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June 30, 2005

Put yourself in your opponent's place

I have recently received a number of questions regarding "Put yourself in your opponent's place". However, most of the people misunderstand the meaning of it.

"Put yourself in your opponent's place" means to "move into action". However, many people only "think" about putting themselves in their opponent's place.

In the Ki-Aikido practice, there are many students who are thinking about the opponent before executing techniques.

"Think about your opponent's place" and "Put yourself in your opponent's place" are completely different.

Here is an example.

At HQ, we hold many workshops throughout the year.

Each workshop has a staff member who is responsible to prepare the workshop for the participants.

Some of the staff begin thinking too much about participants. They see a list, and imagine each participant, and think what they will do for these participants.

However, we cannot realize necessary actions from this thinking .

Why?

Because even if the staff imagines the participants, this is just their own thinking with their own viewpoint . Image and reality is different.

Therefore, I act the same as the participants. Not thinking but acting. This is the point.

When you become the real participant, then this is the real meaning of "Put yourself in your opponent's place".

I also do the as same as the participants, such as reading my mail magazine, requesting information, writing an application form, and sending money.

Sometimes, I call our office like one of participants.

And sometimes, I actually become a participant of the seminar. I use dinning hall, changing room and bathroom which are used by the participants.

In this way, I can realize many problems.

For example, paying fees. We ask participants to pay money to our post office account. However, the post office opens only weekdays and it is difficult to pay money at post office if the participants have a job on weekdays. An application form is complex. There are no hangers in the changing room; there are no staff at the counter...

We cannot say this is "Ki Society" if the conditions are like this.

Our staff loose their Ki when they are only thinking about how to do, therefore, we try to not only to think but to act. (including myself)

When you hear me say this, you may tend to think it is a natural thing to act. However, many people do not realize the difference between "Think about your opponent's place" and "Put yourself in your opponent's place".

If you think, "I am all right", you might need to look a little more carefully at yourself.

Let's put yourself in your opponent's place together.

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June 23, 2005

Let's move together

I am teaching at US National seminar in Las Vegas now. I am so impressed with participants' way of learning Ki principles with a serious mind.

The most important Ki Principles of Ki-Aikido is "do not take others and yourself relatively, but become one with others and move together."

We perceive others and ourselves relatively. We need this viewpoint and, by itself, this is not bad, but if we see things only from the relative way, there will be a problem.

When you try to move others, if you see yourself and others from a relative viewpoint only, then your movement will be "pushing others". If others are pushed, their mind will resist you. Therefore, it is not possible for them to move with you.

On the other hand, if you do not think of yourself and others as separate, but think of yourself and others as one, then you will be able to move together easily. If you and others move together, then they will not resist you. In this way, you can always lead others comfortably.

Here is an example.

When you nurse, or take care of, another person, sometimes you must move the patient. If you try to move the patient, you may use unnecessary power, and as a result, the patient's mind will resist you. Then, nursing becomes heavy work for you, and the patient also does not feel comfortable.

On the other hand, if you think "I will move together with the patient", and you do not use unnecessary power, then the patient's mind will not resist. Also, you will be able to move very comfortably. Most importantly, the patient feels very comfortable to receive the care.

In fact, our quality of movement is changed by the quality of our own mind. If you apply this to your daily life, you will understand how to lead others.

Here is an example.

If your child does not clean up, you might say, "Clean this up!". However, if the parents themselves do not clean up, but insist that the children clean up, then the children will resist. On the other hand, if the parents say, "Let's clean up together", then the children's mind will be moved to clean up because the parent's mind moves first. "Let's move together" is very important.

"Let's move together" does not mean "trying to fit yourself to others". Many people tend to misunderstand this idea. Each of us has a different mind, a different way of thinking, and a different perspective. It is impossible to fit yourself to all people. If you force yourself to fit with others, you cannot move together with anyone.

The important thing is to follow the way of the universe and move together. Even if you think "let's move together", if your mind does not meet the way of the universe, you cannot lead others.

It is not correct to think "I must be one with another person". We must be one with the Universe. It is impossible to explain this principle in words. Therefore, for beginners, please attend Ki-Aikido seminars. If we learn Ki principles through Ki-Aikido, our viewpoint will be changed. We often see our own problems disappear through Ki-aikido practice. Because we can realize so much through Ki-aikido practice, let's always study together.

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June 16, 2005

Do not control others first but control yourself first

"Do not attempt to control others but control your own mind and body." This is the essential principle when we study Ki-aikido. In Ki-Aikido, before thinking how to move others, we need to control our own mind and body.

Why?

Because it is impossible to lead others if your posture is not stable. This is not only referring to physical posture. If our mind is stable, then our body is also stable. Therefore, in order to maintain posture with stability, we need to control our mind, and hence our body.

Most beginners understand this reasoning, but in actual practice, they are filled with the idea of moving others, and completely forget to control their own mind and body. However, if they continue to practice, eventually they will be able to control their own mind and body.

We can change our own view regarding leading others, through Ki-Aikido practice. Sometimes, I notice myself trying to move others first. However, I know the Ki principles. Therefore, I can correct my way of thinking. For me, the Ki-aikido practice is important to check my mind regularly.

To apply this in your daily life, remember: "Before trying to change others, yourself change first."

You can see others, but you cannot see yourself directly. To know yourself, you need to use a mirror or ask others to let you know. Therefore, we need to be very careful about ourselves. Because we tend to forget about ourselves and accuse others.

These are some examples:

When others adopt a minus attitude, or say something negative to us. We tend to think, "Why is that person so minus?" However, sometimes our own attitude or expression is minus, so others adopt such an attitude. If you want to change others to plus, you must become plus first yourself.

It is same when others do not listen when you are talking. You may think, "Why does this person not listen?" But you yourself might not listen when others are speaking. If you want others to listen to you, you must listen to them first.

We tend to seek the cause of a problem outside of ourselves. In other words, "It is not my fault." If I quote from the above example, we might say, "Others who have a minus attitude are wrong." Or "Others who do not listen are wrong." We tend to do this because we cannot see our body directly by ourselves and our mind does not have shape.

However, if you start Ki-Aikido and specifically practice many techniques, you can change your viewpoint to changing yourself first. Koichi Tohei sensei said that it is useless if the Aikido technique is only good in dojo. This means that when you apply what you have learned through Ki-aikido not only to crisis prevention, but to your daily life as well, then what you have learned will have true meaning.

Let's study together.

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June 14, 2005

Do you understand yourself well?

This is the story that I witnessed when I rode the super express train from Tokyo to Utsunomiya. recently.

A father and a daughter were talking. They became a little bit emotional.

Daughter: "I am worried about your health, father."
Father: "You do not have to worry about me!"
Daughter: "But..."
Father: "I understand myself best!"

When I heard the conversation, I wonder if we understand ourselves best. People often say, "I understand myself best."

When our mind is calm, we can feel and see things as they are. Koichi Tohei sensei said this in the Ki sayings: "Like the calm, still surface of the water, that reflects the moon and a flying bird, true living calmness is the condition of our mind that reflects all things clearly." When our mind become calm, our mind reflects as it is like still surface of the water. However, once our mind is disturbed, itユs like a ruffled surface of the water, you will not see anything correctly.

If you want to understand yourself well, you need to calm your mind. When we become emotional, we do not realize that we are now emotional. Therefore, we cannot realize our own mistakes, and we believe that our own decision is the best. Then, we start to criticize others or we do not realize our words and behavior have become separated. The fundamental of communication is to understand yourself well at all the time.

So, how we can calm our mind?

One way is to do Ki breathing. By doing Ki breathing, we can change our thinking from minus to plus. When you get nervous, small things will affect you greatly. This leads to other nervousness. When we do Ki breathing, our breath becomes calm. If our breath becomes calm, we can feel things correctly as it is not exaggerated.

Another way is to change your way of thinking as I wrote in June 2nd article. We can perceive the same event in both a plus and minus way. It is difficult to control the event, however, we can control our own mind. It is important to not feel the event as stressful.

"I understand myself well" If you said this sentence, please be careful. I am always checking if I understand myself correctly.

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June 12, 2005

Teaching Ki Seminar in Tochigi

I conducted a Ki seminar in Tochigi on Sunday, June 12, 2005. This seminar was also open for Ki Development institute students.

There was one participant who came from California, USA. I was very impressed with his way of learning Ki principles with a serious mind.

This month's theme was "Ki and how to study". When we learn or master something, there is a way to study correctly. I taught "how to study" to the participants with experience of Ki based on Koichi Tohei senseiユs teaching which is "Mind moves body."

When we start to learn something, we learn the shape first. Of course, this is an important process, however, "Mind moves body", therefore, if you just copy the shape only, you cannot perform as same as your teacher. When you copy your teacher's mind, you can perform same thing as your teacher does.

Moreover, the state of your mind comes from the principle of the Universe. If you learn how your teacher thinks and looks at the universe, you can learn same thing that your teacher does. It is important to change tracks, not only shape but also mind, not only state of the mind but also how to think about the Universe. By changing tracks and looking at and copying your teacher well, you will understand Ki principles more deeply.

During the second half of the seminar, we learned correct standing posture, one point in the lower abdomen and moving from one point based on the correct way to study. At the very end of the seminar, I taught Ki breathing. Participants had already studied to look not only shape at but also the state of the mind, they could understand deeply.

seminar_1

There are comments from the participants.
"I have been studying Ki principles, but I found that I was always only worrying about shapes. I realized that it is important to look the state of the mind. Also, it is important to have the correct way of thinking when I study. I am very excited to learn Ki principles from now on." By Ki development institute student

"I am learning psychology. I realized that to solve the mind problem, it is important not see only the result, but see the state of the mind and the how we perceive the Universe. I will use this in my study." By Ki seminar participants

It is important to master how to study correctly. It is best to learn it with real experiences. However, some of you might find it difficult to come to Tochigi because of the distance and time, I am going to make teaching materials about "Ki and how to study". If I have decided the detailed information, I will let you know on this weblog.

The theme of the next month is "Ki and business". When you do business, you will need to decide many things. To make a correct decision, I will tell you how to use Ki in the business. I am looking forward to seeing many of you next month!

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June 09, 2005

Mind moves body

The one of the most important Ki Principles of Ki-Aikido is "Mind moves body".

In the Aikido, you throw your partner.

Therefore, many students who study Aikido think about only the visible body and tend to forget about the mind, which is invisible. If you forget the mind, you cannot do Ki-Aikido.

We can touch and see our body to confirm its existence. However, mind has no color or no shape. Therefore, even though we know the mind exists, we tend to forget about it.

Everyone has the desire to control someone. With this state of your mind, you try to throw your partner with force, and the partnerユs mind resists against you.

You cannot throw or move your partner without thinking about the partner's mind.

If you do Ki-Aikido based on the principle, "Mind moves body", before you think to throw you partner, you need to think about leading your partner with knowing and respecting your partner's mind.

Others will not resist you if they perceive they are being led where they already intended to go!

If you do Ki-Aikido technique correctly, both Nage and Uke feel happy. Both of them have plus mind.

You can apply this Ki principle in your daily life.

If you study Ki-Aikido deeply, your view will be changed from body centered to mind centered.

You will realize that when we greet, talk, and bow to others, we use just our body not our mind in many cases.

When we educate human beings, we find that it is important to not try to change the person's behavior but to change the person's mind where the behavior comes from.

When we want to solve a problem, we must think about the state of the mind which created the problem.

It is very important to change from viewing the result to viewing the cause. Once you change your viewpoint in this way, you will realize many things about yourself and your communication with others.

Your posture, movement and communication with others will improve dramatically.

It is important to learn "Mind moves body" through Ki-Aikido and practice this principle in your daily life.

Koichi Tohei sensei started to teach Ki-Aikido abroad in 1953. Many foreign students became Tohei sensei's student in order to change their own viewpoint in this fundamental way. As a result, there are many foreign people who continue to study Ki-aikido even over 50 years.

Let's see "Mind moves body" from a different perspective.

You can think, "Body moves mind." If this is true, our mind is controlled by our surrounding situation and our mind never becomes calm.

For example, in the summer, some people are irritated by the muggy weather. In this state, their mind is being controlled by what their body feels.

When you are busy, you might ignore others that are important to you. This is also an example of "Body moving mind".

If you spend your daily life with the understanding that "Mind moves body", your emotion, your behavior, and the results of that behavior will be completely different compared to a life with the understanding that "Body moves mind".

Which will you choose?

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June 02, 2005

Controlling Emotions

I have recently received a number of questions regarding "controlling emotions".
The question is "Why is it so difficult to calm my mind when I became emotional? (angry, depressed, nervous etc). "

This is a very important topic. Actually, it is too late to calm your mind, once you have already become emotional. When you first become emotional and then try to calm your mind, this is like using a "band-aid". Our emotions come from how we perceive the Universe. The real meaning of controlling mind is to understand the Universe and not to be emotional.

We perceive the Universe through our five senses (Six senses). Therefore, each of us perceives the Universe in different way.

Some people perceive the Universe as plus, while some people perceive the Universe as minus. We cannot say either of them are right or wrong. However, if we perceive the Universe as plus, the result is that we also become plus. It is impossible to get a plus result while perceiving the Universe in a minus way. You might feel "It is natural" to see minus. However, if we want to be plus, then this is the wrong way of using our mind in daily life.

Let's compare this to the flow of a river: if you change your view to "perceive things" as the upper course of the river, then you can control your emotion as the lower course of the river. To clean up the lower course of the river, you need to clean the upper course of the river.

For example, let's say you got ill or injured. Many people think, "Why should only I experience something like this?", or "I am unfortunate", and have a minus emotional perception of the illness or injury. When you feel minus emotion, this is the state of not extending Ki. In this state of mind, you can get dissatisfaction through the illness or injury, but never realization.

On the other hand, if you perceive the illness or injury in a plus way, your emotional reaction to it will be changed. In other words, if you perceive the illness or injury as "this is telling me something", you can realize many things which you cannot get when you are healthy.
One person might realize that he did not send Ki to his family because he was busy. As a result of his plus realization, he then starts to send Ki to his family.

One person might realize that health is important to do his work. So he may review his daily life.

One person might decide to do Ki breathing and Kiatsu seriously, and receive precious experiences through those.

Illness or injury, by itself, cannot be a plus or minus thing. However, if we change our mind in a plus way, we will be able to realize many plus things through the experience of illness or injury. As a result there will be no dissatisfaction, but only a mind of appreciation for this realization.

When you get angry, or become depressed or nervous, it is important to control your emotion. However, please look back to your way of perceiving things. Check to make sure that your way of perceiving things is plus and that Ki is extended. If your way of perceiving things is minus, then please make the effort to change your way of thinking to a positive way. In the study of Ki principles, there are many approaches to perceiving life in a positive way.

Ki breathing is an effective way to resolve emotional issues which you already have. If you practice Ki breathing everyday, you will master the perception of things in a plus way. This is the real value of Ki breathing.

Lastly, many people have a mistaken notion about perceiving the Universe as plus. To perceive the Universe does not mean to perceive it in a way that is convenient to your personal life. If the plus thing is only plus for you personally, then this cannot be called plus. True plus means that you and others both become plus together.

Let's master the true way to perceive the Universe as plus.

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