Marc's Reflection on Aikido & True Play

Four years in summary

November 23rd, 2013 · No Comments

Body moves: micro-balance near the center of the center (simple flowing connection with the earth)

Connection (the illusion of separateness dissolves)


Heart moves: listen tenderly and move no faster than your tender heart (no self-violence)

Compassion and joy (the heart opens)


Mind moves: turn toward (open, accept, beginner’s mind)

Transformation (the mind changes)


A Reflection and a Meditation — on Learning Together

July 15th, 2013 · No Comments

Taking Time for Falling into Love
(alternatively “Learning to Wait”)





Patiently, sometimes interminably

For harmony to find itself

Learning to wait.

Silence when that is all there is



Curbing my enthusiasm


Finding our enthusiasm

Tempo, tone, timber, mood, color, flavor, texture, feeling

Falling into

Feeling into


Opening to Ensemble

Playing together.

Time and tenderness

Coming back to the moment, again and again

Letting emotion come and go, wash over me, wash over us, wash away

Learning to wait

Calmly or not

Again and again


Whatever it takes, so we are together,

Sometimes moving in harmony

Noticing breath

Noticing balance

Reaching out, into and through

Touching each other.

Being touched, sometimes deeply.

It’s was breathtaking


In these moments for no particular purpose other than the sensation of harmony

Finding our way tenderly, through touch,

touching one another, being touched






Tearful gratitude at being heard

No goal allowed to bury loving connection this time!

No form of violence, no forcefulness of personality, displaces tenderness this time!

This was a time of tenderness.


A mat is always there

April 24th, 2011 · No Comments

Under my feet

Life is practice

The variable is


Early sensing

April 3rd, 2011 · No Comments

Pay attention to what is sensed,

listen to the whisper, the murmur,

respect the whiff,

the slightest breeze,

the portent

Respond to that knowing


How much disonance is needed

April 2nd, 2011 · No Comments

for me to be aware of my intention?

Lower the level of feedback

the level of dissonance

needed for awareness of intention

Lower it to the point that it does not add stress to me or others

Below the crisis point.

Use curiosity rather than chaos, pain or force to be aware of my intention,

my inclination.

Be curious, moment to moment, of my inclination.

What am I turning against, away from, toward?



March 5th, 2011 · No Comments



Sense from center–self and others in the present moment

From the ground

as often as possible


From reaction to response

February 13th, 2011 · No Comments

History: Startle, withdraw, plan, … From anxiety with intellect.

Practice: Notice, accept, sense and respond center to center, I – I, with playfulness.

Even noticing the startle chain reaction, playfully.


Where are you turning, your self, as your body turns

February 12th, 2011 · No Comments

Connecting with another

from hara, as best I can


Connecting with embodied confusion.

Turning from hara toward the felt embodied confusion

Turning from hara toward ground

Turning from confusion toward hara

Not turning away from nor against…

Embracing the whole

Staying with it


Not hurrying, scurrying, running, trying…

Dropping all effort for simple curiosity



January 27th, 2011 · No Comments


Not forced

Not thought.


Training, practice, awareness

January 9th, 2011 · No Comments

awareness, breathing,
awareness, tensions,
awareness, breathing,
awareness, acceptance,
awareness, breathing,
awareness, relaxation,
awareness, breathing,
awareness, supple spine,
awareness, breathing,
awareness, extension,
awareness, breathing, connection, breathing, flow;
again and again a hundred times a day.

Awareness is presence, the rest is practice.

Breathing is core to awareness, acceptance and practice.



December 31st, 2010 · No Comments

A fundamental practice.

Awareness combined with staying/accepting (not pushing, not withdrawing) is the basis of being and learning and unfolding toward what is most attractive, most integrated.

I am becoming much more aware of the reactions and tensions in my body. This awareness allows me to return to my practice of breathing, extending, and supple spine.


“Staying with it”

December 12th, 2010 · No Comments


It is not an act of will or power over.

It is the simplest of things.

Breathing from below the diaphragm.

Noticing what is going on, with tension,  with my muscles, with what is being held or contained or avoided.

Noticing my physical relation to the floor (balance)

Noticing how I am connecting with whatever is going one around me.

That is it. Seems simple enough. It is. It seems to be the main or foundational practice of Aikido.

The marshal art techniques are based upon this.


“Bad” thoughts and “bad” behaviors

December 12th, 2010 · No Comments

Assigning negative labels and then attacking one’s own unloved behaviors–my normal approach–is perfectly counter productive.

A different and simpler way is to accept it, stay with it, see what it does when felt but not threatened. Surprisingly, something nice and playful happens.

The power of the habitual reaction lessens, without effort; precisely because there is no effort, only openness and attention.

Another aikido surprise.


Life is a breathing practice

December 11th, 2010 · No Comments

I might as well have a conscious awareness of the practice.