A Lesson from Morihei Ueshiba

Morihei UeshibaYears ago I read a biography of Morihei Ueshiba (the founder of the Japanese art of Aikido). Ueshiba, an intensely spiritual fellow, often trekked out into the wilderness for quiet and solitude. It was in nature that he meditated, trained and “unearthed” his teachings. It was said that on one occasion, he returned from the woods with a godly-bestowed gift- “invincibility.” From then on (it is said) that Morihei Ueshiba was unbeatable as a martial artist.
In a book of his quotations, he had this to say in regards to nature:
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“Study the teachings of the pine tree, the bamboo and the plum blossom. The pine tree is evergreen, firmly rooted, and venerable. The bamboo is strong, resilient, unbreakable. The plum blossom is hardy, fragrant and elegant.”
“Do not fail to learn from the pure voice of an ever-flowing mountain stream splashing over the rocks”
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I would believe (based on the readings I’ve done on Ueshiba) that he would find it impossible to truly empty yourself and “return to the source” without the presense of nature. Nature lives within all things…as well as sustains us. To “face the void”…. to make gains with ones’ self…one must seek Nature.
The greatest minds (ex. Einstein in the field of science, Ueshiba in the field of martial arts….and various others) hold the utmost respect, love and gratitude towards Nature. I believe it’s about time for me to “return to the source” as well…
I shall see you in woods.
-Coach Michael Joyce
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~ by chencenter on January 24, 2008.

4 Responses to “A Lesson from Morihei Ueshiba”

  1. I personally have had two different thoughts on this in my lifetime. I grew up with the mentality that nature is ours to manipulate and use for our own ends. Humans are more educated and if we need to cut down a tree, so be it.

    But as I have gotten older and realized how much beauty and knowledge that nature possesses, humans are the ones that need to learn. The ebb and flow of life, both plant and animal, are built on pure function and all rely on each other. There are few people in the United States that subscribe to learning from nature, but it is something that needs to be done. Appreciating the beauty of nature is different than actually studying it.

    Humans have built structures to separate us from nature, to protect ourselves from the wild. In actuality, we are still dependent on everything nature has to offer (i.e. water, food, etc.) and should be attached to it like our ancestors were before us. Waste nothing and use everything.

    Just my take though.

  2. Ever since I was little, for some reason I have always been particularly interested in Nature and animals and the earth and such…

    And how every living thing on earth depends on another- the circle of life (Lion King comes to mind:)
    Not only for physical needs, but for spiritual and emotional needs also.

    Nature connects everyone-gives everyone a common ground, something to find beauty in.

    Nature itself has meaning beyond just “that rock” or “that flower”-“that rock” can represent and remind one of strength and being firmly rooted in our beliefs, or “that flower” can represent the beauty and simple pleasures of life.

    Like Morihei Ueshiba said- “Do not fail to learn from the pure voice of an ever-flowing mountain stream splashing over the rocks”- Nature can help you learn many things about life, and yourself.

    Great blog, Coach! 🙂

  3. I love your idea of “seeing things as more than what they are.” Wise beyond your years Caitlin!

  4. Great post! I realy agree that we should get back to the source as well. We all came from the same source anyway, and we are all brothers in sisters from the same Earth. We are all brothers and sisters with the whole Universe, the Sky and the Earth. Ueshiba understood this… Anyway, again, great post and I hope we will be able to find unity with Nature as great as Morihei Ueshiba did 😉

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