We practiced one of my favourite things in aikido today - katate mochi renzoku (one wrist grasp, 180 degree pivot, with partner). We spent about 15 - 20 minutes doing this, back and forth, over and over, and I found myself falling into a meditative state.

This happened partly because of the repetition and simplicity of the exercise, and partly because I found a focus for my attention that allowed most of my mind chatter to fall away (I had a good partner, too!). Sensei had made us mindful of keeping our lead hand in our centre as we pivoted, and as time passed I began to feel that my hand was actually cradling something very precious.

After a time, I realized what it was:

The precious jewel of my partner’s spirit as she poured her energy and attention into the exercise…

This is but one reason why I love aikido…