"Why contracting? Is it stable? Were you able to stay on projects all of that time?"
It was a question from an employee to me, a contractor... and for a moment, I felt the draw into the question, waking up to see myself starting to babble, in time to gracefully put myself back on track.
The question itself is purely innocuous, nothing more than a spring breeze or an itch, but friends and followers may understand how the question may have hit me differently. All of the sudden, I am there again. The mind is in overdrive rationalizing, filling in the details; my tongue is starting to wag and words are rolling out.
I'm putting things in a good light. I'm justifying my choices. I'm stringing the words together ever so eloquently, just so...
... but for whom? This fellow has no idea of my history, nor--however interesting it may be--did he ask for it.
Who was talking? Who was listening?
I fell asleep and suddenly I woke up.
And quite simply, that's how it happens.
Zen practice--and koan practice in particular--cuts to the root of situations like these. Am I on autopilot, at the whim of everything that happens to me? Do I have no choice in how to respond? It's a matter of staying awake--and maybe graceful recoveries when you realize you've slipped.
Wednesday, December 29, 2010
Tuesday, December 28, 2010
Sunday, December 26, 2010
New job responsibilities and changing family schedules since March have taken priority over the long-standing daytime homeschool classes, which in turn put formal Aikido practice on hold and have raised Zen practice into prominence. The Zen practice is public, it's true, but it just so happens that far more of the formal interaction occurs over the internet than in face-to-face encounters.
So, if you didn't know where to look, you may not have found me; and, if you've inquired about Aikido practice while things have been in flux, it's likely you've seen no response. My apologies to you if you are in that crew.
I'm hopeful that we'll be resuming formal Aikido and Zen practices locally (Columbia, MD 21045) and possibly with the Baltimore Zen Center (Severn, MD 21144). I feel my primary focus shifting toward working with experienced martial artists---not necessarily aikidoists exclusively---using Aikido as a vehicle to convey Zen principles into their own arts so that they can do the same. It is not a radical shift in perspective, but it is important: It's not looking to build a particular flavor of Aikido, but rather to work inclusively with interested martial artists to find the Zen principles within their own practice---just as I find them where I am within my Aikido practice.
I don't need to create an Aikidoka. I use Aikido to convey Zen. Does that make sense?
For the inexperienced and less experienced martial artists, I am interested in you too. If you study with me you will learn Aikido--at least one flavor of Aikido--and I will encourage you to explore the martial context with other teachers as well, finding your own way.
Nothing is set in stone, no times, no locations, no prices. If there's interest, though, we can begin. Let me know. Start with the new Contact Box in the right column.
Alternatively, watch for updates and catch up if you can.