“A Thing Of Great Beauty,” by Nev Sagiba

Swami Maitreyananda was good friend. She saved my life.

After ten years of breathing toxic smoke (pro firefighting), the detox pathways of my liver were all but stalled and I was officially dying (1984). Doctors had wiped their hands. The best they could offer were more toxins to alleviate pain on the way out.

Swami M took up where the medicos had given up. Because of her, I’m still here.

Initiated by the great yogi, Shivananda himself, she was also a great yogi, teacher, master of Zen, gardener, herbalist, natural healer, and so much more.

One of her favourite tenets was: "Create a thing of great beauty and move on, leaving it behind for the enjoyment of others."

In her own way, this she did.

People like this, build the world of humanity and make it a better place for those who follow. The alternative is a bleak one.

Possibly millions of years in the making, as far as we are concerned; and refined to a culminating point in the battlefields of Japan, the hara of the world, over the last thousand years or so, the flowering of Aikido was nurtured carefully to fruition by Morihei Ueshiba.

One day the pods burst and its seeds scattered forth throughout the globe.

Some germinated and took root and many are now alive and growing well.

The magic is this? From the bitter, virulent and cruel struggles of the killing fields and fertilized by hell, sprouted the potential for immense beauty in the image of the movements of Nature and the Universe.

There it began to grow, gestating in the dark mud of sheer survival jutsu, the bright light of the Kami no Hikari, nurturing the growth and guiding it to unfold.

At immense cost, life itself, who could have guessed that from this attrition, a thing of great beauty, healing and awakening mind would in due season blossom forth as Aikido?

Where is Aikido now?

To where is Aikido going?

To find out, train daily with an open mind, referring to the basic waza. Let yourself be inspired, but always come back to basics. Then live life with an Aikido attitude: Convert adversity into harmony as best as you understand how.
The great beauty is still growing and it may well take over the world one atom at a time and change it, by infiltrating all other things with harmony and its innate great beauty.

The skill to convert the worst adversity into harmony is an immeasurable treasure and we are just beginning to discover the immense potentials of it.

Never underestimate it, for Harmony is at the core of Eternity Itself.

Nev Sagiba


  1. Of course all I can say is WHAT…and you have to be kidding.

  2. Brett Jackson says:

    Amen to that, brother. One of your best pieces, which is saying a lot. May this beautiful jewel of a posting be blessed so that it helps to create the kind of world it envisions.

  3. Inspired.

    thank you for that quiet and active hope.

    Create a thing of great beauty and move on, leaving it behind for the enjoyment of others.

    I make it mine from this moment onwards.


  4. bruce baker says:

    This brings to mind how human beings forget .. we are animals and part of nature. Nature sends not only subliminal signals but overt signals to animals who respond with periods of violence and periods of peace, which makes all us human beings react with periods of war/ genocide, and with periods of peace/ harmony.

    Looking at the history of the human race .. I really don’t think we can stop violence, but we can attempt to contain it as it wears itself out until the blood the fallen fertilizes the ground for nature to take hold and re-grow plants that will change the environment.

    Maybe that is the simplest explanation ever for the violent fits of human beings for what we definitely know about history for the last 6000 years, but if all human kind and human history was to vanish .. NATURE would still be here on planet earth to explain the bones and the rubble human civilization has left behind.

    Look at it from NATURE’S view … those mobile fleshy units are just spreading nature around, even though at times they destroy more than they help build at times …

    Maybe Aikido … is the result of Nature edging towards a peaceful period after a violent period and some people got those signals from Nature that it was time to put away violence and edge towards peace? Just a thought, but it certain explains the epiphany that O’Sensei got at the end of WWII, doesn’t it?

  5. “It seems like common sense to say, “To be functional, we need to adjust, update or discard beliefs and concepts that have become obsolete.” that is, until your mental construct comes face to face with a very different situational reality. At that point, many people would rather distort their reality than take a closer look at what the changes, either around them or within them, may be suggesting. The simple act of looking at these obsolete beliefs, concepts or mental structures, will open a road to discovery and greater understanding”…

  6. …bless the healers.

  7. IMHO, we do not have create anything of great beauty, because everything already is a thing of great beauty. We just need to learn to accept and appreciate it.

  8. Traditional Aikido volume 5 1975 , Morihiro Saito 9th dan, page 14 – 15.

    “As history has illustrated, mankind throughout the world has been involved in constant struggles. These struggles have been repeated without intermission throughout the ages and curiously enough under the name of “justice”. Struggles arising from an outburst of militant instincts, struggles for higher positions and greater power and struggles generated by ideological differences. They combined to fill the world with enmity and hatred, turning it into an interminable scene of deadly strife and bloodshed. There was always the need for invincible martial strength because the struggles tended to expand beyond any hope.
    Aikido is an invincible martial art, does this mean then we return to the old world where power meant everything? NO!
    Fill you body with the air of the universe and merge with nature. You will find your body replete with ki (spirit) power and ready to impart abdominable power (super natural power), the intensity is which beyond human imagination. Aikido is an art which induces a full display of such natural power. The mind and techniques divorced from strife are the indispensable prerequisite to bringing forth such individual qualities to the fullest extent, this is what makes Aikido an invincible martial art”.(end quote).

    And to now my own mind a very great thing of beauty. Thank you Mr Sagiba I thoroughly enjoyed your article. It inspired me to share the words of a man I never got to meet, but have the upmost and deepest respect for.

    Andy Bedford

  9. Nick lowry says:

    Bravo! Beautiful stuff brother

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