By Morihei Ueshiba

Constant growth

Life is development. To achieve this, climb high mountains and descend into the deepest valleys of your soul. Breathe in and feel that you are sucking in everything that exists in heaven and earth. Breathe out and feel that the air leaving your body carries the seed of fertility, and will make humanity more true, better, and more beautiful.

Infinite breathing

All that exists above and below, also exists within you. And everything breathes; when you realize this, you will also understand the Art of Peace. Those who practice it know they are warriors protecting Mother Nature, and with each breath are putting inside themselves the sun and the moon, heaven and earth, the high and low tides, spring and winter, summer and fall.

Man’s entire apprenticeship can be summed up in how one breathes consciously. Each time you do so, you share the powerful energy which sustains Creation.

Conscious attention

Make each day a truly new one, by wearing the blessings of Heaven, bathing in wisdom and love, and placing yourself under Mother Nature’s protection. Learn from the wise men, holy books, but never forget that each mountain, river, plant or tree, also has something to teach you.

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More about Aikido

Aikido, one of the few martial arts I have ever practiced. Created by the Japanese master Morihei Ueshiba (1883-1969), the word means "The art (or way) of peace." I remember spending endless nights with my companions, learning to fight in such a way that the adversary’s negative energy is directed against himself.

Ueshiba, who is known by those who practice Aikido as "The Grand Master", left behind a series of philosophical practices, during his conferences, in his poetry and conversations with disciples. Here are a few of his main teachings.

Where to begin the art of peace

The art of peace begins inside you; work to manage to keep it at your side. Everyone has a spirit which can be perfected, a body which can be trained, and a path to follow.

You are here to fulfill these three tasks, and to do so two things will be necessary: maintain calm, and practice the Art in everything you do. None of us needs money, power or status in order to practice the Art; at this precise moment you are one step away from Paradise, and should train now.

The universe and us

The whole universe comes from the same source. This source, which we call life, contains our past, the present, and the future. As man moves forward, he can either dissolve or harmonize his vital energy. Evil is born the moment we start to believe that that which belongs to all, belongs only to ourselves; this causes pride, useless desires, and anger. But anyone not possessed by things, eventually becomes lord of all.

The eight forces

In order to practice the Art of Peace, one must at some point delve alternately into the eight opposing forces which make up the Universe:

Movement and inertia
Solidity and adaptation,
Contraction and distention,
Unification and division.

These are present in everything, from the vast space to the smallest plants; each thing carries a gigantic reserve of universal energy, which can be used for the benefit of all.

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