Be like a ball floating down a roaring river. Thrown about, sometimes taken by the undertow, maybe floating aimlessly, the ball never ceases but to float and respond to the moment, in a state of dynamic balance.
Some years ago, I read Aikido and the Dynamic Sphere, and of the many ideas and lessons I took from the text, the one that stuck most with me was the idea of flowing like a ball along the earth. By imagining the hara as the center of the ball, I’ve come to see myself somedays on the mat as having a stable, relaxed core, surrounded by a dynamic shell of kI that can adapt to the moment and the motion of my center. By thinking, or even better, feeling, that my hara is always supported by some shell of Ki, I’ve recovered myself more than once in moments where balance or attention have waned.
More recently, I’ve taken the practice of envisioning myself as a ball floating down a roaring river. Unlike the hard earth, feeling like I’m floating is, for me, more like the feeling I frequently get when on the mat. There is a buoyancy that comes when the feeling if the one point is balanced upon the ground immediately below. As I’m pushed or pulled by Uke, I remain afloat, maybe sinking a bit, maybe bobbing, but always in a state of dynamic balance.
As a dynamic sphere floating on the torrents of the moment, I don’t worry about the big waves, the impending waterfall or the roaring rivers ahead. The feeling of being in dynamic balance is enough. At that point, technique emerges from the point of calmness and stillness, seeking to maintain and support this state of balance.
So next time you step onto the mat, or into the world, enjoy the feeling of the dynamic sphere and float.