The 10th month of 2010 has dawned upon us ! How did you start it off ? Myself and another student made the 6am class today and I am infinitely moved when anyone makes the effort to jump out of bed and shake off the cobwebs so thoroughly !
When I started training with Ando Sensei my work schedule meant that if I intended to train in the presence of an Aikido Master I had to get up at the crack of dawn to attend his class at 6am. In retrospect once I found my love for the subject waking up became a simpler process, that purpose and place to go and do was waiting, I just had to beat my way past the duvet first. Once I got to the class the miniscule warmth of the bed was long forgotten and the spring in my step which followed the training gave me more motivation to do it again the next day. Along the way momentum kicks in and what seemed like an impossible feat in my university days became a mere flick of the wrist.
Before I started reading about Asian philosophy I took solice from ideas formed closer to home, the wise words of a Roman Emperor may just inspire you to join us in November !
The Real Value of Work – Marcus Aurelius
When you have to drag yourself out of bed in the morning, keep this in mind: Im getting up to do the work of a human being. Why be dissatisfied if im going to do the things I was brought into this world to do ? Or have I been made to loll back in the warm sheets ?
‘It is more pleasant.’
Is your existence only for pleasure and not for activity or work ? Dont you see the little flowers, the birds, ants, spiders and bees working together to put in order their own bit of the universe ? Are you unwilling to do the work of a human being and not rush to do what your nature commands ?
‘But it is also necessary to take rest.’
Yes, its necessary, but Nature has fixed limits both to eating and drinking, and yet you go well beyond these limits, past what is needed. But with your actions this isnt so, since your efforts fall far short of your abilities. So clearly you dont love yourself, for if you did you would love your nature and its will.
Those who love their own talents exhaust themselves in working at their skill unwashed and without food, but you value your own nature less than the carpenter values his woodwork, or the dancer her dance or the greedy man money, or the boastful man a bit of fame. And such people, when they have a strong affection for something, choose not to eat or sleep rather than to perfect the things they care for.