watchSomeone asked me, "What is the one aspect in the Aikido technique they should master?"  The most important element I told them is the mind.  In Buddhism, they have a saying, "mind matters most."  More than what we do or what we say, what and how we think are the most influential factors in our lives.  Every action and every word began as a thought in our minds.  The physical movement is non existent without the initiation of the mind.  The movement is therefore a physical manifestation of our minds.  Therefore, mind matters most. In the beginning, we are told to train with the goal of clearing our minds and to "not think."  This enables the training to clear our minds of "clutter" which is similar to meditation training.  This is also why we are not supposed to talk and keep the distractions to a minimum.  After we have mastered the movements and have de-cluttered our minds, we can then bring our minds back into the movements in order to take our training to an even higher level.

“Watch your thoughts, they become words; watch your words, they become actions; watch your actions, they become habits; watch your habits, they become character; watch your character, for it becomes your destiny" is a quote that is attributed to several prolific historical figures.  Regardless of its origin it succinctly sums up how our minds or more importantly how we think factors into our lives.  The mind is the best tool we possess, but we must master it because as the old adage goes, "it is a wonderful servant, but a terrible master."  Therefore, be mindful of how you use your brain because the mind matters most.