©™ 2003 - 2007: OWH International - Ueshiba Aikido : Victoria, Canada
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Ueshiba Aikido e-Reflections
ISSN 1712-2341
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Sept 18 , 2007

"A good stance and posture reflect a proper state of mind."

O Sensei Morihei Ueshiba

I do hope that this e-Reflection finds you in good health.

As we engage in the flow of moment to moment experiences (expressed in our last e-Reflection about the “Now”) we have the option of being swept up unconsciously, or consciously.  This is made all the more interesting when reflecting on the elusive “present-now” as an event in space-time that actually does not exist.  And so the conscious daily practice of Aikido (in its broadest sense) makes us aware of opportunities to harmonise within an unceasing flow of moments, if we are conscious of them.  From what vantage point can this be observed?

One of the key points shared at the Aikido Warriors’ Camps this year was social etiquette; the practice of Aikido includes the holistic development of the person as well.  To harmonise with another, one must harmonise with oneself first.  This is an extension of the observance of etiquette in and around the Dojo, and its relation to the importance of taking up a proper Hanmi position, as expressed in the quote by O Sensei, above.  There is no substitute for proper manners and respect – important for our younger students to be aware of, especially in a professional capacity when they are older.  To conduct oneself with self-respect and dignity extends its influence out into the environment and the community.  We reap what we sow.  There is always a choice to respond appropriately, so there is no blame to be laid – “Blame and be lame”, as I would always say to my students.

Similarly, one’s outward appearance often reveals one’s inner state.  Consciously adopting the proper stance, posture and balance (the proper Hanmi position) not only prepares the practitioner for the appropriate response to any attack, it also demonstrates an alert and keen state of mind.  Just as the way a student sits at his desk in school reveals his attitude toward having to be in that classroom, the way an aikidoist faces his partner during practice reveals his attitude towards his sensei, his training, and his partner.

These external and internal observances nurture and condition the practitioner’s inner awareness, temperament, strength, and confidence; eventually enhancing one’s awareness of self-respect, personal responsibility, and integrity.  Harmony with oneself, harmony with the other, and harmony with the environment.  And it all begins with how we stand, sit, walk, communicate, groom, dress, and conduct ourselves at all times.  Yes, it all matters.

Just a little something to reflect on.

See you in the Dojo.

In peace and harmony,
Rafael Oei Sensei.
(© Copyright September 2007: Rafael Oei)

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