”The warrior who trusts his path doesn’t need to prove the other is wrong.”
― Paulo Coelho
in recent weeks and months, much of my aikido and meditation practice has attempted to be less intellectual, less cerebral, and more instinctive, more open and trusting. my sensei, peter, has shown great patience in my repeated attempts to execute an aikido technique through the application of analytical skills and biomechanical dissection techniques. my meditation sessions have also succumbed to the same over-analytical techniques, turning the simple act of sitting into an experiment in sensory detection, analysis, feedback circuit generating activity.
it came as no surprise that when trying to figure out why i could not apply sankyo during one wednesday evening aikido class, peter and i began to discuss the role of the mind versus the role of the body and spirit in aikido. although we had discussed this issue many times before, this time, the discussion turned to the importance of trust.
“trust the ki”, peter stated, emphasizing that in his nearly 50 years of aikido practice, he had experienced on endless occasions, and come to intimately believe in the power and presence of ki. having been on the receiving end of endless aikido demonstration, i can attest to peter’s grasp of ki. he trusted the ki to do the work in any aikido technique, and in life for that matter. “how do you trust ki?” i asked. “you just trust it” was his reply. simple.
at that moment, a small gap opened. what if i really trusted ki more than my thoughts and my analytical approach to the moments? Ok. so trust some evasive, difficult to grasp, tough to manage and weird to describe energy called ki, and not rely on the mental and analytical skills the i’ve developed and honed for almost 30 years.
at that moment on the mat, a fundamental shift. trust is like that. you choose to trust. you don’t learn to trust. you don’t figure out how to trust. you don’t work through the mental machinations of pros and cons of trusting or not. you just trust.
ok – so just trust the ki.
allow ki to come into you. know it comes to you from near and far, from above and below, from all around you. then let it go where it wants to go, if it wishes to go. trust that it will go where it needs to go, when it needs to go there. if, at any point the mind or body attempt to interject, overtake the moment or dictate the next action – stop. return to ki. rest in the field of ki.
the sensations of resting in the field of ki are difficult to explain at this point – for me, they are just starting to show form and function. i will come back to this in a future post. for the moment, there is the simple act of trusting in ki. choosing to trust in ki, and know that it is present at every moment, everywhere you are, and in any circumstance.
trust that ki is present, the way you trust that gravity exists and makes the cup fall to the ground if dropped. trust in ki the way you trust that the sun will rise in the morning, and will set in the evening. trust in ki like you trust in the death and impermanence – inevitable, common, guaranteed.
just trust in ki.
“The best way to find out if you can trust somebody is to trust them.”
― Ernest Hemingway