Just Like Flowers
Aiki News #13 (June 1975)
The following article appeared in the April 10, 1975 issue of “Aikido,” a monthly newspaper published by Aikido Hombu Dojo in Tokyo. It was translated from the Japanese by Stanley A. Pranin and Katsuaki Terasawa.
The red plums in our yard are now in full bloom. Their redness is very striking to the eyes. There are flowers blooming all year round in the yard. In March and April alone, daphne, forsythia, camelias, Japanese quince and lilacs continue in bloom. On top of that it is very pleasant to hear the clear sound of the nightingale in concert with other birds.
Following the early morning practice when I am sitting meditating with some 100 students, the song of the nightingale makes us all forget we are in the middle of a city. Such purity and clarity strike us as a beautiful thing.
The Founder loved things beautiful and pure. For this reason, he would establish himself with the “Kami” (deity) wherever he lived and try to include an element of beauty in his display of reverence. Thus, it is understandable that “Aiki” (united-energy) becomes “Aiki” (love) and “Daiwa” (universal harmony) becomes “Daiai” (universal love), finally culminating in a hymn to the beauty inherent in the human race.
And, if the founder had a yard the size of a cat’s forehead to work with, he would still plant plants and flowers and tend the blossoms and cultivate the beauty of nature. That tradition is carried on in our yard.
Activity in the Aikido world is steadily increasing. With the month of April come groups of students from companies and schools who see in Aikido a suitable path for their new start. In addition, individuals not connected with any group start Aikido training as a means for a new beginning. When I come to practices at Hombu Dojo filled with these people I am naturally tempted to emphasize the way Aiki should be as well as its essence. Yet it is pointless to preach Aikido theory in a loud voice to those who have chosen to pursue the Aiki path of their accord.
(The full article is available for subscribers.)