Wednesday, November 22, 2006

Happy Thanksgiving

Here's wishing everyone a Happy Thanksgiving. One of the things Osensei apparently stressed is (kansha suru kimochi) or an attitude of gratitude. So here is the perfect holiday for that. Hopefully, everyone will be able to spend the holiday with those closest to them. My daughter and I will be headed up to San Francisco to my sister's house.

I vaguely remember spending Thanksgiving in Shingu in 1974. Robert Frager had brought a group of UC Santa Cruz people to train at the dojo and many of them, including Bob, were soon to return. We had a group dinner, though I remember it as chicken rather than turkey(shichimencho).

In a very complex world where everything is changing so quickly, just the simple act of reflecting on what and on who is important is a very important thing. It is said that we attract to us what is going on inside us. In Japanese that is called inryoku(literally the strength of attraction). Apparently Osensei said "aikido wa inryoku no tanren de aru)", that aikido is literally the forging of this power of attraction.

I'm including a rather unique video for this very special holiday. In 1994 I was in San Diego at a healing conference(Kalos Seminars). I was asked to give a short presentation on aikido. Also attending the seminar was Joan Sylvain, who trained at our old location in the early to mid-90's. There were no mats, so we just presented center and extension, just as we might to a beginning student.

I consider Joan a very dear friend and someone who has been very influential in my life. Unfortunately, we have lost touch. If anyone reading this is in contact with her, please let her know that I think of her often and would enjoy hearing from her.


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