Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Dealing with Enemies

His enemies are not demons,
but human beings like himself.
He doesn't wish them harm....

He enters a battle gravely,
with sorrow and with great compassion.

Lao Tzu

As Budoka, it is important for us to listen to these words from the Old Man...Lao Tzu. Entering into battle is a serious event with potentially dire consequences, even when defending one's self. Our enemies, or assailants, are not demons but flesh and blood like ourselves. A Sage or Follower of the Way exemplifies compassion and wishes noone any harm.

A few years ago one of my Black Belts from Nebraska had a desire to develop his Chi to a very strong state for defense purposes. He wanted to know how to do this. I remembered that the founder of Aikido, O'sensei Uyeshiba, once stated it is more important to develop compassion than Ki or Chi. This is what I relayed to my student. He took the advice and was thankful as it made sense to him...me too. For I too, at one time, had the same desire, and have found compassion much stronger than Chi.

Lao Tzu also stated:

As weapons are instruments of destruction, they are not properly a gentlemen's instruments; Only of necessity will he resort to them. For peace and quiet are dearest to his heart, and to him even a victory is no cause for rejoicing.

It is a very sad thing to harm another, even in self-defense, and this is why whenever you face a confrontation it is best to walk away if you can. However, if you can't walk away and you must resort to violence, Lao Tzu would say it is prudent, although still tragic.

Patient with both friends and enemies, you accord with the way things are.

So if you need to defend yourself. Defend yourself....but have compassion. For Lao Tzu also states: When two armies join in battle, the one that is compassionate wins.

Words to chew on.

Hands palm to palm,


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