Road to 1st Kyu – Week 1 Day 5

Originally uploaded by markdeso

I was reading more from the book “A Life in Aikido” this morning. Early on in the book, O’ Sensei’s son Kisshomaru Ueshiba writes about O’ Sensei having a bit of a selfish and childish streak in him. I scratched my head about reading this and wondered for a bit why he would include this about his father. I think he took the time to write this so that we understand that while O’ Sensei was supremely talented in many things, he is still a man, prone to the same issues we have in our daily lives.

I remember a friend telling me about a therapist she went to school with. Her school mate was taken under the wing of a prominent psychologist and mentored for many years. She grew immensely under his guidance. One day she found out that he was having an affair. She felt terribly betrayed. My friend said that eventually though she came to the understanding that the message and teachings she received stand on it’s own, even though the messenger had compromised values.

Now, I’m not comparing the two men at all, and in no way am I saying that O’ Sensei had compromised values. But by Kisshomura’s account, he was at times childish and selfish. I appreciate a 360 degree view of our founder though. I appreciate that we get a humanizing account of someone we often think of as bigger than life.

Today in class, we are still working on “La la land”, “nuetral zone” and “the embodied state.” As we use techniques in class to transition through these states Sensei asks what we do in our bodies and how we know we are at a higher state.

For me, I become aware of where my body stops and feel the direct delineation between my body and the world. I don’t always have this awareness. Sensei talks about the concept of proprioception. Wikipedia defines proprioception as “the sense of the relative position of neighbouring parts of the body. ” It’s interesting and eye opening for me to start understanding this on an experiential level and relate back to these three states, and to start recognizing that internal shift that moves me from one state to the other.


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