aspects of balance

I’ve been thinking recently about different aspects of balance. One aspect is the basic physical aspect, so not falling over while standing or walking, and being able to maintain our sense of physical perspective while being thrown or throwing someone else, which is critical for proper aikido.

It’s been a year and a half since we’ve been able to engage in standard aikido practice; we’ve been practicing, via Zoom or doing solo weapons practice together in a large, well ventilated room. While that practice has been helpful and interesting, and has given me the opportunity to focus on the weapons work in a way I hadn’t done before, I do miss what had been our standard practice.

Our aikido club is currently on its usual August break and we don’t have a summer school this year. But come September and October, we’ll begin the process of working back to standard practice, and it will be fascinating to throw someone else, and to be thrown by someone else.

One thing that I do remember is that physical balance is a fragile thing. I feel this going down the stairs first thing every morning, on my way to the first coffee of the day. But I also remember is that it is much easier for us to take our own balance (or give it away) than to take someone else’s.

This is a lesson that I’ve tried to export out to other parts of my daily activities, namely that maintaining balance can be tricky, and this is certainly true in our current circumstance.

Some days are like having a head full of bees, and balance can be tricky on these days; it’s easy to focus on one bee at a time, try to follow and catch one bee at a time, and the bees act of their own accord and don’t make themselves easy to follow or easy to catch.

I don’t know how to tame the bees; I don’t whether the bees can even be tamed, and so our maintenance of balance amidst the bees can’t rely on taming them. This can at times be tricky, but it is something that improves with practice.

The core lesson from all of this, I think, is that maintenance of balance is a relentlessly dynamic process. There are occasional moments when our balance persists without constant attention, without the small tweaks that corrects for the constant bumping by the bees, but these moments are few and far between, and always far shorter than we hope they might be.

~ by Jim Anderson on 19 August 2021.

One Response to “aspects of balance”

  1. Thank you for this lovely and fascinating and thought-provoking piece of discourse. Balance is interesting to think about. I am often aware of physical balance when running on uneven ground, and there is the frequent momentary loss of confidence when going downstairs. Balance in the rest of life feels like trying to learn to walk along a rope. And yes, the bees, the bees! They are all after honey, some of them more successfully than others. But I think Bee Mind is better then Gerbil Mind, scampering uselessly on its exercise wheel going nowhere again and again and again. But maybe in some way this is needed exercise?

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: