Monday, December 07, 2009

Aikido as a De-stresser

Today, dealing with day to day situations and yet enjoying a reservoir of inner peace is challenging enough. Life has built up a frenetic pace, especially in the metro cities. Throw in drugs, terrorism, porn, communal and religious politics - we have a Pandora's box open.

Chasing as we are our dream of material super wealth, when mishap strikes, we are like deer caught in headlights: ill equipped to deal with life's exigencies. Forget about the external issues, how do we handle issues within our families and in our relationships ? The age old tit-for-tat rule reigns even now, and well wishers who come in to resolve disputes end up aggravating them.

We need to equip ourselves to have a balanced perspective on life. We need a poise to be able to deal with life's challenges. Why?

We have to eat for ourselves, breath for ourselves, and pretty much everything else. Why not think for ourselves as well ? Nobody else can do that for us. If they did, even if with the best of intentions, it would be from a skewed view of situations. Only you have the true picture of your life.

Let us see how Aikido's(a Japanese martial art) philosophy can help us in our challenging issues.

Aikido's basic philosophy is non-resistance. It is not just non-resistance: neutralization is a more accurate description. While Christ exhorts us to turn the other cheek to an attacker, Aikido advises to turn your cheek before being hit. in other words, it entails us to maintain a constant alertness.

Aikido does not aim at vanquishing and destroying an opponent. It aims at tuning in to the attacker's energy so that we can harmonize and neutralize it. For this reason there are no attacks practised in Aikido, except for training. Also, fending off an attack, an aikidoka does not look at how it turns out- it is just a deflection of energy of the attack- executed smoothly.

This is in contrast to conventional martial arts where participants aim for a decisive win. The word Aikido in Japanese means the way of Universal Harmony. It was founded by a Japanese martial artist, Ueshiba Morihei. He underwent prolonged training in Jujitsu and Judo before he developed his own unique art, Aikido.

Apart from the physical art, the principles of Aikido can be applied to day to day life situations as well. An excellent example is given by Terry Dobson.

It is about an incident that happened to Dobson while he was learning Aikido in Japan. You can see the essence of Aikido in real life. Please see Terry Dobson for the full story.

This incident demonstrates the secret of how Aikido can help us defuse tensions in real life situations: refuse to yield or fight against the anger in the other person. Instead we neutralize the energy by harmonizing.

In simple words, on a physical level: move in the same direction as the offending energy-push when you are pulled, pull when you are pushed.

Aikido practice has meditation as an important part of it. It is through meditation that one can achieve the thought free state, a prerequisite for seeing things as they are. Through meditation and Aikido practice, practitioners achieve such feats as having irresistible power in hands such that they cannot be stopped etc.

As there is no winning and losing in Aikido, it does not have tournaments either. Perhaps you can say a practitioner loses when he becomes angry.

Suppressing anger is not the way to resolve it. When we maintain a non-critical, non-judgmental awareness of the thoughts and emotions arising in us, they automatically quiet down. The peace that you experience forms an aura around you and transfers to others.
Note: This article was posted on Articlesbase.com on Dec 8, 2009. Link: Here
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Sunday, May 17, 2009

Clear Thinking Can Solve Personal Problems

Understanding a problem incorrectly can lead us into all sorts of side tracks, wasting enormous amounts of time, effort and money.

I will narrate an experience that illustrates the various errors that can happen in analysing a problem. A proper analysis can present a simple solution that was right there under your nose all the while.

The incident happened around my mini stereo system. It developed a snag. It had two small speakers and one big speaker. The big speaker was fixed in a cabin. One of the small speakers stopped producing any sound. Well. Not totally silent. It would come on and off, with just some hissing noises in between.

For a long time I thought the speaker was gone, and blamed the company for robbing me. I tried to pry open the speaker, naively hoping that the problem was with some wire connection and that I could set it right myself.(I was no electronics engineer and had no experience with repairing gadgets.) The speaker frame was a molded whole and there was no way to open it. I thought I would have to buy a new one. But would a single speaker be available ? Would the company insist on my buying a new set ?

Then I happened to switch the speaker channels, just to test and found that there was nothing wrong with the speaker. It was only one channel that was not responding. If I connected the speaker to the other channel, it did produce sound. That was a relief. Now I did not have to change the small speaker.

But the channel came out of the Main speaker cabin(It housed the amplifier). Now I had to open the cabin. I resolved to make an attempt, before showing it to an expert. In fact, one of my acquaintances, a cd shop owner, had offered to service it. But I hated to lug the big box across the street to his shop.

Opening the cabin was easy. I used a pocket knife, improvised as a screwdriver. Peering inside, I could see a PCB( Printed Circuit Board) with a lot of small devices on it. Capacitors, transistors, ICs…? what the heck was all that ? I have’nt had to deal with them ever, since college. I strained my eyes to find a piece of wire pulling on which, the sound would come back. Nope. Everything was screwed and soldered properly; there were no loose ends in sight.

I guessed I had no option but to take it to my friend for his expert opinion. He should have. All day he sits around DVD players, TVs and Stereo systems.

Then the break came which was a sort of Aha moment for me.(I seriously believe I might have awakened to “The Zen of speaker tweaking.”)

The speaker had been coming to life off and on while I moved the cable which carried the signals from my computer to the speaker system.There! That meant the channels were being seperated in that cable itself. Otherwise it would not have affected a single channel. It would have affected both channels.

Now I knew that the problem lay in this cable. It was broken at some point along its one and a half metre length. All that I had to do was get a new cable.

Moral : Before attempting to repair audio equipment, do check the various connecting cables. Do it safe. Follow the manufacturer’s instructions.

Bigger moral: Often a problem is not as complicated as it seems to be. Just relax and observe. The solution will show itself.

Saturday, May 16, 2009

Are you going to finish strong ?

It is amazing how much we can accomplish if we focused on what we have, instead of lamenting about misfortunes. This is what I learnt from the man in this stunning video.

Friday, May 01, 2009

The Plain Miracle

This is about a fact that all of us forget in the rush of life, what no one appreciates until it's too late: It's a great miracle to be alive and to love each other.

We don't need to go through a tragedy to realise this fact. Let us express our love to our near and dear ones while we still can.

I had to write this post after I chanced upon this site by Andreas Ramos. As I read the letters, I could not stop the tear drops.

Andreas is a well known author. His first hand account of the fall of the Berlin Wall has been published in many books like The Berlin Wall and The Cold War: Chronicles of America's Wars.

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Experiences with The Secret

Here is a gift :

Click on the title of this post and you can read through the real experiences of people who have used The Secret.

The Secret does not say anything new. But it expresses the Law of Attraction and other principles of Abundant Living in a most effective manner, so that it is indelibly printed in our minds.

I had read the Science of Getting Rich(from which Rhonda Byrne gathered the inspiration for The Secret) years ago, but it did not click in my mind. Now
when I watch the Secret, it all appears so easy and possible.

Saturday, February 28, 2009

What goes into our ear can influence our actions

A study by scientists on teenagers has proved that teen kids who habitually hear degrading lyrics are more likely to indulge in under age sex. This is a case for the principle that our behaviour can be influenced by what we habitually hear. If that is true, then this principle also holds good: If we constantly hear about what we desire to be, i.e. a better and transformed image of ourselves, that also will materialise ! In other words, habitually listening to self help cds, self talk cds, hypnosis cds and wholesome songs will grant us the desired result. Which means self talk that we give ourselves will also give concrete results.

Here is the link to the report.

Monday, February 16, 2009

Overcoming the recession and changing it into an upturn

The recession has been in for quite a while now. It has become a reality to people who have lost their jobs. Let's see if a change of perspective can do any good in overcoming it. If it does on an individual scale, it definitely can help in overcoming on an international level also. It's not possible to wish it away. Yet, it does seem to be man-made for a large part. I remember a real incident narrated by Norman Vincent Peale in one of his books.

It was the Great depression of the 1930s. In a remote American village an old man ran a hotel. His business was good, he had a plentiful clientele, for he was a cheerful person, always happy to serve. His cafe was always bustling with people.It was a meeting point for the villagers to catch up on the latest developments in town.

His son was educated, and worked in an office in one of the big cities.When the recession struck, his firm was one of the first to close. He came home.

Things were not as he had expected to be at the village. He did not see glum faces, he did not hear grim discussions of tumbling markets and closing businesses. On the contrary, everyone was having a good time, and his father's hotel was always full with merry villagers.

This cannot be, he thought. Perhaps they had not heard of the recession, and he felt he should inform them.

So he told his father about it and how it was playing havoc in the country. We had better be careful, it can pounce on us anytime.

The father listened. His son was college educated and must be having better sense. He thought it would be prudent to go by what he said. In time the customers too heard and came to believe the tale of the recession.

Gone were the days of cheer and merry business. Everyone started preparing for the recession. Few people now came to the hotel.

It wore a desolate look. In no time, it closed down.

The recession had finally arrived at the village (!)

Note : Although you may argue this point, a recent incident in the Indian stock market supports this theory. It is about the Reliance group which is owned by the Ambanis, one of the richest families in the world. Before they split, the Reliance group stocks were booming. Then the brothers Mukesh Ambani and Anil Ambani parted ways to establish their own empires. Immediately the Reliance stocks came tumbling down. It had nothing to do with reality. It was the news that caused the panic, as in the above story. So a little faith can work wonders, and boost up your personal success. Many individual successes can revive the economy of a nation!

Sunday, February 15, 2009

The Ultimate Technique for Success

The most effective and reliable personal development tool : Yourself. Your body, your thoughts, your words. Do it by yourself : through Self-talk, Free writing(stream of consciousness writing), Self-suggestions, Exercise, Meditation,....

External aids like books, CDs and seminars are only props or route maps. They require conditions-electric power, visibility, money etc. But when you internalise their content and start DOING it, you are transforming yourself.

I realised this after reading The Secret. It held a mirror to me and showed where the correction was to be done: my thoughts. I have to overhaul my thoughts- be aware of my thoughts, state of mind...And that is a 24 hour job.
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