Drop-In

October

posted Sep 15, 2017, 2:07 PM by The Center for Mind-Body Oneness   [ updated Sep 15, 2017, 2:07 PM ]

Drop-In Meditation: 
Dynamic Meditation
Soshu Tohei taught Ki Meditation as a way for us to directly feel the movement of the Ki of the Universe. By alternating our attention between the infinitely large and the infinitely small, we begin to realize the oneness and harmony of the universe we experience.

Drop-In Aikido: Getting Off The Line (Respect your Partner's Ki)
One of the most fundamental principles in Aikido is getting off the line of attack. In Aikido, we do not meet force with force. We do not "block" strikes. Instead, we respect the power that is coming toward us. If an attacker throws a punch, we respect the power of the punch by moving off the line and let the punch to continue unimpeded.


Resources:
Watch "Powers of Ten", a short film from the 1970s imagining a journey of "bigger, bigger, bigger" and "smaller, smaller, smaller" to the limits of scientific knowledge.
Watch "Cosmic Eye", a contemporary remake of the classic "Powers of Ten."

Watch Shaner Sensei demonstrate respecting another's power in this excerpt from the documentary The Asian and Abrahamic Religions: A Divine Encounter in America.
The clip beginning at 1:34 is a great example of "getting off the line"

Reading: Exercise 9: Dynamic Meditation, pp 214-222 in "Living with the Wind at Your Back" by David Shaner.

September

posted Aug 17, 2017, 1:54 PM by The Center for Mind-Body Oneness   [ updated Aug 17, 2017, 1:59 PM ]

Drop-In Meditation: 
Whole Body Breathing
There are two kinds of breathing. External respiration, the air moving in and out of our lungs; and internal respiration, the delivery of oxygen and removal of waste from our tissues. Healthy breathing is calm and deep, but sometimes stress and tension cause our breathing to become short and shallow. Whole Body Breathing, done with mind an body unified, supplies abundant oxygen to the cells, removes carbon dioxide and other waste matter, relaxes the body, and calms the mind. Practicing this technique builds a habit of healthy breathing that benefits us in every minute of our lives.

Drop-In Aikido: Feeling the Attack  or "Know Your Partner's Mind"
The second principle of Soshu Tohei's Five Principles to Lead Others is "Know Your Partner's Mind." When we relax and allow our mind to settle, we can see and feel the subtle cues our partner gives us, broadcasting their intentions and showing us the state of their mind. Learning to relax and observe in this way allows us to interact more smoothly with others--both in our Ki-Aikido techniques and in our daily life.

Resources:
Read Shinichi Tohei Sensei's blog post on Breath Training.

Shinichi Tohei also translated Soshu Tohei's book Ki Breathing in a series of 36 blog posts.
You can read them here

Read Shinichi Tohei Sensei's blog post: Calm the Mind First.



The Dojo will be closed on Monday, September 4 for the Labor Day holiday. Please enjoy the time with family and friends.

Drop-In Classes resume Monday, September 11.

August

posted Aug 1, 2017, 3:59 PM by The Center for Mind-Body Oneness   [ updated Aug 1, 2017, 4:01 PM ]


Drop-In Meditation: Half, half, half...
When we allow our mind and body to settle naturally, movement does not stop. Instead, movement concentrates at the One Point in the lower abdomen, settling by half, half, half... As we practice allowing this natural calming to take place, we experience increasing clarity and stability of mind. This month, we will learn physical and mental exercises to experience this natural, calm settling of our mind and body.

Drop-In Aikido: 5 Principles of Ki-Aikido
Soshu Tohei taught 5 Principles of Ki-Aikido, which he also called 5 Principles to Lead Others. These principles can guide us both in our Aikido and in our daily life as we learn to move in harmony with others and meet the challenges we face with equanimity. This month, we will explore these principles and learn to embody them through our practice of Ki-Aikido techniques.

Resources:
Read William Reed Sensei's discussion of calmness through half, half, half here.

Read a short description of the Five Principles to Lead Others on the Eastern Ki Federation website.
Read Shinichi Tohei Sensei's blog post on Leading People

July

posted Jun 27, 2017, 9:47 AM by The Center for Mind-Body Oneness   [ updated Aug 17, 2017, 2:02 PM ]

Drop-In Meditation: Walking Meditation
Soshu Tohei taught us "It is easier to coordinate mind and body when we are sitting or standing still than when in motion. But true unification means to maintain the coordination of mind and body even when we are moving." Walking meditation is a practice that helps us begin to carry the calmness of our meditation practice into the dynamic world of our everyday life.

Drop-In Aikido: "Just Down"
The basic rhythm of every Ki-Aikido art is up and down. Despite the constant tug of gravity on every part of our body, it takes time and attention to learn to move down naturally. This month, we will examine just what "down" is, and learn practices to build our recognition of it while standing still, then in motion, and ultimately in the middle of our Ki-Aikido art.

Resources:

Read Kaichou Tohei's article on Unification during Movement and Action

June

posted May 23, 2017, 11:02 AM by The Center for Mind-Body Oneness   [ updated May 24, 2017, 10:45 AM ]

Drop-In Meditation: Breathing, Part 1: Following the Breath
Ki Breathing is one of the five methods of training in Ki Society. This month, we begin our exploration of Ki Breathing through the foundational practice of bringing awareness to our breath. As Soshu Tohei wrote in his book Ki Breathing, "Ki breathing does not require you to control you breath nor to stop your breath intentionally. You just breathe easily with a natural posture."

Drop-In Aikido: Kokyu Dosa
In Aikido, as in our daily life, we may think we need to use force to move others. But Aikido is not about forcing others--it is about securing another's agreement so they follow us gladly. Kokyu Dosa is an exercise to practice leading another while you are both seated in a very stable posture. The stable posture makes it difficult to move your partner by force, helping us understand how to truly lead another.

Resources:
Download Curtis Sensei's Ki Lecture on "Breathing as Living" here

Kaichou Tohei translated Soshu Tohei's book Ki Breathing in a series of 36 blog posts. You can read them here

May

posted Apr 25, 2017, 12:59 PM by The Center for Mind-Body Oneness   [ updated Apr 25, 2017, 1:00 PM ]

Drop-In Meditation: Meditation on the Tactile Experience or "Feel with the Whole Body."
When teaching Ki Principles and Ki Meditation, Kaichou Tohei Sensei gives us the simple instruction to "Feel with the Whole Body." This practice calms the mind and opens us to the experience of mind-body oneness. In our May classes, we will continue our study of the senses as support for meditation, and begin to explore this foundational element of Ki Meditation. 

Drop-In Aikido: Ma-ai, Maintaining Proper Distance
When we are too far away from another, we lose connection. When we are too close, we cannot respond properly. Ma-ai, or "proper distance" is an important principle in Aikido and in daily life. In our May Aikido classes, we will explore how to find and maintain ma-ai on the mat by learning what "proper distance" feels like in our body. As we experience this for ourselves, we will also learn to take it off the mat and apply it in our daily lives.

Resources
Read Kaichou Tohei's articles Learning about the sense of distance, and Distance

The Dojo will be closed on Monday, May 29, in observance of Memorial Day.

April

posted Mar 29, 2017, 8:36 AM by The Center for Mind-Body Oneness   [ updated Mar 29, 2017, 8:37 AM ]

Drop-In Meditation: Meditation on Sight

Sight often dominants our experience. How we see can either create separation or deepen our sense of connection. When we look with soft eyes and allow our mind to settle, we begin to see the world as fresh and vibrant. We begin to see ourselves and others as vital parts of a beautiful and vibrant universe.

Drop-In Aikido: Randori--Remaining Centered in a Rapidly Changing World
We know that dividing our attention makes us less effective and more prone to mistakes--witness "distracted driving." Through meditation and basic arts we learn to cultivate calm, stable awareness. But our daily life is often fast paced and ever changing. Randori practice teaches us how to remain centered and calm in a rapidly changing world by giving full attention to what is directly in front of us without getting stuck.

Resources:
Read: "Chapter 2: The Art of Compassion" in Living With the Wind at Your Back by David Shaner
Read or listen to Curtis Sensei's discussion on Letting Go Chapter 6: Meditation without Thinking

March

posted Mar 1, 2017, 8:28 AM by The Center for Mind-Body Oneness   [ updated Mar 1, 2017, 8:28 AM ]

Drop-In Meditation: Meditation on Sound

Usually when we listen to sounds we try to understand, interpret or respond to what we hear. When turn our attention to the experience of sound itself, our thinking mind fades into the background and the simple act of listening becomes a doorway to greater calmness and peace.

Drop-In Aikido: Tenkan--Aligning
When we experience intense energy coming toward us, our reflex is often to block it or retreat from it. Tenkan is the art of turning to align with the energy of an attack. Practicing tenkan retrains our subconscious mind. As we learn to relax our opinions and turn to see things from others' points of view, we discover that their energy can be a support to us and our lives.

Resources:
Read: "Chapter 2: The Art of Compassion" in Living With the Wind at Your Back by David Shaner
Read or listen to Curtis Sensei's discussion on Letting Go Chapter 6: Meditation without Thinking

February

posted Feb 1, 2017, 7:29 AM by The Center for Mind-Body Oneness   [ updated Feb 1, 2017, 10:20 AM ]

Drop-In Meditation: Making Silence Your Friend

Shaner Sensei teaches us that silence is the voice of the Universe. Learning to sit calm and still, even for a short time, allows our critical mind to rest. Just as music is made possible by the silent spaces between notes, we begin to experience our connection to the Universe in the silence we discover between the "notes" of constant mental chatter.

Drop-In Aikido: The Principle of Non-Dissension (Leading Ki)
Soshu Tohei Sensei taught us "There is no conflict in the absolute universe" and that if we unify mind and body, "others will follow us gladly." This month, we will explore the principle of non-dissension, practice securing the agreement of our partner in Aikido techniques, and learn to lead so our partner follows us gladly.

Resources:
Read: "Exercise 2: Making Silence Your Friend" pp 73-74 in Living With the Wind at Your Back by David Shaner
Read or listen to Curtis Sensei's discussion on Shokushu 10: The Principle of Non-Dissension

January

posted Jan 3, 2017, 12:01 PM by The Center for Mind-Body Oneness   [ updated Feb 1, 2017, 6:54 AM ]

Drop-In Meditation: Meditation Posture

Posture is the foundation for meditation. In his book, Ki Breathing, Soshu Koichi Tohei teaches: "Mind moves body. Therefore, our state of mind reflects in our state of body completely... If your posture is stable, your mind is also stable." This month, we will explore basic meditation posture and experience how a natural, balanced posture supports a calm and stable state of mind.

Drop-In Aikido: Move From Where You Are Not Held
On the mat, and in our daily life, we get grabbed and held--by people, by situations, by emotions. When we move from where we are being held, we get stuck. Learning to move from where you are not held frees you and allows you to perform to the best of your ability in all circumstance.


Resources:

Read "Shisei (in Japanese) has two meanings" from Ki Breathing by Soshu Koichi Tohei Sensei

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