Morihei Ueshiba (1883-1969) was history's greatest martial artist. Even as an old man of eighty, Morihei could disarm any foe, down any number of attackers, and pin down an opponent with a single finger. Although invincible as a warrior, Morihei was above all a man of peace who detested fighting, war, and any kind of violence. His was was Aikido, which can be translated as "The Art of Peace."
There is much in this book that I can resonate with as a Quaker. He writes:
Foster and polish
The warrior spirit
While serving in the world;
Illuminate the path
According to your inner light.
is the true shield.
Opponents confront us continually,
there is no opponent there.Enter deeply into an attack and neutralize it as you
draw that misdirected force into your own sphere.
The Art of Peace is a
form of prayer that generates light and heat. Forget about your little self,
detach yourself from objects, and you radiate light and warmth. Light is wisdom;
warmth is compassion.
As this little book of wisdom makes clear, there are many ways to defend
oneself and one's loved ones without killing or maiming one's opponent, if we
are open to the inner light and to the Way. If we spent as much time training in
these nonviolent techniques as we spend watching movies that make us fearful, or
practicing how to shoot guns that usually end up killing the wrong person by
accident or getting stolen by criminals, we would feel and be a lot safer. True
security doesn't come from a weapon; it comes from being truly centered in the
Way that shows us how to respond to threats appropriately and nonviolently.
Guns and violence give us only illusory security. The only way to achieve peace is to be at peace with oneself
My friend Doris sent me this quotation in response (I would prefer inclusive language, i.e. "person of peace"):
A man of peace is not a pacifist, a man of peace is simply a pool of silence.
He pulsates a new kind of energy into the world, he sings a new song. He lives
in a totally new way his very way oflife is that of grace, that of prayer, that
of compassion. Whomsoever he touches, he creates more love-energy.
The man of peace is creative. He is not against war, because to be
against anything is to be at war. He is not against war, he simply understands
why war exists. And out of that understanding he becomes peaceful. Only when
there are many people who are pools of peace, silence, understanding, will the
war disappear.--OSHO. Zen: The Path of Paradox, Vol II"