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



Four Kinds of Horses

It is said that there are four kinds of horses: excellent ones, good ones, poor ones and bad ones.  The best horse will run slow and fast, right and left at the driver’s will, before it sees the shadow of the whip; the second best will run as well as the first ones does, just before the whip reaches its skin; the third one will run when it feels pain on its body; the forth will run after the pain penetrates to the marrow of its bones.  You can imagine how difficult it is for the forth one to learn how to run!

When we hear this story, almost all of us want to be the best horse.  If it is impossible to be the best one, we want to be the second best.  This is, I think, the usual understanding of this story, and of Zen.  You may think that when you sit in zazen you will find out whether you are one of the best horses or one of the worst ones.  Here, however, there is a misunderstanding of Zen.  If you think the aim of Zen practice  is to train you to become one of the best horses, you will have a big problem.  This is not the right understanding.  If you practice Zen in the right way it does not matter whether you are the best horse or the worst one.

P38 Zen Mind, Beginner’s mind by Shunryu Suzuki

The Sword of No Sword

“Sit and forget everything. When there is not a single thing in your mind, any circumstance can be freely felt with. If you are full of anxiety and constantly fret about this and that, you will never be able to handle anything well.”

P115 The Sword of No-Sword, Life of Master Warrior Tesshu by John Stevens.

Order Of Australia Medal 2019

A huge congratulation to John Hurley Sensei for being awarded the Order of Australia Medal this Australia Day.

Awarded for his many years service to spreading the Art of Peace.  His commitment to spreading the Art of Peace, his kindness and mastery as a teacher is appreciated by all who have trained with him.

Warmist Regards

Sensei Mark Woolveridge and Lee Hampson