Aikido was founded in the late 1920's by Morihei Uyeshiba. Richard Strozzi Heckler in his book "The Anatomy of Change," presents the formation and practice of Aikido. Morihei Uyeshiba said, "The secret of aikido is to harmonize ourselves with the movement of the universe itself. He who has gained the secret of aikido has the universe to himself and can say, "I am the universe."
Uyeshiba began learning martial arts to defend his father. As he became unbeatable, he began to question his path. After eluding an expert swordsman, he was overwhelmed by feeling. He recounts: "I felt that the universe suddenly quaked, and that a golden spirit sprang up from the ground, veiled my body, and changed my body into one of gold. At the same time, my mind and body became light. I was able to understand the whispering of the birds, and was clearly aware of the mind of God, the Creator of this universe. At that moment I was enlightened: the source of budo is God's love - the spirit of loving protection for all beings. Tears of joy streamed down my cheeks. I understood: Budo is not felling the opponent by our force; nor is it a tool to lead the world into destruction with arms. I understood: The training of budo is to take God's love, which correctly produces, protects, and cultivates all things in Nature, and assimiliate and utilize it in our own mind and body."
Uyeshiba comes up for me now, because though he looked balanced, he was actually always moving, in constant balancing of different forces. He was in motion, not static. I am trying to stay in the motion of what is coming my way of late, to stay, therefore, in a semblance of balance. I try and think like Uyeshiba who wrote, "The only opponent is within. Aikido is not for correcting others; it is for correcting your own mind." I set intention to work with this, and to continue to accept the challenges as they come.
I feel myself riding a skateboard today as I sail through the sky, like Santa in his sleigh. May we all be well, and may the connection we all share balance the pain for each individual in our circle of hands, hearts, and joyfully tapping feet.