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Ueshiba Aikido e-Reflections
ISSN 1712-2341
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Oct 10, 2008

"Everyday is perfect."

Various, including O Sensei

It was pouring rain on the day of a funeral.  I was the organist for the service.  A celebrant of the funeral service commented that it was a less than perfect day.  With respect and light-heartness, I replied in a cheerful voice, "Everyday is perfect."  With a smile, he apologised and agreed, "Yes, thank you for the reminder.  It IS a perfect day."

With the absence of judgement and opinion, in and of itself, every day and every situation is perfect.  Every life is perfect.  Every moment is perfect.  Every encounter is perfect.

We colour our perception by comparing and deciding how things should be.  O Sensei suggests to "... not try to deny or oppose the cosmic order of things."  This is the ultimate practice of Aiki.

Of course, that does not imply being passive and inactive in your life.  By all means, decide on your daily goals, your yearly objectives, and your life's purpose.  Then take action and do everything to fulfill your intentions.  Each decision propels you in a certain direction.  On the journey, each response of life is in perfect response to you based on your decisions, actions, inaction, goals, objectives, and ultimately your purpose.

The example in Aikido practice is to be like the samurai who strives to live each day responsibly, complete, and without regret and debt, so that when he dies, his family will not be burdened.  Living in this way, mindful of death, makes each moment of each day precious.  As he wakes, he is thankful to live another day, and as the day ends, he is thankful to have lived another day.  At every moment, he practices to be skillful in his behaviour, etiquette, and technique, to bring honour to his family, his lord (employer), and to overcome adversaries when called upon to do so.  This is sometimes difficult to observe today, with so many daily concerns.  Concerns that colour our life, our opinions, and our day.

In the Dojo, these manifest in your attitude to practice and your determination to overcome your perceived limitations.  The truth in Aiki practice is expressed in O Sensei's reminder, that there is no enemy but oneself.  If we are unable to defeat ourselves through proper etiquette, attitude, and practice, we cannot hope to defeat anyone else.  This includes overcoming being discouraged, confused, bored, impatient, arrogant, ignorant, and indifferent even during Aikido classes.  These will affect your development, learning, and your practice partner.  Deciding to do your best, and actually doing it, comes from within yourself and does not rely on anyone else.

At this funeral, we were told that a few days before the person passed away, the excited concern was to redecorate the living room, choosing and coordinating the colours, patterns, etc...

As we approach another Thanksgiving, we are thankful for many things; family, friends, and even the challenges of the past year.  Please know, during this Thanksgiving, and everyday, that I thank and appreciate YOU; your presence, perseverance, commitment, and determination to practice the philosophy, etiquette, martial techniques, and way of Aiki.  Have a perfect weekend.

Happy Thanksgiving!

See you in the Dojo.

In peace and harmony,
Rafael Oei Sensei.
(© Copyright October 2008: Rafael Oei)

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