When All Is One

Disappearance of Self and Others. Appearance of Oneness
Most of us regard mind and body as separate parts of ourselves. But in the east, this is something that is not so. In spiritual disciplines such as Zen and many martial arts such as Ki Aikido, mind and body are considered one and these disciplines eventually lead to the realisation that All is one, and that nothing is really separate.

Regarding mind and body being one, if you think about this, it is quite easy to understand. When we feel an emotion such as happiness, sadness, frustration or satisfaction, we can only recognise that we are feeling it through our body as the nervous systems in our body reacts to not only our feelings, but our thoughts as well.

I discovered this many years ago when I practised the martial art, Ki-Aikido. At first it was a strange concept to me that body and mind were one, then I experienced how the mind and body, when mentally co-ordinated (as they were designed to be), can be capable of almost supernatural feats. I learned how it was possible to render my body to be immovable when pushed on by another person, or indeed, two other people. And then how to render one arm to be un-bendable that even when I relaxed all the muscles completely, an opponent who placed one hand into my elbow joint and the other hand on my wrist found he was unable to bend it.

This was all done by a visualisation process called extending Ki, and the more practised I became, the more effective it was. I was learning mind and body co-ordination; learning just how mind and body were really co-ordinated and functioning as one. The essence of this at-one-ness was referred to as Ki in Japanese. In China Ki is referred to as Chi, and in India Ki is referred to as Prana. It is the life-force; it is who we really are. This is the energy that we are part of and in spiritual reality at one with. A good analogy would be that of the ocean and in our earthly experience, we are the droplets of water of streams and rivers not really separated from it and to which which we are constantly moving towards. One day we will return and become part of the greater ocean and indistinguishable from the whole We are then, the ocean. We are the Ki. But we are connected to it anyway as we could ask… where does the water of the river separate and the ocean begin?

On the "combat" side of Ki Aikido, we learned how to put ourselves in our opponent’s position. By relaxing completely (always) and becoming one with our opponent. Again all this was done through visualisation, proving to ourselves over and over again the power that emerges when we can let go of separation and become at one, with our minds, with our opponents, in fact we are encouraged to practice being at one with everything we encounter in day-to-day life.

For most of us this is difficult, but as we live from our mind in dualism, what seems most real to us is the separation of self and other. Such opposites make ‘sense’ of life. But with the practice of that very dualism in using our imagination of all being one, there may at first be odd glimpses of self and other disappearing, and there being no-thoughts or no-mind... an awareness so profound that we would be not be able to describe it with words when we returned to being in the duality again that helps us make ‘sense’ of worldly life.

Being at one does not make sense, for the mind is totally conditioned to make sense by fragmenting information that we learn in life. But who is the one that learns?

Once we have experienced being at one, we will return to such a transcendence of duality, providing we don’t go looking for it. It is already so! What already is, cannot be found in the dualism of the mind that searches through desire. The paradox is that without desire to re-experience at-one-ness we are unlikely to have the experience again. We need to be in a state of full acceptance of anything if we are to transcend it, even desire. Once we give up the desire, we will be aware that we are indeed, at one.

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