Tag Archives: ki

The movement from ordinary states of self-concern to selfless giving always involves a gradual transformation of character, not a sudden leap. Like any form of strength, generosity needs to be intentionally cultivated over time, and everyone must begin in whatever state of mind they already happen to be.

– Dale S. Wright, “The Bodhisattva’s Gift”

change is occurring. cannot be stopped. cannot be prevented. must be accepted. must be lived. It is happening. question – do we know where it’s taking us? Do we spend our energy trying to know where it is taking us, or do we spend our energy “surfing” the wave?

Do we accommodate change through knowledge, or through action? For many years, the focus has largely been through knowledge. if you understand theories and data, information and knowledge, the change will be less scary – you might even be able to change the change…

all of this is nothing without action

If you know dharma but do not apply it, then you have more regret than if you had never learned any dharma in the first place. If you are not going to apply dharma knowledge to your life—better not to know it at all.

– Kyabgön Phakchok Rinpoche, “Keys to Happiness”

change does not occur from knowing…it occurs from doing. change is life. change is every moment. knowledge, mind committed to the understanding, does not change change. it will happen. changing change is a spiral into suffering.

“Do or not do. There is not try.”


in change, there is no trying. there is simply listening, observing. then doing. or not. not trying to do. doing. or not. knowledge is not doing – it is knowledge. knowing is not doing. it is knowing. doing is doing. not doing is not doing.

trying is the mind convincing itself that it can alter the change, if enough effort is provided. trying is based on the assumption that the self can be protected and saved. the ego can be triumphant. no such luck.

What disintegrates in periods of rapid transformation is not the self, but its defenses and assumptions. Self-protection restricts vision and movement like a suit of armor, making it harder to adapt. Going to pieces, however uncomfortable, can open us up to new perceptions, new data, and new responses.

– Joanna Macy, “The Greatest Danger

to get there, we must explode. explode our ego, our structures. our beliefs. our mind. we must destroy and kill what is our ego and identity, and resort to the purest form. ki.

such a change is daunting. it is a form of suicide. a killing of the self, leading to the traces of the past, but fully charged to take the moments in full possession of our purpose and mission. not in a goal-related way, but in a purpose, like I must breathe to live, and so I must take this path to live.

It’s essential that we at least understand that the built-in resistance is proportionate to the scope and speed of the change.

-George Leonard

the rate of change, and the extent of change will define the pace at which we can change. constrained by scope & speed of change.

as it is on the mat, if there is no apparent pressure or force to change, or speed that is no faster or slower than the change that is self initiated, the technique will be effective.

Only because of emptiness can things change and flow. Emptiness is not a vacuum, a black hole, but the possibility of endless transformations. There is no more grasping, or self-created barriers and limitations. The Buddha-nature can shine through and express itself fully.

– Martine Batchelor, “The Ten Oxherding Pictures”

in emptiness, all change, fast and slow, large and small, will occur. emptiness is permanence. emptiness is infinity. emptiness is silence. emptiness is where ki resides and breathes. where ki flows.
in this emptiness, our purpose and path will manifest. and whatever change is required to bring us there, is possible. not only is it possible, it is where the change comes from. when we accept the silence and the emptiness, all is possible, all is possible. all ceases to attempt to become, and we become whole, in mind, body and spirit.

trust in ki, in fewer words…

have trust in inviting and extending ki
the way you trust gravity will make the glass fall if you let it go
do not stop to confirm if ki is available
the way you do not stop to confirm if gravity is available
you trust gravity is available
the way you know ki is available
you have known this since you can breath
know it so much that you no longer think about it
know it so much that you trust that it is always there
so should it be with ki

– dan

‎”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.

ok. sure.

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