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 Post subject: Breaking the Mirror
PostPosted: Thu Jul 06, 2000 3:34 pm 
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Location: Halifax, NS Canada
Kagami Biraki - breaking the mirror....is a traditional ceremony held at the beginning of each year when training resumes in the dojo.

....

The mirror contains the old image, for we look with old eyes on its necessary similarity to remembered images of ourselves.

Our mind forces us to connect the picture we see with past pictures, creating a false continuity. But we are new every moment.
Every moment we have the possibility of breaking the old pattern, which is just a mental construct, and creating something new.

Every cell in your body is different from the cells you had six months ago. This is an analogy. In reality we are trapped by wanting to be the same as our false self, the self we use for living, what we call "me". But this is false.

Do you know who you are?

Break the mirror and find out. Detach from the past, continuous self and feel the eternal present. That is the meaning of Kagami Biraki, a chance to glimpse the reality we veil with the mundaneness of day-to-day living....

"Angry White Pyjamas" by Robert Twigger



[This message has been edited by Mary S (edited July 06, 2000).]


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 Post subject: Breaking the Mirror
PostPosted: Thu Jul 06, 2000 7:52 pm 
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Tony-san...I think you are correct!!!

I thought this was a rather neat concept from a few points...firstly, it is apparently a dojo tradition that I have never heard of before and has got me wondering how many others are out there.

Next, the book itself (Angry White Pyjamas - Robert Twigger) was an interesting account of a "gaijin" who studied with the Tokyo Riot Police for a year in a demanding budo training course (aikido-based)...oh we are so soft!!! Image

Finally there's the whole "esoteric" concept of the mirror and our images of ourselves....


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 Post subject: Breaking the Mirror
PostPosted: Thu Jul 06, 2000 9:00 pm 
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Thanks for sharing, Mary,

The concept of "breaking the mirror of self-reflection" has long been a staple of many focus or self-help groups. There is a technique where participants sit in a circle with the one wants to be "mirrored" sitting in the center (of self). She tells her story of pain or problems and then proceeds to hear it repeated back to her with 8 different viewing points.

The idea is to get the one in the center to become the "knowledgeable fool", see their own folly of their story as a game for their own entertainment. There are several other elements in this therapy which resolve the issues or put the participant "back together" after their mirror has been shattered.

I wonder if the psychologists learned kagami biraki and incorporated into their methods. Very interesting.

I think that training enables one to break the mirror many times before black belt and each circle or level of black belt after that. It gives us an opportunity to get out of our box of limitations and "re-create" ourselves.



------------------
In Beauty,

Jackie


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 Post subject: Breaking the Mirror
PostPosted: Fri Jul 07, 2000 5:22 am 
hmmm..kind of like tossing a stone at your reflection in a pond. There is some distortion and then your reflection returns. Is it the same reflection? It can't be. Time has passed. Time passes without tossing the stone...why is that the same refleciton? because the moment of distortion is a door, without it, time passes without change. That, is inertia! So the breaking of the mirror can be likened to the passing through neutral in Sanchin.

Tony


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 Post subject: Breaking the Mirror
PostPosted: Fri Jul 07, 2000 10:23 am 
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Location: Boston, MA
I like the symbolism. Image

Another traditional practice I really enjoyed at the aikido dojo was simply sitting in seiza for five minutes before the beginning of class. A transition period. Step on the mat, a sacred place, sit in seiza and clear the mind of all that preceded and truly enter into the sacredness of the moment and the practice.

david


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 Post subject: Breaking the Mirror
PostPosted: Fri Jul 07, 2000 12:03 pm 
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David-san...I would recommend you read this book!

Seiza for five minutes I'm sure is very tranquil. These guys would do it for 2-3 hours at a time!!!

And if that wasn't bad enough, they would perform usagi tobi (bunny hops) to regain the circulation in their legs, usually until they fell over and could not rise.

They also practiced suwair waza - a kneeling position from where they would perform their aikido, until their knees were bloody. Their motto was basically "Learn to take the pain, learn to give the pain, make friends with pain".

I think I would chance 13 years of bad luck after that!! ~grin~

Do not think that
This is all that exists
There is much more to learn -
The sword is unfathomable.

The world is wide
Full of happenings.
Keep that in mind
And never believe
"I'm the only one who knows."

(Yamaoka Tesshu)

[This message has been edited by Mary S (edited July 07, 2000).]


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 Post subject: Breaking the Mirror
PostPosted: Sat Jul 08, 2000 11:26 am 
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Location: Boston, MA
Mary,

I will get this book. I heard about it and forgot until you posted it. Image

The suwari waza thing reminded me of a seminar I attended where several shihans were teaching. One particular shihan was incensed that the class didn't quiet down fast enough for his taste. His punishment was to have the whole class do suwari waza for the next hour. Suwari waza is a great vehicle for learning to move from the center. But to use it is a disciplinary tool vs a teaching tool... The shihan should have been be sent to his room to read Tesshu's treatise on swordsmanship, zen and humility. A little humility would have gone a long way for someone who took himself way too seriously.

david


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 Post subject: Breaking the Mirror
PostPosted: Wed Jul 12, 2000 1:16 pm 
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I came across this quote by Bruce Lee:

Relationship is understanding.
It is a process of self-revelation.
Relationship is the mirrorin which you discover yourself -- to be is to be related.

Jackie

[This message has been edited by Jackie Olsen (edited July 12, 2000).]


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 Post subject: Breaking the Mirror
PostPosted: Wed Jul 12, 2000 6:05 pm 
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Another interesting point about mirrors are they only reflect what is on the surface...no matter how much they show, they never show all...

David, I agree somewhat with your post on discipline but at the same time I think that's what the study of martial arts is about to a certain extent - mind you, discipline and punishment are not the same things...I wonder if the students ever made that mistake again...perhaps they learned a valuable lesson on their own humility...in the dojo respect for your instructor should be first and foremost...again, of course, that it a two-way street Image

[This message has been edited by Mary S (edited July 12, 2000).]


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 Post subject: Breaking the Mirror
PostPosted: Wed Jul 12, 2000 6:57 pm 
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Mary,

And think about where you look into a mirror ... when not centered, there can be a distortion, while a magnifying mirror causes the image to be blown out of proportion. :}

Jackie


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