The texts in this book are inspired by the teachings of Katsuyuki Shimamoto, 8th dan, who has been a Zen priest and aikido teacher for 50 years. The title is taken from a poem that frequently graces his calligraphies:
Harmonize with others
Harmonize with Heaven and Earth
Dance with others
Dance with Heaven and Earth
Humble and congenial, Katsuyuki Shimamoto is a perpetrator of aikido as a martial art of peace that seeks to create harmony. Influenced strongly by Zen, he emphasizes good posture, calm breathing, universal acceptance, simplicity, and minimalist aesthetics.
These short pieces of wisdom taken from aikido and Zen help us understand that living with others is what allows us to live at all. That the right form - including posture, field of vision, and breathing - can change not only our outlook but the outcome, too. That we can neutralize any attack once we learn to accept it. That true victory is to win against our weaknesses, and fighting only serves as a stepping stone towards harmony. That with the right approach, the very life we struggle with can turn into the greatest treasure.
Photographer and designer Morteza Ariana has not only given the book a beautiful look but also contributed significantly to conveying its message by adding a visual component to its expression. His breathtaking original photographs resonate with Katsuyuki Shimamoto’s sense for Zen aesthetics and clarity of communication. Every text is juxtaposed with one of these images, adding another dimension to its meaning, and often alluding to the contradictory nature of Zen teachings intended to help practitioners overcome the boundaries of reason.
Get ready for a book that takes you straight to the heart of the matter. Dance with Heaven & Earth!