©™ 2003 - 2004: OWH International - Ueshiba Aikido : Victoria, Canada
All Rights Reserved
Ueshiba Aikido e-Reflections
ISSN 1712-2341
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August 1, 2004

"Never be afraid to tread the path alone.
Know which is your path
and follow it wherever it may lead you."

Eileen Caddy (Footprints on the Path)

This quote reminds me of the personal responsibility that follows all the choices and commitments made in life. Just as a samurai's word is his bond, to be a person of substance, we have to mean what we say and say what we mean. When a choice is made, sometimes well-meaning friends and family will give a thousand and one reasons why it is a bad choice. It is sometimes easier to make up an excuse not to do something than to summon up the will to take action. One way to navigate through this confusion is to look for the positive, approach it through love, and determine if the outcome of the choice benefits the greater good and is of service to all. The road will often be hard, especially when the journey is perceived to be taken alone.

Such has been said about Aikido, because it takes a long time to understand and attain proficiency in it. This is because Aikido tempers and builds the student from within, developing the attitude and understanding that leads to having a calm mind essential to clarity of vision and purity in action. The unfoldment is gradual and personal. As my sensei Chang Shihan used to say to us, "the Kyu grades are a preparation for the black belt Dan grade levels where Aikido practice and experience begin." It is like climbing a mountain. Imagine the breath-taking beauty and view from the summit that will be missed if one gives up before reaching the top. Besides, you may begin the journey alone; but you will surely meet kindred souls along the way.

Have a blessed week ahead.
Rafael Oei Sensei.
(Copyright August 2004: Rafael Oei)

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