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June 16, 2008

Gyo (Practice)

A Short Instruction:

The purpose of this article is to practice and validate the Ki principles (Mind moves body) which are the foundation of Ki-Aikido in your daily life. Therefore, it has no meaning if you just read it without practicing it.

The fundamental method of mastering anything is practice. However, not just practice, but it is also important to validate how one has changed as a result of the practice.

It is easy to lose what you have learned without practice. On the other hand, you will never lose what you have learned through practice and validation. Therefore, please read, practice, and validate the contents of my article at least a month.


Gyo (Practice)

To learn oneness of mind and body, we do “Gyo” in Ki-Aikido practice. “Senshin no Gyo” and “Sokushin no gyo” are also called “Gyo”.

On the one hand, it is extremely important to gain knowledge. However, it would be unwise to conclude that you understand when you have only gained knowledge. Fundamentally, to “understand” means to “ be able to do”.

If we just gain knowledge about oneness of mind and body, this does not necessarily mean that we can do oneness of mind and body. To learn and master oneness of mind and body, we need “Gyo”. “Gyo” means practice.

“Gyo” is very important, but many people misunderstand it. That is, most people think that “Gyo is something I do that makes me special”.

For example, “Senshin no Gyo”. Senshin no gyo is the practice of pouring water over oneself at Kagami-biraki (January) during very cold weather. People pour water over themselves in weather that is below the freezing point.  Therefore, by most definitions, this should be a very difficult practice.

However, if you do this with oneness of mind and body, you will find it easier than you think. Everyone who practices this says, “Before doing Senshin no Gyo, I thought it would be very difficult. But after I set my mind and did it, I could do it easily.”

Therefore the first step of Senshin no gyo is to experience this state of mind. Once you understand this, you use this same state of mind when you face your problems in your daily life.

This is “Gyo”.

It does not make someone a great person just because one has poured cold water over oneself during the winter. There is no benefit in thinking this way. After Senshin no gyo, you may say, “Senshin no gyo is finished!”. However, the correct way is to say, “Senshin no gyo is beginning!”. It is important to practice this new state of mind in your daily life.

You might not yet be able to experience Senshin no gyo and Sokushin no Gyo in your daily life. However when you are able to, this will be a wonderful experience. Therefore, I hope you will experience this sometime soon.

In the mean time, there is “Gyo” which you can practice in your daily life. For example, set a time period and practice something everyday at that decided time. Choose something which you do not normally do in your daily life, and practice this every day of the week.

A man who attended my seminar set the following goal: “When I wake up in the morning, I will say good morning to my family with a smile.” Some of you may think, “Oh, that is such an easy thing.” However, this is not an easy thing.

The man tried to continue doing this for one year. However, he discovered that we are not always in the same positive state of mind.  One day we feel bad, and another day we feel good. For instance, sometimes we may not talk with our family because of a hangover. One day we are happy, but another day we are unhappy. (This applies to both yourself and your family. )

Our mind does not remain in the same state everyday. However, most people think their mind stays the same everyday. We do not always realize our mind is constantly changing. To do the same practice everyday and at the same time, you need to face your own mind.

This will be “Gyo”

Below is practice and validation.

[Point of practice]

Set your goal to perform some practice in your daily life. Your goal should not be unusually difficult, but it should be one that you do not practice now.
First of all, practice it for one month (a year if possible) everyday. (It is important to do it with same state of mind everyday every time.)

[Point of Validation]

If you can continue practicing it for a month.
Or,
If you fail to continue, consider the reason why you were not able. Then, think how you can do it, and try again.

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