Where Does Peace Begin?

Morihei Ueshiba (1883-1969) was the founder of the martial art Aikido.

I love Aikido. The first ad I ever wrote was a flyer to promote the Kent State University Aikido Club in 1972 or so.

I was president of the club, not because I knew Aikido but because I wanted to learn it.

I founded the club, promoted it, gathered some students, and then found an Aikido instructor to come and teach us the art.

We studied the peaceful art and the wisdom of its founder. Ueshiba once wrote:

“The Art of Peace begins with you. Work on yourself and your appointed task in the Art of Peace. Everyone has a spirit that can be refined, a body that can be trained in some manner, a suitable path to follow. You are here for no other purpose than to realize your inner divinity and manifest your innate enlightenment. Foster peace in your own life and then apply the Art to all that you encounter.”

That is a quote that could have been in my book Zero Limits.

Note he didn’t say what path to follow. Divinity guides your way. Your job is to stay on your path and work on you.

Are you?

Ao Akua,


PS – My “red flags” post from the other day has gotten more traffic, diggs, and comments than anything I’ve written here yet. Thank you. I am very grateful.


  1. August 30, 2007 at 10:02 pm

    Yes, Joe, I am realizing that seeing divinity in myself and in turn within others, is the only real goal – thanks to your writing, Joe, and thanks, also, to many other teachers and guides.

    100% responsibity for all I experience in life has given my present moments beauty and peace, even when sometimes chaos is near. I am sorry, please forgive me, thank you, I love you, has become my daily mantra as I move through my day.

    I am truly grateful for how you present action as the impetus to spirit, it is all fluid and alive and working. Inspired action is becoming a more frequent visitor, and will become a habit as I keep following my own path to peace.

    I love you!
    All the best,

  2. Kami Kai-Reply
    August 31, 2007 at 3:43 am

    “The divine is not something high above us. It is in heaven, it is in earth, it is inside us.” Morihei Ueshiba
    Thank you Joe for sharing your divine spark with us all, for providing guidance and sometimes I must admit admit for acting as a “flag system” in my life.:roll:
    And since I got a green flag(I’m going to a free symphonic concert this weekend:grin:) I decided to post my first comment and to show a sign of appreciation for an inspiring person. Let my appreciation join with that of others so that you may flourish and continue to spread the seeds of your wisdom.


  3. john-Reply
    August 31, 2007 at 6:14 am

    Wow, I didn’t know you were a practioner Joe!
    I, too, practiced aikido. 🙂

  4. August 31, 2007 at 6:59 am

    VERY well said and I DO strongly agree that Peace begins WITHIN you and therefore US. To me it has been vital to apply Peace in, to and around my own life and to all that “appears in front of you”.

  5. August 31, 2007 at 9:43 am

    I said it on Digg:

    Your job is to stay on your own path and work on you. Not your neighbor, boss, co-worker, spouse or anyone else. You can’t be them and live their path. Change begins within yourself. So stop wishing other people were different and meeting them head-on. Sidestep; work on the only thing you can directly change in the equation, and that is yourself.

    That’s what I get out of this.

    …another thing O-Sensei said was:

    To practice properly Aikido, you must:
    Calm the spirit and return to the source.
    Cleanse the body and spirit by removing all malice, selfishness, and desire.

    Is it any wonder that Aikido, which can be translated as “The Art of Peace” or “The Art of Harmony” was called “The Way”?

    It’s kind of funny, because by today’s standards, Ueshiba would be considered a badass because he used to throw people through the floor of his dojo. Definitely, not the Hippie stuff that passes as Aikido in so many dojos these days.


  6. Timely Post Joe!
    Wednesday was my first Shotokan Karate Practice since I took a 6 month hiatus to focus on bodybuilding.

    My how I missed martial arts training!

    In the martial art of life, part of my “mental mindset” training is to visit your blog, become inspired, enlightened, entertained and sometimes even challenged.

    Thanks for sharing the great posts and riffs.

  7. August 31, 2007 at 3:05 pm

    Perhaps I’ve been lead to this post for the reason that I may also participate in this martial art discussed. I listened to your Audio of Beyond The Attractor Factor earlier this week. All I can say is thank you. It’s added yet another vital piece to this puzzle.

  8. Lana-Reply
    August 31, 2007 at 8:58 pm

    Dear Joe,

    I wanted to learn Aikido too for strength and protection. You have given me some useful links to follow up on so I can find a proper accredited instructor. I had planned to do Karate but I think Aikido suits my receptive nature better. I realised that this serves a real need in my life and I look forward to receiving this gift. Peace begins within, I have been focussing on this some more and realise we can’t change people’s destinies – we are all like are like a like a seed that grows into a tree and through our own volition we shape our lives not through the well meaning intervention of others. People have a unique life path of their own choosing. If tuning forks are placed side by side and one is struck, the other picks up the same resonance and vibrates at the same pitch and we need to remember this, before we try to impose our wills on others.

    I have been meditating with the gift of Shaktipat which was transmitted to a Westerner by the name of Steven S Sadleir who after undergoing an NDE spent most of his life on a spiritual pilgrimmage. You can find out more about Shaktipat on the internet. I have tried to get Shaktipat everywhere and this man has received it through the divine blessings of a guru by the name of Sri Sri Sri Shivabalayogi who had initiated him into his lineage. He has a website called http://www.selfawareness.com and the meditation is available for free or by purchase. It has given me an unshakeable divine peace, more than any other Theta meditation, and I have meditated consistently for several years. He also said the same and has been a restless seeker most of his life with many teachers, never fully becomming satisfied with his quest, His life story is quite inspiring to say the least and you can try his meditation on 24hr radio.

    Many blessings to you

  9. September 1, 2007 at 7:04 am

    Hi Joe! I got tons of e-mail messages yesterday from people saying they bought your book Zero LImits because of the review I wrote on my blog. HA! I am so excited. I hope it’s super successful. I want everyone in the whole world to read this book. It’s practical and revolutionary, and will change the way people think. Already i am seeing a difference in my own life just by telling people “I love you.” People aren’t even shocked. They just say ‘i love you too!” HA! It’s so great. i am taking the leap. No more fear. You can read the Zero Limits review here: http://www.lisanatoli.com

    I love you Joe!

  10. RonKaye-Reply
    September 1, 2007 at 8:31 am

    Joe –
    After knowing you for years, I am honestly surprised to learn that you are aikidoka. Having spent several years under the classical tutelage of the late Rinzai Master Mei Kuan, I came to appreciate the true power of gentleness, even if it is not always manifest in my own behavior!

    Perhaps you and I will see each other again one day, and trade dojo stories.


  11. September 2, 2007 at 1:12 pm

    I LOVE that quote and love Zero Limits…of course I manifested that $50,000 shocking check 60 days or so after reading the Attractor Factor!

    I would love to share a few videos that help us reconnect to our Divinity Joe. First http://www.divinitymovie.com and http://www.thepowerofmywaymovie.com to support the inner journey, and http://www.believeitandbefree.com for the outer, more global journey…

    Namaste Joe, Anita


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