I recently did a Facebook Live broadcast as part of my teaching series on “Aikido & The Evolution Of Response”. This facebook live segment was a supplement teaching to my previous blog post on “Aikido & The Survival Instinct.” In that video, I mentioned several practices for working with, overcoming, and integrating your basic fight, flight, freeze instinct. In this 2nd video in the series I lay out one of the key fulcrum practices at this stage – none other than “Aikido & The Practice Of Delayed Gratification.”
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.
My good friend Mark Walsh of “Integration Training” has launched a new podcast called “The Embodiment Podcast.” Mark is a teacher and leading voice in the embodiment movement and he has been rocking it on youtube where his instructional videos on embodiment have gotten over a bizillion views. So I was happy to hear that he was moving into the podcasting space with his long overdue launching of “The Embodiment Podcast.” It was my total pleasure to be invited to be a guest one of Mark’s first episodes where dove into the challenging topic of “Returning To The Marketplace.”
Last week I published a blog post on “The Buddha’s Advice To An Aikido Sensei” which covers the teaching of the 5 Qualities Of A Spiritually Mature Teacher. I got a lot of great feedback on the post and it seems to have struck a chord in the greater aikido community.
The martial art of Aikido is a spiritual practice. It is a spiritual practice because the technical application of Aikido is “nested” within a universal humanistic philosophy. And this philosophy is further nested within an Absolute spiritual perspective.
Aikido’s founder, Morihei Ueshiba, referred to this as the manifest, the hidden, and the divine. The manifest is the realm of physicality and techniques. The hidden is the realm of principles and philosophy. The divine is the realm of spirit Absolute.
This is a developmental frame that reflects the spiritual potential of human beings. Practicing Aikido in this framework activates growth and development. It will constantly challenge your egoic limitations, and continuously lead you forward into your spiritual potential.
The word Dharma is an ancient Sanskrit work meaning “Spiritual Teachings”, “Universal Principles”, or “Ultimate Reality.” And even though it isn’t always held this way, Aikido is an art that rests on the foundation of universal principles. This is the “Dharma Of Aikido”.
By all accounts, Aikido’s founder O Sensei had a profound spiritual awakening into ultimate reality. It was this awakening that transformed his martial arts into Aikido. Ueshiba’s Aikido was a profound expression of the Dharma, which in Aikido has one fundamental taste: Conflict becomes resolved into wholeness.
I have recently been conducting a series of “Dharma Discussions” with several of my friends who are meditation teachers. These discussions are exclusively for our current “Meditation For Aikido” course participants. However, these discussions are so good that I’ve decided to take some “bite-sized” excerpts and share them with my blog readers. I’m calling them “Dharma Bites” and here is the first many more to come. Here is an excerpt from a Dharma discussion I had on “The Wisdom Of Awareness, Tolerance & Allowing.”
In our previous chat, master facilitator Mark Walsh (“The Embodiment Podcast”) and I spoke about 3 phases of our personal development, namely “retreating from the world, returning to the marketplace and expressing our practice in virtual space” – and how each one of these moves comes with its set of challenges and learning curves. In this video once again we’re off to the races as we romp through the topic of “Polarity, Sex, & Enlightenment.
The Art of Peace: Teachings of the Founder of Aikido (Shambhala, 1992)
This beautiful little handbook contains the inspirational teachings of Morihei Ueshiba, O’ Sensei himself. Each of its 112 short verses describes O’ Sensei’s perspective of the real way of the spiritual warrior. If you seek to explore the greater meaning of Aikido, and what it means in your life, then this book will give you a deep dive into the enlightened mind of the founder of the art.