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Ueshiba Aikido e-Reflections
ISSN 1712-2341
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October 27, 2016

"In your practice always keep in your thoughts the interaction of
heaven and earth, water and fire, yin and yang."

Ueshiba Morihei O Sensei

Music is not the notes on a music score. The dramatic playtext is not the play. The posture when kneeling to pray, and its words, is not the prayer. Music is not music until it is expressed through performance. The story in the play only unfolds as it is played out and expressed in a performance. The heartfelt conversation, or silence that connects the heart with whatever one considers divine constitutes the prayer.

I am glad that for the most part, students enjoy the techniques of Aikido. Thank you for being patient as I insist on repetitive drills to reinforce certain aspects of a movement or a technique. Just as parents articulate and demonstrate respect, etiquette, and discipline to their young children to prepare them to interact in society and in their community,

Similarly, there are rudimentary technical forms that are required practice in Aikido. Tenkan, Irimi, the katame waza pins, the throws, Ikkyo, Irimi Nage, Ukemi, and so on... These forms, or jutsu, are the groundwork and foundation upon which the expression of Aiki, or harmonising with the energy expressed, emerges.

I often find some bewilderment and confusion when going through drills. Cooperation is necessary for the techniques to be experienced properly. The goal is to practice with conscious

The beauty of Aikido lies in the dynamic, multi-faceted nature of the art. In the mundane daily routine that occupies life, it is easy to mentally switch-off while getting caught up with busy-ness that captures and narrows our focus to only the things that require our attention. It is easy to then just judge everything that is encountered at face value, as to whether it immediately benefits one's agenda; reacting, correcting, or justifying everything that challenges to disrupt it. This may end up on the mat during Aikido practice as well, being critical of others, ourselves, or just in general.

The reflection from a saying attributed to O Sensei, brings to mind that there is always more than one side to a situation, circumstance, or story. And painful as it may be, there has to be a certain amount of acceptance that we will never know the full and entire story behind why a certain situation developed, or what transpired to create a certain outcome resulting in a particular consequence. So the advice not to judge.

Dynamically, it also plays out between partners during Aikido practice.

With gratitude, peace, and harmony,
Rafael Oei Sensei

(© Copyright October 2016: Rafael Oei)

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