Discussed in the first training class of 2019 – Life

Here we are again, at the beginning of another year of training. Existing members are back refreshed and ready for the more training  and welcoming  new members . Each of us, with new personal plans and paths to follow, would still have a common purpose within the dojo – learn about yourself .

If you have life in you, you have access to the secrets of the ages, for the truth of the universe resides in each and every human being. (The Art of Peace – by Morihe Ueshiba, translated by John Stevens)

We are told that, basically, there is nothing new to learn here in Aikido. We are learning to discover and recognise what are already inherent in us and to use them in our best capacity towards the art of peace.

Three years on a stone

An old Japanese proverb says: “Even on a stone – three years.” It means that even something seemingly simple as sitting down on a stone takes three years to learn. If you can concentrate on each task in life with this insight, with this willingness to study diligently – then you are sure to gain impressive abilities. (An excerpt from the book Aikido Principles – by Stefan Stenudd)

For more about the book see the following link:

https://www.stenudd.com/aikido/aikidoprinciples-book.htm

 

Conflict Resolution

The Nature of conflict it is neither positive or negative – it just is. It is not a contest.

From this basis we can look for a way to a win – win for all parties.

Key underpinning principles of conflict resolution taught through Aikido practice are:

  • Effective conflict resolution does not aim to establish who is right; conflict is handled through the acknowledgement and appreciation of differences.
  • Learning, growing and cooperating are goals for resolving conflict.
  • Conflict begins from within. As we unhitch the burden of belief systems and heighten our perceptions, we harmonize more freely.
  • In the words of the Aikido Masters, “To Do is to Understand”.

The Aikido approach in responding to physical and/or interpersonal conflict follows the following principles:

  • Choose to be Centred – how to choose to be centered through consciously unifying mind and body in a conflict situation.  Centeredness:-
    • Allows you to be more authentic, sensitive and open.
    • By its nature promotes emotional and physical stability
    • Promotes trust
    • Allows you to achieve a point of clarity
  • Accept your connectedness
    • Aikido practice opens up the possibility of experiencing our original mind which intuitively recognizes our connectedness
    • Acknowledging our connectedness is the reality of our existence
    • Letting go of tension, fear and boundaries is the pathway to intuitively acknowledging our connectedness.
  • Be willing to understand – By emptying the mind we allow beginners mind to operate. Beginners mind:-
    • Is central to Aikido practice. Beginners mind is wisdom, seeking for wisdom and a mind open to discovery.
    • Enables us to let go of the filters of the past and the blinders of our expectations.
    • Turns frustration into fascination and work into play.
    • Perceives no right or wrong only inquiry and creativity.
    • Encourages a willingness to understand through:
      • Listening
      • Asking questions rather than having an answer
      • Naturally allowing differences to fade and similarities to come forth
      • Acknowledgement and appreciation of the other person
  • Be willing to change
    • Flexibility through harmonization allows you to stretch rather than shrink in life.
    • Embracing and harmonizing with the forces of change is consciously choosing our future.
    • Changing our perspective in a conflict allows us to move from a point-of-view to a viewing point.
  • Understand the boundaries – the Aikido practitioner progressively learns to:
    • Become open to all possibilities.
    • Learn to open to others which leads to compassion and forgiveness.

Aikido training is about natural movement and not using force to achieve an outcome. It is about “Right not Might”.