As we descend into the high plateau of Addis Abba the lights below speckle the African night like flakes of orange rind, bone shards, the occasional watery blue. Twelve hours ago I was standing in front of six hundred people giving the keynote address at the 4th Annual Mindfulness and Leadership Conference in Washington D.C. Now I’m landing in the Horn of Africa to help convene the first East African Aikido Seminar and launch the East African Aikido Association. The marvel of it! The reach that is available to us, psychic and geographical, to be in awareness practices with so many people in so many places so that we can cultivate grounded compassion, pragmatic wisdom, skillful action, and use conflict as a generative force.
Strozzi Institute and Two Rock Aikido Dojo in partnership with the Ethiopian Ministry of Sport, the African Union, and the assistance of the American Embassy have been planning this seminar for over a year. Tesafye Tekelu, Lou Pollock, Katina Bishop and myself have been on the coordinating committee and now on the ground here in Addis Ababa we know the dream is coming to fruition.
We are busy putting everything together for a visit for the participants from Ethiopia, Somalia, Djbouti, Tanzania, Uganda, and Kenya- 150 in total. In addition we will have a cultural exchange with the elders from the prominent tribes here in Ethiopia.
Take it Easy But Take it