Thinking, Perception, and the Universe Itself
Many people habitually live in a relative world because they think and perceive in a relative, dualistic way. In this relative world, people assign importance and value to events, material things, and difference. When we think and behave in this relative way, we mistakenly perceive reality as characterized by tension and separation, me and you, right and wrong, and good and evil. Conflict, both obvious and subtle, ensues.
However, if we look deeply at the Universe Itself, we can learn to
perceive, think, and behave in a different Way. We can learn to experience, and ultimately embody, the higher truth that there is no real separation, no real conflict. We are truly empty of a lonely and independent existence. In the Universe Itself, all things are One. We are all originally and deeply connected, and we are already living in perfect harmony. That which causes our own sense of conflict, anxiety, frustration, and separation is our own relative way of being. All we need to do is to experience and realize for ourselves the deep underlying truth of connection.
By living in accord with the principles of the Universe, we gradually learn to
let go of our relative struggles and attachments. We learn how to experience the truth that right and wrong, good and evil, and positive and negative are all true. By awakening the experience of connection to all living things, compassion naturally arises. When this happens, we are led to be both positive and grateful in our daily life. By thinking and acting in this Way, our lives become filled with clarity, equanimity, and harmony. In reality, our true connection is ever present if we develop the eyes to see, the ears to hear, the nose to smell, the sense to taste and touch, and the mind to be awake. When this happens, we are naturally led further still to be of service to others, for we know deeply that we are already connected and thus we walk the Way of the Universe together.
- David Shaner
Chief Instructor, Eastern Ki Federation
8th Degree Blackbelt, Hachidan (Shinshin Toitsu Aikido)
Okuden, Shinshin Toitsudo (Ki development)
Shaner sensei is the Chief Instructor of the Eastern Ki Federation in the United States, is Japan Headquarter's Advisor to the Eastern Europe/Russia Ki-Aikido Federation, and was an uchi deshi (live-in student) at Ki Society HQ in Haramachi, Shinjuku-ku, Japan. He has been teaching at Furman University since 1982 and holds an endowed chair emeritus as the Herring Professor of Philosophy and Asian Studies, as well as Chair of the Department of Philosophy.
Shaner sensei is the author, co-author, or book series editor of over 40 books. His first book The Bodymind Experience in Japanese Buddhism (SUNY Press) was based upon his doctoral dissertation written for the University of Hawaii in 1980. Shaner sensei has also served as a law enforcement officer in the State of Colorado where he was responsible for designing and executing an arrest control system with quarterly qualifications for all officers in his jurisdiction (Pitkin County, Aspen, CO). Later he led training for security professionals developing a similar system of testing and qualification at Caesar Palace and the Mirage Casino and Resort Hotels in Las Vegas.
As an undergraduate, he was a NCAA collegiate ski racer and then was a member of the Olympic Valley USA Ski Team coached by Jean-Pierre Pascal. His continued interest in Performance Development led to his founding Shaner & Associates in 1987. Shaner & Associates has led major multi-year corporate change and performance development initiatives for well known companies such as Frito-Lay, Duracell, Gillette, Ryobi, Owens Corning, Synthetic Industries and JW Aluminum. Bottom line performance improvement is measured, tracked, and employees are rewarded based upon performance.
Shaner sensei has been a Fulbright Scholar in India and has received awards from the National Science Foundation and the National Endowment for the Humanities. As a 1979 Crown Prince Akihito Scholar, Shaner sensei was honored with a personal audience with His Majesty Emperor Akihito in 1988 (Akasaka Palace, Tokyo) and then again in 2009 at the 50th year celebration the Akihito Foundation (Honolulu, HI). In 1985 and 1986, he was an Andrew W. Mellon Faculty Fellow in the Humanities at Harvard University. Shaner sensei’s most recent book is Living With The Wind At Your Back which focuses on Using the Seven Arts to positively transform your life. His previous book, The Seven Arts of Change: Leading Business Transformation That Lasts addresses universal principles for successful organizational change and development.
Today, in addition to his work at Furman University and the Eastern Ki Federation, Shaner sensei is the Principal of CONNECT, LLC..
Three part interview with David Shaner Sensei, available on the audio page.
Terry Pierce Sensei
Chief Instructor New Jersey Ki Society
7th Degree Blackbelt (Shinshin Toitsu Aikido)
Okuden, Shinshin Toitsudo (Ki development)
Pierce Sensei is a 7th degree blackbelt in Shinshin Toitsu Aikido and Okuden in Shinshin Toitsudo. He has been training in Aikido and a loyal student of Tohei Sensei for over 44 years. This makes Pierce Sensei the most senior member of the Eastern Ki Federation. Pierce Sensei serves as Chief Instructor of the New Jersey Ki Society.
Pierce Sensei began studying Aikido in 1960 after completing his service in the Army. He later co-founded the N.J. Aikikai in Merchantville, N.J. And in 1968, he became the Chief Instructor of the South Jersey Aikikai on Long Beach Island, N.J.
Pierce Sensei founded the N.J. Ki Society in Riverton, N.J. in 1974. In 1983, while studying at Ki no Kenkyukai in Japan, Pierce Sensei was appointed a Leader in the Ki no Genri Jissenkai. Pierce Sensei is a Full Lecturer for the International Ki Society. Today, Pierce Sensei applies over four decades of Ki training as a personal massage therapist, having accumulated over 600 hours of certified training.