How to Make all new Mistakes

Everyday to myself I think I would like to make all new mistakes. Learn from the past and be mindful of the future but not let either take over the present moment.

It is easy to dwell on the past and be afraid to move forward. Especially after big events in your life like a divorce or a relationship breakup.

It is natural to feel angry or sad and is not something that can be avoided. Let these feelings in but don’t let them be in control of you. Give yourself time to respond and recover. Don’t make things worse by reacting and lashing out at the world and those around you. Or closing yourself off to it because you might get hurt. It can become easy to see the demons of the past arise in the new people you meet.

Consider all the things that lead to this moment and ask yourself could it be half your fault? And it is very important to only accept half of the fault. Accepting half the fault in any relationship is also very difficult. We all like to think of ourselves as heros or victims of our own stories but we can also be villains in other people’s own story.

Could the mistakes of the past be repeating themselves. Does the story you tell yourself start to sound like a repeat just with different actors? Then maybe it is half your fault.

Choose to make all new mistakes. Children make mistakes all the time and learn from them. Why is it difficult for an adult to accept fault and be able to laugh at their own failings. To learn from them and grow.

Lee

Thirteen Rules for Disciplinants

Ki in Daily life by Koichi Tohei p135-136

  1. Ki training reveals to us the path to oneness with the universal.  To coordinate mind and body and become one with nature itself is the chief purpose of Ki training.
  2. As nature loves and protects all creation and helps all things grow and develop, so we must teach every student with sincerity and without discrimination or partiality.
  3. There is no discord in the absolute truth of the universal, but there is discord in the realm of relative truth.  To contend with others and win brings only a relative victory.  Not to contend and yet win brings absolute victory.  To gain only a relative victory sooner or later leads to inevitable defeat.  While you are practicing to become strong, learn how you can avoid fighting.  By learning to throw your opponent and enjoy it and to be thrown and enjoy that too and by helping one another in learning the correct techniques you will progress very rapidly.
  4. Do not criticise any of the other martial arts or artists.  The mountain does not laugh at the river because it is lowly, nor does the river speak ill of the mountain because it cannot move about.  Everyone has his own characteristics and gains his own position in life.  Speak ill of others and it will surely come back to you.
  5. The martial arts begin and ends with courtesy, not in form alone, be in heart and mind as well.  Respect the teacher who teaches you and do not cease to be grateful especially to the founder who shows the way.  He who neglects this should not be surprised if his students make light of him.
  6. Be warned against conceit.  Conceit not only halts your progress, it causes you to regress.  Nature is boundless, its principles are profound.  What brings conceit?  It is brought on my shallow thinking and a cheaply-bought compromise with your ideals.
  7. Cultivate the calm mind that comes from making the universal a part of the body by concentration your thoughts on the one point in the lower abdomen.  You must know that it is a shame to be narrow-minded.  Do not dispute with others merely to defend your own views.  Right is right, wrong is wrong.  Judge calmly what is right and what is wrong.  If you are convinced that you are wrong, manfully make amends.  If you meet one who is your superior, joyfully accept his teachings.  If any man is in error, quietly explain to him the truth, and strive to make him understand.
  8. Even a one inch worm has a half inch of spirit.  Every man respects his own ego.  Do not, therefore, slight anyone, nor hurt his self respect.  Treat a man with respect, and he will respect you.  Make light of him and he will make light of you.  Respect his personality and listen to his views and he will gladly follow you.
  1. Do not become angry.  If you become angry it shows that your mind has wandered from the one point in the lower abdomen.  Anger is something to be ashamed of in ki training.  Do not become angry on your own account.  Be angry only when the rights of nature or of your country are endangered.   Concentrate on the one point and become angry all over.  Know that he who is easily angered loses courage at important moments.
  2. Spare no effort when you teach.  You advance as your students advance.  Do not be impatient when you teach.  No one can learn everything well at one time.  Perseverance is important in teaching, as is patience, kindness and the ability to put yourself in your students’ place.
  3. Do not be a haughty instructor.  The students grow in knowledge as they obey their teacher.  It is the special characteristic of training in Ki that the teacher also advances by teaching his students.  Training requires an atmosphere of mutual respect between teacher and students.  If you see a haughty man, you see a shallow thinker.
  4. In practicing do not show your strength without some good purpose lest you awaken distance in the minds of those who are watching you.  Do not argue about strength, but teach the right way.  Words alone cannot explain.  Sometimes by being the one to be thrown, you can teach more effectively.  Do not halt your student’s throw at mid point or stop his ki before he can complete a movement or you will give him bad habits.
  5. Do whatever you do with conviction.  We study thoroughly there principles of the universal and practice it and the universal protects us.  We have nothing to be doubtful or to fear.  Real conviction comes from the belief that we are one with the universal.  We must have the courage today with Confucius:  If I have an easy conscience, I dare to face an enemy of the thousand men.

Positive and Negative Ki

Teaching the Art of aikido can be just as difficult as learning it. There are a multitude of variants and techniques with different skill levels required by each variant. None of this really matters. If you are told to do something by one instructor and then told to do something completely different and contradictory by another you should not argue or complain about it but attempt to understand why there might be a difference. There is no right or wrong.

If one Instructor tells you that everything you do is excellent and the next tells you everything you do is wrong, look into yourself and question yourself, not them. What do you think? It is natural to want only compliments and disregard the complaints but are the criticisms helpful and the are the compliments a distraction? Compliments can often go to the head and mess things up just as much as complaints sometimes but complaining is always easier and compliments rarer.

Different instructors will have different ideas about how best to teach you a skill and if there is any doubts or concerns about anything you should consult the senior instructor after class with any questions that may arise. The Important thing is not to argue or complain about this on the mat and attempt to follow as best you can. Letting go of what you think you know is the first step in learning something new.

Five Principles for learning Ki

  1. Be flexible and open minded.
  2. Never tire of training or repeating fundamentals.
  3. Be resourceful in applying Ki in your daily life
  4. Change your subconscious mind
  5. Learn it well enough to teach others

A true student of Aikido wishes to do no harm to anyone and prefers a peaceful resolution to any conflict. Therefore skills developed in sensing trouble and avoiding it are preferred option over using the martial abilities one has developed. You will not be trained in the art of fighting, fighting there is always a winner and a loser, if you harmonise with your aggressor and find balance between yourselves you may just find another friend. Finding Harmony with different Ideas that can seem opposite and contradictory can lead to new and interesting possibilities. Once everyone believed that the world was flat and the centre of the universe, the truth is only relative to your own understanding of it.

 

Fortitude Valley Aikido Student Guide P15 by Lee Hampson

 

Mistakes in Practice, Right Attitude and Attaining Perfection.

We should find perfect existence through imperfect existence.  p91 Zen Mind, Beginner’s Mind (2011) Shunryu Suzuki 

Why is it that when we are running late we feel that everything is against us?  The traffic lights are all red, the boss or the significant other doesn’t see all the good things I’ve done just the bad, all the bills come after something has just broken and needs to be replaced.  The right attitude in this can be very difficult to attain.  Mistakes can often lead to more mistakes and the problem whatever it is can often escalate because of this, because your mind is not clear.

How do you feel thankful for this precious gift of life when it is all going wrong.  This is the most important time to be thankful.  I once heard the Dalai Lama talk about loosing his country.  He was sorry for the loss but not angry at the people that took it.  The next question asked of him was a mother who’s son was special in some way.  She told him that she worries for her son’s future.  The Dalai Lama asked politely if the son could be fixed some how and the woman replied no.  Will the worrying fix the problem if the problem is unfixable?  All parents worry for their children, even in the animal kingdom this is normal if in the correct amount.  

Mistakes will happen, bad things will happen be thankful for them, life is a roller coaster full of ups and downs and twists and turns.  The joy of the roller coaster is the contrast between these events.  There is no perfect way to do something or imperfect way, no good or bad, no time, too much time, no future or past there is only the now.  

When you make a mistake in your life can you learn from it?  Maybe that one mistake has protected you from making a bigger one in the future so you should be thankful.  Many of the greatest discoveries have been made from mistakes.  Medical science is full of them.  The discovery of antibiotics, X-rays, medicines such as warphine are all examples of mistakes that changed the world because someone noticed what others did not.  Perfection is an unattainable goal.

Page 16 Fortitude Valley Aikido Student Guide by Lee Hampson

  

Sitting on the Fence

Fortitude Valley Aikido a view from the floor
Fortitude Valley Aikido

People quite often say there are two sides to every argument. That sitting on the fence is a bad thing because you are not committed to either side. If the glass is not half full it must therefore be half empty.

Then imagine the view from the inside of that glass. Being small enough to be able to stand on the meniscus of that fluid. The glass at your back, the water looking like an ocean spreading away from you. The half empty glass towering above you and a weird giant figure that looks exactly like you starting down at you.

There is always more than one point of view, with many subtle shades in between. Just because you can not see it or comprehend it does not make you or it right or wrong it is just the limits of your own understanding and creativity.

Adversarial politics and the polarisation of thoughts and people is also not the way. To know yourself is to know the truth of it all. The glass is half full and half empty simultaneously. Both statements are both correct and also incorrect simultaneously. There is no glass or fence it is all just a metaphor to open your mind.

Passionately neutral and doing aikido on a metaphorical fence. Balance is harmony between two equal and opposing forces.

By Lee Hampson

No Enemy

Respect and love your enemy until there is no enemy at all

Sun Tzu states in The Art of War (Chapter 3) “It is said that if you know your enemies and know yourself, you will not be imperilled in a hundred battles;  If you do not know your enemies but do know yourself, you will win one and lose one;  If you do not know your enemies nor yourself, you will be imperilled in every single battle.”  

At the moment we live in a time of relative peace.  In a country far removed from a long history of violence and hate.  That is not to say that it has never happened or will never happen but the great wars for the most part were fought away from our shores.  Human nature can often mean the strong dominate the weak.  The opinion of the masses out way the opinion of the individual.  Right and might.  Bully or be bullied.  

To paraphrase Koichi Tohei Sensei‘s rules for Aikido Disciplinants “The martial arts begin and ends with courtesy and Even a one inch worm has a half inch of spirit. Every man respects his own ego.  Do not, therefore, slight anyone, nor hurt his self respect.  Treat a man with respect, and he will respect you.”,  “The mountain does not laugh at the river because it is lowly, nor does the river speak ill of the mountain because it cannot move about.  Everyone has his own characteristics and gains his own position in life.”  Speaks directly about respecting the person in front of you.  Wether they are your mother, lover, friend or enemy they are so because of the journey you and they have taken.

The bully or the enemy is to be respected and loved and not feared.  Could you be someone else’s bully if circumstances are or were different?  Respect for yourself is allowing yourself not to be consumed by hatred and becoming the hated and is about forgiveness.  It is very difficult and violence and fear will always be a part of human existence.  Acceptance, respect and forgiveness are virtues to strive for.  Understanding yourself is the first battle and is the key to understanding others.   

 

Fortitude Valley Aikido Student Guide P17 by Lee Hampson