Mushin - Peak Performance States in Aikido Philosophy

Written by Charlie Badenhop

In Aikido we learn how to enter into a peak performance state that inrepparttar Japanese arts is known as "mushin." In Seishindo work we often call "mushin" a state of "embodied presence." "Mushin" is similar torepparttar 122250 term "flow state" as used by many people to describerepparttar 122251 conditions for peak performance. For several years now I have been defining "embodied presence/mushin" inrepparttar 122252 following manner: "Whenrepparttar 122253 structure of your body is balanced, and your thinking mind is fully present but not engaged in any form of internal dialogue, you will tend to release any extraneous thoughts or actions and enter intorepparttar 122254 flow state of "mushin." Your thoughts, feelings, and actions occur simultaneously and spontaneously. Nothing comes between your thoughts and your actions, and nothing is left over. When we embody such a state we greatly improve our ability to learn with grace and ease."

At such times we have a pleasing sense of fullness and great potential. We do not attempt to eliminate or control our thoughts, feelings, or actions, but rather we move with our thoughts, and feel into our experience. Breath, movement, action, and rest. Breath, movement, action, and rest. So when I say above that I want to talk about peak performance states and how we can live our lives with a greater sense of ease, grace, and power, I am referring to how to enter into a special learning state where our thoughts, actions, and feelings occur simultaneously and spontaneously.

This state of "mushin" is one that we very much strive to experience in Aikido (and in other Japanese arts as well) knowing full well that it is not a state that we will maintain throughoutrepparttar 122255 course of our everyday life. Indeed, what we do when we find we are NOT in a state of embodied presence and instead mired in a difficult situation, tells us much about our spirit and our deeply held beliefs. Mushin is an ephemeral state that is to be experienced and released. An experience that is meant to be lost and found a gain, many times over inrepparttar 122256 course of our life. Please be certain that I consider peak performance states to be an enjoyable quest and not just for some special few who are professional performers of one sort or another.

When we enter into mushin for even brief periods of time we find that we receive what I call "a residue experience." By this I mean that even when we enter back into our everyday mind, we find ourself living our life with a greater sense of vitality and well being. Our relationships with others tend to be more heartfelt, compassionate, and aware. We find ourselves feeling more connected to our "self" and our everyday experience, while living our life with a greater sense of meaning.

If you are at all like most ofrepparttar 122257 human beings I meet every day, andrepparttar 122258 one that I meet inrepparttar 122259 mirror every morning, during much of your life your thoughts, actions, and feelings occur somewhat independently of each other, and you lack a certain sense of spontaneity. To some extent this is part ofrepparttar 122260 human condition, and yet we can definitely also achieve from time to time, a much fuller way of learning and living.

One ofrepparttar 122261 unique aspects of embodied presence is that we do not have internal dialogue when we are fully present inrepparttar 122262 moment. By "fully present inrepparttar 122263 moment" I mean remaining relaxed while fully engaging in an activity, without internal dialogue taking up any of our attention or awareness.

Mushin = Embodied presence Embodied presence = Fully present inrepparttar 122264 moment Fully present inrepparttar 122265 moment = Michael Jordan during an NBA final; Tiger Woods atrepparttar 122266 Masters; My daughter watching her Saturday morning kids program.

I think that being able to be free from internal dialogue at times is quite an interesting phenomenon. One ofrepparttar 122267 main questions I always ponder in this regard is "Who is talking to who?" during internal dialogue. Another thought that I often have is "Why inrepparttar 122268 world do I need to tell myself what I am feeling? Why not just feel?" And of course asking myself such questions is just another form of internal dialogue!

To me,repparttar 122269 fact that we have internal dialogue inrepparttar 122270 first place leads me to understand that each person has at least two different selves that they experience life through. One self is a rational/cognitive self with its "headquarters" being just that, inrepparttar 122271 head. This isrepparttar 122272 self that generates our internal dialogue and likes to critique what we are doing. Our other self is an emotional/somatic self with its command center being inrepparttar 122273 body. This appears to berepparttar 122274 self thatrepparttar 122275 cognitive self is trying to inform via words. The problem is thatrepparttar 122276 somatic self thinks in feelings and not in words, so reallyrepparttar 122277 only thing it understands fromrepparttar 122278 verbal communication ofrepparttar 122279 cognitive self isrepparttar 122280 tone of voice, volume, and phrasing. Seem hard to believe?

The Book - a short metaphorical tale on learning and learning to learn

Written by Adam Sargant, Dip.H.Ed (Nursing Studies), Dip.Hyp.,NLP(prac)

I once heard a story about a man who found a book that had been hidden by a messenger. From where this messenger came, and from whom, I do not know, although I have my thoughts. But she left this book forrepparttar man to find, and find it he did.

Now, this was no normal book. For one thing, it only had two pages. And each page was woven tightly out of wicker, in complex and intricate patterns. Somehowrepparttar 122249 man knew that there was something special aboutrepparttar 122250 book, but he didn't know how he knew, and he didn't know what.

For many monthsrepparttar 122251 man puzzled overrepparttar 122252 book. He began to notice that, as he puzzled, he feltrepparttar 122253 patterns with his fingers and knew somehow that they had meaning. He came to notice subtle intricacies of shade and shadow withinrepparttar 122254 book and as his fingers ran lightly overrepparttar 122255 knots and weave he would hear gentle sounds.

Long days and long nights he studied. At night, he noticed thatrepparttar 122256 use of different senses in still new ways of making sense seemed to allow him to understand different meaning. By day, he noticed he could look atrepparttar 122257 book in a new light.

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