Friday, 25 January 2008

Mirror polishing (Meikyo)

Well the past few sessions of iaido have brought me turmoil and seen me agitated somewhat. Last night I was determined to concentrate on the iai and not let the knocks daze and confuse me.

My resolve was soon broken when during the practice the sensei pulled me up on a few things. Actually I found he was hovering over me somewhat and picking me up - passing over others who were making glaring mistakes! Agh! I was in a real huff. The more he did it the more I blew my cool, the more I fouled up. Now there is a flip side to this. Many really.

My main feeling is that this is probably just my reaction- the way I am: hyper sensitive. Don't take it to heart man! But what about my resolve, my focus? Is it shattered that easily? What a sap. What would my sensei have said if I'd whinged: " Why me?". Well, he may well have retorted that it is somewhat of a compliment to attract the attention of one's teacher. 6th Dan no less! Making time for me! The fact that it was criticism is just a detail. Criticism is part of teaching is it not?

Staying focused on what I'm doing rather than checking out other people's technique won't make my iai any better. Certainly not if I'm denigrating others: finding fault in their iai to make me feel better about myself or justify my feelings of doubt and self satisfaction. Christians have a saying about planks and splinters (Luke 6:42)- quite apt to meditate on just now...
But I sucked it up as they say in the States. Suck it up man, suck it up. You know: Ouch! Just been punched in the gut. It hurts, your breath is caught but you don't want to show it. YOu make a sucking noise, turn red, stand up straight. I sucked it up. Refocused and was back on track. I determined to take on board the points and get the hell on with it.

So what was I so upset about? Ah well it was all this bloody detail-just a fraction over here, do this not that. Hey I'm co-operating here! It was only during the course of the lesson that I realised that that's what it's all about in iai. Maybe not all, but quite a lot of it is about the detail. Getting it right, the constant striving towards that state. Every day we polish the mirror a little otherwise the dust will gather.

So I stopped griping like a spoiled kid and started polishing.

And I had a good session and learned a lot.


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