In January 2018 I did a 4-part facebook live series on “Aikido And Teaching.” In this blog post, I am sharing with you the 1st of these 4 video teachings. As I opened this series I decided to speak about a topic that touches everyone walking along the path of Aikido. Namely, “How To Choose An Aikido Teacher”?
FREE COMMUNITY CALL – Aikido & The Absolute Perspective w/ Dan Messisco (6th dan) & Miles Kessler (6th dan)
|Date:||August 26, 2018|
|Event:||FREE Community Call: w/ Dan Messisco (6th dan) & Miles Kessler (6th dan)|
|Topic:||Aikido & The Absolute Perspective|
|Sponsor:||The Integral Dojo|
|Venue:||Online via Zoom Video Conference Call|
|Registration:||Click here to register.|
The biggest trend in personal development these days is “mindfulness.” The popularity of Mindfulness today is especially interesting because even though it is adopted as a post-modern practice, it has been the core transformative practice of spiritual awakening traditions for millennia. Mindfulness also happens to be the primary awareness training that lies at the heart of Aikido practice. We call it “Zanshin” – the mindfulness of aikido.
The below “Dharma Bite” is an excerpt from a longer dialogue I did with Teja “Fudo Myoo” Bell Roshi for our “Meditation For Aikidoka” online course members. We had such a wonderful dialogue that I decided to share this excerpt here with my blog readers on “From Emptiness To Spontaneity”.
I recently had an “Aiki-Discussion” with Aikido Sensei and Zen Roshi Eran “Junryu” Vardi for my “Meditation For Aikidoka” online course. We had a wide-ranging conversation on Aikido, Meditation, and enlightenment and I was left with the feeling that we had only scratched the surface. I have taken an excerpt from our discussion to share with you here called “Self, Identity, & Flow”.
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.”
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.
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.”
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.”