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Bats and Spiders

August 14, 2015

I remember several years ago, at my previous residence, looking out of the kitchen window and hearing bats screeching as they swooped and dived catching the flying bugs, in the corner of the window (on the outside, thankfully) sat a large spider it web ready to catch these same flying nasties, both doing the same task, with completely different emphasise and methods, neither one can be called correct and the other wrong, and of course you can’t compare one with the other with any degree of justice.

So why do I bring this up?  well Monday’s Aikido class kind of reminded me of that situation, we were still working through Ian’s 4th kyu grading, and came to Kaiten nage, previously in my Aikikai training we would cut the arm down between you and uke, to the rear of uke, this enabled you to take a pause, and decide whether to throw irimi (omote) or tenkan.

The Ki Aikido variant, is somewhat different, as you bring uke’s arm down, you rotate it in front of yourself ‘stirring the pot’ so the movement is always going forward, it never goes back beyond your body line, so the energy is going forward throughout the movement, so this took me a while to assimilate thanks to the blessing / curse of muscle memory.

So I had to work on this, also my stance in the tenkan 2 variation (irimi tenkan) was too deep again, each problem is a learning opportunity.

Tomorrow is the ‘Buddhist friendship afternoon’ event that I’ve been planning since last year, but as the meetings have progressed, the event has grown from the small innocuous tea, coffee and a few leaflets, to a large official SGI event – with people being appointed as lilacs, sunflowers, soka’s etc, its a shame that I feel the event has ‘gotten away from me’ in terms of size and scale, I’m hoping I can still enjoy the event and it is some benefit to someone somewhere, but this kind of quasi political shoulder barging has put me off to be honest.

I’m really hoping to return to my Zen practice before too long, even if it means a drive to Sheffield every week or fortnight, until the Doncaster Zendo opens then so be it, otherwise it means a drive to Liverpool once a month for the Zazenkai at Stone Water Zen, and that will be financially difficult to say the least, but I do feel I need to dedicate myself to my practice and look towards making the commitment of taking Jukai.

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