A funny thing happens on the way to learning something, we realize that given the proper attitude that we can learn something from everyone. The key statement is "given the proper attitude." Having the proper attitude begins with letting go of the ego of "I know." When we can realize that we don't know everything then we can begin the journey to learn a lot of things. Learning requires we first be open to anything and everything and second be willing to learn from anything and everything. When asked, "Who is your teacher?" the enlightened monk answers, "Everything." The Buddha said, "Nothing ever exists entirely alone; everything is in relation to everything else." Because everything is the same or interrelated then we can then learn from any source. Last night's Tai Chi seminar, although not Aikido, can help us become better Aikidoist, but that requires that we look upon it with open and willing eyes. If you can do that then everyone and everything can become your teacher and there won't be anything you can't do or learn. With that power, the world will then become your oyster.
------------------------------------------------------ Day 8 update: Whew what a day. Taking guests around shopping and running back and forth from the dojo to the hotel presented enough let someone off the hook moments to last for days. But, I mandated for myself 4 and 4 and that was the hard part. Letting myself off the hook was easy to do once, but 3 more times was a real struggle. I am starting to see that it is so hard to be easy on myself, but I think that this challenge is shaping up this way.
Day 9: Let 2 people off the hook and let yourself off 7 times.