Every day we slaughter our finest impulses. That is why we get a heart-ache when we read those lines written by the hand of a master and recognize them as our own, as the tender shoots which we stifled because we lacked the faith to believe in our own powers, our own criterion of truth and beauty. Every man, when he gets quiet, when he becomes desperately honest with himself, is capable of uttering profound truths. We all derive from the same source. There is no mystery about the origin of things. We are all part of creation, all kings, all poets, all musicians; we have only to open up, to discover what is already there.
Weapons work can seem mysterious. There’s additional confusing etiquette and tradition to figure out, and even more new words to learn. Plus there are people swinging sticks at you! It can be a little intimidating. So if you’re thinking about trying weapons classes, but are a little nervous about the whole thing, take heart, you will do just fine.
In deciding who we are, we also decide who we are not. There are important parts of our selves that don’t fit the persona we try to show to the world. But like light and shadow, both make up the whole picture.
What qualities have we set aside? What is available there, that we’ve been afraid to bring out in the open? What gold is hiding in our shadows?
We’ll be using the context of Aikido to explore our shadows in one of Goldberg Sensei’s always intense and transformational Aikido In Focus workshops, “Aikido, Fear, and Freedom,” coming up on September 11, 2011.
I’m looking forward to getting acquainted with my shadow self.
These weapons are my 3rd kyu / 49th birthday gift to myself. They are from Kingfisher, where you have the option of having them inscribed with any of a zillion words or phrases. I can’t read them, but I hope the bokken, at the top, says spiritual forging, a primary focus in training. The tanto, at the bottom, says kindness, grace, or mercy, a reminder for dealing with attacks of all kinds. The jo, in the middle, says a dream that comes true, which is what Aikido is, for me.
p.s. The jo, the one in the middle, is upside down! Lucky for me Michael just gave me the book “Easy Kanji” for a birthday present. :-)