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Gaining knowledge through perceiving and hearing

In some of my short lectures at Chiseikan, our Aikido Dojo here in Kyoto I explain to my students that there are differences between seeing and perceiving (both are pronounced the same “miru” in Japanese, but use much different kanji). Between listening and hearing (here both are pronounced “kiku”in Japanese but with different kanji ). And between knowledge and wisdom (with both pronounced “chi” in Japanese, but again with different kanji characters).


You may be thinking "Sensei, it’s natural to know how to use these things in different situations."


That’s fantastic.


It’s actually impossible to actually perceive, hear and understand without focused concentration.


When we see, our eyes catch images as they unfold in front of us, but when we perceive, it means we also watch from our hearts.


When we hear, our ears capture the sounds that are happening around us, but when we truly listen, we listen from our hearts.


To know something is to get information from our consciousness as knowledge, but wisdom is the ability to grasp the essence of this knowledge.


If people just watch what I do and listen to what I teach, they will only know what I teach. But I want my students to see what I do from their hearts, listen to what I say from their hearts, and see the essence of the things that I am teaching to acquire true wisdom.


I think this is the same for business and interpersonal relationships. Even in a casual conversation, when someone talks about what they like, about their family or hobbies, if you listen carefully from your heart, you’ll be able to keep this information in your mind. When you need that information, you’ll be able to naturally remember it when you think about that person again. You may think you won’t be able to remember that much, but it's actually not too difficult if you listen carefully to the other person's conversation.


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