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Connect – lead – flow

August 7, 2015

Sensei is back from his holiday, and maybe he sensed we’ve had a certain amount of freedom for the last couple of weeks, while he was away.

So I found Monday’s Aikido class very technical, Ian was ‘thrown’ into his 4th kyu grading.

Ben and I were acting as uke, then repeating those techniques.

I found this quite difficult, there is a lot of movement in the 4th kyu syllabus, compared to the 5th kyu syllabus, and some of which just seemed to completely baffle me, how can a human being move like that.

 

However I refuse to get disheartened, a couple of months ago, I became quite ‘down’ with myself and my seemingly lack of progress, so I developed a coping strategy – from each class just take away a couple of techniques, write them down, practising them by walking through them, so each week I build up a living catalogue of technique, then go back and read my notes.

Sensei’s mantra seemed to be connect – lead and flow, which I can understand on an intellectual level, but physically I found difficult, “lead as if taking a dog for a walk” Sensei advised, in that we don’t allow the dog (or in this case uke) to pull us around the mat, we are in control and taking the lead, but on the other hand, we don’t half strangle and drag the dog (uke) around, we take the lead, use the energy to create the flow in the direction we want, but done with a sense of compassion.

After many months of debating (mostly with myself) and saving up, I‘ve decided to take my Reiki level 1 in September, I’m hoping this will open my understanding into Ki and also is part of my journey into taking my practice into some direction other than just throwing people about.

 

This week I also returned to my zazen practice morning and evening, I hoping the Doncaster zendo opens before the end of the Year, if not I’ll have to look into my other options for pursuing my Zen practice and finding a teacher.

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