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Listening

Sun, 07/29/2018 - 00:34
Listening

As uke moves
I listen to what his body says
And listen to my own body's reply
Our conversation ending in a throw


Categories: Aikido

Reiraku

Sat, 07/14/2018 - 22:28
Reiraku

I wrap myself in my spirit threads
My white garment slowly turning red
Death approaches without quarrel
Wrapping itself tighter and tighter
Till all I can say is Thank you


Categories: Aikido

God/Me

Sun, 07/08/2018 - 20:54
God/Me

When I got to the end of the universe
I found god waiting for me
Wearing my very own face
No matter how far I travel
Or where I travel to
I find my god/me waiting

Categories: Aikido

New Aikido

Sun, 07/01/2018 - 21:31
New Aikido

The new Aikido:

Here, please take my center.

No, I don't want your center!

No, take it, I know you want it.

No, I don't want it!

Well, I don't want yours either!


Categories: Aikido

Smooth Power

Sun, 06/24/2018 - 00:07
Smooth Power

The gi was heavy with sweat and scent
The coarse fabric rough against my skin
Nage drew me close, very close
Irimi Nage can be can be so personal
I mentally commanded my body to relax
To relax and feel the movement
When he threw me I felt
The smooth power and the release
My ukemi was not so smooth
One of many things I need to work on


Categories: Aikido

Just Dance!

Sat, 06/16/2018 - 22:38
Just Dance!

The whole point of dancing is the dance
No pilgrimage, no sacred journey
No ultimate destination

No end point that has to be arrived at
At a specified time
Just dance!


Categories: Aikido

Mind with Mind

Sun, 06/10/2018 - 00:22
Mind with Mind

I try to wash my mind with mind
Forgetting I am more than thought
One more concept, piled on top of
All the other concepts permeating me
Will not set me free

I must gather up Nio energy
Adding that to my arsenal, and
Fill my body with the sword of
Wisdom and the rope of discipline
As a manifestation of Fudo-Myo-o

Only then is freedom possible

Categories: Aikido

Kampai!

Tue, 06/05/2018 - 23:40
Kampai!

It was post-seminar
We were all sitting around the bar
People telling stories:

You should have seen him!
When he walked into the dojo
he had to bow so his head wouldn't
hit the top of the door frame!


Maybe he was just bowing cause
that's what people do when entering
any dojo
, someone pointed out

Hah, you weren't there!
Was the reply
(A very common refrain,
actually, as the night went on)

When he struck with the bokken or jyo,
we would all have to wear face protectors
cause the splinters would fly everywhere!

That created a big laugh

His wooden tanto was so sharp
it actually drew blood!

Nodding heads all around

I remember when he touched me
Another old-timer voiced, I didn't
know what happened, but I ended up
on the other side of the dojo!


Hell, when he just smiled,
we would all fall down!


Damn, those were incredible times!

All the old-timers agreed in unison

But, now, they all said, this is your
time. Looking around the table,
Now, today, is your time. All of us sitting
here tonight, this is our time together.
One day, you will be the old ones,
telling stories, telling tall tales.
But, for now, here's to the past
and a great teacher -- Kampai!






This poem was inspired by an article in Birankai Aikido News,
by Liese Klein Sensei, quoting some words spoken by George Lyons Sensei,
at a memorial seminar, on the anniversary of Chiba Sensei's death, at Brooklyn Aikikai.
Liberties with the original material were certainly taken!
Categories: Aikido

Supreme Practice

Sun, 06/03/2018 - 00:52
Supreme Practice

Daily life is my shugyo
My supreme practice method
Every moment of every day
Everything and everyone
Becomes my dojo, my sensei
My ultimate training hall
Where I grapple and strive
Engaging all in my quest
My practiceless practice
Showing me the way


Categories: Aikido

Wabi-Sabi Time

Sat, 05/26/2018 - 04:27
Wabi-Sabi Time

I thought she was the most beautiful
Creature on the whole planet
She replied that I had wabi-sabi looks, i.e.
Imperfect, impermanent, and incomplete
Seeing the expression on my face
She further said that this was a good thing
That all inessentials had been eliminated
All excesses trimmed and pared away
Leaving behind only the real
Such that it only grows stronger with time
So I took her down off her pedestal
And, hand in hand, walked with her
Through transient, wabi-sabi time
Loving each and every flawed moment
Of our transitory time together

Categories: Aikido

Thoughts

Sat, 05/19/2018 - 23:37
Thoughts

I think big, deep thoughts
That get me nowhere
I think small, personal thoughts
That just results in pain
If I try not to think
I drive my car into people
So, I sit and watch TV
I go to the movies
I try to wash my brain clean
Clean of any thoughts
Like a constant flash flood
Scouring the land of all debris
Thoughts swept away, away
When it works, it doesn't last
Thoughts -- my strength, my weakness
I sit and think
Thinking of thoughts

Categories: Aikido

Zazen Wave

Sat, 04/28/2018 - 19:27
Zazen Wave

From a row of seated figures
Unmoving, except for their breathing -
Even the chanting has been silenced

I sense a zazen wave moving through the room
A cascade of a unity of beings and commitment
Energized by common intent and purpose

Categories: Aikido