The Meaning of Onegai Shimasu

“Onegai shimasu” doesn’t have a straightforward one-to-one translation to English. “Onegai” comes from “negau” which literally means pray/wish for something. The “O” at the beginning is the honorific that makes the expression respectful. Of course, we would never say it without it, but that is what it represents. (Do not mistake the honorific “O” with … More The Meaning of Onegai Shimasu

Becoming a Black Belt

Think about a black belt, as something you lose, not something you win. Sawaki Kodo, a Zen master, often said, “Winning is suffering, losing is enlightenment.” If one asks the difference between today’s and past practitioners, I would answer that past practitioners saw training as “loss.” They abandoned everything for their art and practice, families, … More Becoming a Black Belt

The Connection between Aikido and Circle Dance

From the beginning of the Circle Dance Facilitator’s Training, I could see how Aikido and Circle Dances align. From the initial dances and exercises, we had a moment to reflect on the awareness and intentionality of the movements and the perception of unity. And, of course, the fundamental aspect they have in common is circularity. … More The Connection between Aikido and Circle Dance

Shoshin & Empathy

Shoshin is a word from Zen Buddhism meaning “beginner’s mind.” It refers to having an attitude of openness, eagerness, and lack of preconceptions when studying a subject, even when studying at an advanced level, just as a beginner would. – Wikipedia In general, the Shoshin spirit is associated with an attitude that favors the acquisition … More Shoshin & Empathy