I quite often find myself in deep contemplation regarding Sensei’s teachings. About the essence of the study of Budo, but more importantly, the essence of the study of Yuishinkai.
I have decided I hate the word Aikido attached to what we do, or the essence of what we do. Just hear me out. Strange that an Aikido teacher doesn’t like the word Aikido.
It’s not the art, the collection of techniques that form the basis of any school of Aikido, I love and have loved practicing these techniques.
The problem is human nature. Attachment to what the expectation of what Aikido is, and that being great at Aikido is about some technical proficiency in a particular set of predetermined movements. Unfortunately this is compounded when you attach a school name to the word Aikido that forms further prejudices, an image of how the technical aspects are executed and how this defines them in reference to other schools that don’t do technique like them.
It creates prejudices and arrogance, a sense of betterment over others based on personal likes. Aikido should be martial and hard, aikido is love and should be flowing and collusive, aikido is spiritual and should be reverential and traditional. All attachments – all typical human nature.
People tend to hear what they think. Let that sink in.
How we relate to things is how we see them. Aikido is whatever we think it is.
Yuishinkai is the school of the essence of mind. Even saying this causes people to create a relationship to what they THINK this is.
All martial systems are just the form of things passed down through generations, Aikido is no different, but Yuishinkai should be, as the essence of mind is formless, and at its core remains nothing that can be passed down from one person to another.
It’s not technical proficiency or hidden teachings that the masters say had to be stolen from them, but the very essence of what is.
The founder spoke of these levels many times, trying to discover the secrets of the masters of old through forging the body.
The difficulty lies in understanding that originally what is passed on as form had its origin in formlessness. The true essence of Budo is not technique.
And the truly difficult thing for the student to understand – it is something that cannot be taught.
Form follows its function. When chasing form all that can be passed on is form, as the form is all that has existed in the way that can be transferred in a conscious logical and analytical mind, ie, a school with a syllabus that teaches this system of competence all the while talking of transcending such a level of consciousness. It’s a paradox that cannot be unbroken, created through attempting to escape the form that created it.
When sensei tells people the essence of Aikido is not technique, he doesn’t just understand this, he knows it as an absence of the form of things that could be, but only he can know this.
His job has never been to teach Aikido, but an attempt to pass on things as he experienced them and anyone else can inherit these experiences if they set their heart to experience them for themselves.
The teacher is the blueprint to this journey. TO DO WHAT THEY DO, TO KNOW WHAT THEY KNOW, YOU MUST DO WHAT THEY DID. There are no shortcuts, no fast track to know what is not known.
Stuck in form stays in form. An attempt to analyse what isn’t through what is will result in disappointment and traps us in the cycle where form follows form follows form.
But I don’t own it, and sensei doesn’t own it either. It doesn’t exist as a thing that is transmitted, as it’s impossible to lay claim to ownership of something that cannot be owned.
Base human emotions such as jealousy, greed, fear, stubbornness, arrogance and self righteousness block a pathway to this understanding.
It makes me think of the Bible quote “many are called, but few are chosen”.
We each understand according to our level, whatever that may be.
And because the essence of Yuishinkai is here , now and nowhere, any time a thought arises that you understand what that essence is, it instantly isn’t that at all.
What you seek is seeking you, but not the you you see, the you that doesn’t know the you that is you. Confused yet?
And so it is so.
Stuck in form stays in form.
What the master wants “stolen” remains something untaught. Not stolen from them, but stolen THROUGH them.
The attached want the mantle that doesn’t exist, the initiated exist free of such cloaks.
Yuishinkai exists – Aikido does not.
Aikido exists – Yuishinkai does not.
Simple, yet infinitely unattainable.