Title: The Art of Peace.
Author: Morihei Ueshiba (compiled and translated by John Stevens).
Genre: Non-fiction, philosophy, martial arts.
Country: Original material in Japan, book published in U.S.
Language: English (translated from compiled Japanese material).
Publication Date: November 10, 1992 (drawn from material between 1900-1969).
Summary: These teachings, selected from the writings, teaching, and lectures of show that the real way of the warrior is based on compassion, wisdom, fearlessness, and love of nature. Drawn from the talks and writings of Morihei Ueshiba (1883–1969), founder of the popular Japanese martial art known as Aikido, the book offers a non-violent way to victory and a convincing counterpoint to such classics as Sun Tzu's Art of War.
My rating: 9/10.
♥ One does not need buildings, money, power, or status to practice the Art of Peace. Heaven is right where you are standing, and that is the place to train.
♥ ...The purpose of the Art of Peace is to fashion sincere human beings; a sincere human being is one who has unified body and spirit, one who is free of hesitation or doubt, and one who understands the power of words.
♥ ...There is evil and disorder in the world because people have forgotten that all things emanate from one source. Return to that source and leave behind all self-centered thoughts, petty desires, and anger. Those who are possessed by nothing possess everything.
♥ Use your body to create forms; use your spirit to transcend forms; unify Body and Spirit to activate the Art of Peace.
♥ Now and again, it is necessary to seclude yourself among deep mountains and hidden valleys to restore your link to the source of life. Sit comfortably and first contemplate the manifest realm of existence. This realm is concerned with externals, the physical form of things. Then fill your body with ki and sense the manner in which the universe functions - its shape, its color, and its vibrations. Breathe in and let yourself soar to the ends of the universe, breathe out and bring the cosmos back inside. Next, bring up all the fecundity and vibrancy of the earth. Finally, blend the breath of heaven and the breath of earth with that of your own body, becoming the breath of life itself. As you calm down, naturally let yourself settle in the heart of things. Find your center, and fill yourself with light and heat.
♥ Create each day anew by clothing yourself with heaven and earth, bathing yourself with wisdom and love, and placing yourself in the heart of Mother Nature. Your body and mind will be gladdened, depression and heartache will dissipate, and you will be filled with gratitude.
♥ The penetrating brilliance of swords
Wielded by followers of the Way
Strikes at the evil enemy
Lurking deep within
Their own souls and bodies.
♥ The only real sin is to be ignorant of the universal, timeless principles of existence. Such ignorance is the root of all evil and all misguided behavior. Eliminate ignorance through the Art of Peace, and even hell will be emptied of tortured souls.
♥ Each and every master, regardless of the era or place, heard the call and attained harmony with heaven and earth. There are many paths leading to the peak of Mount Fiji, but the goal is the same. There are many methods of reaching the top, and they all bring us to the heights. There is no need to battle with each other - we are all brothers and sisters who should walk the Path together, hand in hand. Keep to your Path, and nothing else will matter. When you lose your desire for things that do not matter, you will be free.
♥ The purpose of training is to tighten up the slack, toughen the body, and polish the spirit.
♥ The Art of Peace is the principle of nonresistance. Because it is nonresistant, it is victorious from the beginning. Those with evil intention or contentious thoughts are vanquished. The Art of Peace is invincible because it contends with nothing.
♥ The key to good technique is to keep your hands, feet, and hips straight and centered. If you are centered, you can move freely. Use this principle to guide your opponent and lead him (or her) in the direction that you want. If your opponent wants to pull, let him pull. Let him do whatever he wishes, and he will be unable to grasp on to anything to control.
♥ Do not look upon the world with fear and loathing. Bravely face whatever the gods offer.
♥ No matter how heavily armed your opponent is, you can use the Art of Peace to disarm him (or her). When someone comes in anger, greet him with a smile. That is the highest kind of martial art.
♥ In the Art of Peace we never attack. An attack is proof that one is out of control. Never run away from any kind of challenge, but do not try to suppress or control an opponent unnaturally. Let attackers come any way they like and then blend with them. Never chase after opponents. Redirect each attack and get firmly behind it.
♥ Fiddling with this
And that technique
Is of no avail.
Simply act decisively
♥ Ultimately, you must forget about technique. The further you progress, the fewer teachings there are. The Great Path is really No Path.
♥ The Art of Peace that I practice has room for each of the world’s eight million gods, and I cooperate with them all. The God of Peace is very great and enjoins all that is divine and enlightened in every land.
♥ We can no longer rely on external teaching of Buddha, Confucius, or Christ. The era of organized religion controlling every aspect of life is over. No single religions has all the answers. Construction of shrine and temple buildings is not enough. Establish yourself as a living buddha image. We all should be transformed into goddesses of compassion of victorious buddha.