"A [cooperative] society needs human beings...full of passion and enthusiasm for the general well-being, full of...sympathy for his fellow human beings...."
-- Rosa Luxemburg, From The Socialisation of Society
FREE MONTHLY DOJO VISITS
A Special Project of the Agape Order
For Dojo Owners
Many, perhaps most, students of Aikido are unaware that O'Sensei, Morihei Ueshiba, designed this martial art as an explicit tool for establishing a loving world, and thus in learning, practicing, and living this art, the student is actually part of a larger social stream or movement--that of the movement for a loving world. In this, the student of Aikido joins such bright lights as Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., Jesus the Christ, Lord Buddha, Mohandas K. Gandhi, and others. Unbeknownst to most of them, each student is a tributary flowing into the larger river of Love.
Love is shorthand for Brotherly Love, called Agape (ugg ah' pay) in the original philosophical Greek.
Under the DOJO VISITS program of The Agape Order, Master Vincent Frank De Benedetto, founder of the Order, author of the book LOVE ETHIC, and a longtime practitioner of Brotherly Love, will visit your dojo monthly, free of charge to speak to your class or classes about O'Sensei's philosophical, social, and moral intention in creating Aikido: the spiritual and moral foundation behind the art of Aikido. Each visit lasts about 90 minutes. As part of his visit, Master Vincent in open class will speak to, and guide students who may want to use the opportunity to receive Love-oriented guidance on this or that problem that they are actually experiencing in their lives. The Master will assist students asking questions or seeking help on the spot right in open class session, so each and all can hear, learn, and contribute. Students are encourage to interact with each other, as they can likely bring their own experience and wisdom to bear in helping each other.
Each monthly session is about two hours. Less if interest flags for that particular session. There is no cost for the Master's monthly visit, although for those who can afford a small donation they are encouraged, as discussed, below.
In fact, because of the explicit and foundational spiritual basis for his art, Master Morihei Ueshiba would speak to his class before starting. The dojo visits of Master Vincent, then, are directly in the tradition, and consistent with the practice, of O'Sensei, himself.
Such guidance, in the context of the philosophy of O'Sensei, and given the insight into, and expertise in, the theory and practice of Love possessed by Master Vincent is rare. In fact, it's unheard of--this is a seminal program that has never been done, or certainly at least not with Master Vincent's unique principle, perspective, and practice of Love.
Master Vincent will return to your dojo every month, on the same date if possible, for another visit. He will continue his lessons in Brotherly Love, providing further guidance and information to the class. Students who were counseled during the last visit can take the opportunity for follow-up by the Master, and such counsel can continue each month indefinitely, providing a powerful platform for students to slowly learn the actual practice of Love, just as Master Ueshiba advocated and prescribed.
The visit is free although the Master does emplace a Donation bucket. Though not required, donations are encouraged as travel to and from your and other dojos becomes costly over time. Moreover, the Master must have means to survive in the world, as must we all. In rough analogue to O'Sensei, Master Vincent Frank De Benedetto has spent most of his life as a philosopher and writer working actively each day to change, and indeed save, the world. He has not devoted his life to refining his knowledge of income generation, or indeed to producing such income. So donations are appreciated and, in the long term, necessary for the health of the DOJO VISITS program.
In the world of today where violence is so prevalent both here and abroad, where young people seem exceptionally confused and unhappy and teen suicide is commonplace, and where essentially everyone is feeling the strain of economic difficulty and a general feeling of disconnection from everyone else, oftentimes even family, no one seems to have an answer that is both genuinely plausible and powerful. In this context, and against this social and economic backdrop, to have someone such as Master Vincent versed in the theory and practice of Brotherly Love arriving monthly, on a completely voluntary basis, charging nothing, purely to assist young people and others by providing desperately needed guidance, counsel, and direction, is remarkable.
If we wish our young people and others to resist the often seductive pull of activities that seem glamorous or fulfilling, but actually serve only to hurt others and tear down society, whether the call of ISIS or other terror groups, simple garden-variety crime, or a mere general lack of concern for others as our young people go through life, we of wisdom must ensure that our society is worth not tearing down. That it deserves the fidelity of its young people and other citizens as it is one of Love, cooperation, compassion, and mutual assistance. The DOJO VISITS program aspires to be one such step in this affirmative direction.
Master as Student
As, and to remain, a competent Teacher, Master Vincent must also remain a student. If he does not continue learning at all times, his knowledge will eventually lag and he couldn't rightly call himself a Master. Accordingly, Master Vincent approaches his task with humility, always open to information, insight, and wisdom that the class can provide him, as he provides his, to the class. In this way does he continually expand his knowledge, and show respect to the unique life experiences others have had, that he has not.
This is actually the prescribed rule for persons of any rank in the Agape Order, including Masters--they must view themselves at all times broadly as students, regardless of the official AO title that they have earned. Learning must never stop.
Parameters of the Class
~ Love Yourself, Love Others ~
THE AGAPE ORDER