Embracing Conflict As Path

Diane Musho Hamilton & Miles Kessler

What is your relationship to conflict? Is it something you prefer to avoid? Or do you like to lean into a good fight? Recently, Diane Musho Hamilton and I held our 3rd Community Call in our “Dharma & The Evolution Of Conflict” 3-part series. In this call, together with the global sangha, Diane & I dove into this very topic as we explored “Embracing Conflict As Path.”

Aikido On The Good Fight

Finding Balance In Times Of Crisis

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 Dharma Talk w/ Miles Kessler

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.” 

The Aikido Koan

A Mini-Workshop w/ Miles Kessler

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 & Non-Duality

Community Call w/ Patrick Cassidy & Miles Kessler

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.” 

Community Call w/ Patrick Cassidy & Miles Kessler

Getting The Other’s World Through Aikido

Facebook Live Replay w/ Miles Kessler

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?

Getting The Other's World Through Aikido

3 Life Lessons From Aikido

Facebook Live Replay w/ Miles Kessler

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.”

3 Life Lessons From Aikido