It’s live! My first book, “A Bowl of Love — How to Make a Big Green Dojo Potluck Salad,” is now available for sale on Amazon, for Kindle and Kindle Reader apps! Click the photo to go to it on Amazon. Only $2.99, and Amazon Prime members can borrow it for free! Give it a look, and give it some love. Enjoy!
When Master Morihei Ueshiba, or “O-Sensei” (Great Teacher), as his students fondly called him, first began calling his art aikido (in 1942) he had already accumulated years of experience in other Japanese martial arts. By studying and mastering Daito-Ryu jujitsu, sword, staff, and spear, Master Ueshiba rooted aikido in the ancient Bushido tradition. Testing his ideas in actual combat and armed confrontations he established aikido as a potent self-defense form. At the same time he spoke of aikido – The Way of Harmony – in a revolutionary way, a way previously unheard of among the martial traditions. He taught that aikido is a budo of love and that its purpose is to unite the people of the world. He repeatedly told his students that aikido was not to be used to hurt someone, but to provide loving protection for all people. It was as it the Secretary of Defense suddenly announced that the role of the Armed Forces was to provide a safe, loving environment for the entire world. There were, of course, guffaws when the word got out about a “budo of love” and many came to challenge Ueshiba and his new art.
In Search of the Warrior Spirit – Teaching Awareness Disciplines to the Military
I got the book “Holding the Center – Sanctuary in a Time of Confusion” by Richard Strozzi-Heckler recently. I finally picked it up to begin reading it last night, and randomly opened it to this paragraph, in the chapter on Teachership:
“The kanji for sensei is a man leading an ox by a nose ring. This indicates that through wisdom and intelligence a teacher is able to guide even that which is difficult and resistant. Sen depicts the earth giving birth to a plant, which in turn yields a flower or fruit. From this image we are reminded that life comes from life, that learning and growth come from a living transmission. Sei is often spoken of as Heaven, Human, and Earth united to create something new and useful. With the symbols placed together, sensei or teacher is someone who has more experience than us, whose consciousness is more expanded, who has walked before us on the path that we are now on, and who embodies a vision of the world that is more powerful than the one we now live in. Sensei is able to guide students on the steps that are necessary for them to gain proficiency in a specific discourse. A teacher is someone willing to cultivate our own life so that it will bear fruit."
While the explanation of the symbols escapes me, the sentiment rings true. The entire chapter is a very interesting look at what it is to be a teacher.
I’ve just read Terry Dobson’s book “It’s a lot like dancing…” for the first time. I usually read with a highlighter in one hand, but this is the kind of book you don’t want to deface. Besides, nearly every page would be highlighted in its entirety. Here is one of the many beautiful things he said:
What is more important than anything I say is that I touch you. Through me, through my touch, comes the touch of the founder of Aikido. There is no Bible you can buy that says, “This is what Aikido is.” It is transferred from person to person. These vibrations pass among us.