In Aikido, the central principle of nonresistance might easily be misconstrued as passivity. However, as with nonviolent communication, openness and acceptance of hostility or tension is not tacit validation. Rather, it is about being steadfast, calm, and thus powerfully present with what is. By doing so, we can acknowledge the reality of a moment in its true manifestation and form. Sometimes what is required is no action at all. How can this be?
When we are connected to the world through non-attachment, without limitation, doubt or ego, and extending from this virtual center in all directions at once, we move from a pivot point of infinite possibility, variable response. This is the invincibility of spirit—one which embodies and integrates us wholly in the dynamic, spiral movement of the universe. In quantum physics this is expressed through the observation that all potential possibilities exist at once in particle ‘superposition’–until quantum field collapse brings about the conditions for one probability to occur. This becomes our conscious, manifest consensual reality.
To make it our habit to be calm and positive in our intentions with all our being allows us to, in one moment, sense, absorb and harmonize with all points of contact with even the most volatile aspects of experience–both inner and outer. Truly, conflict is dissolved before it begins, because we have neutralized the seed of aggression before it can grow—from our aggressor’s mind to their potential actions, and more importantly, from our own. When we experience the universe as a vast and expansive field of love, it enfolds all disturbances within—that energy cannot sustain. When we remain in the center of that expansive field, the impulse or force of aggression from another cannot survive, because it has not disturbed our minds and thusly nor has it our capacity to respond with “minimum effort and maximum efficiency” in whatever way is necessary to diffuse the situation. When we operate from this space, we cease to see any separation from ourselves and ‘other,’ or ourselves and the external. This is non-duality.
As it is said, the aggressor is a mirror of our own capacity and resolve to remain true to non-violence, because ‘what we resist, we become.’
Aikido is not a discipline of martial prowess; it is the path of spiritual purification and peaceful imminence in the world, the integration of the relative and the absolute–above and below. When we dedicate ourselves to the Way, we bring it more forcefully, protectively and lovingly into existence for all living beings. This is the fulfillment of the Budo principle of Senshin.
Sensei Michael Gordon, Founder & Senior Instructor
Senshin Ki Aikido (senshinkiaikido.com)