Author Archives: FastSlow

…AIKI TAISAI 2017 (3)!!!…

We had such a wonderful time at Aiki-Taisai, at Tsubaki America Jinja,  and it was so good to again meet my old friends from the Tsubaki Kannagara Dojo tradition.

Negi-san was in rare form with his aikido, and especially with the totally luminous ceremonies we took part in. I was very blessed to participate in Hou-no-shiki for the ZOU of

AME NO UZUME NO MIKOTO

that our dojo donated… and it was spectacular.

I was also fortunate to be allowed to ask a question about Tai-no-Henko, one of my favorite exercises of all times, and Negi-san showed a version that I thought was infinitely explorable and illuminating… and was a delight for all of us…

From Komyozan Dojo, we would like to congratulate all the people who received new rankings. And congratulate, too, sincerely, Chika-san, for her incredible meals and extraordinary hospitality considering just how rowdy a bunch of people we are!!!

And so:  Doumou arigatou Sensei!!! Doumou arigatou, Negi-san!!!

Yoroshiku onegaishimasu…

 
 
 
 
 
 

* – * – *

…the river…the river…and trees…

TEN-CHI… Heaven and Earth…

– – – Kimbal Anderson Sensei

What we are working on is a natural truth, something that nature does. I like the phrase, “natural truth,” because: you can describe it a thousand ways, but what it is is what it is. You can argue over your definitions of what you want to call various forces, but that’s just linguistics. And at the point where you quit doing that any more, you can talk to anyone about it.

You can use their words. You really can.

So, for example, sometimes we say “as above, so below”.  This means that in small things, great things reside.  There’s some form to things. Form and function mate together.

Well, as above, so below, great stability allows you to work with tremendously dynamic forces.

And you can think about this: a ship can sail on oceans and wild waves and survive huge storms because its structure is stable – meaning that the ribs don’t fly apart and the planks don’t blow off – but that stability can have within it a kind of flexibility, but not much. It’s only flexing to maintain stability. Not maintaining flexibility. If you let something be flexible – and you get more flexible and more flexible until it falls apart, this is a cycle of decay. If you just watch nature, that’s how nature decays something.

So.  Stability, and within it, a kind of flexibility.

Now, when you get really stable in here, as far as being grounded and everything, what’s going on – that you may have not noticed yet – is that you’re relating to something of greater leverage and stability than yourself: the Earth.

So… you know how we do that experiment  where you imagine the arm a mile long and you can’t bend it and all that… that creates a greater leverage in a greater organization. A person of small organization is trying to deal with something of large organization and is absorbed by it.

And this is how Nature works. If you see little whirlpools, they get sucked into big whirlpools. Because they’re whirl-pooling together, and they relate… the little whirlpool will be drawn into the big one.

Leverage works this way.  For you on the mat.

If you understand about leverage, you can pick up giant rocks, like Stonehenge, and move them around pretty quickly… if you understand leverage.

What I’m trying to teach you to do, is find the concept of stability in yourself, but relate it to a larger energy.

That allows you to be nimble.

This kind of stability you’re developing allows you to relate to huge forms of energy… to sail on these huge forms.

One of the most stable forms is a pyramid, oddly enough. And if you could somehow make an independent pyramid, it would slide all over the surface of the Earth it would be virtually impossible to destroy. It’s just amazing what it does with forces.

There are certain shapes in nature that do that.

The megalithic cultures, the way stones were cut both in ancient Greece and in Peru is: they’re cut the same way because they survive earthquakes easily.  All that weird kind of pretty stuff we look at, wasn’t “oh, I have a rock… I’m going to try to fit it together a certain way…”  It wasn’t. It was “if we built it this way, it won’t fall over.”  Because they lived in earthquake zones.

And in Baalbek, there’s all kinds of wild rocks fitted together… how did they do it?  Well, they were relating great stability to a larger force, in order to take wobble-wobble-wobble easily.

In fact, the testing and shaking of something that’s stabilized correctly makes it stronger. It really does.  It organizes it. And it gets rid of any little bits that needed to be polished off. If the big stability’s there, a tiny little thing won’t knock it down. It’ll just grind that thing off.  Tanren renshu.

So – this idea of being very stable… …not all by yourself though – stability, through making the correct form in relation to a great energy, and then you entrain to it… and then your little thing becomes a reflection of the big thing.

And, as far as I can tell: this premise works on any scale you want.

So, this exercise of having aite sit on your knee, and your knee has to be precisely vertical: you can see you can take a pretty strong force. It’s the same thing, if I hand you a big rock or a bale of hay, and you relate to the ground correctly: you can take a big force…

Your body’s done this for thousands and thousands of years… it’s been able to do this.

So you   c o u l d  throw your children on your shoulder and walk across North America. You could… you could do it…because you did it right.  And people nowadays don’t know this anymore, because they’re depending on extrapolations of things, technologies, and they’ve forgot… <taps chest> this is what built it.

Okay. Now…

Great stability. Great connection…

…magnolia-blossoms in the park…

…Guy Debord / La Société du Spectacle(30)…

55

  • It is the struggle between these two Powers – which have come into being to the administer and manage this single socio-economic system – which is deployed as the ‘official’ contradiction in our global society…  but they belong, in fact, to a real unity:  both on the global scale, and internally in [the conventional left-right politics of] every nation.

* – * – *

It is entirely natural that, as we transitioned to the Information Age, the geographical centers of that supposedly “other” Power should become more and more visibly part of the global socio-economic system:  with the gradual evolution of China, and with the fall of the Soviet Union…  And all the ‘official’ contradictions we are deluged with, today, are themselves merely ‘spectacle‘… and you will find that the best place to ground yourself against them is in the ‘practical’ – in human ‘sensed and felt’ activity: “menschliche sinnliche Thätigkeit: Praxis“.

Budo – what you’re doing – is totally, absolutely  p r a c t i c a l .

It is of no use if it’s not practical.  That is not to say, that practicality isn’t the gateway to the divine and the most deep and the most penetrating awarenesses, the most beauty, the most deeply real, the best kind of relationships…

Whereas that abstract, abstraction-y appearances world is false and leads to nothing but more false… until people don’t know that there ever was an actual smell or taste of anything.

And then their biology rebels and creates schizophrenia.

Because their biology knows what it’s doing. It knows what a proper kind of relationship is with the world, and with other people.

And part of this is that it knows the practicality of your relationships with enemies. The realities of social contradiction.

There are enemies. I’m not saying you should make enemies in your mind. There are beings who already desire what you have, who are driven by the tyranny of the urgent, or ambition, or some great picture in their head. And they, by themselves, without you labeling them anything,  are your enemies.

You do not need to segregate them. You don’t even need to make a class called “the enemies.” You don’t need to lead your life in fear of “enemies”.  But there are people who will, by the natures of their desires and the natures of their framework, et cetera,  lead to you suffering.  Simple.

There are many ways to deal with this problem. Some of it is meeting in some sort of harmony with them in the sense of “what do they need? ” “Can we get there?” “Can they get what they need without everyone being murdered?”

T h a t   is intelligence and culture and creativity and a good part of a solution.

There’s also recognition.

The word ‘enemy’ has been linked to ‘hatred’. It is not the same thing. You can have enemies, and you don’t hate them. I’ve learned in my life that all kinds of people were doing s*** to me… I didn’t need to hate them back. That debilitates me and makes me dark. Sucks energy out of my soul… it feeds Cthulhu in his cavern underneath the vice-president’s house…

On the other hand, I can say that if anyone tried to harm you and I was present, they would probably find that their life had changed drastically in an instant. Now, I wouldn’t think murderously, but I certainly would try to have your back – even if you got yourself into it…even if your nature and moods and growth, had put yourself into a place where you got yourself into a bad place.

Your true friends don’t judge you. They step in and have your back. They also talk to you: “What’s going on here, dude? How did you get yourself into this hole?” And if you love your friends, if you believe in them, because you’ve seen them as they really are, and you don’t run them through the distorted mirror of society-right-now – they’re  n o t  going to throw you under the bus… these are the people who didn’t throw you under the bus –   t h e n  it’ll change your soul.

And you’ll realize that the teenager who was angry and was trying to… well, this is a biological function. Strictly biology. There’s an imperative to separate – on a power level – from your parents… to be autonomous, but you also need to  n o t  separate from your tribe.  N o t   separate from your support system.

This society keeps people retarded. It holds them in this point because they’re so marketable to, they’re so vulnerable. It’s so easy to take someone who’s angry, and convince them of anything.

So, in practice, in our dojo, I try to get you past this, gently, so you’re no longer susceptible to this kind of provocation. So that “the slings and arrows of outrageous fortune” don’t make you crazy.

But first things first: budo is infinitely practical, grounded in reality. From that, the magic and the sublime world are easily accessed.

Sir John Colville records that Winston Churchill, when it was suggested that the canvasses in the National Gallery should be evacuated to Canada, was emphatic for keeping them at home: “No. Bury them in caves and cellars. None must go. We are going to beat them.”  Because you fight for the beauty, you fight for your family, you fight for love, you fight for the times of peace, you fight for the trees…

And all you’re really trying to do is suspend the insanity.

So this requires courage. To determine first, that you’re going to become infinitely practical.

This practical does not sacrifice beauty or metaphor or any of that other stuff.

It makes it possible for that to register, in the real world, in a place that’s true: that you can really love the poem, because you have the right kind of mind, the mind that can do that. And no-one can turn you into a cynic.

Because that’s the soul-murdering thing: to make you stop believing in good things… because of the ‘practical’.  Using that as the excuse.

Well, I have noticed, being a farmer, at one time in my life: corn… it is so beautiful. The practical part is it must live, you must plant it, it must grow, you must take care of it… All that… But I did notice that people made little corn, big corn, red corn, green corn… all of which taste different, and did different things, and some of it made whisky, and some of it was good for the Fourth of July, and some of it made cornmeal…  It was beautiful and infinitely practical.

I would suggest to you: even the most intensely provoking and somewhat meaningless kind of job – and I’ve had plenty –  can be a vehicle to find your practical base, and build a life of practical beauty.

That is the nature of what you’re seeing when you look at some Zen-like sumi-e, or some Shaker furniture… it is so simple.  But it is so dramatically, practically precise and raw, that it freezes you in kyo.

Once you determine that your budo needs to be practical – and knowing that the practical will come to naturally support, cradle, nurture, develop the beautiful – when you get that, I can show you stuff.

Why do we do this movement a million times…

Because there’s something needed… It’s like training your senses, to listen for a note till you have perfect pitch… and it’s infinite, yes? And infinitely beautiful once you determine that “I love the practicality of my practice.” It’s as if practicality and practice seem to be somehow word-related… do you think?

Practice and practicality.

I lived for a time when my life was necessarily only practical because I didn’t want to starve. And I was pretty youthful and resilient, full of Spring, and I could live on nothing. Ramen and coffee. And I learned something about being beautiful. Being beautiful myself. Not beautiful for other people.

Beautiful so that my life had value.

It wasn’t something I told someone else I was doing, I just felt it.

And then I knew that if I died at that very moment, I was still in a place that I admire, and that I think makes life worthwhile for me.  And you may have a similar little bit of this in you.

Make sense?

There’s the deal…

read more:

Peter has a show playing with his sound design: ‘Oslo’…

…nominated for 7 Tony’s and playing in the Vivian Beaumont Theater at the Lincoln Center,  New York,  March 23 – June 18…

"Can we make peace with enemies? OSLO gives us hope." -Daily News

Posted by Lincoln Center Theater on Thursday, April 20, 2017

Rebeca is performing Flamenco with Mahavia…

…on Friday, June 9, at 8:00pm (doors open at 7:00), at The Visual Arts Collective in Garden City… A Summer Flamenco Fiesta!!!  Tickets available HERE!

 

…also, Rebeca-san is teaching ‘cante‘ (Flamenco singing):  group classes on Tuesdays, 6:15… private classes by arrangement… accompanied by Mahavia guitarist, Derren Crosby Davidavich…  …contact Rebeca-san on (208) 713-0235, or at RRLeatherwing@outlook.com …

..and Rebeca-san’s latest CD: ‘VOGT’  by PALANKEEN…vogtCDnOPENCOVER

…the digital download is available here,  and the  CD’s are available on the same link.  You can buy them here in Boise at Doyle’s on Broadway,  and at the Record Exchange.

Lynn has a new sculpture available…

...AEOS, an Iberian stallion, available in Resin, cast to order, from LynnAFraley.com

and she is teaching a workshop:

Wire to Whinny

Friday-Sunday, September 8-10 (with Open Studio on Sept. 11)

In this three-day workshop students learn the basics of equine anatomy, how to best utilize references, form an armature, and then apply clay to create a sculpture….

A change of optic:

Aikido is a gem of many facets – sometimes it seems that every one of O’Sensei’s students remembered a different teacher, and of course, many, many different styles have been preserved and developed – but here is one facet that clicked into focus for me recently:

what if O’Sensei spent his time away from Iwama and Tokyo coherently pursuing what he felt to be his “mission in life”?…

what if he spent his time away from Iwama and Tokyo creating and nurturing a network of dojos run by Omoto-Kyo, ex-Omoto-Kyo and Ko-Shinto believers ( hand-picked deshi,  some of them raised, almost, as members of his family) – – – and ex-Kamikaze pilots, too (!) – often with his own name on the sign –  in places – and close to shrines…

read more:

…peace pole!!!…