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Kung Fu Liane
02-15-2003, 07:16 AM
My Kung Fu teacher told me that everyone who trains in the martial arts for long enough will eventually 'find themselves' - he meant this in the context of by training in the martial arts with a teacher, you will find the spiritual side yourself. This is all he has ever mentioned on this subject. My Aikido teacher has never mentioned anything on this subject either.

I'd like some guidance, but i have the feeling that this is something i have to go through alone. Should students ask their teachers for guidance, or just trust that they will discover things themselves?

Incedentally, just before i started thinking about this, the article i read was:

http://www.kiyojuteryu.org/soke/articles/kensho.shtml

mike lee
02-15-2003, 09:34 AM
The path of MA is a path of self discovery because in order to approach mastery we must know as much about ourselves as possible. The path is continual.

Erik Young
02-16-2003, 05:32 AM
It's been my experience that when one studies any art or process intently, one learns a lot about oneself. I believe buddhists call this "mindfulness."

In any event, I've had spiritual awakenings thorugh my aikido studies, through my music studies, through my psychology studies, through being a parent/husband, through reading a good book, walking the dog, etc...

Every moment has a potential for learning and discovery, we just have to be open top the experience.

my $.02

Peace,

Erik

PhilJ
02-19-2003, 12:58 AM
Erik has an agreeable point: mindfulness. We pursue this "on the side" in aikido, without really ever mentioning in cirriculum or a technique.

Liane, trust your instincts on this one, it's a tough subject. You will learn loads about yourself in class, and infinitely more as you practice applying your knowledge outside class (non-physical situations).

There was a story of a man who went off to meditate in the mountains for years and years. He became a master, and could sink into a trance deeper than the losing record of the Minnesota Vikings. but when he returned to the city, he had a nervous breakdown.

Practicing what you know in realistic situations will teach you more about yourself than you want to know. And, as time progresses, your opportunities to practice this will increase. You eventually will have "TOO MUCH" time to learn about yourself. :)

*Phil

PhilJ
02-19-2003, 12:59 AM
I should add that these forums are a good sounding board for guidance as you develop questions. Your sensei should be happy to help too, all you need to do is try asking.

*Phil

paul keessen
02-19-2003, 03:40 AM
This a nice subject! especialy cause aikido is a very spiritual martial art! the way i see it, it's that it's a never ending road with big mountains and very deep valley's. I think everyone has to go trough a very rough period. In such a period you will think about yourself and question "WHY" you are doing aikido...

When i had such a period i red a lot of books. But they will not give an annwer. If you just keep training the answer comes by itself ( i think) :) and it's never the same for everybdoy. just train....

ian
02-19-2003, 11:42 AM
Within Buddhism the understanding of truth (spiritual realisation) has to be something accomplished by yourself and although people can point the way, a book, a set of rules or a religious practise is not going to get you there alone. It is like a path, in that sense (you walk it yourself).

I would disagree that asking your sensei is the best way. Talk to everyone, read, try to seperate truth from dogma.

What people absorb from aikido is different, and often those with a profound spiritual understanding cannot communicate it very well to you:

======

a student of Bankei's once said to him; before I was enlightened I thought everything you said was in clever riddles, designed to trick me or impress others, now I'm enlightened I realise that everything you said was just the pure and simple truth.

============

ian
02-19-2003, 11:47 AM
You have to realise also that what Ueshiba believed in was Omoto-kyo (a shinto/christian cult), which I don't think many people are really interested in. Myself I have been very interested in zen buddhism and taosim for many years.

I recommend this as an immediate buy (and it is very cheap)(prices are UK amazon)

The Way of Chuang Tzu (Thomas Merton)8.99

Also interesting (for Zen) are many of the books by Alan Watts e.g.

The Way of Zen

The Watercourse Way

These should be light enough to get to grips with, but are excellent books. If you are interested I have also written a single page on main concepts in buddhism (since so many people ask what it is). E-mail me and I'll send it to you.

PeterR
02-19-2003, 06:39 PM
Just to be a pain but I have met people who read all about samurai and Aikido and never got on the mat. They then tried to interest me in a discussion about "samurai philosophy" which they were studying - by themselves.

Sorry not interested. The person did join my dojo for a time but it seemed he was more interested in talking than doing.

SeiserL
02-19-2003, 10:00 PM
IMHO, you can ask for guidance from those who have shown they have something to offer you. Many people separate the martial arts from the spiritual practices. At best, they engage in intellectual discusssions rather than practicing. When you meditate, simply meditate. When you read, simply read. When you train in Aikido, simply train. They will come together on their own.

Until again,

Lynn

PeterR
02-20-2003, 01:33 AM
When you meditate, simply meditate. When you read, simply read. When you train in Aikido, simply train. They will come together on their own.
Yes

PhilJ
02-21-2003, 12:09 AM
I agree Lynn&Peter, good point. You can only get so much from a book, video, or fireside chat. No one here said asking sensei was the "best" way.

Go and experience, test what you've been told, and see if those words hold up. Kiss the mat for a while, then help others kiss the mat too. :) Absolutely no susbstitute for experience.

*Phil

John Boswell
02-25-2003, 09:48 AM
Lynn said it VERY well.

But Lynn, I have a question for you...

what does "KWATZ!" mean?? ;)

(* No, seriously! I wanna know!*)

SeiserL
02-26-2003, 08:41 PM
what does "KWATZ!" mean?
It's a shout used in Zen to startle you out of internally absorbed intellectualization and into present experience awareness. Also helps me stay awake.

Until again,

Lynn

DaveForis
03-20-2003, 09:43 PM
I think Lynn and Erik hit it pretty well, but I'll add my two Abes.

To be blunt and get to the original question, no you don't need a teacher so long as you take the responsibility of being your own teacher upon yourself.

Also, to clarify, spirituality is best defined as "finding yourself". You don't need a teacher to give you some great secret to figure that out. They can't. Instead, you have to work yourself to find your own personal answer. Don't expect a teacher to hand it to you. In all reality, follow your instincts. If you feel the urge to ask something, ask it. If you feel the urge to read a book, read it. If you feel the urge to discuss something, discuss it. If you feel the urge to do something, do it (In the context of that little voice, of course. I'm not advocating wanton hedonism or destruction.) Then be aware of where that little nagging feeling wants you to search next. If you follow that little pull, you'll find yourself in some really amazing places. It's so much fun. :) Maybe you'll screw up once or twice and go down the wrong path. Oh well. Steps can be retraced and lessons can be learned.

It sounds like you've already started on the path reading some zen stuff. Play with that, ask questions, and look at it from every angle. After a while, you may find a side avenue you want to explore for a while. And then another. And then another.

That's how it works.

Looking at what I've written, though, I think my best advice would be to play. Play is the most spiritual activity of all. :) Find what you like, what you're interested in, what fills you with meaning, and follow it, being mindful of all the people and ideas you encounter that come together to make the sum of your experience. That's your best teacher.

So, of course, you already know the anser.

Lyle Bogin
03-22-2003, 04:20 PM
Read, ask, train..decide nobody knows what they heck they are talking about.

taras
03-27-2003, 06:16 AM
So many things put so well! Just wanted to add that when talking about spiritual enlightenment we are talking about something beyond verbal communication, there is no way to describe it in words. Yogis would tell you that even the great Hindu sages who wrote the Upanishads could not communicate sufficiently what they were trying to explain. For the same reasons even the best MA master on Earth could not answer all you questions. Simple as: there are things that can be only learnt personally. I found these quotes from OSensei:

"True Budo cannot be described by words or letters; the gods will not allow you to make such explanations."

"Techniques of the Sword cannot be encompassed by words or letters. Do not rely on such things - move towards enlightenment!"

"Sincerity is said to be shown by those following the Path of the Sword; you may petition the gods for it but there is no need for them to reply."

Budo, Morihei Ueshhiba, 1938

MikeE
03-27-2003, 07:33 AM
Being Buddhist I really like this thread. Mindfulness. To me, very much the same as awareness. Of self, others, and surroundings. I think the thing has helped me most is that I don't really subscribe to the "moving towards mastery" thing, that is so popular with Aikidoka today.

Instead of mastering self and Aikido, I try to let the principles of Aikido master me. Take them to my core and be "mindful" of them.

This is very hard for me to explain....because like everyone else said; self-discovery is a personal and very intimate journey.

Good Luck.

mike lee
03-27-2003, 08:16 AM
To be blunt and get to the original question, no you don't need a teacher so long as you take the responsibility of being your own teacher upon yourself.

Very difficult to do. People who try to be their own teacher generally make very little progress, while at the same time getting entirely full of themselves which just further hinders any real progress.

A good teacher can show you many fine points that would take 1,000 lifetimes to learn on one's own not to mention the fact that he can help to keep that nasty ego in check.

It's good to take responsibility for one's training and to work extra hard on one's own, but there's no substitute for having a good teacher even if you have to travel many miles and only see him once a month.

The danger of practicing too much on your own is that you could end up practicing your mistakes. A very big waste of time. Until you're really sure that you know what you're doing, it's always best to retain a good teacher for guidance.

PhilJ
03-28-2003, 12:18 PM
I concur with Mr. Lee's post here...it's hard to get outside of what you already "know" without help from another party. And, especially hard when you are frustrated or emotionally involved with a particular situation (in or out of the dojo).

I believe you can go to a certain point without this help, but I think it's a point reached fairly quickly.

Taras's list of quotes is a good example of something already said here many times: you can explore it only by experiencing, not by reading/watching. I liken the latter form of 'learning' to a parrot: it says the words, but has no idea what they mean.

*Phil

Pretoriano
03-31-2003, 09:35 PM
The answer is simple, did someone teached Einstein physics? or Mozart music? or Gandhi to pray and meditate? or Bill gates computers and investment? or Bruce Lee Kung Fu? of course Yes!

.-Do they achieved sufficient autorealization in their lives compared to other people?

.-Do their developed and expresed their spirits each one in their own field?

Easy questions, easy answers.

Although the ammount of excitemnet for to walk deep on the woods at night is superb, where youre going? dont you need a path? how many looses to nowhere and falls do you need?

Guidance is a Must, is the upper scale step that always shows you there is something else. Do you remenber J.Vernes travel to down earth? AS? well, same Some have gone REAL FAR, and you just have their signals, even the responsability to have the work done is solely yours, time is running, is your choose to go in groups to a certain point, after that you start travelling fast.

Your spirit is the same as all the others and you know it, could be dusty,unveiled, ignored hided,lazy, put it aside, and apparently weak, etc. But just same one, so you you will be able to reach what others have.

Get a Teacher.

Cheers,

Pretoriano

aubrey bannah
04-01-2003, 01:56 AM
Your teacher should be able to introduce you to the differenct aspects of creation. This allows you to present your questions to the gods directly.

This is also the real definition of the qualification of teacher. To be enabled to bring the presence of the different gods unto your presence.

PeterR
04-01-2003, 02:29 AM
Let's not forget it is a path of self discovery. A good teacher knows when and how to tweak you in the right direction and is well aware that as the student grows there should be a lot less intervention.

That occaisional intervention is absolutely necessary. Compare Budo to the study of philosophy. It's very easy to read what you like and avoid what you don't. In the end you are very well versed in Jung (for example) but very poor in understanding the full context. Remember the movie "A Fish Called Wanda" where one man only read a particular philosopher and then spent the rest of the time overlaying his own warped insights, quite removed from what the philosopher was all about. We see the same with Budo. Aikido is not the only victim but it seems we, as a group, attract some ripe ones.

mike lee
04-01-2003, 04:21 AM
I'm beginning to like you, Peter! :D

ian
04-01-2003, 06:16 AM
Hi Peter,

I'd agree with what you say to an extent - however reading widely is not the same as understanding deeply; also, what you understand about a situation or reading is shaped very much by your previous experiences or understanding.

I recently started reading a book on Rael (Raelians are a cult who did a mass suicide) and found it to be complete rubbish; evidently he was just trying to start up an alien loving religion based on Chrisitnaity which he hoped would make the world a better place.

Whether we like it or not I think the truth of our experiences is what tests our philosophy; if our experiences do not stand up to our philosophy it is likely we have a misunderstanding or the philosophy is wrong. In the end your life is your journey, and it is unique to you.

PS Manuel, Einstein was a failure at school, as was Darwin, and taught himself mathmatics whilst working in a patent office.

Bankei (a Zen buddhist) was quite insistent that what most of the zen buddhists where teaching at the time was rubbish and caused more problems than it solved; he said satori was simple and did not involve all the processes that students are often pushed through. I think many of the buddist practices relate more to discipline and producing a religious order than to enlightenment. No matter how good your teacher or book is, understanding comes from a recognition of some truth within that which you are learning. I think our subconcious has already grasped satori, but we chase these religious beliefs to represent what this means to our cerebral cortex and thus actually realise that we are enlightened.

jxa127
04-01-2003, 08:22 AM
Liane,

You pose an interesting question. I think the answer is somewhat complicated.

First, I suggest asking your teacher about anything related to aikido. Physical techniques, his or her views on spirituality, ukemi, dojo etiquette, etc.

Does your teacher actively discourage questions, or is this simply a topic that you find very personal?

Anyway, the reason this topic can be complicated is that learning happens in stages. An appropriate tactic at one point in one's development may be inappropriate at another point. Generally speaking, a good grounding or familiarity in a spiritual discipline is necessary for more esoteric, self-guided studies later on.

In my own case, I was raised a Christian and learned the official Christian dogma for my denomination early in life. In college, I took a course on Eastern thought and was introduced to Zen, Tao, Buddhism, Confucianism, and others. It was amazing to be exposed to a different way of thinking, and even more amazing to begin to understand it. I give a lot of credit to my teacher for challenging me and really making me work.

A few years later, I started aikido. Again, I did some research. I asked my sensei for some recommended reading. He has an interest in the historical research on the founder and his students (much of which has been documented and discussed at the Aikido Journal web site). We've had some good discussions on the topic.

In the end, I've made some interesting discoveries. First, I've not had to renounce my chosen faith just because I started to explore other views of spirituality. Instead, my appreciation of my faith has been challenged and affected in some very profound and wonderful ways.

Second, this is some sophisticated and uncomfortable stuff. The links among mind, body, spirit and our concepts of the same can be shaken and rearranged simply by looking at them from another perspective. A good teacher can help you find those perspectives.

Third, and most important, in the end the only person with responsibility for your spirituality is you (as I'm sure you know). Spirituality is not an abstract thing; rather, it is the basis from which we make moral decisions. How we treat other people, how we view and use what power we possess, and how we approach relationships are all rooted in our spiritual selves.

Geez, I sound preachy. Anyway, my long-winded point boiled down to a short one is: your spirit is your own responsibility, but a good teacher (or several) can help you learn how to develop it the way you want it to develop. At least that's my perspective on the question.

In addition to the wonderful resources already mentioned, I'd check out: The Spirit of Aikido by Kisshomaru Ueshiba, The Magic of Conflict by Thomas F. Crum, and The Gift of Fear by Gavin De Becker.

Regards,

-Drew

Pretoriano
04-01-2003, 05:57 PM
To Aubrey Bannah: this name is masculine or femmenine? because I dont get sometimes northamerican names. Good post, since you should valid superpose "gods" to energies of different kinds available, not only to ask them but to reach and control it in yourself. I dont have a teacher yet in the sense youre talking, but my Aikido Teacher, hes proficient, pedagogical, he knows people very well, he does what he have to do.

To Peter Rehse: "Let's not forget it is a path of self discovery." Obvious, thats all about.

"It's very easy to read what you like and avoid what you don't. In the end you are very well versed in Jung (for example) but very poor in understanding the full context."Rehse

Yes, thats called following just one line of thinking. Ive been study Confucianism for twenty years, but I dont want to hang myself believes only on this line.

Rehse means: you pray.

Dodkins: Hi, you put "however reading widely is not the same as understanding deeply;"

.-Remarkable Dodkins, and I just cant explain to myself why people often confuse the concepts.

also, what you understand about a situation or reading is shaped very much by your previous experiences or understanding."

is only shaped...

I guess youre jew right?, Ive meet nice jew people, but see whatever the sect is, it can cover itself under many doctrines and adopt different practises, their chief could be a socalled mathatma, or pope or rabin, thats just thei external appareance .

"PS Manuel, Einstein was a failure at school, as was Darwin, and taught himself mathmatics whilst working in a patent office."

Yes Ian, and C Eastwood was rejected first from acting school for lack of talent.

But all those people have'd a model, if Einstein wasnt to study Pitagoras at first he wasnt to reach the next steps.

An old erudit I used to visit say:

Every in the universe in energy and concience

the first exist, the second is".

Pretoriano

aubrey bannah
04-08-2003, 01:27 AM
Manuel, It's a male name. I think that any hard continues training will lead to a awareness that there is more in the universe than that is first apparent. I was fornunate to find a teacher of meditation to quilde me in understanding the truth of reality. I feel strongly that in its purest form that Aikido is a religion ie training that will cause a spiritual awaking. The advantage of having a teacher that is adept is the shortcuts to introduce different knowedge to quickly advance you, ie different levels of understanding with engeries, sound and colour etc. This is spiritual knowgedge that all races and religions have but is dissimulated in different ways, normally to advance yourself spiritually, but like in Aikido with sounds and colour can be used in a physical sense.

Aubrey

Pretoriano
04-08-2003, 06:04 PM
Thanks Aubrey for to interact. See if you agree.

Ive observed many people from different ages and art-styles of trainning and the first that comes up it is the diversity of grades of perception and awakening showed by each individual. Independent on which are the reasons we train for, and the physical skill, We do approach so different to martial arts in tems of individual comprenhsion and its inherently constant change, that we spend years putting this together, and we can spend others more interchanging information, views and opinnions. Even in Aikido were the road is to harmonize and to look for peace our understandings on the matter differs a world!

We understand different, we live Aikido different and we express this understanding very distinctly. This is a positive thing I guess!.

Take a look to the Shihans youve seen or trained with, They are are truly survivors, they are the remanent of hundrend of thousands of people that once followed the path.

I think yes! if you follow a martial art for to awakenning, it will work! or at least some powerful tools may be given to you to close the gap between the ignorance and separativeness on you looking for unification.

We'll talk later on colors and sounds.

Praetorian

PeterR
04-08-2003, 07:01 PM
Take a look to the Shihans youve seen or trained with, They are are truly survivors, they are the remanent of hundrend of thousands of people that once followed the path.
Well not quite. Many were pegged from very early on in their training that they would choose Aikido as their profession. There is a real difference from those of us who stumble into Aikido and then continue to stumble and those that in their early 20s know exactly what they want to be doing.

Pretoriano
04-08-2003, 07:56 PM
Yes I got your point Rehse, but still they re the survivors and the true remanent of those generations. Some of them engage in their early lives because they have had probably nothing else to do as a promisory future, at that time wasnt the wider spectum of choices and close alternatives we have today. Also, humans in my opinion, all have hiden skills for to succeed in diferent areas, and not always are discovered while youre in your twenties.

Praetorian

E.J. Nella
04-09-2003, 10:22 AM
I personally think a good teacher (like mentioned before) can maybe push you in a direction that may help you. But I also think that it is just as likely to learn Aiki philosophy from anyone. I can see what I do not wish to do or think from negative actions of others whether they are an Aikido teacher or a stranger on the street. I have seen very Aikido-like action from people that have never taken or possibly even heard of the art, and have seen Aikido teachers handle themselves in a most un-Aikido like fashion.

How do you want to be? If you are not sure, seek someone that best embodies the result you are looking for and learn by watching or reading about their actions. Realize you may not wish to be exactly like this person. But you can take what you need until it is time to fill in other attributes from another teacher more suited for the additional skills you seek. That teacher usually shows up right when you need them, whether you realize it or not!

Good luck!

Charles Hill
05-08-2003, 03:43 PM
I was told an interesting story by Jack Wada about Kato Hiroshi Shihan. Apparently O'Sensei invited Kato Shihan to come up in front of the class and demonstate kototama (the manifestation of spirit through sound.) Having never been taught about it, Kato Shihan felt insecure and unsure, and so refused (to his regret years later.)

The point of the story was that O'Sensei felt that something like kototama is not taught or learned. It is something to do. I suggest that you should read about the various spiritual exercises O'Sensei did and try them. (Kototama is explained in John Stevens' Secrets of Aikido.)

O'Sensei spent many years engaging in spiritual practices on his own. He did have a grounding in Shingon Buddhism as a child and later learned Chinkon Kishin meditation from Onisaburo Deguchi, but most of the time, he was on his own.

cindy perkins
05-09-2003, 02:14 AM
Nothing substitutes for a skilled and inspiring teacher in the beginning. Sitting meditation is very difficult anyway -- how much more without a dharma teacher to talk you through the steps of posture, breath, sounds, body sensations, pleasant/unpleasant/neutral judgements, emotions and thoughts, not to mention the hindrances! Then it's practice, practice, practice!

I think E.J.s comments are key: find a person who embodies what you want to learn or who you want to be. Learn from them. Practice with intensity, watching your own experience as you do so. move to another teacher when the time is right. And sometimes the teacher of on point or another may be a book, a tape, an animal, etc...

DGLinden
05-10-2003, 02:23 PM
I love these discussions of spiritual matters pertaining to martial arts. Over thirty five years I have trained with countless martial art masters. Osawa, 2 Toheis, Yamaguchi, - 2 Doshus etc.. and the number of enlightened spiritual masters I've found is exactly the same number as those individuals who have attained enlightenment studying Aikido. Zip. Have fun, kids.

Charles Hill
05-10-2003, 04:18 PM
Mr. Linden,

I understand you are a long time student of Mitsugi Saotome's. I would love to hear your take on Saotome Sensei's experience he described as a kind of enlightenment in the book, Principles of Aikido.

Sincerely,

Charles C. Hill

mike lee
05-11-2003, 01:12 AM
... the number of enlightened spiritual masters I've found is exactly the same number as those individuals who have attained enlightenment studying Aikido. Zip.
How would you know if you encountered someone who had "attained enelightenment"?

Jeff R.
05-11-2003, 10:40 AM
If martial arts, or any Way of Spirit, was about "finding oneself," then enlightenment would be an extremely self-centered and finite achievement.

The point of a spiritual path is to find the common thread that binds all Spiritual Ways and religions, then learn how to live in a harmonious way in light of that thread.

Martial Arts and Yoga, Tai Chi, Meditation . . . all ways to learn about "yourself," but incomplete if they don't guide you toward the ultimate goal of LOSING yourself.

We need to understand ourselves, why we do what we do, how we 'fit in,' and what kind of person we are in order to abandon those issues and move on to being part of the whole of the universe.

It is natural to begin with an id, encounter the superego, and temper or mediate with the ego in the road to understanding the self in society. But the self is finite, and this perception is fostered in society--find yourself, make yourself better, self-help, self-improvement, etc.--and leads to our living in spiritually-void "pods," manifested in such physical forms as enclosed, controlled homes, office buildings, cars, headphones, televisions, etc.--seperating us from others and, more importantly, the purest physical manifestation of the Great Spirit--Nature.

As we begin in the martial arts, we learn techniques that, in the beginning, are tools for moving us on to higher levels of understanding. As we progress, we see that there is much more "magic" in these techniques, and they become more than just groundwork; they have a spiritual connotation. Further on still, we see that the techniques no longer matter in the "magic" of the martial arts anymore, that they were only a vehicle toward acheiving the spiritual awakening, Satori. The growing through the phases of Self is exactly the same.

Stopping after one "finds" oneself, is to maintain, fear, regret, subjectivity, and seperation from the Whole. One cannot understand the Whole without giving oneself to the Whole of the Universe. Then, there is no more personal attack, no fear of death or life (Marubashi), and an untainted channelling of unconditional love (the purest spiritual manifestation of the Great Spirit).

These things are not possible until we understand that WE DO NOT EXIST as a self; it is not possible without spiritually slitting our wrists.

If you want to find yourself, you can go to self-discovery workshops and classes just about anywhere. Heck, there are tons of books on finding yourself. But how can you truly know whom or what you are without connecting to the source of your life?

When we kill the earth, pollute the water, build our houses and factories, we are spitting in the face of the Great Spirit. How can we harm the purest form of God and be justified? And how then can we live in a way that directly opposes the benefit of Nature and still expect to have pure spirits? It simply doesn't work that way. Our duty as Aikidoka is to live in the truest way, to uphold the Spirit of the Whole by protecting Nature, protecting the future generations, living in the now for the future, and teaching the young to reconnect with Creation, Spirit--the real world.

(Have you ever considered how our "real" world consists mostly of dreams and thoughts that we've brought into existence with little to no benefit to Nature?)

There is Self until Self no longer needs to exist. Be very careful with those who want to help you find yourself. They may very well be ones who have stopped short on the path.

Besides, you're not really lost, maybe a little disconnected, but not lost. We're all right here together, whether we like it or not.

malc anderson
05-14-2003, 04:01 AM
hi liane, I enjoyed the article kiyojueryu ,thanks for that .I also have asked my tai chi teacher (LEE FAMILY}and my Aikido teacher and got the same answers as you. I to have a desire to find out about the innerself. but I come at this from a different angle, I have been practising "self knowledge" for for many years, and took up MA's for excercise . I was drawn to tai chi by Loa tsu and Chaung tsu. Aikido interested me because of Uisheba's spiritual writings.I think we must be careful what we want MA's to give us .After all Uisheba went to a visionary for his path of enlightenment and surely we must do the same , this is not to put down MA's in anyway ,I love them and the beauty in the movements. I find that practicing self knowledge [1hr] every day and then doing my forms I can become more deeply involved in the movements because I am already in that still point before I start .My teacher of SK has a web site perhaps you might like to take a look WWW.TPRF.COM . It has changed my life and helped me to understand the total importance of peace . I could talk allday on the topic of inner peace but I won't , have a look at my teacher's website ,I know it will answer many questions and make you feel nice .malc

malc anderson
05-14-2003, 08:10 AM
sorry Liane the web address is WWW.TPRF.ORG

DGLinden
05-15-2003, 08:50 AM
O'Sensei dreamed of world peace. His goal for eveyone was not to bind us all in a form of aiki-religion, but to express the principles of aikido in our own society, through our own religious institutions, and in our own vision for peace.

I have know individuals who where blessed by a state of enlightenment and who expressed it in the living of their lives. Some actually trained in aikido. They did not achieve it through training in aikido. Aikido was the way they expressed it. This is an important difference.

I try to maintain an aloof, and even flip attitude towared this not because I don't think it has importance, but because I feel too many people find it all important.

Saotome Sensei expresses his sprituality through his experience of his own culture, religion, and the results of the guidance he received. However, even the Pope is not mistaken for God. So too, we all strive, not to be God, but to be merely good.