Author Archives: Ben Pincus

Even a Stone Buddha Can Talk: Tradition and Taboo in the Aikido Dojo and Rock Garden

You must concentrate upon and consecrate yourself wholly to each day, as though a fire were raging in your hair. Taisen Deshimaru My wife believes that I have an obsessive attachment to stones. I began collecting rocks in childhood, gathering stream-polished pebbles that I carefully stashed in my pockets. After we inherited the farm business […]


One moment I stride gracefully down the path to our barn. And then, Bam! I am on my back on the ice, gazing upward at sky and cloud. A jet inscribes a contrail at the edge of my vision.  I am content to relax on the cold ground, curiously grateful for the tumble. There is […]

Integrative Conditioning: The Heron Pose – Balance and Spinal Alignment Conditioning

Why do herons stand on one leg? Some scientists believe unipedal rest allows the chilly bird to retain body heat, while others think that the one-legged profile makes the bird look less like juicy prey. By integrating balance and postural alignment, The Heron Pose also greatly benefits humans. Good balance and proper posture allow us […]

#3 Heavy Hand, Light Heart: Morihiko Murashige Sensei, 7th dan, Shihan, Feb 26, 1945-October 11, 2013

Some people claim to have been touched by the wings of angels; I guess that I could say that I was tossed, pinned and choked by a playful, spirited imp. I studied with Murashige Sensei at San Diego Aikikai, where he was the assistant instructor under Kazuo Chiba Sensei. I had moved to San Diego […]

#2 My Father, Ed Pincus: July 6th, 1938-November 5th, 2013

  Empty-handed I entered the world Barefoot I leave it. My coming, my going – Two simple happenings That got entangled. (Poem brushed by Zen Roshi Kozan Ichikyo on the morning of his death, 1360)   It is late at night, and my father is gone. I wander through my parent’s house, looking for something […]