dora’s voice in my head reminded me that when it seems the darkest is when it seems like it will last forever. It really is neither dark nor forever.
Training for me is everywhere. Last night in my bed…I trained. I prayed…I remembered what was real. I can’t ever blame uke. What is going on inside of me is my reaction to the circumstances at hand. Breathing deeply I looked at myself and my choices. The thoughts I was entertaining were hurting me. I looked for other possibilities. I changed what I could. I could breathe more. I could focus on my breath. The anxiety lifted slowly. I woke up later not refreshed but not crazy with anxiety. I slept again…grateful for my training that I can do anywhere.
Monday, October 4, 2010
Tuesday, September 21, 2010
Tuesday, September 14, 2010
An injury needs time to heal
But the ego-mind do not always get it
Not wishing to relent to that greater will
So the body has to make itself more clear
More pain is clear
How to restrict movement
Without restricting the entire body
Without restricting the heart-mind
Ki does not seem to flow and I am impatient
Slowly the body and mind begin to loosen
Restriction uncoiling brings new clarity
Less can be more for now
It will not be forever
I love this body for what it can do
And the wisdom it has to teach me
Who better to be the most loving with me than me
It is all so clear
Wednesday, September 1, 2010
Tuesday, August 24, 2010
Thursday, August 19, 2010
Monday, August 16, 2010
Wednesday, August 11, 2010
Me: How can I make my experience with nage different?
Ron Sensei: Connect more, follow more.
Me: But, but, but…aren’t I responsible only for myself? For following where nage leads?
Ron Sensei: Yes.
Me: Then how come I have to do more?
Ron Sensei: Do you want to connect more or be right?
Me: Both, to be truthful…and by taking your suggestion have changed the experience. Thank you.
Saturday, July 10, 2010
Thursday, July 8, 2010
…two very fun, sweaty classes.
Small classes but lots of Aikido experience on the mat …the same 5 people both days. Mary, Ron, Charlie, Dora and Ann…we saw from behind our eyes, with our eyes closed, we stayed on the mat and then stepped off and gave up our turn…then we attacked and defended with tanto’s…it got really unorthodox and we forgot we were hot.
Such fun, on the mat, during the hottest days of the year.
Tuesday, June 22, 2010
I also see a great importance in having time off the mat, that I did not understand much until this year. It is the moment I return. that my be-ing knows I have come home.
But back to my original thought.... the absence of aikido in those times. More and more aikido has become internalised for me through training. Aikido is generally a shared activity and in its most joyous expression is a whole dojo full! Nothing beats a rambunctious class! but because of being an adventurer. I want to visit other places that take me away from regular practise for varying lengths of time. How not to lose my connection to my beloved art and minimise the absence of shared practise?
Well thankfully I took to heart many years ago what Mary and Ron Sensei told me. Do your ki exercises, everyday. Work with a weapon regularly, and of course "shadow practise". (doesn't hurt to do a few rolls either!) I am also grateful for the sister practise I have with t'ai chi/qigong. All the principles are nearly identical, so I find that the solo practise of t'ai chi qigong (empty handed or w/ sword) helps a lot. Keeps in body memory my connection to my centre.
A bit more than a month seems like a long time, but as I wrote, I know when I have returned home when I step back onto the mat.
Thursday, June 17, 2010
Friday, May 28, 2010
Monday, May 17, 2010
Sunday, May 2, 2010
I do know that I found myself feeling frustrated with my inability to communicate clearly. I often have the experience of speaking to a group about something and afterward knowing that what I managed to say was not nearly adequate enough to express what I wanted to say. It's interesting to me that verbal communication seems so clumsy sometimes in terms of making the connection with people in the same way that I experience on the mat nonverbally. I do experience connection in conversation, one to one. Speaking to a group however, is not easy. I use that occasion to practice keeping one point. That includes letting go of self judgement.
Finding the appropriate ideas and words to express myself clearly, is challenging. Self consciousness, nerves, whatever, pop up. And that just freezes me up and makes access to thoughts difficult. It's definitely a good practice for me. (I'm glad we're taking a break from talking after class. I needed it. Didn't know I needed a break but I did.) It's funny that I don't experience this so much anymore when I'm teaching aikido. Maybe because it's specific and focused in that moment and I know the topic. :-)
When I look at where I was in this one thing, speaking in front of a group, before aikido, and then look at where I am today, I know that aikido has helped me grow in confidence, self acceptance and courage. I understand more deeply how my aikido practice can be applied in my daily life. This is one of those ways. I'm very grateful.
Friday, April 16, 2010
Monday, March 8, 2010
Sunday, March 7, 2010
Getting back to the game with my child, we continued the the near completion of the game and less and less cards were in my hand. Happiness was in the eyes of the holder of the most cards and victory seemed eminent. This is when I had the idea that I would favor the second rule, while my child could chose whichever rule to abide by. This was a sort of compromise that turned a game into just playing, with no matter who technically wins. I could have easily sad the one who loses "wins". It wouldn't matter. When winning and losing were taken out of the equation, by simply stating that no matter the outcome, we both we had fun in the process. So, I hope that taught my child that there will always be times to win and lose, such is life, but in the process and in the moment, their are always different ways to look at, or perceive those moments and that the game is not who wins or loses, it's how you play the game and what you learn as a result. The chips are going to fall where they may, many times out of our control with rules created by those who are out of reach and unknown, handling and managing perceptions during the process is the key to being happy in life. Feel and let go, feel and let go. Lead and follow, take and give. Be open to it all and experience what comes and goes.
So, my Aikido practice has revealed to me that by letting go of my preconceived perceptions or notions of what my uke will do, I am more able to blend with what my is giving or offering me in their energies and movement, especially while practicing randori on the mat. The moment when both or all of us realize that we are out to not hurt on another(we would lose members all the time) and we are there to partake in the give and take, ebb and flow of the moment, and truely learn and experience what Aikido has to offer us, the more satisfying and gratifying Aikido is for me. That is the internal challenge that exists in long term practice. How can I release all of the walls, notions, preconceptions and misconceptions so that I could be free to see what is being offered and in response take care of myself and others.
Saturday, February 13, 2010
The other day I went for a walk in the park near my home. It was quite sunny while I was at my desk and as I dressed for the cold outside air. As I stepped out the sun slipped behind some clouds. I stared at the sky and grumbled a little, but began my walk down the street towards the park. All along the way I kept my eye on the sky. I could see that dark cloud obscuring my sun. All the while I walked though the woods, across the field, up the hill, and down to the river. I kept wishing for the cloud to move on its way. The wind was blowing steady on the ground, but that cloud hardly seemed to move. I was halfway on my usual walk, feeling agitated and annoyed. The weather and that darn cloud were just not cooperating and it was ruining my walk! And then I had an aikido moment. Somewhere in all that annoyance and mild agitation I had the a-ha. I had before me an opportunity. That cloud could be an annoyance or it could be an uke. Ukes on the mat give me many opportunities to face and let go of my issues of control. When I have felt annoyed or agitated because my uke was doing something “wrong” (not conforming to my preconceived agenda) I most often find the resistance in myself. My Uke is merely giving me a gift; an opportunity to not have an agenda and just receive what they offer. My only concern on the mat is to meet uke where they are and take in what they offer. When that happens the easy and joyous blending of aikido happens. So I took another look at that cloud. I asked myself, “if this is an uke what gift am I being given?’ I paused at the top of the hill and took in the sky with a different gaze. I saw the sky, brilliant blue with masses of winter clouds all through it. And though they looked dark they were aglow with the light of the sun behind them. The sun was not gone, but instead illuminating the clouds, letting a myriad of colours come through and of course the edges of cloud let the light rays out in suspires, which would never have been seen if the clouds were not there to begin with. I smiled and found myself humming and cloud-watching the rest of the way home. Uke can come in many forms, even in the weather.
Wednesday, January 27, 2010
Thursday, January 14, 2010
Wednesday, January 13, 2010
Wednesday, January 6, 2010
Tuesday, January 5, 2010
Enter and turn is all that is required