In winter hold fast to the pilar
Winter is upon us with its challenges – Life can be very challenging at times. An ancient saying “In winter hold fast to the pillar.”
This means to strongly connect to that deep centered place within us – when challenged by life. That place of inner nourishment, of spirit, that stays unaffected by life’s constant testing. Another Aiki word that relates to this is Fudoshin which means immovable spirit of calmness and of indisturbability – through maintaining our center.
In various spiritual practices there are mandalas as symbols of universal life. Its shape is a circle with concentric circles coming to a center point. It reflects the various dimensions of life. The outer ring symbolises the ever changing cyclic motion of the relative world. Relative means that which has a beginning and an end. The centre of the circle symbolises the absolute world that never changes and is eternal. The source! In life we can be spun out to the outer moving wheel and be flung around by the various experiences of life. Loss and gain, riches and poverty, love and separation, life and death and so on.
With experience and practice, instead of being flung out to the ever moving peripheral, we can stay in the center. Through connecting to the source we can enjoy and participate in this ever changing delightful world. The inner should govern the outer. The spirit should control the body. In a lot of instances the reverse is true. Which leads to disappointment and much more.
In Ki Shiatsu we create the “parasympathetic” response. Stress, sickness and disharmony is often the result of the external nervous system being over emphasised. The inner nourishing calming aspect of the nervous system has become less active. In other words the outer is not listening to the inner. This often occurs due to us over identifying with the external world in creating entanglements leading to emotional and physical stress and imbalance.
The releasing and relaxing of the outer nervous system and the reawakening of the inner – “parasympathetic” nervous system – harmony and balance is restored.
This is the purpose of having an ongoing practice that unifies not only our nervous system but also our mind body and spirit. This allows us to be effective in all areas of life. This is the real benefit of Ki and Aikido training and all the practices of Shin Sen.
Written by Ken McLean