“Address the imbalance without grasping for an outcome”
– Ken McLeod
During a recent meditation sitting, I was struck by the persistence of the grasping mind, the grasping heart and the grasping body. At no time did the three subside, each trading off each other the duty of disrupting the silence and the emptiness of the pure moment. At some moments, all three collaborated to take the flank and attempt a full frontal attack. The issue with the experience was not the incessant attacks – we are bombarded daily, hourly, presently, by incessant assailants – it was the quality of the attack, the texture of the attack, the vibration of the attack.
Stickiness. Grasping stickiness.
I don’t know of a better way to describe the quality that the three assailants expressed. They each had a grasping stickiness to them, as if they were motivated by desire and a wanting to be connected, stuck, glued, to the pure moment. In doing so, they would inevitably prevent the pure moment of perception from occuring, prevent zanshing from manifesting.
“Some of us think holding on makes us strong, but sometimes it is letting go.”
— Herman Hesse
Attachment. Attachment is another way to describe it. Each of the three assailants had a quality, a texture of attachment, a stickiness like when you get used gum stuck between your fingers – a sticky, stretchy texture which does not easily let go, and the more you scrub and try to detach from it, the more it gums up, and becomes even stickier.
The more I attempted to pry them away, the stickier they became, the more incessant they were in attaching.
So I stopped grasping. I stopped being sticky in return. I stopped being attached to the assailants who had a desire to be attached to me.
I stopped. Simply stopped. Simple, yes. Easy, no.
At that moment, wonderfully unexpected sensations manifested. Connection. Wholesome, deep, simple connection.
I observed a connection with the mind which ceased to judge, expect, or demand it to be or do more than the mind can be or do.
I observed a connection with the heart which ceased to fear the emotions, the comfort, the security, which the heart is sometimes unable to recognize or accept.
I observed a connection with the body which revealed the body as it was, revealed its strengths and weaknesses, and revealed the impermanent, almost temporary, nature of the balance which is a healthy body.
With such simply elegant connections, rather than grasping attachment, stickiness, wanting – a surprisingly pleasing discovery.
Acceptance. Acceptance of connection over attachment. Revelation of connections, large and small, far and wide, past and future. Connections without desire, without stickiness, without wanting, without grasping. Connections without attachment.
Is this maybe a description, an interpretation of what Sensei Bussell terms “detach from all”?
Detaching from all, non-attachment, does not mean no connection. Quite the opposite, it means full, unbridled connection, mental, spiritual, emotional and spiritual.
In Aikido, coordination, harmony of our mind, body and spirit is harmony which maintains, expands and enriches our connection in every moment – without stickness, without grasping, without attachment. On the mat, magic, true magic, occurs when such attachement-free connections manifest, and ki, the essence of the universe, flows freely.
Become increasingly mindful of sticky, attachment-laden connections, at the mental, emotional, physical or spiritual level. Chose no connection over connections with attachment.
Practice detaching from all. Practice connecting without attachment.
“Ki flows to where it is needed in your life the way water flows downhill. Ki doesn’t live in memories or anticipation…”