Inspiration #2 – Sanmi Sangen, the Power of Three

Move like a beam of light;
Fly like lightning,
Strike like thunder,
Whirl in circles around
A stable center.

Morihei Ueshiba – The Art of Peace


In life you are either growing or shrinking, staying still is not a realistic option, and when you are inspired enough about your passion, you decide to do something about it: I decided many years ago to actively seek out knowledge and grow rather than be a passive recipient and shrink.


It’s useful to know where a passion comes from as that helps to explain the value and context of that passion. This article is the second in a series on inspiration (here’s the first one).

My passion is Tai Sabaki,or Body Management, in plain English. It’s a concept that not many people are familiar with, yet if affects every moment of our lives. I find it a very useful reference for most of what I do and I have found it invaluable in understanding our changing capabilities, needs and requirements as we get older.

In another post I wrote about writing the book you wanted to read, but couldn’t find

precisely because I couldn’t find the information I was looking for.

Sanmi Sangen

Here, I will try to explain another one of the key inspirations for my work. Again, it’s not necessary a simple concept, yet it is a very profound and far reaching one. One that the Chinese and Japanese have understood for hundreds, if not thousands, of years. I first came across the concept in the power of threes in Karate, but the references below are for Aikido  where it is called Sanmi Sangen and can be translated into English roughly as – the Power of Threes. It’s in everything! Three EnergiesThrenergy!



The origins of Sanmi Sangen are Buddist and the diagram above comes from Sengai, a Zen Buddist monk, from the 19th Century.

In Aikido – the triangle represents the stance; the circle , spirals; and the square, power. Or more philosophically: the triangle – a solid base ascending upwards – or also body, mind and spirit; the circle – spiraling motion or perfection, emptiness and infinity; the square – solid form or order.

In Threnergy the meaning is: the triangle represents structure; the circle, movement; and the rectangle, solidity, power.

Mindfully Connected
Mindfully Connected Threnergy

Further reading


Referenced articles:

Zen and Shinto 4: Circle, triangle, square

Three basic shapes beloved of humans, no doubt for their simplicity, are the square, circle and triangle. “Man is symbolized by three elements, one on top of another: pyramid-square- circle,” said Zoroaster. In his book Kami no Michi Yukitaka Yamamoto, the 96th hereditary priest of Tsubaki Shrine in Mie Prefecture, wrote: “The Principle of ‘Sanmi-Sangen’ explains the mystery of life.

Tsubaki Grand Shrine of America

Tsubaki Grand Shrine of America is the traditional Jinja Shinto Shrine located on a pristine 25 acre site near Granite Falls, Washington.