It can only be chance that it is in this month that I thought about giving and receiving in Aikido. Not that it's by any chance a new concept...
Part of the landscape of Aikido is that you need to rise above the act of wanting and doing and reacting. Not in the, let the flow of the winds guide me, laissez faire kinda way. But something like, following a path of acceptance.
Somebody said, 'pasrah' is giving up, 'rela' is acceptance. Such a simple wisdom. We are not giving up, we don't 'allow' things to go every which way. But neither do we fight tooth and nail against something. This middle path of acceptance is benign yet not passive.
In the act of receiving, we put into our minds that the energy or vibe uke provides is a gift for us and it is ours to receive. This energy could be a strike, a kiai, a grab, a kick or any number of things. But ultimately it must become ours to do as we wish.
In the act of giving, and it should always begin with this in fact, even with receiving, we give sincerely our energy to uke. Even before a single inch of movement is made, our hearts and mind have started giving. A simple way to give without depleting yourself is to give love. Love every thing around you like the world and the universe loves you. Not the person, not the name, but the essence.
If we can achieve this thoroughly, it would be very difficult to displace your center. Another person may try to attack you verbally or through his actions or inaction, but because you are perpetually in the state of unconditional giving, you would not be disturbed.
Imagine you are a glass of water and some takes a sip out of you. You'll find gradually that you become less and less. Or if someone adds ice cubes into your already full glass, you'll find that you will overflow. These are factors that affect you beyond your control. To maintain a state that cannot be disturb we must change our being from being a static cup. We must instead be something like a river or a well. By continuously giving water to everyone all the time, people taking water from you or dumping ice blocks in you will not change your state. Your volume would remain consistent.
It is in this context that I'm thinking our Aikido should be like.