Wednesday, February 13, 2008


I've had some questions about the context of the quote at the top of the page. Here's the full statement:

"The Art of Peace is medicine for a sick world. There is evil and disorder in the world because people have forgotten that all things emanate from one source. Return to that source and leave behind all self-centered thoughts, petty desires, and anger. Those who are possessed by nothing possess everything."
- Excerpted by William McLuskie from The Art of Peace a collection of quotes by Morihei Ueshiba translated by John Stevens.

The idea that " all things emanate from one source" appears to be the crux of the idea. This concept is very familiar in Eastern philosophies. Scholars may quibble, but the idea exists in Shinto, Buddhism and Taoism, for sure.

But what is that source? Simply, the source is you. If the universe if infinite, every point is the center, so your "center" might as well be, too.

It's with that realization that we can "return to that source and leave behind all self-centered thoughts, petty desires, and anger." If one realized he is the source, he must, at the same time realize that everyone and everything else is also the source. So self-centeredness naturally falls away with such a realization. That's why enlightenment is always expressed in compassion.

I admit that when I practice aikido, I'm not usually thinking about how I'm the center of the universe, but maybe I can try just the center of the circle and work out from there. ;)


Anonymous said...

Have you ever done the warmup where you clasp your hands in front of your navel and rotate them, as if you're shaking hands with yourself?

According to my sensei, that is the act of drawing in all the outside power of the universe into your center, like a tub of water draining to one spot when you pull the plug.

FWIW, I don't feel it (yet), either.

AikiPenguin said...

The hand shaking and the rowing exercise (Furitama) are Shinto cleansing exercises which fall under the heading of misogi.

The complete Shinto ritual includes standing under a waterfall, usually in cold weather.

Of course, the cleansing is physiological and spiritual, not physical.

The shaking of the hands aim to get the person in tune with the vibrations of the universe. Furitama means soul shaking. The shaking and the rowing store up ki which enables the person to stand the cold water. I've never done this, but I believe it would work. ;)

Osensei said aikido itself is a kind of misogi.

AikiPenguin said...

As far as "feeling it," who knows what that really means. Let's talk about it 20 years from now... ;)