My favorite modern Japanese novelist Haruki Murakami recived recently Israel's prestigious literary award, the Jerusalem prize for the Freedom of the Individual in Society. He gave an aoutstanding speach, which was followed by words by our president Shimon Peres. Peres said something beautiful: "buildings become old, but wisdom never becomes old"
photo from wsj
In Aikido, we first bow toward O-Sensei's photo, in respect and memory of his teaching and wisdom. His wisdom is ageless, Aikido's wosdom s ageless. Our body becomes old every year, but by working together, we create ageless knowledge and experience.
Our dear teachers.... some of them are already in heaven, some of them are unable to teach anymore. They worked so hard... I never knew Peter Bacas Sensei, but I know you, and I see an outstanding group of aikidoka. I enjoy training with you because you create an ultimative training enviroment and atmosphere. You are excellent desciples of an excellent sensei. I am sure Sensei is proud of you and happy.
While following the wisdom of our teachers, we should also remember the greatest Japanese Haiku poet - Matsuo Bashō' s (1644-1694) words:
"Do not seek to follow in the footsteps of the wise, seek what they sought"