The Power of Contemplative Practice


We human beings are a wondrous concentration of a multi-dimensional integration of heaven and earth.  We are condensations of water droplets, sand and stardust, talking to and listening to each other.  We are miraculous creatures, capable of genius, compassion, and deep wisdom. We are also likely to be bound up, convoluted, entangled creatures, capable of heinous, corrupt and sadistic behaviors. 


Reflections on Dan Ranking in Aikido

‘What is your ranking system and how long does it take to get a black belt?’

Over the years I have heard newcomers to aikido ask this question many times. Perhaps my favorite tongue in cheek answer is this: it takes as long as a car ride to the local martial arts store where you can purchase one.

Mary Heiny Sensei says that when Mitsugi Saotome Sensei was asked to offer his reflections on the meaning of the dan ranks: shodan, nidan, and sandan, at a seminar years ago, he drew a little stick figure and traced a circle around it.

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