Had an instructors meeting at which I gave everyone the low-down on the seminars in the US and Canada. After the meeting we all went to the regular underground feeding hole, and somehow got into a discussion about ghosts and aliens. Seems Sekido-san and Naganuma-sensei have all had creepy experiences, but Tanaka-sensei wins. He said when he was a little kid he'd see wierd people all the time. He'd be riding his bike late at night and there'd be an old woman walking on the side of the road. He'd steer clear of her thinking "that's a dangerous place to walk" and then after passing her he'd look back...and there was no one there. He saw goblins and strange people, and every time he'd go "You see that guy?" and his friends would all go "There's no one there, dude!"
He also saw a UFO, which got us started on talking about aliens. I did my best Japanese translation of "Any significantly advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic" and we debated the possibilities of alien life, and why they'd bother to visit us. Then Niina-gosoke somehow tied that into iai, talking about the infinite expandability of the universe inside yourself. He said "You can't watch yourself in a mirror to see yourself. That's looking from the inside out. You have to expand your mind (heart/spirit) infinitely, so that you can see yourself from the outside." I guess that's what he means by mushin, the detachment one gets from seeing ones' self from a 3rd person perspective. Also helps put your own relative smallness in the universe in perspective; expand your mind to fill the universe and your 'self' is insignificantly small.
Plus, the friend onions were really good.