Shoheijuku Newsletter January 2021

Happy New Year!

I hope all the dojo members and their families cheerfully rang in the New Year.

Last year, we were unexpectedly at the mercy of COVID-19 for the whole year. The pandemic did not converge before the New year started. I hope the situation improves even little by little, and it will be a hopeful year.  I look forward to practicing with you again this year.

一事全力 - Ichiji ZenryokuThis year, I wrote a word 一事全力 (Ichiji Zenryoku) and posted it at each dojo. This is the motto or creed of Shibusawa Eiichi who was an industrialist in Meiji and Taisho Era. 

The word means that when you encounter one matter, you must do your best to concentrate on it. 

The Founder, Ueshiba Morihei Sensei also composed an Aikido poem:

Even though surrounded
By several enemies
Set to attack
Fight with the thought that they are but one

Takuwan Zenji (Zen master) who is known as the author of “Unfettered Mind” wrote:

If ten opponents, each with a sword, come at you with swords slashing, if you parry each sword without stopping the mind at each action, and go from one to the next, you will not be lacking in a proper action for every one of the ten.
Because the mind does not halt at even one of the ten opponents, you can deal with them well enough.
But if the mind stops before one of these men, though you can parry his striking sword, when the next one comes, you cannot dodge it.

Furthermore, the Second Doshu, Ueshiba Kisshomaru Sensei wrote in his book “Introduction to Aikido”:

A world-renowned Buddhist scholar, Professor Daisetsu Suzuki was personally acquainted with Doshu. He said “Aikido is Moving Zen” very often as if it is his favorite phrase.

Professor Daisestu lived at Matsugaoka Bunko. In order to get there, you have to walk up one hundred thirty stone-steps. To a person who asked him “It must be hard for you who is over 90 years old”, he answered “It is nothing if you walk up the steps one by one. If you keep making your effort step by step, you can eventually reach somewhere high up before you know it.” 

Many people who are called “eminent person” or “master” must have lived their lives treasuring the “now” and “here”. As the Shoheijuku members, let’s live our lives vigorously treasuring the “now” and “here” as our motto.        

Events in January

2 – Hatsu Geiko (New Year’s practice)
5 – Keiko Hajime (First regular class)
9 – National Representatives’ Meeting (online)
10 – Aikikai Kagami Biraki (online)
11 – Yoga & Zazenkai
17 – Shoheijuku Kagami Biraki, Instructors’ meeting
24 – Okagaki Dojo (Nakamura)
24 – Usa Aikidokai
31 – Chikushino Dojo

For seven days from the late January until February 2, we will have Kangeiko (Winter training period) at each dojo. Let’s stay healthy and try the Kangeko. 

— Morito Suganuma