Introduction: Practice as Transformative Wholeness

  • Michael A. GordonEmail author


In this chapter, the author introduces his autobiographical near-death experience of a motorcycle accident as the basis for examining his life and the self-study that forms this book, within a gestalt or whole. Touching on the figure-ground-contact approach of Gestalt Therapy, the author puts this self-study within the context of a lifetime of involvement in the Japanese art of Ki Aikido. In Aikido, one learns to coordinate their mind, body, and life energy (Japanese: ki) to better attune and move in synchronization with the world around them. The ethos of Aikido reflects the broader virtue ethics of traditional Japanese arts—do, michi, or ‘way’—and how this approach to education aims for spiritual self-cultivation in daily life, rather than mere acquisition of technical or intellectual knowledge. Through Aikido, Japanese calligraphy or shodo (which the author took up as a comparative/adjunct ‘way’ for his study), and beyond into increased skillful awareness in motorcycling and educational praxis, this chapter draws on Yasuo Yuasa’s theory of ki as ‘teleological intentionality.’ By taking a ‘path’ approach to learning through this ‘ki awareness’ one thus develops and enhances their embodied presence into what Yuasa calls ‘transpersonal synchronization.’


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Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Simon Fraser UniversityVancouverCanada

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