I have been writing notes from my training experience for a few years now. I do not write so much about the technical details, but rather about the emotional content in the keiko. The process of putting the feelings I experience during the time on the tatami down on paper has helped me reveal things that previously were hidden for me.

I was sitting there with a pen in my hand and a notebook in front of me asking myself what happened, and why did it happen the way it did. I was totally clueless at first. Naming the unnamed feelings is hard work. I have had to work with visualizing the feelings I had and then trying to put some words on it. Why would I do such a ting? Well, it requires a lot of work for the mind, and after all that work I am conscious about stuff that earlier just passed through my mind unnoticed. The next time I would be in a similar situation I would remember the feeling from earlier and I might try something different from before. What is most interesting is very often when things are not going my way.

I have been noticing that writing the notes immediately after the session gives a quite different result from waiting some hours or until the next day. Just after I finished everything that we did at the end is very clear to me, while what happened in the beginning of the session is completely faded out. Later I have a more balanced impression of the session, but the mind has already started filling in the blanks, making the notes a little bit less reliable. Did I really feel like that or is it just logical that I must have felt like that? It is hard to separate those two cases if too much time has passed.

Notes from the seminar with Endo sensei in Liechtenstein October 2010.

Today at work I put my hand on an area I painted just minutes before. My hand was covered by sticky paint. It was all my fault since I first painted there and used that wall as support to paint the next area. I got really angry. Agonizingly angry. I was really ready to burst into flames (although I never made a sound or movement)! So why was I angry? And what was my anger aimed at? The paint? The wall? No, me! I was angry at myself for putting my hand in the paint. So, what should I do about it? Well, what about taking out the piece of cloth from my pocket and wipe of my hand and continue painting?

I was already angry at myself before I put my hand in the paint. I am angry at the world for forcing me away from all my friends and the aikido practice, but most of all I am angry at myself for letting the world force me away from everything that matters for me. So when I bump my head, forget my paintbrush all the way downstairs or put my hand on some paint it flows over.

It is very interesting to study this causality. How the feelings are triggered and such. Why do we get angry if someone blocks us? How do we feel? How does the anger affect the function of the body and the mind? What or who are we angry at? Our partner for blocking, ourselves for not being able to do what we were hoping for or something else?

Maybe I should rename this blog: “Thoughts from work”. I started this blog about the time I started working here (three months ago), and I have been to one weekend seminar and a two-week aikido trip during this time. I am trying to do what I originally tried to do with my notes. To put words to my thoughts and feelings from the keiko. However, in my notes I end up with writing something readable only to myself at that moment. When the book is full it is discarded. This is like a public extension of my notebook where I try to go further to make the thoughts readable, because I know there might be someone reading it. However, this is maybe also ripe for being discarded since I have only one week left before I finally can return to my life. Soon I can practice aikido again instead of merely be thinking about it. I think I will spend some time just enjoying the keiko without thinking for a while. That will be lovely.

Enjoy your keiko! Aikido make people happy!