On May 1st, 2018, Diane Musho Hamilton and I held our 2nd of 3 Community Calls on “Dharma & The Evolution Of Conflict.” In this call with the global sangha Diane & I explored the topic of “Our Evolutionary Potential.”
The main focus on this blog is the exploration of what it means to “Walk A Higher Path Of Practice.” All “higher paths” are teachings, practices, or methodologies that progressively lead you, in one way or another, to the awakening of spirit absolute. Aikido, meditation, yoga, and the many other disciplines that come out of the spiritual traditions are all examples of higher path practices towards awakening. All such practices for awakening will progressively lead you forward through a process called “the 3 shifts in awakening.”
How do you see the relationship between unity and diversity? For millennia spiritual traditions have pointed to the spiritual truth that we are all One. Yet, we live in a world of diversity. A diversity which most of us celebrate as a rich tapestry of humanity. It is at this very junction of unity and diversity that Diane Musho Hamilton & I continue our “Dharma Bite” series on “Relating As One Living System.”
Zen Buddhism has the practice of “Koans.” A practice which is meant to transport you beyond concepts, penetrating into the true nature of reality. “Reality” meaning a perspective that is hidden from the ordinary mind, never to be understood through concepts, logic, and reason. Just like with Zen, Aikido’s true nature is also hidden from view of the ordinary mind. Even more so in the middle of conflict. So what is “The Aikido Koan” that will reveal the mystical nature of conflict?
Aikido is unique among martial arts as it is simultaneously “martial” & “spiritual”. This means that even though Aikido engages conflict (as all martial arts do) the intention for doing so is the resolution of conflict and restoration of harmony. How can this be? Engaging conflict (in other words, fighting) is zero-sum, with one winner and one loser. From beginning to end, it perpetuates separation. But “the way of harmony” is none other then a unifying practice. In order to understand this apparent contradiction you need to look at the art from the perspective of “Aikido & Non-Duality.”
How good are you at taking the perspective of others in the middle of a conflict? Is it even something you consider important? After all, isn’t it basic human nature to protect your own point of view (not to mention your own body)? How does your basic survival instinct stack up with the higher intention of Aikido? Is Aikido’s central principle of “awase” (blending with another) still important to you when the chips are down and the conflict is on? What does “Getting The Other’s World Through Aikido” actually mean? Do you even care?
What is the most fundamental practice for you? What single practice informs all other practices that you do? In the below “Darma Bite” I continue in my series of Dharma Discussions with Integral Facilitator & Zen Sensei Diane Musho Hamilton on this very topic. In this excerpt from one of our longer discussions, we explore how we see “Meditation As The Fundamental Practice.”
What does it mean to “take your Aikido off the mat”? As your Aikido skill develops in the dojo, is it also helping you to develop your “life skills”? Just how much is your practice impacting your life? As part of my “Aikido & The Evolution Of Response” blog series, I recently did a Facebook Live broadcast that gets to the heart of these questions; namely “3 Life Lessons From Aikido.”
“Dharma & The Evolution Of Conflict” | 5-Day Retreat w/ Diane Musho Hamilton & Miles Kessler in beautiful southern Utah
|Date:||July 11, 2018—July 15, 2018|
|Event:||Dharma & The Evolution Of Conflict | 5-Day Retreat w/ Diane Musho Hamilton & Miles Kessler|
|Topic:||Dharma & The Evolution Of Conflict|
|Sponsor:||Two Arrows Zen|
|Venue:||Boulder Mt. Zendo|
|Registration:||Click here to register.|