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Do not look upon this world with fear and loathing. Bravely face whatever the gods offer.

~Morihei Ueshiba

Fear.

Fight or flight.

Hit back, or run away.

Both take root in Fear.

Fear crashes upon these two sensations like a raging river cascades upon her river banks.

So what is the antidote to Fear? What is the antidote to Fear that leaves one wanting to attack, to harm, or want to strike at the source of the Fear? And what of the antidote to the Fear that causes one to avoid, to look away, to run from the moment?

Each and every master, regardless of the era or the place, heard the call and attained harmony with heaven and earth. There are many paths leading to the top of Mount Fuji, but there is only one summit — love.

~ O’Sensei

The antidote is Love.

Love, but not the action of love, which emanates from desire or attachment – which makes such love susceptible to the ebbs and flows of life – conditional to the external world – a reactionary love.

It is Love. Being Love. Love which does not emanate from desire, but rather is the vibration that defines our soul, our essence, our entirety. Love that is ultimately us.

When we become Love, come-to-be Love, when our be-ing is Love, Fear can no longer root itself.  Neither Fear can find even a sliver of space to take hold of our spirit – not Fear that causes us to fight, or Fear that causes to one to flee.

In the presence of Love, Fear becomes a sensation, like any other, which then comes and goes like clouds in a stormy sky.

When we are Love, we no longer worry about the world and the ways of the world, for then our response to all moments – good or bad, Fear-creating or not – will remain the same…equanimous, balanced, mirroring the essence of the only truth – Love.

“Aikido practice is a method of incorporating the fundamentals of Great Harmony, Great Love, and Gratitude into one’s own heart.”
~ Linda Holiday 

When we are Love, we will welcome every moment with our be-ing of Love, our essence of Love and light.

In that moment, we are truly in the moment, no longer an observer of the moment from the past or from the future – we become the moment, come-to-be in the moment.

In that space, in that moment, Love can no longer be an action, but becomes a way – do – of be-ing.

And in that moment, Fear is defeated.

Fear is without ground. Fear which leads us to fight or to flight, is embraced like a scared child. And quieted, calmed, soothed.

Leaving us with what we started with… Love.

May your Aikido, your practice, your do, be your way to becoming, your way to coming-to-being nothing but Love in this moment, and every moment that follows.

Budo is Love

~ O’Sensei

A recent posting by über blogger Leo Babauta entitled “The Way to Be” was insightful in how he described ‘melting’ as a way to be with someone challenging our balance and centering. Most notable in his description of ‘melting’ is the imagery of blending with the other – not looking to change or alter the other – but rather to simply blend, accept and become one with the other.

Although Leo’s treatise is not rooted in aikido, his presentation of melting is a metaphor worth considering when engaging an opponent or Uke.

Enjoy
Dan

The Way to Be
By Leo Babauta

Last night I received a phone call from a loved one, someone who I love deeply but have struggled with internally because I’ve been worried about his health.

I want to help him, because I feel I’m losing him.

I want to show him my habit method, so he can give up smoking and drinking and eating unhealthy foods, can take up exercise and meditation, and all of a sudden be transformed into a healthy person again.

And of course, I can’t. I want to control something that scares me, but I can’t. I’m not in control of the universe (haven’t been offered the job yet), and I’m not in control of anyone else. I want to help, but can’t.

So I melted.

Not melted as in “had a meltdown”, which sounds wonderful if you like melted foods but actually isn’t. I melted as in I stopped trying to control, stopped trying to change him, and instead softened and accepted him for who he is.

And guess what? Who he is? It’s wonderful. Who he is — it’s super awesome mad wonderful. He’s funny and loving and wise and passionate and crazy and thoughtful and philosophical and did I mention crazy?

I melted, and accepted, and only then could I actually enjoy his presence instead of worrying about losing him or changing him.

And this, as I’ve learned, is the best way to be.

We can stop trying to change people, and just melt into their presence, just notice who they really are, just appreciate it. We can stop complaining about our life circumstances, about our losses, about how the world is, and just melt into it.

Just accept. Just notice. Just appreciate.

This is the way to be.

If you try to hold a cup of water absolutely still,
It won’t work.
How can you still your cup if thoughts, without any ripple?
Just put the cup down, and let it take its own course without interference
– Sri Ananda

A vibration is usually the first sign of the stillness coming forth and expressing its full presence. Not a truck rumbling kind of vibration. But more like a motor – a pulsing, quickly turning motor that peers just above the consciousness, if you let everything else just fade away for a while.
Thus vibration is the color of the stillness, it’s texture, it’s odor. I call it it’s texture for stillness is otherwise elusive in description, for words come from stillness. It is like the proverbial fish describing the water. It just is, the fish would say.

Our stillness is the water. It just is. It is our breath. Our light. Our life. We emerge from the stillness, and we return to the stillness, interrupted only briefly by the shortest of journeys we call a life. Yet, we quickly forge a path that is composed of everything but the stillness. We maintain that our path, our life cannot be full without filling the emptiness with the makings of reputation, opinion or desires. If we do it long enough, like the glass, we fill it to the point where nothing can be added, where the glass overflows and nothing new is retained, and only the old attachments become our existence.

Like the silence that remains even when noise overtakes our senses, the emptiness that is the infinite stillness remains, awaiting the tipping of the proverbial glass.

So what are we to do first? Empty the glass, but leave the tap open? In so doing, we just keep filling the glass. Maybe even more quickly if we discover that the glass is empty, a feeling we can’t recall feeling maybe since our conscious memories, or shortly thereafter.

We just turn off the tap. We must stop. We must cease to fill the emptiness with emotions, sensations, reflexes, fears, wants, mindless actions, acting out…

Doing nothing is essential for thinking to occur. Many of the most important thoughts are unintentional—they can be neither solicited nor cajoled but have a rhythm of their own, creeping up, arriving, and leaving when we least expect them. It is important to cultivate the lassitude of mind that clears a place for the arrival of what cannot be anticipated. Idleness allows time for the mind to wander to places never before imagined and to return transformed.
—Mark C. Taylor

We must stop. Just stop. Just stop, knowing that it won’t empty the glass, it won’t bring forth the stillness and the infinite emptiness. It will simply cease to fill the emptiness, letting the same happen as with the glass, letting it just sit empty, slowly leaking and draining the vessel.

Although one would be tempted to tip over the glass and make it empty as quickly as possible, this would be the same as filling the glass with stuff. The action of emptying the glass more quickly than it can empty on its own is an act of filling the glass. Emptiness and stillness cannot be emptied and returned to its original form. It can only be left to return to its original nature under its own ways.

Only by returning to the stillness and the emptiness can you empty them of their baggage. Only by letting the stillness and infinite emptiness rest, just rest, can they float to the surface of the noise, the stuff, the actions, thoughts, feelings, sensations that have overfilled it for so long.

It is convenient therefore that simply being in the stillness and infinite emptiness is what is needed to both stop filling the emptiness, as well as emptying the emptiness.

How many days does it take to empty the glass? I guess it depends on the size of the glass, how much stuff is in the glass, and how leaky is the glass. It also depends how serious you are about stopping to fill the glass with more stuff.

Well, the glass is large, it’s many years worth of filling. It’s lots of stuff, large and small, sticky and runny, old and new, good and bad. Let’s say it’s full.

Perhaps we all carry an immemorial wound, an infinite loss, a self-exile we perpetrate on ourselves. It turns us into isolated entities stalking the earth in search of what we think we need—the temporary stays against ennui, despair, loss, and terror. But sooner or later, the wound can carry us toward its own remedy, if we only let it.
—Henry Shukman

How leaky it is puts forth an interesting observation. If you are attached, sticky, clingy, to the many things in your glass, you may very well have described the importance of non-attachment, as attachment is effectively the recipe for making your glass water tight. You want a leaky glass? Bask in no-attachment. Then your glass will begin to leak, and empty itself of its contents.

As for adding new things into the glass, such things can only come from outside the emptiness and the stillness. The fewer these things are brought into your consciousness, the books and the media, the thoughts and the emotions, the wants and the fears. Both our world and our minds will find ingenious ways to continue to seek cracks and fissures to fill our space. Attaching to preventing them from entering is not the answer, as with attachement comes the clinging and glue that this external stuff needs to stick.

We can’t stop the mind from attempting to fill the emptiness, no different than we can prevent the external world from trying to sell us corn flakes.

So, rather than resisting, allow them to try. Invite them to try. Openly tell them that they are more than welcomed to fill the glass. Tell the world. Tell your mind. Not just tell them, invite them. Warmly greet them and observe them wanting to fill your emptiness and silence.

Then let go. Then detach. Not dettach as in surrender, detach as in non-attachment. Just don’t stick to them, and let the vessel stay empty. Let the vessel get really leaky, just letting these thoughts, ideas, sensations and emotions just come, and just leak out of the boat.

If you truly detach from the all, you will find your vessel as leaky as a sieve. It will just offer a bit of resistance in letting it go, but it will let it go, for it can’t do otherwise.

And you will find yourself left with not much. Only stillness, silence, infinite emptiness, and nothing left for which to cling or attach to.

This is another way you can consider the words

Be still
Be silent
Be without need

You become without need when you have nothing within you to cling to, to grasp, to attach to. For you become infinite stillness, infinite emptiness, and the voiding silence that accompanies them.

In stillness and silence you will find the infinite emptiness within which needlessness rest.

Buddhism teaches us that desire, for all the agony and ecstasy, is no match for the truth.
– Joan Duncan Oliver