Mochizuki was a Chief Aikido Instructor in the Osaka Prefecture. When people came to ask him to teach them, he would always ask them a simple question. What will it take for you to become a kinder, more loving individual? Many people were taken aback by this question for a couple of reasons, first they came wanting to be taught how to fight, and second their concept of a martial arts instructor, was that he would be rough, tough and aggressive and also they had not thought about this before, The answer he was looking for was action! It takes action to become a kinder, more loving individual.
At the same time, ironically there is nothing you do particularly. The majority of sincere acts of kindness and generosity seem natural. They stem from a way of thinking where giving and service have become integrated into the person’s thought process.
Mochizuki Sensei always started his day meditating on the question
“How may I be of service?” He said he found this extremely helpful to remind himself of the multitude of ways that he could help others. As he went through his day he found answers popping into his head all day long.
The purpose of Aikido is to help people to become their authentic selves. One way we would act if we are our authentic selves is to set goals to be of service to others. When you set this goal you will find endless chances to practice. Some ways you can be of service is to let someone go before you when waiting in line. To clean the public areas without waiting for others to ask you. To give food to a hungry person. To help old people to carry their groceries.
Many people think it is too much trouble to serve others and they live only thinking and taking care of their own needs. This is a very selfish and immature way to live. These people have very small minds, hearts and spirits. Other people think they will make a one-time effort. They do something for someone else and immediately expect others to do something for them. When nothing happens they complain, criticise others and moan how unfair life is.
Aikido teaches us that a life of service is a lifelong process, a way of thinking about life.
If the dishes need to be washed, go ahead and wash them, even if you did them last night. If one of your friends or relatives are giving you a hard time, maybe he/she needs a hug or someone that they can just vent on. Go ahead and lend an ear.
When you serve don’t make a big deal out of it. Look for the small, quiet, often unnoticeable acts to perform. We have one life and this is not a practice run. We are here to grow to maturity and become unconditional in our love and giving.
When you give, you also receive. When you give the Universe gives to you. Try this for a short time like a week, Serve others but don’t let them know what you are doing. Observe how you will impact other’s lives, and be aware of how the Universe gives back to you. You will experience a deep sense of peace. You will contribute to making the world a better place to live. Everyone wins.
Until next time I wish you peace, love and success.
Martin Acton sensei