Meditation, Improv, Aikido

Earl Vickers in a 2020 essay "Yes, and": Acceptance, Resistance, and Change in Improv, Aikido, and Psychotherapy offers an interesting table of "Parallels between improv, Aikido, Ericksonian therapy, and meditation". Omitting the (redundant, distracting?) psychotherapy column it looks like:

Concept Improv Aikido Meditation
Physical Stance Relaxed and alert, flexible, open awareness Centered stance, relaxed, neither rigid nor limp, soft gaze, deep breathing, open awareness; receptive, open, engaged Relaxed yet alert, attention to breathing, open awareness
Being Centered Be spontaneous, present in the moment, listening Centered in the present moment, centered physically, connected to opponent's center Focused on the present
Entering "Enter the Danger"IrimiFully engage with the present moment
Resistance, Struggle Avoid blocking your partner's offers and your own ideas Avoid struggle; give the attacker nothing to resist – the attacker feels no force until it is too late Don't struggle with distracting thoughts
Blending Yes, and...Blending Accept any distracting thoughts and continue with your meditation
Acceptance, Mistakes as Gifts "Mistakes are gifts," an opportunity to remove the fear of failure – celebrate failure View the attack as a gift, an opportunity to restore disturbed harmony Accept the present moment; accept distracting thoughts instead of trying to block them out
Redirection Add to the offer, embellish it or redirect it Redirect the attack using circular motions Gently redirect your focus to the object of your meditation
Indirectness "Dare to be dull" – don't go directly for the punch line Indirect movements taking the path of least resistance, frequently a spiral Let your thoughts run their course instead of trying to make them stop
Protect your partner / yourself Make your partner look good; don't try to one-up your partner Protect the attacker; use the least amount of force needed Don't beat yourself up for losing focus

... a fascinating, thoughtful summary of similarities in some related paths to self-awareness!

(cf Aikido Spirit (2003-12-09), Virtues of Softness (2014-03-20), Mantra - Soften Into Experience (2014-11-26), Aikido Zen (2019-04-05), ...) - ^z - 2021-04-15