….then you are rushed.  When drawing a katana, you must be centered.  Your mind must not be inhibited by anything.  If your mind goes to the weapon’s handle, it will stop at the handle.  If your mind goes to your opponent, it will stop at the opponent.  If your mind goes to your spirit, it will stop at the spirit.  I am paraphrasing Takuan Soho here.  The “mind” he refers to is a combination of what Integral Theory considers the subtle and causal.   When you fall into duality, you stop there.  Deep stuff to learn just from swinging a sword, huh?

We practiced this today.  Drawing, cutting, and sheathing (noto) are all one smooth action harmonized with your opponent.  If you feel like you are rushing to get to the noto, then you are and the subtle flow will be lost.  You sink into your separation and if you are in a real fight, you die.  Another favorite paraphrasing here from Sun Tzu’s Art of War:   if you know your enemies and know yourself, you will not be imperiled in a hundred battles; if you do not know your enemies but do know yourself, you will win one and lose one; if you do not know your enemies nor yourself, you will be imperiled in every single battle.

Know your enemy and yourself, because you are your enemy and yourself.  (That one is mine.)  Love thy neighbor (that’s Jesus), because you are your neighbor (that’s me).  On the level of Oneness, there is no separation between all of us, friend and foe, self and other.  If you can recognize that and let those movements pervade down through all the levels to the physical, your technique will take on a new significance.