By Farhad Manjoo
Opinion Columnist, usually Covers Tech, NYT
“Because I live in Northern California, where this sort of thing is required by local ordinance, I spent New Year’s Day at a meditation center, surrounded by hundreds of wealthy, well-meaning, Patagonia-clad white people seeking to restore order and balance to their tech-besotted lives.
In the past, I might have mocked such proceedings, but lately I’ve grown fond of performative sincerity in the service of digital balance. It’s the people who haven’t resigned themselves to meditation retreats who now make me most nervous, actually.
Which brings me to my point: It’s 2019. Why haven’t you started meditating, already? Why hasn’t everyone?”
I have not tried meditation in decades, but I have returned recently to practicing Aikido at the New Haven Aikikai – Fire Horse Dojo, but this time without the breakfalls. Aikido is a modern version of ancient Japanese and Chinese Ju Jitsu, and it includes serious meditation as preparation for strenuous tumbling exercises, needed when you are thrown off your feet by your partner. It also teaches one how to disarm a violent opponent who is stronger than you.
For decades, I have argued that our police forces would be vastly better equipped to serve, if they were all required or incentivized to study this East Asian art of disabling a stronger opponent, by using thier own strength to bring them to the mat without actually damaging them.
Of all the martial arts I have studied for decades, it is the one which most closely resembles ball room dance.