During this time of down turned economy we all know someone who's investments have lost. We all know of someone with a tragic story, lost retirement, lost home, families breaking under the stress. At these times we are reminded of the fragile nature of our material world.
There is an investment that we can each make that will create opportunities for true wealth building. The potential to not only grow our personal wealth but the wealth of our family, our community, our nation, our world.
This investment is in our personal well being. Our physical health, our mental strength, our spiritual growth. This is the investment we make each time we walk into the Aikido dojo for committed training. The two or three or more hours we spend each week in formal practice, along with (hopefully) the hours of commitment in our daily lives yields a payoff that stretches from our center, out into the world around us.
Our physical health increases through the physical practice. This allows us the energy to do our work in the world so that we can obtain the shelter, food, and clothing that we all need, along with the other accouterments that go along with modern lifestyles. It gives us the stamina to raise our children, take care of our grandparents, dig in the earth to sow the garden that feeds us, and swing the hammer that pounds the nail holding the supports of our house together. It recharges our immune systems to ward off illness and gives us the flexibility to bend around the barriers in our lives.
Our mental strength grows as we test our powers of observation and creativity. Our mind is challenged to observe and then direct the body. The mind must translate the visual and exterior view to a movement starting from the interior, growing to encompass the whole body in somatic understanding. We are lead to creatively enter into a way of thinking that knows no enemies, only partners; no bad, nor good, only opportunities; no past or future, but only now.
In the dojo we create a spirit of love, cooperation, and harmony. We connect ourselves through our physical and mental practice to the larger universe. We learn to feel the flow of energy as it surrounds us and moves through and with us. We touch the larger picture and realize that we are as much a part of it as the pigments that blend together are a part of forming Michelangelo’s The Creation of Man. Our spirit is rejuvenated and rejoices in the practice of our art. We then take this spirit with us as we leave the dojo. Touching all we meet with its infectious truth and natural beauty.
In this way we affect a growth in spirit and consciousness throughout the world, as our touch is passed on from person to person, group to group, community to community, nation to nation, the spirit of harmony, the art of peace, grows and spreads. We find ourselves more creative, more cooperative, more in sync with the natural process of life. So our wealth increases, both in the mind-body-spirit manifestation, and in the realm of material wealth as we spend our energy in cooperative creation and growth rather than in deceitful destruction.
This investment we put into our training in Aikido has a very high payoff. It is slow. It is gradual. It is sustainable. Your dues, your time at the dojo, is an investment that ripples throughout our society benefiting each individual and our existence as a civilization. Invest in yourself ... in your peaceful existence.
Watch your investment grow as you touch those in your life, and they touch others. Imagine what could happen if more people made such an investment. Go ahead, imagine it. If you can passionately imagine the people of our world investing cooperatively, creatively, peacefully, harmoniously, then we can make it happen!