It was at the French Cultural Centre in Rio de Janeiro on 5 May 2017. And I had to give a demonstration lecture about aikido. So, as this evening was part of a cycle with health practices as its theme, talking about well-being was a way that at the time seemed appropriate to me.
Well-being is often associated with well-doing in a reductive and sometimes caricatural vision where what one must look for is calm after effort: that long-awaited moment of happiness from the hammer blows on the fingers that stop.
But in this bodily anaesthesia, everything leads us to the opposite of an assumed and fulfilled ontological construction that would result from an awakening of the senses and a developing bodily consciousness.
And both the methodology of martial arts and the regular practice of tatami suggest us an investigation based on autonomy and self-knowledge.
Because in the end, more than well-being or well-doing, the real question is well-living.
Obviously, the opposition strengthens and offers us creative opportunities.
But it shouldn’t be necessary to feel alive. Otherwise it would only be a source of imbalance that would mislead us and lead us to illness.
Listening to ourselves in order to listen to others implies that we are able to live alone.
And it is this autonomy that centres us and that, in a way, allows us to be well where we are and to accept what we encounter that is ultimately the main ingredient of our well-being (and our ability to stay there).