Sunday, May 07, 2017


Aikido is composed of 3 Chinese characters. The first is  Ai or harmony/harmomizing. The third is do, ie path or way. So Aikido is the way of harmonizing Ki. And then the reference goes to a definition. Energy. Something intangible like mind. Or spirit. Then we try other languages. Chi in Chinese. Prana in sanskrit. But how can we explain this word. Can we simply say that to separate ki from the first character might cause a misunderstanding. That we should just say that Aikido is the Way of Aiki?

Often times in Japanese it is paired with other characters. Byooki is sickness. Genki is health. Kimochi is feeling. So oftentimes ki doesn't stand alone but needs something else to give it context. So Aiki might be something more than just Ki.

It is often common to lump Aikido as a set of movements or techniques.. They have names. They have foot movements. Hand movements. You can from a physical perspective lump them into movement skills and core development.You can research them and study them. And that is a level of development. But let's use another analogy. I was outside with my granddaughter. She is way too young to understand what I am saying. But I like to speak to her because I believe we are conscious at that age and that something is transmitted even if the word recognition is not there. So a wind came up.stirring up leaves and movinig flowers and other plants. I explained that what she was seeing was not the wind but the action or effects of the wind. The wind was not the trees swaying or leaves being swept around. But we could feel the wind. And we could study what the atmospheric conditions needed to produce wind and in that way understand wind. But the direct perception, the feel of it, was immediate and always there. We could say the same thing about electricity. We see the light.  We see appliances move. We turn the computer on, but we do not see electricity. In other words perhaps for now instead of trying to understand ki, we should simply be willing to give it context.

So perhaps the movements of the art, the techniques are the shapes and forms we see that are powered by for want of a better term ki. One of the things to realize is that this can get somewhat confusing. Better, stronger, faster technuique is not ki. But with ki the movement or technique may improve. Perhaps giving context to the term may be somewhat dependent on one's level of personal development. So let's go to the theory of the rabbit and the rabbit hole.
The above photo represents the founder through physical time. You can see in 1936 the movement is much more physical. In 1966(age 83) the movement is related but may appear very diffierent. To my eye I can look at 1936 and see more than the hand foot position. There is something moving through both him and his partner.In 1966 whereas I believe it is that same thing I see it more as a spiraling field that is moving through both him and his partner. So you can say he is older therefore the movement is different. But here we are talking about development , which can come through age, but not necessarily. Let's say 1936 was a land line telephone. Certainly we can have a conversation land line to land line. But let's look at 1966 as the cell phone era. You can have a conversation cell to line line and visa versa. But in addition to the land lines you need a whole satellite system that didn't exist in 1936. That is development. Not just a better, faster, clearer land line. And Ueshiba stated that he saw physical science, which we would now term technology, improve, but what he called spiritual science was lagging behind. And until the two were in balance, we would face the economic, social, and environmental problems we are facing today.

And even though Ueshiba Osensei was pereived as very spiritual,(ie of the spirit, of something not obviously visible) he maintained that it his aikido was not a religion .What we must realize in this age of science is that  
20 % of the universe is now believed to be dartk matter and 75% dark energy. Using tools we can measure things with neither can be measured. And that means what can be measured as our physical universe is a paltry 5%. Now we can see the effects of dark matter and dark energy. Dark matter is somewhat equated to gravity. Galaxies at the edge of the universe should be moving at a different speed than those more cental but that is not the case. To explain this scientist have to postulate the existence of dark energy and to be consistent with the way 5% of the universe behaves, it must be 20% of the universe. So an attractive force, ie dark matter, must exist. And now we get to the fact that the universe itself is expanding and rather rapidly, which is seemingly contradictory to the dark matter/gravity side. So now scientists must postulate the existence of dark energy, a repulsive or anti-graivity force that explains this and also the rate of expansion of the physical universe. And this must be 75% of the entire universe.

So what if the physical movement and forms of aikido are the 5% of the universe and what we term ki is or at least is a part of the remaining 95%. One of Ueshiba's large statements that really captivated my attention was,"There is no time or space before Ueshiba of Aikido. Only the universe as it is." So my question is, what are space and time to dark matter/dark energy? Now onto the rabbit and the rabbit hole.(to be continued)

Saturday, April 15, 2017

Osensei and Me

I started martial arts in 1968 during my junior year at the University of California Santa Cruz. I helped form a karate club on campus and I trained winter and spring quarters..Even though I enjoyed the training I happened to read an article in Black Belt magazine on Morihei Ueshiba, the founder of Aikido. The first thing was not the words but the photos of him. Even though he was of an advanced age, I could not say he was old. He seemed to radiate something. His posture in the photos was strong and natural. And his face seemed to shine with a special light. He was alert, energetic, and it was said he was powerful enough to throw people without touching them. It peaked my interest. One of the other things about the photos was his resemblence to the character of the Ancient One, the teacher of Doctor Strange in the Marvel comics. So for me he seemed to represent the archetype of the Sage/Magician.

So we go onto the summer before my senior year. Still practicing karate. But I came upon an article in Psychology Today titled "The Psychology of the Samurai". It was about the psychological and spiritual growth of the Japanese samurai warrior. And much of the article focused on Ueshiba Osensei..I was fascinated and I remember actually saying to myself,"I wish I could study Aikido!"

Well Summer ends and the Fall semester 1969 is about to start. I go back on campus for orientation and am amazed to see posters up for the formation of an Aikido club on campus. There was a demonstration held on the Cowell College courtyard which I of course attended. And I was present at the first club meeting.
Robert Frager was an assistant Professor at Merrill College. He was a direct student of Osensei and had studied with him during a post Doctorate study in Tokyo. At that time he was closely connected to Robert Nadeau(Frager sensei to the left. Nadeau sensei to the right). Nadeau was also a direct student of the founder and had even received an instructor's certificate signed by Osensei himself. So Frager sensei was my home dojo instructor. And once a month he and Nadeau sensei would hold a weekend workshop Friday night/Saturday/Sunday at Nadeau sensei's dojo in Mt View. It was a sleepover event. There was aikido training, but they both worked together to give us a fuller sense of the depth of Osensei's art. There was a lot of emphasis on meditation, centering, energy movement, and sound(chanting). And they would show(no videos available in those days) home movies of Osensei Saturday evenings. This was before a lot of these films were later collected and archived. They were very rare. And I don't think I can adequately convey the effect they had on me.All I can say is that this was decades before CGI special effects. So the closest thing I had seen to any of this was in the media of comic books. He seemed to disappear sometimes when attacked. He movement was seemingly effortless and people went flying. He would do solo movement with the staff and it seemed  like he was in a spiraling field of energy which formed the movement of the well as himself. His sword work had his weapon moving like a blur. Yes, he seemed like he was in this world but he himself moved like he was a comic book character in a comic book universe. Wow!!!!!

Later, after one of the club practices I approached Frager sensei and told him one of the main reasons I had taken up Aikido was this article in Psychology Today. His reply? "I wrote it...".Another Wow! So that was the chain of events that led me into Aikido. I will always be grateful that I started with these teachers who had a deep connection to Osensei and sort of passed onto me a sense of their love and devotion for him and dedication to pursuing this path. Also the fact that they were not Japanese gave them a perspective on Osensei that many(not all) Japanese seem to miss about the founder and his art.. It has strongly shaped my particular approach to the art to this very day.

After that one academic year I graduated from UC Santa Cruz. I was accepted into Phd programs at several UC campuses, but I chose a Master's Program at UC Davis. I needed to get a graduate degree for my parents, but I really wanted to go to Japan(a dream) to study Aikido. I wound up in 1973, after I had finished my Masters in the fall, going to Japan for a short year. And I trained at the Kumano Juku dojo in Shingu city, Wakayama Prefecture in Japan. This was a dojo started by Osensei and headed at the time by Micho Hikitsuchi sensei, whom Osensei awared the rank of 10th dan. My other teachers there of shihan caliber: Motomich Anno, Motoichi Yanase, and Yasushi Tojima.senseis.
In the above photo we have Hikitsuchi sensei as second to the left in the first row. The second row from left to right: Yanase, Tojima, and Anno senseis.

Whereas I felt I had   gotten a good feel for Osensei's teachings from Frager and Nadeau senseis, in Shingu the sense of the Founder was not just Japanese, but extreme in that regard. I found out that Osensei seemed to have framed everything through Shnto mysticism. On a daily basis Hikitsuchi sensei would chant norito,formal Shinto purification prayers. Twice a month there would be formal ceremonies to honor him.For me it was an intense period of study. I had no language skills. My Masters had been of all things in the Russian language. So here I was struggling to learn a new language but also to assimilate the Founder's teaching from this perspective. Even without the language skills thanks to Mary Heiny , who was fluent in Japanese, and Linda Holiday, who picked it up very fast, I was able to absorb a bit of what was taught to us until my language skills improved.

I made 2 more  major trips to Japan and the Shingu dojo. Finally in 1978 I settled into teaching full time at the San Jose dojo and in 1980 became chief instructor of that school. I continue to have connections with Frager sensei, Nadeau sensei, and Anno sensei, who comes to the states in July to teach at the Santa Cruz Summer Retreat. Yanase sensei I saw in my last visit to Japan in 2015. I took and group to personally accept a promotion.  We visited World Headquarters in Tokyo. Then spent a few days in the Shingu area. Of course we visited the grave of the Founder in his home town of Tanabe.

 I do this everytime I go to Japan. This was something I did with Hikitsuchi sensei then later with Anno sensei.

Nadeau sensei and I meet once a week to try to decipher Osensei's process and bring it into this time period. Osensei hung out with very original deep energies in an archetypal place. What has come out of the work is the Osensei Revisited weekends held in Occidental California. The 6th will be held April 21, 22, and 23rd.

I am probably of a minority now, but I believe that to truly get the essence of Aikido on has to develop a relationship with the Founder. While they are still around try to connect with those who directly studied with him. There are a number of books that have been translated by John Stevens sensei that make much of his work and history accessible. So the journey continues!

Saturday, September 03, 2016

Nadeau sensei and me

The above photo was taken in 2006. Nadeau sensei led a trip to Hombu dojo in June of that year. And during that trip we visited the Aiki Shrine in Iwama. And the photo was taken at the group lunch. I have always found this photo moving. It  has Nadeau sensei positioned directly in front of O sensei's picture. And I am also in the photo but looking on from the side..Nadeau sensei's love for Osensei has been one of the major driving forces for Aikido in America and especially in Northern California. When I first started in fall of 1969, he along with Robert Frager(also a major force), really stressed the spiritual tie between the Aikido training and the connection to Osensei. The two of them were personal students of the founder and would teach monthly workshops together. In addition to the training, there was a lot of meditation, energy work, chanting. And they would show home movies(no videos yet) of Osensei. And we would all work on the spiritual side of the connection to him through the training. I believe those early days have really shaped my direction in the art. You could sense not only their deep love but also their deep devotion and commitment to sharing their experience with Osensei.

My first full time teaching job came when I took over the chief instructor positon of the UCSC Aikido Club from Robert Frager sensei in spring of 1975. But before I left for Japan in spring of 1973, I was training at Stanford University with Doran sensei, and was approached by Nadeau sensei.  He at the time was teaching workshops at Esalen, had his own spiritual community, and was seen as a very myterious figure. He told me that when I got back from Japan the powers that be were interested in having me be a full time aikido teacher in Northern California, and to "Get your(my) black belt, even if you have to do it at Hombu". In those days shodans were rare. As it turns out I wound up training not in Tokyo, but at the Shingu dojo in Wakayama Prefecture. How he sensed I would get my black belt probably not at Hombu dojo I will never know. Anyway, in early summer of 1976 I was just getting settled in to teaching Aikido at the University, when I got this phone call. "Robert Nadeau speaking. There is a dojo starting in San Jose real quick. Do you want to be a part of it?" Not giving it much thought but being flattered that one of the area leaders would call me and ask me to teach, I said yes. So in July of that year(40 years ago) I began teaching the Friday evening class, sleep over in the office, then teach kids and adults on Saturday. I would train at Stanford with Doran sensei, then after a lunch together would head to the South Bay. I got married in fall of that year. In early 1977 Sarah and I headed back to Shingu for what was a full year of training. While we were there we got a letter from Nadeau sensei's business partner offering me the position of Chief Instructor of the San Jose dojo. It would not be immediate. But some time to settle in then I would take it over. Well we returned in very late fall of 1977 and moved into the San Jose dojo. In fall of 1978 our daughter Jennifer was born, a home birth in the Japantown location of the dojo. In those days Nadeau sensei continued to teach his Monday nights. After a short time he sold the school to me and in February of 1980 I became chief instructor.

In 2001 we relocated to our current location on Martha Street. The rents in Japantown were getting way too high and so we moved to a place with a much more favorable rent. And Nadeau sensei resumed teaching on Monday nights. And we have been at our current location for now 15 years! How time can fly!

I want to stress how much Nadeau sensei has influenced me over the years. When I started teaching in San Jose I started attending his Monday night classes. When I trained in Shingu there was a heavy emphais on energy, but it was through Osensei's presentation of the Shinto Cosmology.. And Nadeau sensei was going directly to the energy without the Shinto. And in contrast to the earlier work when I first started it was much more direct with an emphasis on here and now through the body. And process. In 2009 I began assisting him on his research into Osensei and HIS process.
This has blossomed into the April OSensei REvisited weekends in April(Reminder it's set for April 21, 22, 23rd in 2017) at which I co-teach.

Here is a photo of Nadeau sensei and some members of his Meditation Group in the seventies and eighties:
And on my first trip to the Mountain View dojo I saw this hanging on the wall:
How many people have ever been issued one of these? It is a teaching certificate signed by 2nd Doshu Kisshomaru Ueshiba and also my none other than Ueshiba Osensei himself?

At our weekly meeting in San Mateo Nadeau sensei informed me he would no longer be teaching Monday nights in San Jose. He had taken August off and said he was enjoying the free time on Monday nights. I know the drive from San Mateo to San Jose can be a real killer. So I applaud his decision. However it leaves me a little sad. I will be taking the Monday evenings. And we are in the process of formatting the Friday evenings. I will continue to teach Friday noons. And lest we forget, Nadeau sensei put some real training in at Hombu dojo in the early to mid sixties. Here is a photo from his nidan exam:

Saturday, August 27, 2016

40th anniversary dinner

On July 11th we celebrated the 40th anniversary of Aikido of San Jose in a special dinner at Original Joe's. Yes it was July of 1976, the bicentennial year that the dojo opened in San Jose's Japantown.. Now 40 years later we are still going. Attending were Robert Nadeau shihan, who opened the school and passed it onto me in February of 1980. Also present was Motomichi Anno shihan from the Kumano area, representing my ties to Japan. Conveniently he was here as a part of the Santa Cruz Summer Retreat. My thanks to Linda Holiday sensei for allowing us to host him and for herself attending. And Mary Heiny sensei who helped establish me in Japan at the Shingu dojo and who, along with Linda sensei, have supported me over the years with their continuing friendship.

Also in attendance was My daughter Jennifer, who was born in the San Jose dojo in November of 1978, her mother Sarah, my granddaughter Nora, son in law Dover, and personal special friend Dianna Lynne. Vladi was not able to make it. And Betsy Hill sensei and her husband James, whom we'll see when Nadeau sensei and I go to her dojo in Sebastopol to help her celebrate Tenchi Aikido's 10th anniversary.

I want to personally thank the teachers and students of the San Jose dojo for supporting me and the dojo with your continued training over the years. Special thanks to those who helped organize this event. Meng Ear for her leadership and direction. Yu Chen Shen for emceeing the raffle. And countless others who gave of their time to donate items, or just plain attend and eat the food. Professor Richard Bunch was not in attendance because he came up with a stomach flu. It was good to see old timers Mark Tucker, Jerry Egusa, and Nick de la Torre.

I think back to the early days of the school. Sarah and I had just come back from a year in Japan in late 1977. We moved into the Japantown school and less than a year later Jennifer was born. My thanks to Nadeau sensei for allowing us to move in. Sue Ann McKean, who was not able to attend, had been staying there. She moved into the Castro Street Mt. View dojo. She noted she was stepping up in the world because that dojo had a shower. Yes things were primitive in those days.

So looking onward to another 40 years. At least.......

Here is a new video I just posted on YoutubeL

Monday, August 08, 2016

Aikido of Bali Hai(Training in Paradise)

From June 15 to June 27 a small group of Aikido of San Jose students, teachers, and family made a trek to the garden island of Kauai for some training and relaxation. IN summer of 2015 I had spent a week there at my daughter's time share and sort of put out what would it be like to take a group for an aikido event to the island. Unexpectedly I got a response so a group of us headed over. We rented 2 houses in Princeville just off Aniini beach. In fact the end of Anini beach became our dojo. WE trekked down a steep incline to a beautiful beach(which meant the return was a steep climb) and trained both in the water (above) but also under the shade of some friendly trees.

It was not a heavy training event. Every other day we spent 2 hours or more at our beach dojo. We concentrated a lot on the staff movements. Hopefully everyone who went now knows the 30(not 31) movement form. We were however able to get into some things it is difficult to get into in a normal dojo setting. One of the things was the aikido cosmology, which I have studied over the course of my years and in recent years have explored in detail with Nadeau sensei.. It is my belief that a true understanding of Osensei's message must include some of this.
While that can get somewhat heavy, hopefully that was balanced out by the beauty of our surroundings and the fun the whole group had. People were able on the non training days to sight see, and  yes, to shop.
Towards the end we made it to Waimeia canyon to the South.
And on my fifth trip to the garden isle I went to my first luau:
So maybe if the universe is willing there will be another Aikido of Bali Hai next year.

The only real downer was watching the Warriors lose games 6 and 7. But in perspective their best player suffered two leg injuries in the opening round and was about 60 % for the last game. The rest of the team had to work extra hard to finish the opening round and the second round. Curry came back and had that fantastic overtime 17 point game winning performance when he should have been eased in. They faced a 3 games to 1 deficit against what was probably their toughest opponent in the playoffs, Kevin Durant and the Oklahoma City Thunder..And meanwhle Labron and the Cavaliers easily coasted through what one Eastern scribe called 'the junior varsity Eastern Conference'. So the Warriors with a hobbled Curry simply ran out of magic at an understandable time. Kudos to Labron and the Cavaliers. They won it. But hopefully next year there is another Aikido of Bali Hai and we'll be celebrating, along with Kevin Durant now a Warrior, a parade.

Sunday, May 22, 2016

Morning classes

Our Friday morning 6:30am class has been on hiatus due to the fact that Mark Tucker sensei(Taken 1990 Mark is first row, at the very end to the right) has been recovering from back surgery. Mark sensei is one of the dojo's most senior students and he has sent me an email announcement for me to post in this blog:

San Jose Aikido Community and friends. I would like to announce the restarting of Friday morning classes on May ?th. Everyone of all levels is welcome and invited to these energizing sessions. Better and longer-lasting  than a shot of Starbucks. The quick jolt is from 6:30 to 7:30 allowing for early exits to get to work.
For those of you that are not familiar with me. I have been training for 36 years at the San Jose Dojo. For about 30 of those years I have led a morning class. Aikido has been a long, fun, and wonderful journey which I will share with others for the rest of my life. Through our practice we will continue to work toward what is ahead and not be complacent about where we have been. We will evolve with an ever-changing world, work beyond our limits, and work on having a satisfying training experience that stays with us in our quest for peace and harmony for all. I look forward to train with and help all that choose to participate. Please contact ne with any questions at

Thank you,

Mark Tucker
Tucker Construction, Inc
1725-D Little Orchard St
San Jose Ca 95125

I am happy to see that this class is going to continue. Back in the eighties when I first took over the dojo I started this class. During my training period at the Shingu dojo in Japan the 6:30 to 7:30 am class ran Monday through Friday. It was always a challenge to make that early class, which I tried to do whenever possible. The evening class 7:30 to 9pm was much easier for me. But in the eighties my daughter came of school age and she needed to get to school early. So I started the early class to make sure I was up and ready to take her to school. At one time we had the class 3 weekdays a week, although I believe the Friday was the first and then it expanded to at its peak 3 days. For a period I would teach the class, drop my daughter off at school, Head over to San Jose State to teach Aikido there . Finish a little before noon. Head back to the dojo to teach noon. Then usually go to the fountain at the then 4th Street Pharmacy for a quick lunch. Usually tuna salad sandwich and coffee. Then pick my daughter up from school and either drive her to an activity or back to the dojo, where we lived. As you can see I was busy being a parent. I think by that time I was having other people teach children's classes, although I may have still taught some. And then I taught most evenings. So my schedule was quite full parenting and teaching, something my daughter is now experiencing being a working parent. Over a period of time the noon classes grew and the early mornings shrank. But Mark sensei has kept the Fridays going and I wish him luck and support in continuing them.

One story about my training in the early classes in Japan. During a hot period Hikitsuchi sensei would teach, so it could be great training. But the foreigners were expected to make pretty much every class. As a good friend once remarked, "Aikido maiasa", which translates as "Aikido every morning" but which could sound a lot like and sometimes feel like 'Aikido my a**". I remember vividly one morning(I had probably been out late drinking with Hikitsuchi sensei) I decided to sleep in, figuring he would probably also sleep in. The class ended at 7:30 am. To my surprise at about 7:35 there was a pounding on my dorm room door. I opened it and there was Hikitsuchi sensei. He was somewhat agitated that I had slept in because he had schedule a radio interview on All Prefecture radio at 8. So the true meaning of "Katsu Hayahi", that speed that transcends time and space, came into being. A very quick change into clothes. A drive across the Shingu river on the bridge that connected Wakayama and Mie Prefectures, which was usually, crowded and slow at that time. We made to to his house, rushed in to hear the phone call from the radio station. We both had to pretend we were calm and there waiting for the call. My Japanese was good at that time so I began the interview. I guess I was an oddity. An American of Japanese descent training in Japan in a traditional Japanese martial art. So the questions were pretty easy. Which Japanese foods did I like. Did I have a Japanese girl friend. How did I feel about the Japanese people. That sort of thing. But it began to get a little tiresome after awhile. So when they finally asked me why I was doing aikido, I started quoting Hikitsuchi sensei and his interpretation of Osensei's teachings. Well sensei immediately took the phone and began a lecture on Aikido, which the people at the radio station obviously found not interesting. So they quickly ended the interview. Which of course more than suited me.I think I was interviewed by the Shingu newspaper in a similar vein and I think I still have a copy of that. That was an example of my days in Shingu.
You had to constantly be ready for anything. Especially the unexpected. Which didn't prepare you but made the unexpected and the dealing with it hopefully a learning experience. The Japanese word is 'Shugyo' or special training. When Osensei meant 'training never ends' he didn't mean 'keiko'. He meant 'shugyo'....

Sunday, May 01, 2016

Osensei Revisited Overview

Last weekend was the 5th Osensei Revisited weekend, again led by Robert Nadeau shihan. It was well attended, with Friday, Saturday, and Sunday classes. I want to personally thank all those from my dojo(Aikido of San Jose) who attended and supported the event. Nadeau sensei's vision and leadership(He was a direct student of the Founder). Inspiring classes taught by Mary Heiny sensei and other instructors. So it was quite an event!

Osensei passed away on April 26 1969. So this workshop falls close enough to that date that this workshop can be seen as honoring him and his teachings. I taught the Saturday 7am class, which was focused on staff work. At the end I chanted Amatsu Norito and Kami Goto, which are Shinto chants of purification that Osensei practiced and was said to be fond of. The actual day of his passing was also honored with Norito and Kami Goto at the end of the noon class at my own dojo.

Nadeau sensei has made his life's work taking the things that were personally passed onto him by the Founder and fitting them into an experiential process hopefully mirroring Osensei's own process. Those who have not attended this event please consider doing so next year. It will be virtually the same weekend, April 23, 24, and 25. Teachers and schedule will be announced as the date draws closer, and this year I will try to keep updates a regular feature of the Osensei Revisited Facebook page.

So what were the takeaways from this year's event?

1,Nadeau sensei feels Osensei's spiritual direction is quite different from what is usually stressed. He views the normal as being very much an upper or awareness based system. Visualize a point as a starting place. Then put an expanding series of half circles above the point. And the space between the half circles can be finer dimensions or astral planes. Heaven is oftentimes seen as an attainment and one ascends there.

2. Now visualize the same point and make a series of half circles downward. In contrast to the upper awareness style, this is often missed. The downward direction represents more an experience/feel unfolding,
which takes us more towards not a finer, but a deeper, more original sense of who we are....Carl Jung once said that any tree wishing to grown to heaven must have roots reaching the other direction. We are not talking about heaven being less than the other place, but more that the journey must balance light/dark and leads to an individuation as opposed to a perfection based on finer to finer.

3. So now see the diagram as a series of concentric circles radiating outward from the central point and ideally balancing the upper finer with the deeper more original. So finer must be equal to deeper. Instead of heaven as an end journey, it represents an original state that is both beginning and 'end'.

4. Now let's take the whole sense of things expanding outward and say there is an equal and opposite movement back towards the core point. So just as the upper finer is balanced on the outward as deeper, so there is movement back, Osensei's 'echo' where the outer heaven returns to itself in the core point. Osensei is quoted as saying " Heaven is right where you stand and that is the place to train.(oneself)".

5. The movement outward becomes a dimensional process. There is a small circle around that point that is aware and feels itself to a certain level of identity. The next larger circle has and even deeper and finer sense of itself as an identity. Most of us are trapped or walled in to that first level. Various processes taught at the workshop such as center/circle, fire/water, chanting(sound vibration/silence) are to help you turn the walls of those first levels into membranes that can be passed through. If you haven't made any of the  Osensei Revisiteds this alone is worth the trip.The center/circle, fire/water, and chanting techniques were passed onto to Nadeau sensei directly from Osensei.  A lot of this is alluded to in Osensei's lectures and writings, but they seem to be obscured by the Shinto that is everywhere.

6. Osensei oftentimes expressed the importance of 'Ame no Uki Hashi', ie the Floating Bridge of Heaven.
Using this model one can theorize what he that. Another revealing Osensei quote:'' Unite yourself to the cosmos, and the thought of transcendence will disappear. Transcendence belongs to the profane world. When all trace of transcendence vanishes, the true person.....the divine manifest. Empty yourself and let the divine function."......

7. So why does Osensei come down so hard on transcendence? Perhaps it's because going finer even if one goes deeper as well perhaps one can lose one's way. The universe is after all a vast place. But if the universe is a vast tree( used in some mythologies) then the original point is it's seed. So uniting with the cosmos probably means an inner one. So that first or beginning circle, a core or fundamental being place, possible not as exciting as the finer planes of the universe, would contain all the finer. This is what Nadeau sensei understands as the bridge. In a world of no sight, one sees. And that bridge extends all the way out, but also returns to itself..

8.Osensei loved the Kojiki, the Japanese book of creation. There there was an original heavely brine. A type of chaos that was all things , ie infinite possibilities, all oxxuring infinitely. And it congealed into an infinitely dense point, Ame no Minakanushi no Okam, and expanded spherically outward in the sound Suuuuuu.
One way to look at this is that there was an original Source, Unnameable, Unknowable, God, whatever, that created itself as an original Soul, which then entered a universe or creation(also coming out of source) to find itself but also to return to itself. This is the echo. And at any point in the journey, there is the here and now of the bridge connecting yourself to both the beginning and the ultimate of yourself. Completing that journey heaven would be where ever you chose to stand.

Hope you enjoyed the summary. Hope to see you all back next year. And in case you're wondering, yes, there was time for some very good aikido training in the event as well........