Wednesday, July 28, 2010


Keeping the mind like a tied-up cat and not allowing it to wander, when you keep it in check within yourself, within yourself it will be detained. Forsaking it within your body, it will go nowhere.
In tonight's class I had the time to notice (while I wiggled Bob Poresky sensei's arm in futility) that I was actively feeling my hips tug one way, then the other, constantly expecting to find the sweet spot in my uke's balance. Growing tired, I commented on what I was perceiving, and I was then invited to think roughly a foot behind my hips. And uke became unbalanced!

I had way too much invested in trying to make my hips affect uke. Hips basically replaced arms, and shoulders in the sense that I was relying on muscle, even if they were new muscles made aware by my practice in aikido. I was relying and putting so much thought into the action, that I was closed to feeling everything else. My cat was all tied up!

So, I wonder if this idea of contemplating space outside the body is the "projection of intent" that is at times referred to here and there.

Obviously, if I began to over-focus on the intent of filling this or that empty space, my cat and I would be tied up at the next point along The Way.
Even in moving the mind outside the body, if it is sent in one direction, it will be lacking in nine others. If the mind is not restricted to just one direction, it will be in all ten.
Even the immovable has to keep the center line. If you move or control that line, (n.b. Not if you can, but if you do) my hunch is that you trade places with the immovable, if only for a moment.

excerpts from- Takuan Soho, from his essay: The Mysterious Record of Immovable Wisdom.