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Ueshiba Aikido e-Reflections
ISSN 1712-2341
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November 7, 2014

"Lest we forget... "

I have been told how cute and sweet it is that my children, wife and I always wave "goodbye" to each other. I've been doing the same with my dad and mum for as long as I can remember. We consider ourselves "wavers". It is only over the last few years, if asked, that I've added that whenever we say "goodbye" I am also aware it may be our last. So every parting counts.

Many times people have shared how, if they remembered how short life is, they would live differently and make different decisions. This week the same was shared at a meeting I attended: of how their recent experiences with death have caused them to take a step back to ponder life; especially in November with All Saints Day, All Souls Day, and Remembrance Day celebrated in the same month. It is certainly a month for deep reflection. Like it or not, life and death are inextricably woven in the fabric of existence. Acknowledging it adds to the wonder, awe, and reverence of life, rather than its opposite.

Remembrance Day brings to mind bravery in the face of conflict in the World Wars. Perhaps each day should also have some time spent to honour anyone who has sacrificed their life for the preservation of peace, love, and honour; mindful that each decision at every moment creates the next moment in life. It begins with the little things in our lives.

This has been the recurring thread through most of the reflections I've shared with you over the years. That an essential component of Aikido practice is mindfulness. Conscious mindfulness; and living each day as though it were the last. Being mindful spiritually and mentally, creating the most appropriate action at any given time. Choosing to live with little to no regrets: a challenge in daily life. Although not always evident at every class, it is certainly practiced in the dojo all the time; with every bow of respect, every stretch during warm-up, every step that propels you forward, every lock performed, and every turn that unbalances your partner.

Each thought, word, and action done not for fear of forgetting...
... rather, deliberately and consciously done... to remember.

Have a most meaningful Remembrance Day!

In peace and harmony,
Rafael Oei Sensei.

(© Copyright November 2014: Rafael Oei)

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