Aikido is a paradoxical art. Fully grasping Aikido requires you to develop a relatively complex understanding of its technical curriculum, while at the same time having direct access to the universal principles that are the spiritual core of the art. Another way to look at it is, to fully master the art of Aikido you need to “learn Aikido like a pro, create Aikido as an artist.”
How deep are you? Are you a deep thinker? Do you enjoy deep conversation with others? Are you able to feel deeply into yourself… and into the world around you? Or, do you prefer to stay superficial, like a cork bobbing up and down on the surface of the water? In this blog post I am exploring what it means to be deep… and the fundamental practice where “Mindfulness Deepens.”
The late Austrian psychotherapist and Holocaust survivor Viktor Frankl famously said “Between stimulus and response there is a space. In that space is our power to choose our response. In our response lies our growth and our freedom.” Not only is this brilliant quote profoundly true, but it is also a very powerful description of how mindfulness actually works. I invite you to join me in the below Facebook Live replay as I unpack the profound meaning of the “Mindfulness Between Stimulus & Response”.
How often do you stop in life? Just stop. In the middle of the relentless rush of your daily life. To intentionally take a moment, a minute, an hour, a day… to stop acting and doing, and to just be in the stillness surrounded by the flow of things. And how often do you engage the movement of life as a flow? To effortlessly, selflessly, and elegantly align with the very movement that is the essence of living. Join me in this Facebook Live replay for a deeper look into the meaning of Movement & Stillness.
In one way or another, we are all teachers, and we are all students. Surely from time to time, you find yourself helping another, or getting another’s help in understanding something new. At the very least it is safe to say that we are all learners. It is in this spirit that I’m sharing my latest post on 3 Ways To Be A Better Aikido Teacher (And Student!).
Being skilled in Aikido or any other “path practice” does not mean that you are also skilled in every aspect of your daily life. The sad truth is that the development you gain in the dojo does not automatically translate into the world. In order to take your Aikido from the dojo to the world, you need more. You must create “bridging practices” that will help you with the important practice of integration. In this blog post, I’m going to teach you 3 Key Bridging Practices For Aikido that will effectively help you take your Aikido from the dojo to the world.
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”?
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?
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 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.”