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Being present part 2

July 10, 2015

A couple of weeks ago I put a post on here called ‘being present’ although I realise I didn’t explain, what I meant by that, I was referring to my return to mindfulness meditation, so far just at home, but I’m hoping to find a teacher before the end of Year.

Monday night’s Aikido class was great, running through the 4th Kyu syllabus ready for Ian’s grade. we worked a lot on Taigi #2, with the Tai-gi you have to ‘be present’ very mindful of where and when your uke’s are coming in to attack.

There is a Japanese term ‘ichigo-zanmai’ this come from Zen Buddhism, it means to be fully focussed on the single task at hand, during my years either instructing or sitting on grade panels, you could always spot the students who had good focus, and those whose bodies were going through the motions but their minds were elsewhere, of course in this fast paced world we live in, the term ‘multi-tasking’ is taking a prominence in our day to day vocabulary, it is a thing to aspire to and to practice regularly…..but by multi-tasking, you are failing to give your best to any one particular task, you’re failing to give each task your ‘ichigo-zanmai’

During ‘warm ups’ and Aiki-taiso exercises in class,we practice an exercise called zenpo undo, where we perform shomen in one direction, turn then perform shomen in the opposite direction.

When I first started Ki-Aikido, I didn’t get why we paused after the turn, so in effect the movement goes raise and lower shomen (slight movement forward from one point), turn 180, pause, raise and lower shomen again, repeat, repeat etc

I thought to myself wouldn’t it be easier to turn and raise, wouldn’t that be more flowing, more ‘like  Aikido’ , well give it a try…you end up with your arms moving faster than your body, so your head is facing forward with your arms off at 45degress, and your hips lagging behind at 45degrees in the other direction.

So that pause is important, it allows us the time to re-align our body so when we move forward we are giving each individual movement our ichigo-zanmai, don’t think about the next move – that moment doesn’t exist yet, don’t think about your last movement- that moment has passed never to be repeated…

…this is the moment right now, nothing else exists nothing previous thats all gone, nothing future that hasn’t happened yet,….just this moment, breath raise shomen feel your one point driving the moment …be present …BE THAT MOMENT…own it, this is a moment of YOUR LIFE, your moment, your ichigo-zanmai.

Next week I’m teaching a Budo workshop for Sprinwater Taekwondo, so next weeks post, I’ll cover things from that…

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