This expression, mitakuye oyasin, comes from the language of the Lakota Sioux, a tribe among the Native Americans. It means "We are all related." It's uttered upon crossing the threshold into the Sweat Lodge, the small, low structure used by the Sioux for their sacred purification ritual, the Sweat. In Seido Karate we have a saying we utter upon entering the dojo and upon greeting others: Osu! Osu is an abbreviation of the expression Oshi shinobu osu, which means "maintain patience."
In life we are often impatient with others, annoyed by our differences. By saying osu we remind ourselves of our connectedness to each other and of the need to patiently nurture our sacred human bond.
On this day, Thanksgiving Day in North America, we pause from our busy lives and give thanks for all our blessings, not least of which is our family of Seido brothers and sisters here at the West Los Angeles dojo. We are all connected, not only to each other but to all living things!
It would be vain indeed if we were to forget this bond tomorrow or the next day. Every day is a day to give thanks, to appreciate the challenges and the support we receive to meet those challenges present in our lives. Each time we come to the dojo throughout the year we can bring to that visit an appreciation of our blessings. By saying Osu with mindful awareness, we can restore a wholeness to our lives that is sometimes clouded by our superficial differences. Remember this opportunity the next time you come to the dojo. This is the true heart of our practice ofSeido. Gassho and osu! And Happy Thanksgiving!
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