On reflection on Paul Goodman’s quote I became aware of various attitudes to
balance that we embody in our practice.
I thought that we can practice as though having our balance is a limited and
scarce resource we might fear loosing and thus cling rigidly too.
I thought that we can also practice as though balance is an infinite
This then encourages me not to cling to my states of balance. I am
then able to more freely identify with what I become ( as Goodman says) and
flow, fall and feel free with my partner. I am less defensive of my
balance with a fear of loosing it.
As one my partners commented, when I
practice with that attitude she noticed a sense of lightness in our
“A fall from grace.” “I fell about laughing.” “I’ve fallen in love.” Whether positive or negative, it seems that the underlying conotation of falling is a lack of volition/control. This links back to some of the other posts relating to control, as well as to the many different shades of ‘traditional’ aikido practice where a dojo’s interpretation and suggested application of falling, appears to be a key component in maintaing the integrity of the entire system or ethos that the dojo operates. It seems to me that falling, either literally due to gravity, or figuratively, is an unavoidable aspect of life, and that letting go of our inhibitions to be part of this, is both practical and something that will free up space in our lives. On the other hand, going back to falling as being spontaneous/unplanned for, should we ever aim to fall?
I very much agree with what you suggest as the “freeing up of space”. that is very much what I experience when I am not narrowed into fixing my balance.
“cheers” is something i say before the fluid falls down my throat!