The spirit of Budo in Softball

\"ArmThis story is amazing to me. In Aikido, we are taught, as part of Ueshiba’s higher philosophy, that Budo is not about felling an opponent, but about improving yourself, so that you may help others to grow and improve themselves. Here, we have a Softball match, where two opposing team members help each other, simply because it was the most obvious thing to do, as a human. They walked arm-in-arm, not arms against one another.

Read more about it here.Arm in arm

Oh! It’s a fable I first read in one of Saotome Sensei’s books!

I am reminded of an old Japanese folk tale of an adventurous young man who wanted to know the difference between heaven and hell. He first looked upon hell and saw many people seated at a long table filled with the finest foods. But everyone had gaunt faces with sunken cheeks. They were thin and weak, crying in despair. A closer look revealed that their hands had only two fingers formed into the shape of hashi, Japanese chopsticks, four feet long. Although they could pick up the food, their fingers were so long that they could not get it into their mouths. In frustration, they were turning their tools into weapons, fighting selfishly among themselves for the food they could not eat.

Then he looked upon heaven. He saw the same long table with the same beautifully prepared food and the same long fingers. But everyone was laughing and smiling at the others. Their cheeks were full and glowing with health. There was no fighting, for they picked up the food and, extending it to the other side of the table, fed each other.

What is the difference between heaven and hell? Consciousness, compassion and cooperation.

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