Posted by: balladofyoko | September 14, 2007

The Conflict Within

The wages of harmony are peace. Inside with yourself, outside with everyone else. In some ways it’s harder to work to treat yourself right than it is to give in to all the rotten thoughts you have about yourself. But it’s the kind of effort we feel is well worth making.

~Terry Dobson, Victor Miller, “The Most Hostile Aggressor of All,” Aikido in Everyday Life

I still have a lot to learn. Learning to be kind to myself will be a lifelong lesson, and perhaps something I will never fully understand in this lifetime. At the very least, I should learn to wage this conflict without collateral damage, namely, the people around me.

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Responses

  1. Pema Chodron, an American Buddhist nun, describes agression toward self as an ingrained habit of self-denigration. It seems that many of us in the West are quite accomplished at this habit. It is a lifelong practice to learn to become friends with ourselves, but well within the capacity of everyone, including aikidoka like yourself. In alot of ways, aikido is more of a practice of Buddhism in motion than a martial art. The components of technique, including not reacting to attacks but staying calm, relaxing, blending and redirecting, are great metaphors for how to deal with stuff in life, including aggressive feelings toward ourselves. There are more than a few aikidoka at Pema’s retreats. I’m sure this is not an accident.

  2. You know, Ms. Goat (Dr. Goat?), you’re the second person in a couple of months to have mentioned Pema Chodron to me. I’ll have to check her books out. Thanks for your thoughts.


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