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Ueshiba Aikido e-Reflections
ISSN 1712-2341
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Oct 06, 2011

"Forgive and Forget. "

Popular saying.

The other day I overheard someone saying with a slight scorn that "That person is here... I can forgive him, but I cannot forget!" It calls to mind what O Sensei once said that there are no enemies apart from the ones we decide are.

To forgive IS to forget, like it never happened - whatever IT is. Release it, let it go - exhale, and leave that incident where it belongs; in the past, a memory, with no existence in the moment: unless you take it with you. Each decision in the moment creates your future, and if your anger is present (pre-sent), what kind of future can you expect?

Letting go makes for a more peaceful, healthy life. Displeasure, anger, hatred, jealousy, spitefulness, scornfulness, etc... slowly but surely silently corrodes the insides of the person holding that grudge. Toxic thoughts and emotions can lower the immune system, and bring on sickness and sometimes, disease (dis-ease). Is that how silent debilitating diseases like cancer manifest? What secret hurt or displeasure do you harbour? Anger and hatred also blinds the person from opportunities for resolution and healing. Meanwhile, the target or subject of the displeasure continues on merrily with their existence.

The practice of Aiki is a practice of harmony. Notice how we practice Aikido in silence. Apart from instructions from the Sensei, practice is calmly focused while executing potentially lethal techniques. Being calm and at peace brings on clarity. Both facilitate the development of self-control and mindfulness, enabling the practitioner to experience their body's responses to the attack at every moment, the flow that conjures the technique, and the options available while addressing and resolving the attack. It is never personal. There is peace before the class, and peace at the end of the class; facilitated through mindful respect and appreciation for all present, for each weapon (if used) and for the dojo.

As we gather together for Thanksgiving, for a bountiful harvest and the good fortune in our lives, perhaps it would also be a good idea to cleanse ourselves and release any hurts, displeasure, or grudges that may quietly be harbouring at the back of our minds. Make peace with anyone you need to and resolve what needs resolving before sitting down for the feast. Then it would be a Thanksgiving that is truly blessed with total and unreserved gratitude.

Have a most meaningful and blessed Thanksgiving!

In peace and harmony,
Rafael Oei Sensei.

(© Copyright October 2011: Rafael Oei)

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