collective wisdom
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Cliff Bernstein, PhD

cliff bernstein

Shodan, East Bay Aikido

Stance can refer to a strongly held position or ideology. However, this rigidity can keep us from being in the moment of encounter and often keep us from reconciliation. The authors of The Power of Collective Wisdom, fortunately, do not get caught in this trap. I appreciate that they present stance as a psychological and spiritual source to guide our actions.

My practice, aikido, embodies source principles that are very similar to the authors’ six stances. For example, here are similarities with three of the authors’ stances: In aikido, we try to deeply listen to the other, both out of respect, and in order to blend with their intention and movement. After listening, we apply our aikido technique (i.e., solution). But if we become too rigid or too attached to our solution, then as the situation changes, we can no longer respond appropriately. When that occurs we may feel forced to resist or overpower the other(s) with an out-of-touch solution. To effectively respond, we need to suspend our certainty about our solution and learn to welcome all that is arising in the emerging situation. Quite simply, I believe the authors of The Power of Collective Wisdom have presented compassionate and helpful mindfulness practices that are very consistent with the principles of aikido.

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