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graham christian
06-09-2013, 06:31 PM
Ueshiba was very spiritual. Most all of his students admit that. Understand what he was saying or mostly what he was doing? No, mot so much understanding there.

Therefor it would be good to understand spiritual.

There arte many spiritual practices all over the world from yoga to all kinds of things and low and behold they tend to get various realities on the spiritual side of things. The first thing is that it's not an intellectual pursuit as with zen. You can intellectualize about it but that's different. Intellect is of the mind and so a mental thing. Spirit is not mind.

Spirit can perceive without need for any physical perceptic or mind. So perception without body or mind would thus be spiritual perception.

A nice zen perspective.

Peace.Aiki.

Carsten Möllering
06-10-2013, 05:17 AM
Spirit can perceive without need for any physical perceptic or mind. So perception without body or mind would thus be spiritual perception.
This is not true for Daoism.

Given that Daoism seems to play an important role in understanding Ueshiba's spirituality and also his practice on the mat, or - simplified - given that Ueshiba's spiritual practice mostly included using his body in certain ways you seem to miss something?

graham christian
06-10-2013, 03:15 PM
This is not true for Daoism.

Given that Daoism seems to play an important role in understanding Ueshiba's spirituality and also his practice on the mat, or - simplified - given that Ueshiba's spiritual practice mostly included using his body in certain ways you seem to miss something?

No, nothing missed. Spiritually awake with a body and a mind or spiritually asleep with a body and a mind. Your choice.

Those awake perceive what those asleep don't.

Body receives rather than perceives. Mind is subjective and can only conceive. Spirit is objective. It's more that spiritual perception makes sense of daoism, buddhism you name it not the other way around.

Peace.G.

graham christian
06-10-2013, 07:14 PM
Spiritual perception is colloquially called feeling. Correct feeling would thus be correct spiritual perception.

Correct feeling thus moves mountains.

Peace.G.

bkedelen
06-10-2013, 07:30 PM
Your animal brain can and will fabricate whatever feelings and memories are necessary to convince you of two things: First to avoid situations that it feels will result in danger to itself, and second to convince you that its influence does not exist. For this reason feelings, moods, memories, spirituality, and all other forms of self-deception are untrustworthy metrics for the testing and optimization of human potential. All of the mythologies of the world have stories clearly outlining these things as pitfalls and red herrings on the path to self actualization, yet folks continue to be as gullible as ever. Alternatively, eliminating self-deception through hard work, ruthless introspection and submission to external assessment is the prescription for self actualization according to these same lineages.

graham christian
06-10-2013, 07:43 PM
Your animal brain can and will fabricate whatever feelings and memories are necessary to convince you of two things: First to avoid situations that it feels will result in danger to itself, and second to convince you that its influence does not exist. For this reason feelings, moods, memories, spirituality, and all other forms of self-deception are untrustworthy metrics for the testing and optimization of human potential. All of the mythologies of the world have stories clearly outlining these things as pitfalls and red herrings on the path to self actualization, yet folks continue to be just as gullible as ever. Alternatively, eliminating self-deceptions through ruthless introspection and submission to external assessment is the prescription for self actualization according to these same lineages.

Your animal brain does no such thing. It is merely a telephone exchange. On the other hand Ego does as you say.

Peace.G.

Carsten Möllering
06-11-2013, 04:48 AM
Graham, I tried to be polite using a question mark at the end of my statement. And I used it to suggest that you reconsider your thoughts about the relevance of body in daoism in general and in Ueshiba's spirituality in particular.

The use and the relevance of the body in daoist spirituality is different from it's role in zen. This is simply not a question of what spirituality may be to you.
Also in Ueshiba's spirituality the body plays a crucial role.

The thought of awake / asleep does not really relate to those concepts.
"Feeling" is one possible translation of ki (Which is used in our context a lot.) and relates deeply to the body in those concepts.

ki-shin-tai-ichi is one expression of not to tear those three dimensions apart.

of whehter you like it or not.

Bernd Lehnen
06-11-2013, 06:23 AM
Ueshiba was very spiritual. Most all of his students admit that. Understand what he was saying or mostly what he was doing? No, mot so much understanding there.

Therefor it would be good to understand spiritual.


.

How did they know? How do you know?
They say, they said he was talking nonsense . They say, many wanted him to stop talking. Did these Japanese students ever say he was spiritual or is this an assumption or even a transmission error due to western thinking? Did they think, talking nonsense was equivalent to being spiritual? Was spiritual for them synonymous to talking nonsense? A polite reaction, a polite way to express that they simply didn't understand what this powerful man was talking about?

Spiritual? I don't know what your'e talking about.


Best
Bernd

graham christian
06-11-2013, 03:51 PM
Graham, I tried to be polite using a question mark at the end of my statement. And I used it to suggest that you reconsider your thoughts about the relevance of body in daoism in general and in Ueshiba's spirituality in particular.

The use and the relevance of the body in daoist spirituality is different from it's role in zen. This is simply not a question of what spirituality may be to you.
Also in Ueshiba's spirituality the body plays a crucial role.

The thought of awake / asleep does not really relate to those concepts.
"Feeling" is one possible translation of ki (Which is used in our context a lot.) and relates deeply to the body in those concepts.

ki-shin-tai-ichi is one expression of not to tear those three dimensions apart.

of whehter you like it or not.

Hi Glad you were polite. Especially a polite suggestion.

Ueshiba's spirituality was from Buddhism and Shinto a la omoto. You will find Buddha, one of many by the way, was known as the awakened one. As is the aim of enlightenment.

Peace.G.

graham christian
06-11-2013, 04:04 PM
How did they know? How do you know?
They say, they said he was talking nonsense . They say, many wanted him to stop talking. Did these Japanese students ever say he was spiritual or is this an assumption or even a transmission error due to western thinking? Did they think, talking nonsense was equivalent to being spiritual? Was spiritual for them synonymous to talking nonsense? A polite reaction, a polite way to express that they simply didn't understand what this powerful man was talking about?

Spiritual? I don't know what your'e talking about.

Best
Bernd

Most if not all said he was very spiritual.

So a very wise and able man spoke nonsense? I see you don't know what I'm talking about. No Problem.

A spiritual perspective makes what he said sound very sensible.

Peace.G.

Carsten Möllering
06-12-2013, 03:32 AM
Ueshiba's spirituality was from Buddhism and Shinto a la omoto.
Ueshiba practiced mikkyō. This is a very special form of esoteric buddhism which has deep roots in daoist thoughts and practice.

Ōmoto kyō is a very special form of shintō which is connected to daoism via one of it's main kami, which is of daois origin.

The language Ueshiba uses, the themes he discusses in his texts and lectures are very often direct quotations of canonical daoist texts.

Carsten Möllering
06-12-2013, 03:54 AM
just to add ...

If your understanding of spirituality works fine for you that's wonderful! I appreciate that.
I'm just concerned about getting historical facts correct.

Bernd Lehnen
06-12-2013, 04:27 AM
Hi Graham,

Spiritual or Spirituality can mean a lot of things, they're very vague, not quite precise expressions, if taken out of context.
As "Christian" you might talk about things from "fides quae creditur" to "fides qua creditur" i.e. from "personal acceptance of faith" to the "act of faith" .
But this is only one of many possibilities. You might talk about "sacred things" and you might talk about "personal development".
So a very wise and able man spoke nonsense?

Peace.G.

I didn't say that. In fact, through Chris Li's translations I got an inkling that he was a very practical thinker and that he gave very practical advice to those who understood.
I simply don't see any connection between what you might want to say and what he is supposed to have been saying.
I still don't know, what you're talking about.

Best
Bernd

Carsten Möllering
06-12-2013, 04:45 AM
Hi Graham,

I just found a very good statement somewhere on the internet. Have to cite it here:

... he (Ueshiba Morihei) was a very practical thinker and that he gave very practical advice to those who understood.
The word "practical" is important.

And when I said I'm concerned about getting the historical facts correct I had this in my mind:
I simply don't see any connection between what you might want to say and what he (Ueshiba Morihei) is supposed to have been saying.

This I think to be very important - for everyone of us:
To not confuse and mix up our thoughts and our understanding of what spirituality is with what Ueshiba thought and understood.
To trace back, to reconstruct his way of thinking - not only regarding spirituality - is really hard work and has to be done precisely.

Having an Ueshiba we understand and who is like us and affirms our points of view is only a superficial benefit. It will not help us in any way.

Marc Abrams
06-12-2013, 08:09 AM
just to add ...

If your understanding of spirituality works fine for you that's wonderful! I appreciate that.
I'm just concerned about getting historical facts correct.

Carsten:

Therein lies the rub. The poster has posted many times that he does not let things like "facts", "proper translations" and other things get in the way of his understanding of things. Good luck in this pursuit.....

Marc Abrams

Gary David
06-12-2013, 10:46 AM
So a very wise and able man spoke nonsense? I see you don't know what I'm talking about. No Problem.

A spiritual perspective makes what he said sound very sensible.

Peace.G.

Graham
Just a note to add perspective....I had casual conversations with two senior American instructors back in the 80's who spend some direct time with Ueshiba Morihei during the 60's when they were training in Japan.... and one of comments made (as an aside) was that none of the younger uchi deshi there at the time had any concerns with these gentlemen spending talking time alone O Sensei because none of them could really understand what he was saying anyway. The impression I got was the uchi deshi were more concerned with mat time....
Gary

Nicholas Eschenbruch
06-12-2013, 02:29 PM
Having an Ueshiba we understand and who is like us and affirms our points of view is only a superficial benefit. It will not help us in any way.

I really see your point, I do. But then...:

Having an Ueshiba who we can never understand and who is thoroughly exoticised and denied any human communality with us is really not too helpful either IMHO.

Not that I agree with Graham though :D

graham christian
06-12-2013, 03:07 PM
just to add ...

If your understanding of spirituality works fine for you that's wonderful! I appreciate that.
I'm just concerned about getting historical facts correct.

That's fine. So far they are correct. You add a minor ie: shinto. I could add much more from shingon to tibetan and you can't get much deeper than Buddha. Then we have Japanese shinto.

The so called esoteric sides of religions are the spiritual sides, not analytical or intellectual, so I fail to see your point.

Can't get much more spiritual than omoto. I wonder what the esoteric side of daoism is?

Peace.G.

graham christian
06-12-2013, 03:24 PM
Graham
Just a note to add perspective....I had casual conversations with two senior American instructors back in the 80's who spend some direct time with Ueshiba Morihei during the 60's when they were training in Japan.... and one of comments made (as an aside) was that none of the younger uchi deshi there at the time had any concerns with these gentlemen spending talking time alone O Sensei because none of them could really understand what he was saying anyway. The impression I got was the uchi deshi were more concerned with mat time....
Gary

Hi, I have read many accounts of uchi deshi and others. Some explain quite explicitly as to what they didn't understand and that was virtually always the spiritual.

The uchi deshi definitely were more interested in mat time as most didn't have spiritual pursuit as their primary motive. Not many do.

I've seen too many change once experiencing it to worry about any intellectual argument.

Peace.G.

Carsten Möllering
06-13-2013, 03:24 AM
Having an Ueshiba who we can never understand and who is thoroughly exoticised and denied any human communality with us is really not too helpful either IMHO.
Yes. I totally agree!

I just think we have to explore his world. Instead of making him fit into our's and adapt Ueshiba's thinking to our preconception.

MRoh
06-13-2013, 09:19 AM
Nobody will be able to understand O Sensei's personality completely.
It seems to me, that according to preference the focus is either on the one ore on the other aspect.
People trying to explore what O Sensei did and to strike new paths seem to have another understanding now, but it's also like looking through coloured spectacles.

Some of his mythical discourses can be seen under the aspect of physical training instructions, but does this mean that all of his religous statements could be reduced to one aspect?
If he would have been that practically, he could have explained what he did in other words.
He preferred to talk in mythical discourses and aphorisms.

Terry Dobson wrote that he was praying the whole night, when he accomapanied him when travelling.
He was not practicing with weapons in this night, he was praying to the kami.
What this praying meant to him, we will not understand in its entirety.

lbb
06-13-2013, 11:07 AM
To raise the question about whether the emperor is walking around naked as a jay bird:

If you want to talk about spirituality, or spiritual dimensions of aikido, or whatever, why involve O Sensei? Why not start with what's actually there in your life and in your practice, rather than trying to go back to the source, trying to figure out what his experience was, and then trying to force an interpretation of your actual experience to fit what you believe O Sensei's experience was?

I have never seen the sense in a fundamentalist approach to aikido. A fundamentalist approach looks at O Sensei's teachings and tries to figure out what they were and go from there. If the evidence of your very senses contradicts what you think O Sensei's teachings are telling you, then you have to ignore the evidence of your senses and cleave to a "truth" that you don't experience. That's the basic problem with fundamentalism of any kind, as I see it, and it's not for me. But if you're going to go there, surely it's essential to discard your preconceptions, develop your sense of what O Sensei was teaching through rigorous research with primary sources (not second- and third-hand interpretations and assertions of what it all meant), and above all, to discard the biases that lead you to an interpretation that agrees with what you want to hear. If your research tells you that O Sensei's attitude was "Shut up about the spiritual stuff, just train," then you have to go with that.

Back to the emperor and his clothes: if you want to explore the spiritual dimension of aikido, the only way that makes any sense to me is to refuse to resort to the authority of O Sensei or anyone else, and to explore your own experience. Figure out what "spiritual" means. Then figure out if it's in your practice. If it isn't, does it need to be? So many times when I see people labeling their activities as "spiritual practices", I wonder if they've really thought about what that means, or if the tail's wagging the dog here and they're not just succumbing to the desire to make things special. You can't make things special, they either are or they aren't, and if you try to tell yourself that ordinary things are special, you're headed for trouble - what Chogyam Trungpa called "the third lord of materialism", where your need for special experiences and states of mind leads you to lose connection with reality and lie to yourself about what's really going on. I've had amazing "wow" moments on the mat, I've also had them walking down the street or riding the bus or whatever. They're great moments. But if you chase them and try to capture them, if you get on the mat or walk down the street or ride the bus with the expectation that they will happen and the belief that this must be a "spiritual practice" because you once had a "wow" moment doing it, you're deluding yourself.

There are such things as "spiritual practices", but there's really no need to try and make every ordinary activity into one. In fact, it's a lot saner not to.

bkedelen
06-13-2013, 11:51 AM
I have never seen the sense in a fundamentalist approach to aikido.

With you there. I'm not trying to learn another man's Aikido, and even less interested in another man's superstitions. The frontier is in researching yourself, forging your own connection to the source.

Keith Larman
06-13-2013, 12:21 PM
With you there. I'm not trying to learn another man's Aikido, and even less interested in another man's superstitions. The frontier is in researching yourself, forging your own connection to the source.

Agreed ++;

graham christian
06-13-2013, 03:38 PM
No doubt many have never seen the sense in the fundamentals either. They must be separatists.;)

Peace.Aiki.

hughrbeyer
06-13-2013, 03:59 PM
I have never seen the sense in a fundamentalist approach to aikido. A fundamentalist approach looks at O Sensei's teachings and tries to figure out what they were and go from there. If the evidence of your very senses contradicts what you think O Sensei's teachings are telling you, then you have to ignore the evidence of your senses and cleave to a "truth" that you don't experience.

I think your point of view lacks nuance. You don't have to choose between following O-Sensei 100% uncritically (fundamentalism) on the one hand, or ignoring him completely on the other. Any teacher, living or dead, will take you places you couldn't have got to on your own; that's why they're teachers. If the evidence of your senses contradicts their teachings, it could be that they're wrong or misguided. It could be that your senses need honing. It could be that you're misinterpreting what your senses are trying to tell you. It could be that the teacher is pointing to areas of experience you have no clue even exist.

In my experience, if a teacher is worth learning from, most of the time when they tell you something that makes no sense, it's the last of the above possibilities that's operational. So though O-Sensei's spirituality was pretty much opaque, I find value in continuing to struggle with it.

lbb
06-13-2013, 09:23 PM
No doubt many have never seen the sense in the fundamentals either. They must be separatists.;)

Peace.Aiki.

Here's something to help out your comprehension, Graham:

Fundamental:
noun
5. a basic principle, rule, law, or the like, that serves as the groundwork of a system; essential part: to master the fundamentals of a trade.
6. Also called fundamental note, fundamental tone. Music.
a. the root of a chord.
b. the generator of a series of harmonics.
7. Physics. the component of lowest frequency in a composite wave.

Fundamentalism:
noun
1. ( sometimes initial capital letter ) a movement in American Protestantism that arose in the early part of the 20th century in reaction to modernism and that stresses the infallibility of the Bible not only in matters of faith and morals but also as a literal historical record, holding as essential to Christian faith belief in such doctrines as the creation of the world, the virgin birth, physical resurrection, atonement by the sacrificial death of Christ, and the Second Coming.
2. the beliefs held by those in this movement.

You can humpty-dumpty all you want, but "fundamentalism" and "fundamentals" are only distantly related. When I spoke of a fundamentalist approach, I was clearly not referring to those who adhere to "a basic principle, rule, law or the like", but rather to literalists as described under the dictionary definition of fundamentalism. Not for the first time, Graham, do NOT try to tell me what I said and what I meant.

lbb
06-13-2013, 09:24 PM
I think your point of view lacks nuance. You don't have to choose between following O-Sensei 100% uncritically (fundamentalism) on the one hand, or ignoring him completely on the other.

Where did I say that those were the only two choices?

hughrbeyer
06-13-2013, 09:46 PM
Put your dukes down, Mary. I'm not going to go all Deconstructionist on your post for you.

NekVTAikido
06-14-2013, 07:21 AM
Your animal brain can and will fabricate whatever feelings and memories are necessary to convince you of two things: First to avoid situations that it feels will result in danger to itself, and second to convince you that its influence does not exist.

Ben, I'm with you on the first point, and curious about the second. Can say a little more about how this works? (Presumably, there's some evolutionary advantage to it, but I'm not sure I can see what it is.)

lbb
06-14-2013, 07:52 AM
Put your dukes down, Mary. I'm not going to go all Deconstructionist on your post for you.

Prudent of you. I understand and agree with your conclusions, but given the antecedents, I think you made a poor choice of springboard.

graham christian
06-14-2013, 02:45 PM
Here's something to help out your comprehension, Graham:

Fundamental:
noun
5. a basic principle, rule, law, or the like, that serves as the groundwork of a system; essential part: to master the fundamentals of a trade.
6. Also called fundamental note, fundamental tone. Music.
a. the root of a chord.
b. the generator of a series of harmonics.
7. Physics. the component of lowest frequency in a composite wave.

Fundamentalism:
noun
1. ( sometimes initial capital letter ) a movement in American Protestantism that arose in the early part of the 20th century in reaction to modernism and that stresses the infallibility of the Bible not only in matters of faith and morals but also as a literal historical record, holding as essential to Christian faith belief in such doctrines as the creation of the world, the virgin birth, physical resurrection, atonement by the sacrificial death of Christ, and the Second Coming.
2. the beliefs held by those in this movement.

You can humpty-dumpty all you want, but "fundamentalism" and "fundamentals" are only distantly related. When I spoke of a fundamentalist approach, I was clearly not referring to those who adhere to "a basic principle, rule, law or the like", but rather to literalists as described under the dictionary definition of fundamentalism. Not for the first time, Graham, do NOT try to tell me what I said and what I meant.

Do not tell you what you meant? Shudder the thought.

However fundamentalism has nothing to do with the OP. Fundamentals has though.

Peace.G.

lbb
06-14-2013, 03:50 PM
Do not tell you what you meant? Shudder the thought.

However fundamentalism has nothing to do with the OP. Fundamentals has though.

Perhaps, then, you should have replied to your own OP if you wanted to speak on fundamentals. If you reply to my post, I would expect you to address the points in my post. To do otherwise is discourteous.

graham christian
06-14-2013, 04:25 PM
Perhaps, then, you should have replied to your own OP if you wanted to speak on fundamentals. If you reply to my post, I would expect you to address the points in my post. To do otherwise is discourteous.

I thought my name was in your post.

Plus I'm not replying to the op but just keeping it in line with rather than off on a tangent like fundamentalism. Think that was in your post too.

I'll leave naked emperors and humpty dumpty alone though.

Peace.G.

Bernd Lehnen
06-14-2013, 04:30 PM
Nobody will be able to understand O Sensei's personality completely.
It seems to me, that according to preference the focus is either on the one ore on the other aspect.
People trying to explore what O Sensei did and to strike new paths seem to have another understanding now, but it's also like looking through coloured spectacles.

Some of his mythical discourses can be seen under the aspect of physical training instructions, but does this mean that all of his religous statements could be reduced to one aspect?
If he would have been that practically, he could have explained what he did in other words.
He preferred to talk in mythical discourses and aphorisms.

Terry Dobson wrote that he was praying the whole night, when he accomapanied him when travelling.
He was not practicing with weapons in this night, he was praying to the kami.
What this praying meant to him, we will not understand in its entirety.

Not only did he apparently prefer to talk in a metaphorical way, but also didn't he obviously have any reason to change a teaching/learning paradigm that had served him so well.

Apart from that, I doubt that he would have been able to explain this in a way more akin to modern science or even in plain words. If it were that easy, why do the modern proponents of Aiki do stress that this stuff still has to be felt before words can begin to make sense? Why do they say, that even moving pictures can only be helpful after one has a grip on what to look for?

And who knows? Perhaps those nightly prayers that Terry Dobson mentioned served a double purpose, a spiritual and a practical one?:)

john2054
06-15-2013, 05:11 PM
I have to say Graham that i have a problem when somebody, no matter what their rank, poses on the internet as some kind of greater source of knowledge with which to whitewash the already established norms of knowledge, in exactly the way you have tried to do now with Aikido's spirituality.

Before I begin my answer proper I'd like to suggest to you a couple of things you could do to get those creative juices flowing... study another language. buy a teach yourself book and learn chinese swahili and french like i have done. read good literature, such as julius evola. meditations on the peaks is a good place to start with him. And read philosophy if not at undergraduate level then at least at college. This might teach you a thing or two about knowlege, which is the root of all thinking, which itself is the root of spirituality and not the other way round. We need both our minds and bodies to be complete human beings, only then and only then can we hope to realize the fullness of our spirits. It is not the other way round!

graham christian
06-15-2013, 05:54 PM
I have to say Graham that i have a problem when somebody, no matter what their rank, poses on the internet as some kind of greater source of knowledge with which to whitewash the already established norms of knowledge, in exactly the way you have tried to do now with Aikido's spirituality.

Before I begin my answer proper I'd like to suggest to you a couple of things you could do to get those creative juices flowing... study another language. buy a teach yourself book and learn chinese swahili and french like i have done. read good literature, such as julius evola. meditations on the peaks is a good place to start with him. And read philosophy if not at undergraduate level then at least at college. This might teach you a thing or two about knowlege, which is the root of all thinking, which itself is the root of spirituality and not the other way round. We need both our minds and bodies to be complete human beings, only then and only then can we hope to realize the fullness of our spirits. It is not the other way round!

Do I pose? Are you posing now? Maybe we both pose.

Thanks for the suggestions. May I suggest the zen koan 'cup of tea' or indeed any zen koan. Start with a cup of tea and finish with 'the sound of one hand clapping'

I like true mind, true spirit, true body, true heart and true void myself.

Such is my way and may you enjoy yours too.

Peace.G.

bkedelen
06-15-2013, 07:17 PM
This thread is getting pretty catty so I hesitated to jump in, but Graham has peaked my interest by prescribing zen riddles. Since you chose to use it to defend your own knowledge of spirituality (whatever that is), please tell me what you think "the sound of one hand clapping" is, in one sentence or less. As such puzzles go it is short, sweet, thoroughly understood by the initiated, and yet it is surprisingly hard to find the answer on the intarwebs, so it may actually prove a valuable metric. If you don't know I wouldn't hold it against you, I am just curious.

graham christian
06-16-2013, 04:34 AM
This thread is getting pretty catty so I hesitated to jump in, but Graham has peaked my interest by prescribing zen riddles. Since you chose to use it to defend your own knowledge of spirituality (whatever that is), please tell me what you think "the sound of one hand clapping" is, in one sentence or less. As such puzzles go it is short, sweet, thoroughly understood by the initiated, and yet it is surprisingly hard to find the answer on the intarwebs, so it may actually prove a valuable metric. If you don't know I wouldn't hold it against you, I am just curious.

Only initiates know? Sounds like applause to me.

The heart, body(soul), mind,spirit and void are all with ma ai.......break ma ai and you will hear the sound of one hand clapping.

Peace.G.

lbb
06-16-2013, 07:39 PM
Only initiates know?

That is not what Benjamin said.

You'd probably have more meaningful dialogues if you made a concerted attempt to respond to what people are actually saying, rather than altering and paraphrasing. Try reading carefully and responding to exactly what people say.

lbb
06-16-2013, 07:41 PM
I thought my name was in your post.

Plus I'm not replying to the op but just keeping it in line with rather than off on a tangent like fundamentalism. Think that was in your post too.

A mention of fundamentalism was in my post; however, it was not a tangent.

Carsten Möllering
06-17-2013, 01:35 AM
... if you made a concerted attempt to respond to what people are actually saying, rather than altering and paraphrasing.
Doing so very often, if not ever, affects, influences, changes one's own thinking, opinions, mind ... .

graham christian
06-17-2013, 02:10 PM
That is not what Benjamin said.

You'd probably have more meaningful dialogues if you made a concerted attempt to respond to what people are actually saying, rather than altering and paraphrasing. Try reading carefully and responding to exactly what people say.

Too busy enjoying how sweet the strawberry tastes. (Benjamin will understand)

Peace.G.

aiki-jujutsuka
06-17-2013, 04:52 PM
I'm going to attempt to talk from personal experience about a very subjective topic in a meaningful way to the conversation.

I see the spirituality of O'Sensei (from the little I am familiar with) as finding concrete form in the ethics of Aikido. Whether you believe he achieved enlightenment, or whether one can achieve enlightenment through Aikido; O'Sensei's personal beliefs and philosophy formed the ethical basis of his Aikido and it is one of his most enduring legacies to the art. Rather than trying to speak in terms of "spirituality", which is a matter of semantics in many respects, I think speaking "ethically" is far more constructive in this particular instance.

As a Christian I do not adhere to Buddhist, Daoist or Shinto beliefs or doctrines, however I can agree on Aikido's ethical framework. There are many scriptures in the Bible that support the ethics of Aikido. O'Sensei may have arrived at those ethics through different means than myself, yet nevertheless they converge through the application of Aikido as budo.

As a Christian I am concerned with peace, non-resistance and love. I strive to embody these ideals and the Biblical teachings that provide the ethical framework for these abstract realities. Aikido/Aikibudo is a vehicle through which I can learn to develop meaningful expression of these ethical values.

In such a way I could consider my practice of budo as a form of my "spirituality", but my spirituality is not strictly defined by Aikido or any other kind of budo. I am first and foremost a disciple of Jesus Christ. I could express my spirituality using the same vernacular as Graham Christian, but it would carry very different connotations because its source is very different again.

graham christian
06-17-2013, 05:39 PM
I'm going to attempt to talk from personal experience about a very subjective topic in a meaningful way to the conversation.

I see the spirituality of O'Sensei (from the little I am familiar with) as finding concrete form in the ethics of Aikido. Whether you believe he achieved enlightenment, or whether one can achieve enlightenment through Aikido; O'Sensei's personal beliefs and philosophy formed the ethical basis of his Aikido and it is one of his most enduring legacies to the art. Rather than trying to speak in terms of "spirituality", which is a matter of semantics in many respects, I think speaking "ethically" is far more constructive in this particular instance.

As a Christian I do not adhere to Buddhist, Daoist or Shinto beliefs or doctrines, however I can agree on Aikido's ethical framework. There are many scriptures in the Bible that support the ethics of Aikido. O'Sensei may have arrived at those ethics through different means than myself, yet nevertheless they converge through the application of Aikido as budo.

As a Christian I am concerned with peace, non-resistance and love. I strive to embody these ideals and the Biblical teachings that provide the ethical framework for these abstract realities. Aikido/Aikibudo is a vehicle through which I can learn to develop meaningful expression of these ethical values.

In such a way I could consider my practice of budo as a form of my "spirituality", but my spirituality is not strictly defined by Aikido or any other kind of budo. I am first and foremost a disciple of Jesus Christ. I could express my spirituality using the same vernacular as Graham Christian, but it would carry very different connotations because its source is very different again.

Lovely poat if I may say so.:)

Peace.G.

aiki-jujutsuka
06-18-2013, 04:39 AM
Thank you Graham :).

CorkyQ
06-21-2013, 11:43 AM
We do a non-technique form of practice in my dojo that was instituted almost 10 years ago. Attacks from ukes are random, vary from typical aikido forms, and are carried through the entire movement while maintaining the initial intention. No one is ever thrown, nor do ukes go along with a throw. Attempts to throw are met with resistance and/or intensification of the attack.

We have found and continue to affirm that only what we call a true center-to-center ki connection will result in the manifestation of aikido, and only if uke maintains his attack through the entire resolution with the support of nage. A withdrawal of the attack ends the aikido (though not necessarily the connection), but a withdrawal from the conflict or defense from nage intensifies the attack. Our practice includes study of how authentic committed attack intention and energy can be maintained all the way through resolution at a safe level of intensity and at less than full speed. The feeling of struggling is obvious to each participant and is used as a marker to indicate that aiki has not been achieved.

We have found and continue to find in our practice that the spiritual nature of ki flow between individuals has profound material effects. Acknowledging the lack of consensus of definition of both words, spiritual and ki the definition for spiritual ki I use as a model for non-technique-based aikido practice is the form of universal energy expressed through evolving life form, relating it to ki as it expresses as magnetic and gravitational forces in the physical world, all different, yet fundamental expressions of ki.

In this model, think of spiritual ki as that force in nature that expresses through the creation of evolving, reproducing organisms out of ordinary chemical compounds, and that its principles appear in interactions between living beings the same way you might think of magnetic principles manifesting in interactions between certain metals.

Being a conduit of this life-producing energy in its optimum flow feels better than anything else on earth to a physical being, especially when one's flow connects with others whose flow equals or is greater than one's own. We typically call that love in myriad forms.

If intention precedes action, intention in harmony with the expression of this energy (effortless connection) is going to produce a better feeling than intention that creates barriers to keep the connective principle of this energy from completing its "circuit." Therefore love, compassion, forgiveness, and trust feel better than hate, heartlessness, resentment, and fear. Love feels good and we love when we feel good because there is an increase of flow of this life-producing energy.

If feeling love is an indication of maximum ki flow, then fear indicates a restriction of flow within the living being. Because the nature of this spiritual ki is magnetic in its own way, a person operating from a state of fear is like someone trying to hold two electromagnets apart as the flow of electricity increases. The more the person does not connect to others in a way that optimizes flow, the stronger the need to connect grows until the ki, revealing a fluid hydraulic-like principle (think fire hose), is expressed as attack, a connection forced on someone else.

All action arises out of intention. If you look at the intention of an attack as material manifestation of a need to connect to another source of ki flow, when we as aikidoka release the constrictions, born of fear, that reduce on our own flow, that ki combines with the ki of the attack, and if we observe basic specific movements of the art, aikido manifests spontaneously and naturally, and usually in a much simpler path than typical aikido techniques take.

Whereas magnetism increases flow of electrons the same way the flow of electrons increases magnetism, the combination of the flood of ki (optimum ki flow from beneficent intention) from nage fills the system of the attacker, thereby dismantling the fundamental reason for the attack. We see this all the time in non-physical conflict. The art of aikido demonstrates these principles in physical expression. This flood of life-giving ki not only allows the creation of an aiki path (what most might call a technique), it fulfills the basic need that drove the attack in the first place, thereby fulfilling the notion by Osensei that aikido brings the whole situation to its natural harmonious state, which certainly would be less apt to happen if an attacker is thrown into a wall or forced down with pain or leverage.

We continue to find that the more authentically nage can engage the energy of the attack with genuine beneficent intention the more effortlessly uke's intention lands him on the ground. Our success in being part of manifestation of aiki comes from transcending the lower brain reflex responses of withdrawal or defense (including counterattack) to genuinely embody higher consciousness, thereby opening the flood gates of ki which instantly transform both the attack and attacker. There is reason why ukes often laugh in the middle of the interaction. Our practice reveals to us daily that the teachings of the founder regarding the spiritual aspects of aikido making the physical aspects effective were not esoteric ramblings but literal explanations that are profoundly true.

Because the principles of ki flow between individual living beings is subtle and hardly affects anything outside of living things, it is easy to discount as simple imagination without substance. What we have found, and feel is backed up by the words of the Founder as well as our direct experience, is that the physical embodiment of sound moral qualities, produce an optimum flow of ki from one's center, and that flow, in its purest, unrestricted state, is what produces aikido, spontaneously and without technique - what I believe Osensei meant by takemusu aiki.

In my nearly 30 years of practice, I have been very fortunate to have had training and/or personal conversation with at least half a dozen direct students of the founder (or who trained in Osensei's dojo when he was alive). One of them, Kaz Tanahashi, who translated the book Aikido (Kisshomaru Ueshiba, 1958, under the direction of Morihei Ueshiba) into English, also translated the "Memoir of the Master" at the back of the book and confirmed to me personally that Osensei genuinely believed that the power of aikido, both as a martial art and as an art of self purification was based in spiritual components.

The next greatest verification I received directly was through a brief training experience and long conversation with the late Kanshu Sunadomari, Shihan who I visited in Kumomoto City. Dai Sensei had formed his own aikido dojo in Kumomoto in the early 1950's, and at that time he was challenged by the local budo practitioners who had never as yet heard of aikido. Dai Sensei quickly learned (as he wrote in his book Enlightenment Through Aikido) that technique would only get him so far. He began to study the words of Osensei, particularly the spiritual teachings, and from there his aikido became what it was before he passed on, still as he said to me, using aikido to remove animosity from his heart. I was invited to grab this frail-looking 84 year old man and hold him with everything I had. I had traveled all the way from Los Angeles, so I made it count. What I felt was being transported and taken care of, not thrown.

We continue our training with the goal of our aikido being both martially sound and fulfilling the goal of the founder for it to literally be "the loving protection of all things."

graham christian
06-21-2013, 03:44 PM
We do a non-technique form of practice in my dojo that was instituted almost 10 years ago. Attacks from ukes are random, vary from typical aikido forms, and are carried through the entire movement while maintaining the initial intention. No one is ever thrown, nor do ukes go along with a throw. Attempts to throw are met with resistance and/or intensification of the attack.

We have found and continue to affirm that only what we call a true center-to-center ki connection will result in the manifestation of aikido, and only if uke maintains his attack through the entire resolution with the support of nage. A withdrawal of the attack ends the aikido (though not necessarily the connection), but a withdrawal from the conflict or defense from nage intensifies the attack. Our practice includes study of how authentic committed attack intention and energy can be maintained all the way through resolution at a safe level of intensity and at less than full speed. The feeling of struggling is obvious to each participant and is used as a marker to indicate that aiki has not been achieved.

We have found and continue to find in our practice that the spiritual nature of ki flow between individuals has profound material effects. Acknowledging the lack of consensus of definition of both words, spiritual and ki the definition for spiritual ki I use as a model for non-technique-based aikido practice is the form of universal energy expressed through evolving life form, relating it to ki as it expresses as magnetic and gravitational forces in the physical world, all different, yet fundamental expressions of ki.

In this model, think of spiritual ki as that force in nature that expresses through the creation of evolving, reproducing organisms out of ordinary chemical compounds, and that its principles appear in interactions between living beings the same way you might think of magnetic principles manifesting in interactions between certain metals.

Being a conduit of this life-producing energy in its optimum flow feels better than anything else on earth to a physical being, especially when one's flow connects with others whose flow equals or is greater than one's own. We typically call that love in myriad forms.

If intention precedes action, intention in harmony with the expression of this energy (effortless connection) is going to produce a better feeling than intention that creates barriers to keep the connective principle of this energy from completing its "circuit." Therefore love, compassion, forgiveness, and trust feel better than hate, heartlessness, resentment, and fear. Love feels good and we love when we feel good because there is an increase of flow of this life-producing energy.

If feeling love is an indication of maximum ki flow, then fear indicates a restriction of flow within the living being. Because the nature of this spiritual ki is magnetic in its own way, a person operating from a state of fear is like someone trying to hold two electromagnets apart as the flow of electricity increases. The more the person does not connect to others in a way that optimizes flow, the stronger the need to connect grows until the ki, revealing a fluid hydraulic-like principle (think fire hose), is expressed as attack, a connection forced on someone else.

All action arises out of intention. If you look at the intention of an attack as material manifestation of a need to connect to another source of ki flow, when we as aikidoka release the constrictions, born of fear, that reduce on our own flow, that ki combines with the ki of the attack, and if we observe basic specific movements of the art, aikido manifests spontaneously and naturally, and usually in a much simpler path than typical aikido techniques take.

Whereas magnetism increases flow of electrons the same way the flow of electrons increases magnetism, the combination of the flood of ki (optimum ki flow from beneficent intention) from nage fills the system of the attacker, thereby dismantling the fundamental reason for the attack. We see this all the time in non-physical conflict. The art of aikido demonstrates these principles in physical expression. This flood of life-giving ki not only allows the creation of an aiki path (what most might call a technique), it fulfills the basic need that drove the attack in the first place, thereby fulfilling the notion by Osensei that aikido brings the whole situation to its natural harmonious state, which certainly would be less apt to happen if an attacker is thrown into a wall or forced down with pain or leverage.

We continue to find that the more authentically nage can engage the energy of the attack with genuine beneficent intention the more effortlessly uke's intention lands him on the ground. Our success in being part of manifestation of aiki comes from transcending the lower brain reflex responses of withdrawal or defense (including counterattack) to genuinely embody higher consciousness, thereby opening the flood gates of ki which instantly transform both the attack and attacker. There is reason why ukes often laugh in the middle of the interaction. Our practice reveals to us daily that the teachings of the founder regarding the spiritual aspects of aikido making the physical aspects effective were not esoteric ramblings but literal explanations that are profoundly true.

Because the principles of ki flow between individual living beings is subtle and hardly affects anything outside of living things, it is easy to discount as simple imagination without substance. What we have found, and feel is backed up by the words of the Founder as well as our direct experience, is that the physical embodiment of sound moral qualities, produce an optimum flow of ki from one's center, and that flow, in its purest, unrestricted state, is what produces aikido, spontaneously and without technique - what I believe Osensei meant by takemusu aiki.

In my nearly 30 years of practice, I have been very fortunate to have had training and/or personal conversation with at least half a dozen direct students of the founder (or who trained in Osensei's dojo when he was alive). One of them, Kaz Tanahashi, who translated the book Aikido (Kisshomaru Ueshiba, 1958, under the direction of Morihei Ueshiba) into English, also translated the "Memoir of the Master" at the back of the book and confirmed to me personally that Osensei genuinely believed that the power of aikido, both as a martial art and as an art of self purification was based in spiritual components.

The next greatest verification I received directly was through a brief training experience and long conversation with the late Kanshu Sunadomari, Shihan who I visited in Kumomoto City. Dai Sensei had formed his own aikido dojo in Kumomoto in the early 1950's, and at that time he was challenged by the local budo practitioners who had never as yet heard of aikido. Dai Sensei quickly learned (as he wrote in his book Enlightenment Through Aikido) that technique would only get him so far. He began to study the words of Osensei, particularly the spiritual teachings, and from there his aikido became what it was before he passed on, still as he said to me, using aikido to remove animosity from his heart. I was invited to grab this frail-looking 84 year old man and hold him with everything I had. I had traveled all the way from Los Angeles, so I made it count. What I felt was being transported and taken care of, not thrown.

We continue our training with the goal of our aikido being both martially sound and fulfilling the goal of the founder for it to literally be "the loving protection of all things."

Thanks, another great post.

Your explanation of how you define spiritual and ki is basically not much different to mine. The universal manifestation through life. Also any struggle we too see as a marker of aikido not being achieved.

The word connection we never actually used and so at first I wondered what everyone was talking about. I suppose it was because we had it as a starting point without which there could be no such thing as aikido. We use the principle of 'be with' and given as such to then recognize whenever struggle or stuckness occurs it is due to a violation of this principle. So that's part of our model.

Then I see connection stated as various things and as you say centre to centre. I too cannot disagree with this although we have 5 basic 'things' we develop and practice where centre is one of the five.

Intention is another thing talked about and emphasized by some and I note you use a slightly different terminology which to me makes ALL the difference and that is that you call it beneficent intention. A great wording I think even though not in my model. We used to do drills practicing intention continuously until you knew when intention was there and when it wasn't and then when it was compared to a different intention and thus discovered 'helpful' intentions were the most powerful.

Personally I have always liked finding out how the spiritual manifests as circles, techniques, motions, forms etc. and thus learn the natural universal pathways of ki which is all technique really is.

The manifestation you describe as gravity we call Koshi, the flood of ki and beneficent intention we relate to as universal love which leads to kokyu. Also we find different principles of such relate to different weapons and yet they are no longer destructive in their use.

A journey of discovering what is actually meant by universal love, the spirit of loving protection, harmony and non resistance. Thus also connection takes on new meaning and of itself can be very technical even spiritually. For example there is not only centre to centre connection. There is koshi to koshi, kokyu to kokyu, hara to hara etc. Inhibited and interfered with only by self, the fearing self, the ego, complete with what you call the 'limbic reaponse'. (another great way of describing resistance).

To us, if you don't take that step of faith, if you don't take what Ueshiba said and study it from the view of it being literal then you won't know if it's real or mumbo jumbo. In my opinion and more than that in my experience by so doing only may you learn and realize what not only Ueshiba but also what past masters meant when they came out with similar 'esoteric' type statements.

Kokyu as I call it or as you call it beneficent intention compleat with that flood of ki type experience is to me the best Aikido experience not only for the person doing it but the person receiving it for they always want more, no matter what they try or how intense they get they can't help but love what happens to them. It all makes perfect sense to me for universal love is all embracing and thus leads from intense fight to harmony. Restoration of peace. Divine technique.

Cheers Corky.

Peace.G.

Mary Eastland
06-22-2013, 07:55 AM
Spiritual is so personal.

Aikido training is spiritual in that it is in the now. It involves another person. Acceptance helps. And it requires us to be truly ourselves in each moment.

graham christian
06-22-2013, 02:03 PM
Indeed to some personal, to others universal.

Universal acceptance to me is pure centre.

Peace.G.

graham christian
06-22-2013, 02:31 PM
To add a little twist to this thread here's a video remix of a Phil Collins tune. A hard hitting spiritual message......just like Aikido.... Universal....

http://youtu.be/cFj31AFC6mA

Peace.G.

graham christian
08-01-2013, 09:44 PM
In conclusion here's the scene as I see it. Aikido of O'Sensei has been beset from day one by two factors as is usual for most 'enlightened' leaders. The factors of spiritual avoidance and spiritual denial.

That's the simplicity.

Avoid spiritual and you are avoiding Aikido, avoiding yourself, avoiding truth. Then you are left with only a substitute art.

Peace.G.

Mary Eastland
08-11-2013, 04:21 PM
Sounds a bit intolerant which in itself is not spiritual.

graham christian
08-11-2013, 05:12 PM
Sounds a bit intolerant which in itself is not spiritual.

Is 'intolerant' not spiritual? Really?

Does a zen practitioner tolerate daydreaming? Does non resistance tolerate resistance?

Spiritual sees what is despite the illusion and thus transcends the mind. That mind is thus not tolerated and goes quiet.

Spiritual discipline. Spiritual applies and follows principles of spirit but as it can't be 'explained' by logical mind embued and acting only on physical perception the person then has to call it 'feeling'.

Correct feeling tolerates no other feeling yet at the same time is aware of all incorrect feeling. No denial, just what is.

Peace.G.

sakumeikan
08-12-2013, 08:13 AM
To add a little twist to this thread here's a video remix of a Phil Collins tune. A hard hitting spiritual message......just like Aikido.... Universal....

http://youtu.be/cFj31AFC6mA

Peace.G.

Dear Graham,
Not being aPhil Collins fan[he cannot sing for toffee ]I think that his singing in itself might start a revolution.What a dirge. Rather listen to Pinky and Perky. Cheers, Joe.

graham christian
08-12-2013, 09:18 AM
Dear Graham,
Not being aPhil Collins fan[he cannot sing for toffee ]I think that his singing in itself might start a revolution.What a dirge. Rather listen to Pinky and Perky. Cheers, Joe.

Dear Joe, your comments on Phil Collins says all I need to know about you and music.:)

I prefered Bill and Ben myself.:cool:

Peace.G.