The Golden Rules For Living If you open it, close it. If you turn it on, turn it off. If you unlock it, lock it up. If you break it, admit it. If you can't fix it, call in someone who can. If you borrow it, return it. If you value it, take care of it. If you make a mess, clean it up. If you move it, put it back. If it belongs to someone else, get permission to use it. If you don't know how to operate it, leave it alone. If it's none of your business, don't ask questions.

Most of these rules are common sense, but I am sure we are not all surprised at how many people are really unable to comply with them.

This weekend we are having Osoji or the year end clean up.  It is our responsibility as students to help out especially since rule #8 is, "If you make a mess, clean it up."  However it is more than that.  Cleaning is part of our training and the cleaning itself isn't what we learning.  We are trying to teach ourselves a concept of a higher calling - compassion.  Think of this idea of ukemi where we are giving ourselves to others for their benefit.  Every great religion in the world preaches this idea of altruism, selflessness and compassion.  Ukemi is the practice of selflessness and compassion in action and cleaning is an extension of that selflessness.  We are deepening our understanding of that compassionate act when we clean.  Sure nobody wants to train in a dirty dojo but it's more than just cleaning.  We clean for the other people who train, for the art of Aikido, for the dojo, for our teachers, for Sensei, for O Sensei and ultimately for ourselves because if we can clean out of respect for others then we have a chance to have respect for ourselves.

The true indicator of a good student is that they do the right thing at the right time.  When they see a piece of paper on the ground, they pick it up without being asked and without the desire for recognition or reward.  The dojo is dirty, please help clean it up on Saturday.  After all it is part of your training.

Osoji: Saturday, December 20th 9:00 AM to 12:00 PM.