Ah, if only it were a joke.
Went to another class at Valley Aikido tonight, and I was much more relaxed and able to see the good in that style of teaching. Still not my thing, but I appreciate the differences. Ended up training for two and half hours, the last twenty or thirty minutes of which were suwari waza/techniques done on the knees, which is good training but doesn't make my knees very happy. It seems helpful to keep moving after class: I have that nice relaxed wiggly-hip feeling that I would get after a yoga class, except I like aikido indescribably more--yoga feels like exercise to me, and very static exercise at that. I don't like exercise, I get painfully bored doing anything just for exercise, and the spiritual aspects of yoga, coming from a Hindu background, don't resonate with me the way the whole Zen-Shinto-Japanese complex does. I like Zen because it's simple and direct, and Hinduism (and most other things) fail to resonate because I find them too complicated and filled with lots of talking. Enough with the talking. Everyone talks, including me, and it's almost entirely shit. We need to shut up and understand.
I wrote this to someone a couple days ago:
Some of the key seems to lie in that I'm so concerned with the past and the future and I'm not so stellar about being in right now. I'm not sure that focusing on the moment makes anything hurt a whole lot less, but it opens up the possibility of better things, of life taking whatever shape it will, instead of whatever unfocused fantasy or fear I try (and almost certainly fail) to impose on it. Concentrating on the moment also eases the feeling of loss and of my life in general being something of a catastrophe. Which overall it's not, it's just a life and this is what lives look like, but it's difficult to appreciate that sometimes.And that about sums it up. Taking things moment for moment definitely doesn't lessen the hurt or the sense of doom and catastrophe, those things intrude from all sides of my mind, but through the infinite magic of now I can see the moon and the (dead) grass and the (leafless but beautiful) trees and I can feel the energy of my body and the way that my muscles work now that they're strong...in each fragile and passing moment it's just me and the Universe (Thomas Merton would probably say it's just me and God, but I've always thought his God and my Universe have an awful lot in common), and each moment lived for itself draws from the well of unshakeable stillness inside. Everything falls away, all the disrespectful behavior of the past and future prospects of aloneness and/or being hated by people I care about, and I'm just me and you're just you and the world just is what it is, beyond good and bad into the realm of is-ness and being. I can sense the Way right there, like a smell on the breeze, and if I keep breathing I can even move with it, like in aikido when I'm moving right and I'm bigger than just my body, I'm my body with this extended dimension to include the world right around me.