Confession time: my wife Maya and I are fans of “The Good Fight”, a drama series on the life and times of Chicago lawyers, now in its second season on CBS All Access. This series is a spin-off of the popular series “The Good Wife” that ran for 7 seasons (we were also fans). As an Aikido practitioner and teacher for close to 35 years, you can imagine what a wonderful surprise I had a few weeks ago to find Aikido on The Good Fight.
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.”
FREE Community Call with Patrick Cassidy & Miles Kessler
|Date:||April 10, 2018|
|Event:||"The Dharma Of Aikido" | Community Call w/ Patrick Cassidy & Miles Kessler|
|Topic:||The Dharma Of Aikido|
|Sponsor:||The Integral Dojo|
Via Zoom Video Conference Platform
|Location:||FREE Online Event|
|Registration:||Click here to register.|
What does it mean to “embody conflict resolution”? In the below “Darma Bite” I continue the series of Dharma Discussions with Integral Facilitator & Zen Sensei Diane Musho Hamilton. In this excerpt from our discussion, we talk about conflict resolution in the field of mediation as compared to Aikido, and how they are in essence the same thing. I’m sure you’ll enjoy this short excerpt on “Embodying Conflict Resolution”.
On Feb. 25th, 2018 the Integral Dojo hosted a Community Call w/ Miles Kessler and Patrick Cassidy on our on-going “Aiki-Discussion” of the topic of “The Dharma Of Aikido.” In this 1st of 2 community calls, Miles, Patrick, and the “Aikido At The Leading Edge” global sangha discussed many aspects of Aikido as a martial art and Aikido as a spiritual Path.
Last November I was interviewed by Ted Meissner for an episode of “The Secular Buddhist” podcast. This is the official podcast for the “Secular Buddhist Association”, which describes themselves as “a natural, pragmatic approach to early Buddhist teachings and practice”. Within their secular and pragmatic approach, I saw a lot of parallels with the trans-lineage approach I bring to the Integral Dojo.
Ever wonder if you are developing in your practice? How do you know? With all of the ups and downs, wrong turns, pitfalls, backslides, and seemingly endless plateaus, development can be quite a messy affair. It will not always be clear to you if you are developing, or not. Wouldn’t it be nice if there was a blueprint for development? A checklist of aspects that if you could cover them all, then you could rest assured that development is happening. As it turns out such a blueprint exists. It is called “The 5 Aspects Of Development” and when you cover all of these aspects to a satisfactory level, development just happens.
The practice of self-reflection is essential for growth at any stage in Aikido. As a teacher, having the chance to practice and reflect with other teachers is something I highly value.
This past May I had the great pleasure of hosting an online global tele-summit called Aikido At The Leading Edge. It was an amazing event that brought so many gifts to my life, and the lives of over 2,300 people. Perhaps the greatest gift for me was that I had an opportunity to connect with 46 amazing teachers from the global Aikido community.