Meditation

Meditation

In Class

In some ways all our training is meditation, Osensei said that we should be able to handle a number of attackers with the state of mind of meditating on a mountain. The beginning of a class starts with a short sitting meditation where we prepare our minds for training, this takes our minds from day to day hassle of work and traffic and helps to focus us on the training to come. Some classes also finish with a brief meditation and ritual of bowing to the Osensei picture, bowing to the instructor and then to each other. This not a religious ritual, merely thanking each other for the passing on the techniques of aikido.

Beach Training

Beach training starts before sunrise, we sit in meditation until the sun has come up and nature's light show subsides. In Japanese culture the connection of humans with nature is important, sunrise is the birth of a new day, a new beginning, one can appreciate the curvature of the earth. After the sunrise we practice with weapons or open hand techniques, the soft sand changes the nature of our familiar techniques which are normally performed in the controlled environment of the dojo.

Mountain Training, Spring and Autumn

Mountain training usually takes place in the afternoon or evening in Spring and Autumn, we go to a quiet spot in the Blue Mountains where we do some training on the rough ground, here balance and footwork are tested.

Kotodama KanjiNext we do kotodama literally word spirit, chanting of the Japanese vowels a, i, u, e, o this is similar to the Buddhist chanting of OM, vowel sounds are produced in the throat which vibrate up to the base of the skull and brain. When a larger group of people are chanting the sound rises and falls as people start and finish their individual chants.

Misogi Mid Winter Training

This is a a mid winter purification ceremony usually held in the Blue Mountains. Talking is not alowed and a simple meal is eaten in silence, afterwards is meditation. Sleeping is under the stars, yes that's right, no tent. Before dawn we go and meditate as the sun rises then proceed to the edge of the valley and perform kumifogi, celestial rowing, bare chested as if defying the elements. Afterwards you are left feeling peaceful and refreshed.


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Date

22 January 2015

Categories

Meditation

Osensei Quotes

The heart of a human being is no different from the soul of heaven and earth. In your practice always keep in your thoughts the interaction of heaven and earth, water and fire, yin and yang.
Morihei Ueshiba (Osensei)

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