SudokuOver the past few years I have started playing sudoku.  When I started playing sudoku it was just something to do to waste time.  But, as I started playing more and more I became intrigued with how it expanded my mind.  In the beginning I played a paper based version but as I became more adept, I started using a computer based app because I needed the game to move faster and give me direct feedback.  This direct feedback is what I believe started to expand my mind. In the beginning I played using a "process of elimination" methodology where I used "pencil marks" to eliminate the improper choices in each box.  At the higher difficulty levels I started to see that the process of elimination methodology started to morph into a kind of logic where I didn't even need to use the pencil marks anymore.

It was kind of weird because I would get stuck and find myself just sitting there staring at the screen, but then something would just happen and my mind would come up with a possible logic to figure out a sequence.  It was kind of a "if this then that" type of logic which a majority of time worked out.  It would always amaze me how my brain would get stuck then unstick itself if I kept working on it.

This is kind of like Aikido training.  We get to a certain place with our techniques and start to think, "Hmm, I am starting to get a hang of this" then as we move up in ability we get stuck again.  As we keep training somehow we move through it and get unstuck but we can only do this is we keep on training.

I am fascinated how humans have capacity to unstick themselves when they are posed with a problem.  Whether it is a sudoku problem or an Aikido problem, all we need to do is keep on working on it.