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dj_swim
11-10-2005, 01:00 PM
Alright, well I see that the "Aikido and being Christian" thread has drawn a lot of really good discussion (I haven't contributed but I've found the discussion very interesting)

So... I find the inter-linking of various life-philosophies very interesting, particularly because that's what got me interested in Aikido in the first place.

My first two books on Aikido were "The Art of Peace" by O Sensei and "Aikido and the Harmony of Nature" by Saotome Sensei (forgive me if this isn't the proper way to address him, I'll edit it if you let me know, I'm still fairly new to this)

The one profound idea that really drew me into this study was the mission of Aikido "ban yu ai go"... in fact it was so profound to me that upon reading it, I immediately became semi-vegetarian (definition to follow) and had the kanji tatooed down my back.

Definition of semi-vegetarian: Only eating meats that are organic or free range... in most situations this becomes identical to vegetarian due to the lack of availability of these products

To me, to love and protect all things meant all living things, not just humans. And while I have no moral objection to consuming meat... it seemed like if an animal was going to give it's life to feed me, I should not support industries that do not allow the animal to have a healthy and dignified life prior to slaughter.

Now, I have since strayed from that path a bit, but I'm on my way back onto it (I just kicked cigarettes and cola in the same day, I thought if I gave up almost all meat at the same time I might explode) and I was wondering if anyone else has interpreted this like me, or even what other people thought of it.

I'll end this opening post with advice to any vegetarians out there: If you're going to fall off the wagon, "Ribfest" is NOT the place to do it... :dead:

-Doug

Mats Alritzson
11-10-2005, 01:42 PM
Hmm, I'm sorry but I don't see the relevance. How about "swimming and being vegetarian"? Don't get me wrong, I find the thread "aikido and being christian" equally ridiculous.

Sorry, I couldn't keep my mouth shut any longer. I've been bothered by these threads to long and if I don't post this message I will continue to be bothered. :sorry:

Lan Powers
11-10-2005, 01:58 PM
I am pretty thoroughly a carnivore.......Doesn't seem all that relevant to the art od Aikido to me either, but we each interpret things in our own way.
Lan

Karen Wolek
11-10-2005, 01:59 PM
I'm a vegetarian, but it doesn't have anything to do with aikido.

roosvelt
11-10-2005, 02:00 PM
Hmm, I'm sorry but I don't see the relevance. How about "swimming and being vegetarian"? Don't get me wrong, I find the thread "aikido and being christian" equally ridiculous.

Sorry, I couldn't keep my mouth shut any longer. I've been bothered by these threads to long and if I don't post this message I will continue to be bothered. :sorry:

Meat product increase your Yang, Veggie increase your Yin. In Western world, most people have too much Yang, not enough Yin.

Do you think Aikido has nothing to do with Yin/Yang?

Mats Alritzson
11-10-2005, 02:17 PM
Meat product increase your Yang, Veggie increase your Yin. In Western world, most people have too much Yang, not enough Yin.

If that were the case wouldn't you end up with too much Yin and too little Yang if you became vegetarian? :confused:

Kevin Masters
11-10-2005, 02:23 PM
Ribfest?

Yuck, nasty.

I don't think Aikido has much to do with being a vegetarian, either. My sensei said once, "meat is an excellent substitute for tofu" or something like that. :D

Karen Wolek
11-10-2005, 02:55 PM
Yeah, he calls meat a "tofu substitute." <grin>

My sensei is a student of Kevin's sensei....and my sensei IS a vegetarian.

DarkShodan
11-10-2005, 03:41 PM
If Aikido is about balance and harmony, then what we put into our bodies should be balanced. They have been saying it for years! Eat a healthy balanced diet! It's true! Meat, fish, dairy, veggies, fruit....it's all good!

Beer can be used as a substitute for any of the items listed.

My next post will be "Aikido and being Alektorophobic".

Kevin Leavitt
11-10-2005, 04:06 PM
Wow, tons of non-vegetarians!

I am a vegetarian, not a vegan, but close. I eat some cheeses and try to limit my intake of diary products. No meat what-so-ever.

I think it is a personal choice, for me it had alot to do with aikido, or at least the reason I study aikido. It is about compassion and awareness for me. Based on this, I can't imagine how you can't see the correalation!

I'd recommend doing a bunch of reading of contemporary buddhist literature if you are inclined to lean this way. Thict Nhat Han is a good one.

The big thing is that it becomes a personal choice or practice. Does it make you a better person or more compassionate than a omnivores? Not necessarily as "better" is hard to really define and quantify. Also Compassion. Part of being compasionate is NOT preaching to omnivores!


Again, I think that in order to achieve the goals of aikido, you must think constantly about every choice you make and evey action you take with a sense of awareness. That includes the foods you eat, the ideas you choose to think, and the respect you show people. To me, it is very related to the study of aikido!

I can also see how someone might interpret it differently. You can also carry vegetarism to an extreme. Look at Jainism, where do you draw the lne? It is different for different people and we must respect that!

I am headed for China in two weeks to adopt our daughter, so I will see exactly how difficult it is to be a vegetarian while traveling in a country with a language and culture you barely understand! :)

aikigirl10
11-10-2005, 04:15 PM
Meat product increase your Yang, Veggie increase your Yin. In Western world, most people have too much Yang, not enough Yin.

Do you think Aikido has nothing to do with Yin/Yang?

Since when are meat and veggies the yin and the yang?

To me what you eat is totally irrelevant to aikido. As long as you have a healthy body and are capable of keeping it that way then i dont see what eating has to do with it.

Im a frequent fast-food eater but as long as im not overweight i really dont see the problem.

And i also agree that the Aikido and being Christian thread is ridiculous.

Kevin Leavitt
11-10-2005, 04:21 PM
I would disagree with you on the thread of AIkido/Christianity as being ridiculous. It might be irrelevant to you and your practice, but to many it is important as they attempt to integrate and reconcile aikido into their lives.

You do not live your life in tiny neat little boxes that are separated, but as the totality of how you are and what you intrinsically believe, and what you want to become.

Same topic with vegetariaism. To many it is very related to their philosophical and spritual beliefs as is aikido as a physical practice that helps reconcile their spirituality.

dj_swim
11-10-2005, 05:02 PM
I just wanted to clarify the reason I started this thread. I started it under a few basic assumptions:

1. Everything we do in our life is interlinked.
2. All of our lives are interlinked.
3. The reasons we make a decision to do something are just as important as the reasons we make a decison not to do something.

Now I didn't start this to preach vegetarianism to anyone. In fact, if you read my first post carefully, I'm not even a vegetarian in the classical sense.

The reason I started this thread was to spark discussion about why people believe what they believe and if it was important to them in the context of Aikido.

Given that this is the "Spiritual" section of the forum, I thought that it would generate a largely philosophical discussion about belief vs. behavior, which ultimately encompasses many (if not all) of Aikido.

Now, if you think that being Vegetarian has nothing to do with Aikido in the context that I've formed it, I have no problem with that at all. What would be nice is if you explained why. It's not that I don't want to hear opinions other than my own, it's that discussion comes more naturally to me when there are justifications for them (physical, emotional, spiritual, or otherwise).

Thanks for the comments so far!

-Doug

Nick Simpson
11-10-2005, 05:28 PM
I was vegetarian but I didnt do It correctly, not enough fruit and veg, not enough Iron, after a while I became quite fatigued, felt ill regularly, lots of head aches and other aches and pains. I tired during training quicker than I should. I started to take more vitamins and drink lots of guinness (which was fun) and this improved things, but eventually I ate meat again. One day I would like to go back to being veggie, but I'll do it properly and take my training into account :)

Being veggie was nothing to do with aikido by the way.

jeff.
11-10-2005, 08:03 PM
hrm... well, i've been vegan for a little over 11 years, and was lacto-ova for two years before that. go me, eh? my point?: i'm attracted to aikido for many of the same reasons i became vegetarian and then vegan: a way of compassionately interacting with the world. sounds kinda silly and maybe cheesy to many ears, but i think its important. that is: one of the things i love about aikido is its philosophical and spiritual depth(s). but philosophy is only really useful, methinks, if it can be put into action in some sense. hence, my active studying of the martial art aikido, as well as its philosophy, and my being vegan as an active means to kill as little as possible with my diet while still being healthy.

does one need to be veg to study aikido? hell no. that would be beyond dumb. as ridiculous as saying that you have to be shinto or buddhist to study aikido. in fact, it would be more ridiculous, since those two belief systems actually influenced aikido (and while osensei appears to have been veg on and off... there were some off times, ya know?). however, i feel that a vital part of aikido must be learning how to engage with our world more actively, with deepening understanding. this, i think, must ultimately mean, in part, confronting how we interact not only with one another, but with other living creatures and the earth more generally. of course, none of this requires that we reach any of the same conclusions, merely that we take the time to consider how our actions effect everything around us. after that it seems to me imparative that we figure out how then, in our individual lives, to respond appropriately.

i think this goes for any and all discussion of "aikido and ... " [fill in the blank]. just because you or i might not get anything out of a discussion about aikido and floor wax, does not mean that it is not important to aikidoka who are janitors or something. let's not forget that an important concept in aikido is "musubi", weaving together. right? can i get an amen? heehee

anyway... doug, you might be interested in this: my father's best friend is vegan except for what he hunts and kills himself. which generally only amounts to a coupla deer a year (and he uses all of everything he kills too). i've always thought it was a very interesting approach, and thought you might enjoy it since its similar to how you seem to want to hang. :)

((on a completely side issue: nice quote in the sig, nick! i saw refused here in the states first when they were a victory recs vegan/sXe band, and then again when they toured around the shape of punk to come. the first time was not so good... but my god were they amazing the second time around! whee!! hmm... there's a fun topic "aikido and punk"!))

roosvelt
11-10-2005, 10:08 PM
Wow, tons of non-vegetarians!
I am headed for China in two weeks to adopt our daughter, so I will see exactly how difficult it is to be a vegetarian while traveling in a country with a language and culture you barely understand! :)

Don't worry about food in China. In Western standard, most Chinese are vegetarians. They make wonderful veggie dishes. But you have to tell them up front and insist on vegetable. Because Chinese think all westerns are meat-eaters.

In big city, you'll be suprised how globalization have change the face of every city. You'll find Big Mac, Pizza Hut, KFC, Walmart, Ikea .... In the supermarket, you'll find cheese and everything that you'd find in the Whole Food Mart. There are also many foreigners in the big city. You won't stand out if you don't want to.

In the rural area though, you may find life is different.

Which city do you plan to visit? If you have questions, just pm me. I'll answer as welle as I could.

Good luck in your trip. I'll have a daughter in two weeks as well.

Nick Simpson
11-10-2005, 10:14 PM
Off topic, but so what:

Try not to be scared Jeff, but, I love you. I've had a refused sig on here for like 2 years and your the first to comment. Im well jealous, I was 15 when the shape was released and in the farthest corner of england possible, so I missed em on their last tour. You first saw em promoting Songs to fan the flames? Aikido and punk are my two favourite things in life.

Steve Mullen
11-11-2005, 05:40 AM
Aikido and punk are my two favourite things in life.

I'm sure that will please emma no end :D :D :D

Nick Simpson
11-11-2005, 08:03 AM
She knows her place. Below aikido and punk.

tedehara
11-11-2005, 09:29 AM
IIRC Hombu Dojo was close to the Macrobiotics Institute. They practice a vegetarian diet based on traditional Japanese food. There were several Japanese Aikido instructors who attended both places.

Since both Aikido and Macrobiotics are suppose to be based on a Japanese life-style, it's not unusual to find people practicing both ways. Macrobiotics is an extreme form of vegan, in that it's based on one national diet. I would be interested in reading comments from someone who practices both and seeing if both ways complement each other.

dj_swim
11-11-2005, 09:39 AM
Jeff:

That's awesome about your fathers best friend... "meat I had killed myself or if I personally knew the person who killed it" was also in the category of meat I would eat as well... I come from a long line of hunters (real hunters with bows and arrows, not automatic weapons) on my dads side, so there was no way I was going to turn down some of the food they had available at holiday gatherings!

-Doug

RobertFortune
11-11-2005, 10:03 AM
Aloha,

My thoughts on foods we eat. It is my own belief, after some reflection, that for most of our evolutionary history, as just one more animal on this small planet ,we, like Dr. Steven Hawkins says in that Pink Floyd song - "lived just like the animals".

That being the case we no doubt ate what we were able to most easily obtain. Now plants can't run away to avoid being eaten so we could easily obtain plant foods (assuming we were in an area where they were growing). Animals on the other hand *do* have the ability to run off to avoid being caught\killed and eaten by us or any other predator, so we would have been less likely to have as much animal foods to consume than plant foods.

Of course at this point in our evolution we now have the ability to mass produce animals for our consumption which is where quite a lot of people in at least the Western world are as far as their diets. Meat-eaters with unlimited access and supply of meat food products. Is that healthy? Much of the evidence to date says it is not. Our bodies have never before in our evolutionary history been supplied a mostly meat and meat by-products diet and so there is that unknown factor.

I for one opt to be a semi-vegetarian. I *think* about what I am going to eat. I do not eat any beef or beef by-products. (I like cows. Once saw a cow in a field chewing its cud and it was just so peaceful bothering no one and nothing merely content to simply chew its cud.) I do eat fish regularly, and once in a while chicken.

Living in the US which has to be the meat-eating capital of the world the foods *readily available* for vegetarians is quite limited. Plenty of fast food restaurants all selling meat products. McDonalds, Burger King, Wendy's, Pizza Hut, Dominoes, etc... Fortunately in most areas of the US there are Chinese fast food restaurants where one can get both vegetarian and other Chinese dishes which are mostly made up of vegtables.

BTW, I disagree with any comments whether said in jest or intended to be seriously taken that beer or any alcoholic beverage is anything other than a [addictive] drug albeit a legalized, liquified one, condoned by the powers-that-be.

My understanding of Aikido and its practice to date is that Aikido is about trying to live and maintain a healthy life(style) and I do not believe the taking of an unnecessary drug soley for recreational purposes does that. I do not judge those who choose to do so, but I do believe that perhaps the beer\alcohol cheering section frequent the BudLight website where I'm sure they're cheering will be much appreciated by all. Aikido - Yes. Beer\Alcohol - No.

Peace, Justice & Love.

Aloha,

Robert

ironyx
11-11-2005, 10:25 AM
I am a vegetarian too. (hey that sounds like an anonymous meeting - VA) While I don't agree that being a vegetarian itself has to do with the choice to become involved with aikido, I have found that some of the same feelings that made me interested in vegetarianism also sparked my interest in aikido. Everyone has their paths, and part of what put me on my path to one, helped lead me to the other.

BTW- love punk too!
Take care,
Va.

Fred Little
11-11-2005, 10:28 AM
It may be relevant to the extent that, as with the rest of the population, increasing numbers of aikidoka are choosing to eat low-meat/no-meat diets.

So if you're the one putting the food on the table for a large number of people, insuring that there's something for the low-meat/no-meat eaters is a good way to avoid a conflict.

Sincer Thanksgiving is coming up, remember: It's all about the side dishes anyway. The turkey just puts you to sleep and gives you gas.

Ron Tisdale
11-11-2005, 10:35 AM
My understanding of Aikido and its practice to date is that Aikido is about trying to live and maintain a healthy life(style) and I do not believe the taking of an unnecessary drug soley for recreational purposes does that. I do not judge those who choose to do so,...

Good thing too...since quite a few aikido shihan drink like fish...

Best,
Ron ;)

happysod
11-11-2005, 10:52 AM
We ate all the vegetarians in our dojo - please send more

wxyzabc
11-11-2005, 11:50 AM
Hya Doug

Some very good and interesting books you might want to check out if you are interested in the spiritual/vegetarian aspect of life , not just aikido are

Walden - by Henry David Thorea
The Bhagavad Gita (Indian religious text)

You may not accept/agree with everything written within but it will make you think :)

Lee

dj_swim
11-11-2005, 12:37 PM
Lee:

Thanks for the recommendation, I'll defnitely check those out, I've read Walden but it's been a while (since before I was interested in Aikido or vegetarianism) and I haven't heard of the Indian text.

I appreciate it!

-Doug

RobertFortune
11-11-2005, 01:04 PM
We ate all the vegetarians in our dojo - please send more

Cheers Sir Ian!

You fellows like that man-meat, do you?
Cheers!

Aloha,

Robert

deepsoup
11-11-2005, 04:54 PM
You fellows like that man-meat, do you?

Long pig, surely?

I think if people knew more about most of the meat (ish) products they're eating, they might not be quite so keen to eat them. Speaking of which, here's a cartoon I happened across today, sort of Charlie and the Sausage Factory:

http://70.86.201.113/imageserv2/temporary/PBF074ADWillyWeenie.html

Well, I thought it was funny anyway.

Sean
x

Charles Hill
11-11-2005, 05:51 PM
I am headed for China in two weeks to adopt our daughter)


Wow!! That is really exciting Kevin. Good luck to you.

Charles

James Kelly
11-11-2005, 06:33 PM
I am a vegetarian too. (hey that sounds like an anonymous meeting - VA)


Hello, my name is James and I’m a meatoholic.
I have been vegetarian for 5,675 days.

I started aikido and stopped eating meat on the same day so for me they’re forever linked.

Misogi-no-Gyo
11-12-2005, 05:51 AM
Ted,

Macrobiotics = Vegetarianism is a false statement.
Veganism = National Diet is a false statement

Therefore the statement "Macrobiotics is an extreme form of vegan, in that it's based on one national diet." is completely false, with all due respect, of course...

There are 7 levels of the macrobiotic diet based specifically on the balance of yin/yang needed to treat symptomatic, a-symptomatic and non-symptomatic (daily dietary) issues. (note: this is not the Kushi version of the macrobiotic, which for reasons I won't go into is not recommended).

Several typical mistakes made about macrobiotics are that:

a. One may not consume any meat (that it is vegetarianism)
b. One may not consume any alcohol
c. One may only consume brown rice
d. that raw foods are macrobiotic (raw food is not basically healthy at all)
e. that macrobiotics has only to do with food (like aikido is only about waza)

Reason: according to the macrobiotic approach, vegetarianism is a not only not correct, it borders on sickness. As such, according to the macrobiotic approach, veganism borders on a mental disorder.

There are some interesting articles on the doshinokai (http://www.doshinokai.com/aikido_articles.htm) website and there is also an article on the NY Aikido Center website (http://www.nyaikidocenter.com/history.htm) that contains some basic information on the relationship between aikido and macrobiotics.

I would be interested in reading comments from someone who practices both and seeing if both ways complement each other.

Of course, everything is relative. Aikido and seishoku (macrobiotics) are both based upon relatives (balance of yin/yang) within the body and without.

One of the specific reasons that I embarked on the path of macrobiotics was as a result of an interview I conducted with both Seiseki Abe Sensei and Shiro Matsuoka Sensei (Former Head of Japan Macrobiotics Association). This interview focused on the diet of O-Sensei, and how it related to Aikido. O-Sensei was not macrobiotic, but he did not eat meat at all. There is a relationship between the balancing of yin/yang to the acidity/alkalinity of the blood and body. There is a direct correlation between the blood and the oxygen/CO2 exchange within the body. Both the blood and the balance of Oxygen/CO2 are directly related to brain function. Brain function can be a major determining factor in the physical aspects and physical levels of the brain/body connection leading to a deeper level of sensitivity of the mind/body connection. However on a non-physical level, the mind as the seat of the spiritual engine within the body is directly connected with what one puts in their body. This is both a basic and very advanced teaching, one that deserves a serious undertaking by anyone hoping to discover O-Sensei's Takemusu Aiki. It also is the key to unlocking the process of Masakatsu-Agatsu-Katsuhayahi, as it is related to budo, and specifically how and why it creates the absolute difference between aikido and all other forms of martial arts.

As for my own personal experiences, the changes that I made to my diet directly influenced both how I think and how I approach martial arts and Aikido. It also dramatically altered my ability to control my breathing which is the cornerstone of even entry level aikido.

.

Bryant Pierpont
11-12-2005, 07:26 AM
Vegetarianism has everything to do with Aikido...if it matters to you. To me it does...to others, it might not. Still, they do Aikido.

Christianity and Aikido is relatively meaningless to me as a Buddhist but interesting to me as a human who wonders why and how people make their choices...which somewhat borders on the randori of life ;-)

Everything is Aikido...if we want it to be.

BP

wxyzabc
11-12-2005, 07:58 AM
My pleasure Doug :)

Getting back to your original post if you want something that will prevent you falling off the wagon...or for that matter convey what most people prefer to remain in ignorance of...mainly how the poor animals are treated prior to arriving in a supermarket bag looking all nice and tasty is to check out the PETA website and some of the videos within....

Lee

James Kelly
11-12-2005, 06:29 PM
Reason: according to the macrobiotic approach, vegetarianism is a not only not correct, it borders on sickness. As such, according to the macrobiotic approach, veganism borders on a mental disorder.



That's funny. Is it a cause or a symptom?

Misogi-no-Gyo
11-12-2005, 08:02 PM
That's funny. Is it a cause or a symptom?

When considering the choices, I would have to say that it causes certain things and is a symptom of others, though I am not sure which is worse...



.

Sensei Phil
11-13-2005, 07:09 AM
I'm a vegetarian, but it doesn't have anything to do with aikido.I am also a vegetarian and I agree with you ,Aikido is for everyone.

Kevin Leavitt
11-13-2005, 07:35 AM
Shaun,

Curious, what "certain things"? I have been a vegetarian for 5 years, the benefits I can tell you have outweighed the minuses for me.

Cholesterol, Weight control, better mental state as I am not as conflicted over the in-human treatment of many animals, athletic performance has not suffered in the least. Heck, I am 40 years old and still can run a 6 minute mile pace!

So just curious what are the downsides that you see.

This is not to say that eating meat is necessarily wrong or unhealthy for YOU. Just that I don't necessarily agree with those that say vegetarism is "unheathly".

Misogi-no-Gyo
11-13-2005, 08:35 AM
Shaun,

Curious, what "certain things"? I have been a vegetarian for 5 years, the benefits I can tell you have outweighed the minuses for me.
Hi Kevin,

I do believe that you misunderstood my previous post. I was referring to whether veganism is a cause or a symptom... So as to clarify my prior post, I would say that veganism causes certain disorders, but is the symptom of other disorders.
So just curious what are the downsides that you see.
Well if this were to be a vegan or macrobiotic forum, I might be more inclined to elaborate...
This is not to say that eating meat is necessarily wrong or unhealthy for YOU. Just that I don't necessarily agree with those that say vegetarism is "unheathly".
Well personally I find eating meat to be both wrong and unhealthy on many levels. However, neither of those two issues have anything to do with the reason I stopped eating all meat more than 15 years ago. Further, while I recognize the sanctity with all living things, I have no real affinity for cows, pigs or the like, nor have any issues with how they live or die in order to feed those unconscious enough to be eating them.

Having said all that, while I may not care to partake, if people want to eat meat, I gladly cook them the best (organic) steak, burger, chicken ...etc. right on the barbeque I keep just outside of my dojo...



.

Kevin Leavitt
11-13-2005, 12:21 PM
Thanks for your clarification!

I think everything must be done in moderation. I do still wear leather shoes and the like. I personally admire those that can abstain and have enough fortitude to forgo any direct participation of any kind through the practice of veganism. I personally find that the middle road approach works best for me.

I try to not buy shoes on a whim, and when there is an alternative to leather etc, I do that...however, I think you can get too extreme in your convictions to the point that you lose balance and the relationship between you, the world, and your practies become "unhealthy".

It is different for everyone, and not for me or anyone else to judge...personal choice.

On one extreme, Jainism, attempts to not cause any harm to any organism to the point of wearing mask and sweeping the ground before they walk...however, the duality of this is that at some level, the fact that you simply live causes other things to die.

It is all about maintaining the yin/yang or balance. that point is different for everyone.

James Kelly
11-13-2005, 05:07 PM
Hi Kevin,

I do believe that you misunderstood my previous post. I was referring to whether veganism is a cause or a symptom... So as to clarify my prior post, I would say that veganism causes certain disorders, but is the symptom of other disorders.


wait. i was talking about the statement that veganism bordered on mental disorder. that to me is wild statement with no way to test. we may be getting off topic here (and i know you didn't take that position yourself), but how could that be? is it a symptom of mental disorder or a cause?

ps - how you doing Shaun? been a while.

Misogi-no-Gyo
11-13-2005, 05:33 PM
wait. i was talking about the statement that veganism bordered on mental disorder. that to me is wild statement with no way to test. we may be getting off topic here
ps - how you doing Shaun? been a while.
Hi James,

Some things require a test, some don't. As an example, while I could create a test to see if you are hungry, I really don't need to. For one, you could say that you are not hungry, all while chow-ing down on a half a dozen burritos from Taco Bell. Were you hungry? You said no, but when I look something else becomes obvious. Second, you could say that you are starving, yet after eating three bites of your first burrito, you could push back from the table and say you’re are stuffed. Again, having said one thing, something else becomes obvious. When it comes to mental disorders, while there are many tests, and while they aren't simply pass/fail, some things become obvious when one knows where and how to look...
...and i know you didn't take that position yourself), but how could that be?
Actually, while I may not have appeared to take that position, I have observed it to be quite true over the past 15 years. If we should ever have the chance to have a beer together, I will tell you some stories to back up my thinking on this matter.
is it a symptom of mental disorder or a cause?
I did try to clarify that a post or two ago....



.

tedehara
11-14-2005, 06:51 AM
Ted,

Macrobiotics = Vegetarianism is a false statement.
Veganism = National Diet is a false statement

Therefore the statement "Macrobiotics is an extreme form of vegan, in that it's based on one national diet." is completely false, with all due respect, of course....You are correct on both statements. Thanks for pointing this out.

I stand corrected.
:)

ian
11-14-2005, 10:35 AM
Yes... to keep in balance I eat as many female babies as I do male babies. What is more, they must be nutritionally good for me because they are made from the same thing as I am.

I'm just trying to make a point that butch arguments for not being vegetarian are usually philosophically unsound. I would agree that humans are omnivorous and would be expected to eat meat during most of our evolution (on rare occasions - you try catching it in the wild without a rifle!). However unfortunately with affluence and technology animal welfare has tended to get worse.

As you've guessed, I'm also an eater of only 'free-range' meat - coincidently a friend dropped off a live chicken for me this morning to eat. My philosophical standpoint is that, given a wealthy society:

we should give animals a similar quality of life or better than that which they would have in the wild

i.e. they usually live quite happy lives, although they often die quite grusome deaths. Plato said we will exploit that which we have power over. Now, I wouldn't say exploitation is definitively wrong, but persecuting animals is no worse than denying women the vote or endorsing slavery. Indeed, when we wonder how people could ever have kept slaves we can probably understand how people will think in the future about the way we treat some animals (e.g. battery hens). Similarly arguments for animal eperimentation usually revolve around animals being more stupid than us. Well, babies are more stupid than many animals, so why don't we breed babies for experiments instead?

There was a buddhist (Alan Watts?) who said that he was vegetarian, but if someone gave him meat he would eat it "because the animal was dead but the host wasn't." Personally I think that argument is also quite stupid, and could also be used to justify canabilism or many other extreme practises (would you not turn someone down who wanted to bugger you for fear of offending them?)

SO what has it got to do with aikido? I think many aikidoka are drawn to aikido because there is a notion of love and compassion behind this martial art - and thus leads to a philosophical investigation. Similarly there is a philosophy of compassion behind christianity and often behind vegetarianism.

P.S. and whatever anyone says, vegetarians can live healthily without meat (indeed incidence of colon cancer is 40% less in vegetarians, although interestingly colesterol levels are usually the same) - it is just energetically more difficult for your body to produce the essential amino acids.

dj_swim
11-14-2005, 11:11 AM
I started aikido and stopped eating meat on the same day so for me they're forever linked.

Right on, I started aikido and stopped smoking on the same day... so I've got a link of my own. I also stopped caffeine the same day (I still do tea). I was going to go for the trifecta and go veggie* again at the same time, but I thought my head would explode. The nicotine withdrawal has been bad enough on its own.

Once again I just want to say that I'm really happy with all the different perspectives I'm hearing in this thread. Also, I never was trying to imply that Aikido was only for vegetarians... just looking for different perspectives on the link between the two.

Thanks!

-Doug

*Once again, my veggie includes free range/no growth horomone/no antibiotics/killed in the wild meat as well. Maybe I'll coin a phrase for it.... CME (compassionate meat eater)? Dunno... I'm open to ideas

James Kelly
11-14-2005, 05:19 PM
There was a buddhist (Alan Watts?) who said that he was vegetarian, but if someone gave him meat he would eat it "because the animal was dead but the host wasn't." Personally I think that argument is also quite stupid, and could also be used to justify canabilism or many other extreme practises (would you not turn someone down who wanted to bugger you for fear of offending them?)

This is actually standard practice for many Buddhist monks. The practice for monks in many sects is to live off of the charity of others (practiced less often these days). If someone offers to fill your bowl, you accept it humbly, no matter what it is. You have to excuse my ignorance of not knowing what buggering is (despite my Irish name), but I assume it is not a form of charity and hence can be refused. Though, if you are living by a strict code, I suppose you might have to accept even that.

This is also the way I live (not the buggering part). I used to be very strict about being vegetarian. People had to jump through all kinds of hoops over the holidays. At some point I realized that I was making more waves by putting them out than I was by consuming a little meat each year so I shifted.

As to cannibalism: well, I don't hang with too many cannibals if you know what I mean so the chances of being served man meat are slim...

Atomicpenguin
11-14-2005, 09:53 PM
I know quite a few vegetarians. I know all but two of them through Aikido. I became a vegetarian five years ago, after several years of Aikido.
Not sure that that means anything, but thought I'd throw it out there.

dbotari
11-15-2005, 12:29 PM
Ok. Here is a quick question to all those vegetarians out there. If, as many vegetarians do, you do not make a distinction between the human life and animal life when using the "life is sacred" argument for adopting a vegetarian lifestyle, why then does "life" not include plants? I mean no disrespect by the question - it's just one of those things that has always seemed somewhat contradictory to me. If the reason you are a vegetarian is because you value life then does plant life have no value? Any thoughts comments (again I mean no offense).

Thanks,

Dan Botari

akiy
11-15-2005, 12:34 PM
Hi folks,

On this thread as well, please let's stick to the topic at hand which is "Aikido and being Vegetarian." If you wish to speak about the general topic of being vegetarian, please do so elsewhere.

Thanks,

-- Jun

dj_swim
11-15-2005, 01:22 PM
Anyone who wants to PM me personally with any questions regarding my beliefs in general (not as they relate to Aikido, those can be posted here), I'll be more than happy to discuss it with you (although I can't act as a representative for anyone else but myself).

-Doug

jeff.
11-15-2005, 03:29 PM
hey all

a couple of (hopefully) quick thoughts...

((apologies to jun if these seem to stray off topic a bit, but it seems to me that if we're going to have a meaningful discussion of "aikido and vegetarianism" we're going to have to deal with vegetarianism, and reasons for and against as their own issues, in order to meaningfully deal with any possible connections...))

on plants as living things: i for one (as a vegan) completely acknowledge that plants are living things, even (as many buddhists and others claims) sentient beings. on that level it might seem regretable to have to eat them. so my logic goes like this: i can survive and be healthy and happy not eating animals and animal products, so i don't. on this basic level it could be understood as an act of compassion toward animals to not eat them when i don't have to. on the compassion toward plants side of it: it requires something like 16 pounds of plant food to create 1 pound of meat. so a pound of meat, in a sense, equals the death of more plants than it provides for in itself. that is: 16 pounds of plant food is, in a way, more death than 1 pound of meat.

so, crudely / mathmatically, a meat based diet not only kills the animals, but more plants even, than a vegetable based diet.

so, yes, from one (or more) point of view, you can't get away from the fact that life feeds on life. but for me, i suppose, it comes down to only feeding on the life i have to. that is: to not harm unnecessarily. which i think has interesting, perhaps obvious, links with the philosophy of aikido.

i think we also have to be cautious in equating living things in some sort of elementary way. life is life, but clearly, on some level, the life of someone (or something) close to me is going to seem more important to me than the life of someone who is not. i.e. if i only have to oportunity to save the life of one of two people, one of them my best friend the other a stranger, i'll probably save the life of my best friend. so while we might, in the abstract, try to create this equality (and perhaps at some spiritual level, it truly exists), on a practical level we have to make choices.

perhaps, part of a spiritual life, and thus part of the ongoing process of aikido, is learning how not to make these compromises. learning how to, as i once heard it put, "save us all", bodhisattva style. but, i guess until we can acheive that depth of vision, and from there know how to act accordingly, we're stuck with the choices.

also: shaun: i find you comments on the macrobiotic versus veg ideas kinda strange. particularly since, while you can eat some meat (esp fish) in the macro diet, i've only ever met one person who did. everyone else (including some folks i've met who are a part of macro organizations in the u.s. and japan) has not eaten any meat, and often also refered to themselves as vegetarian / vegan. just found your comments curious...

respectfully to all

jeff.

ps-- nick: i have to, perhaps failingly, admit that for me the top slot is shared as such (in no particular order): aikido, punk, girls (not as objects, but as people that i can't seem to get enough of being around as friends, lovers, partners-in-crime, etc. dunno why -- and with some very specific women in mind here, as well), tofu and green tea. with maybe chocolate sneaking in there. at least on certain days.

Misogi-no-Gyo
11-16-2005, 07:19 AM
shaun: i find you comments on the macrobiotic versus veg ideas kinda strange. particularly since, while you can eat some meat (esp fish) in the macro diet, i've only ever met one person who did. everyone else (including some folks i've met who are a part of macro organizations in the u.s. and japan) has not eaten any meat, and often also referred to themselves as vegetarian / vegan. just found your comments curious...

Hi Jeff,

Thank you for your comments and questions.

Jun has politely asked us to keep our comments in this thread to those which talk about how Aikido and macrobiotcs/vegetarianism/veganism are related. While it may seem as though I will lead the thread astray, I will bring my thoughts all together at the end to do just that...

Let's start out with some facts.

1. In macrobiotics, there is no (natural) food that you "can't" eat.
2. Things that are eaten should be consumed in balance taking account a holistic approach to one's environment.
3. George Ohsawa (the founder of Macrobiotics) ate meat. Shiro Matsuoka Sensei (President of the Japan Macrobiotics Association for 30 years) eats meat.
4. Macrobiotics is not about food. They are holistic principles by which one lives. These principles may (and should) of course be applied to one's diet. Diet is not only about what one eats, but how one eats, when one eats and why one eats...
5. American and some European Macrobiotics is not true macrobiotics because they altered several tenets to appeal to the people in the area and make it more marketable to those who didn't want to embrace the principles as a whole)

Okay, now some generalizing for the consummation by the masses:

1. Unfortunately most people who practice macrobiotics don't know what it is, what they are talking about, nor what "healthy living" really is.
2. That is why you have most people who are macro saying they are vegetarian/vegan, or even healthy.

...a funny (not really) aside; I once brought a contingent of the senior-most people in the macrobiotics world into a "famous" macrobiotic restaurant at which I had been working at the time. I had asked permission of the "famous" owner-chef and let her know when I would be coming in. Supposedly her restaurant, according to the reviews in the papers was at the pinnacle of where one could find healthy food prepared by the most knowledgeable people around. I won't say what happened (exactly) but suffice it to say that the owner believed herself to know more about macrobiotics, healthy living and food preparation than Ohsawa-Sensei's disciples. Of course it was I who brought them there to see what macrobiotics was like in America... I guess she believed her own press. They on the other hand, did not.

Details...The owner was rude and ambivalent, and wouldn't you know it, so were most everyone else who worked there. The food, itself, was not in balance, was tasteless, over-processed and over-priced. It also made me fall asleep every time I ate it. Worse, she was a vocal proponent of supplements regardless of the fact that they are contradictory to the macrobiotic approach. She refused to cook with any salt (a necessary component of macrobiotic cooking - and any healthy cooking for that matter). Overall, she could really care less that these people were there at all, even though they were prepared to spend considerable time answering her questions, looking at the kitchen ...etc. to help improve the restaurant, if needed.

Afterwards, I conducted the interview I mentioned in an earlier post entitled Eating Aikido which went very far into the topic of this thread. Although not included in the printed version the interview started out talking about the experience we all had earlier in the day at the so-called healthy, macrobiotic restaurant. The bottom line of what came out was that the people in the restaurant did not understand macrobiotics, and were not healthy people at all. Worse, that those who came to them for healthy food were being led astray, were paying way too much for bad food, and were leaving less healthy then when they had come in. I was asked, "Why do you work there?" to which I responded, "I want to learn about macrobiotics and how to prepare macrobiotic food." That is when they spent a brief time introducing the idea (that like Aikido is not about techniques and how to do them), macrobiotics is not about food, or merely how to cook it.

Tying it all together...
Thus I was introduced to the idea of principle versus practice. Looking around me at the people who worked at and ate at the restaurant, along with the people who attended or ran the Aikido dojos I had visited (i.e. both the macrobiotic world and the Aikido world) it was painfully obvious that spending 5, 10, 20, heck even a hundred years practicing something didn't necessarily mean anything. What became clear was that regardless of how much a person wishes, wants or prays for it to be that knowledge is garnered from practice alone, it is that one must understand the principles in order to make the practice have any true value and be something other than empty ritual.

In the end I gave my notice and left the restaurant about two weeks later. Of course, wouldn't you know it, that restaurant is now even more famous, and now there are at least two of them that I am aware of. Which just goes to show you - the popularity of something has nothing to do with the actual value of it.

As Jun has noted, the discussion of the value of any of these paths, while interesting, is not really a discussion of the relationship between Aikido and Macrobiotics - Vegetarianism and or Veganism which I have stated is not recommended, aside. Like it or not, there is a direct relationship between breathing and Aikido. What you put into your body and how you live your life will absolutely effect one's breath. To say that the two have nothing to do with each other is tantamount to hoping, wishing and praying that such ignorance will nevertheless lead said practitioner to the promise land. On a lark, and as a way of speaking in mere generalizations, I will say that perhaps in 5, 10, 20 or maybe even 100 years or so, practice alone (aikido or macrobiotics) may lead one to the promise land, so to speak, but as my teacher used to always say, "...Somehow I don't think so."

All I can offer people who are training in such a fashion is a line from one of the Star Trek movies, "Good luck, Jim"




.

robertjneal
11-16-2005, 12:48 PM
Hello everyone,
I have been reading Aikiweb for years now and this subject is the first to spur me to post. I am a student of philosophy and find it incredible that people who subscribe to philosophies in some parts of their lives abandon them in others. In our dojo we have "Seiryoku Zenyo, Jita Kyoei" (Best Use Of Energy With Mutual Benefit- Kano Jigoro) on the wall. I thought this would be painfully obvious in its translation outside the dojo. From the types of cars we drive to the foods we eat to the clothes we wear.
Like the original poster I only eat organic or all natural meats. These are meats certified as free range and humanely raised. The chickens do not have their beaks cut off and the cows are not injected with growth hormones. For the same reason I try to eat only organic and all natural animal products such as cheese and eggs. In essence I try to be vegan outside of the organic world. I also eat organic vegetables when given the chance, but unfortunately I live in a society that does not make this easy.
I find that mutual benefit extends to the earth as an ecosystem not just to my human training partners. I think a judoka or aikidoka driving a Hummer would be oxymoronic.
Just for fun http://www.themeatrix.com/

Peace,
Robert Neal

bogglefreak20
11-16-2005, 02:31 PM
I find that mutual benefit extends to the earth as an ecosystem not just to my human training partners. I think a judoka or aikidoka driving a Hummer would be oxymoronic.


Oooooh...so that's where my urge to drive a Toyota Prius comes from. :D

BTW, I agree that if one attempts to sincerely get to know Aikido, it has to go beyond the mat.

Mark Uttech
11-16-2005, 03:52 PM
Thirty years ago, someone told me that 30,000 people starved to death everyday. Thirty years later, 40, 000 people are starving to death every day. If we have food at all, we should be grateful. As Shunryu Suzuki Roshi put it: "We just eat what is on our plate; sometimes we don't eat it."

In Gassho

Misogi-no-Gyo
11-16-2005, 04:00 PM
Thirty years ago, someone told me that 30,000 people starved to death everyday. Thirty years later, 40, 000 people are starving to death every day. If we have food at all, we should be grateful.
Yeah, while this is absolutely true, fortunately it really doesn't apply to most of the people even some of the time... especially you and I and most everyone else here on this internet message board. It does sound really enlightened though, as I am sure you already know...
As Shunryu Suzuki Roshi put it: "We just eat what is on our plate; sometimes we don't eat it."
MMMmmmm! My favorite - apathy disguised as detachment. It just goes to show you, if there is some person willing to buy it, someone will come along and sell it to them. Still, given the current paradigm, more than likely they will overpay!



.

akiy
11-16-2005, 04:05 PM
Hi folks,

Let's try to steer the discussion back to the topic which is "Aikido and being Vegetarian."

If you wish to talk about the general topic of vegetarianism, please head to this thread:
http://www.aikiweb.com/forums/showthread.php?t=9281

-- Jun

Mark Uttech
11-16-2005, 11:50 PM
When I first started Aikido, I thought that all Aikidoists were vegetarians and didn't smoke or drink. You can imagine my surprise, when at the first seminar at my home dojo, we took the visiting sensei out to eat and he ordered a steak! (This was a well known shihan). It was the late Terry Dobson who said in an interview that he never met a japanese sensei who didn't smoke like a chimney or drink like a fish. So all of my pure ideas about Aikido went kaput early on.

In gassho.

Kevin Leavitt
11-17-2005, 03:51 AM
Last time I saw him, Saotome Sensei was still smoking like a chimney!

We all have choices we make in life. What is important (tieing this back in to aikido :)) is that we become aware of the choices we make and how they impact us. As in aikido, we must be aware of ourselves before we can affect change in our uke.

See how deftly I can link smoking to aikido :)

j0nharris
11-21-2005, 12:11 PM
I'm a vegetarian, but it doesn't have anything to do with aikido.
I'm not a vegetarian, & yet I manage to keep myself from biting uke almost every class! :yuck:

Chizikunbo
12-02-2005, 10:57 PM
Hmm, I'm sorry but I don't see the relevance. How about "swimming and being vegetarian"? Don't get me wrong, I find the thread "aikido and being christian" equally ridiculous.

Sorry, I couldn't keep my mouth shut any longer. I've been bothered by these threads to long and if I don't post this message I will continue to be bothered. :sorry:
Hello all,
I seem that this is relevent.
Aikido is the way of Harmony, love, and compassion, for life itself. Animals are living things, and they do suffer when they are killed. They feel pain as humans do as well, so we should indeed respect them as fomrs of life. They breath the same air we do, the exhale carbon dioxide as we ourselves do. They are come into this world without asking to be as we are, they are closer to us than most think. So using Aikido we draw upon life force energy and our spirit or higher elf to use the highest level of protection technique, so we can respect and protect all life.
How can we only respect and protect human life, and not that life of those so closley linked to us, we form a simbian circle with every form of life, and it is our mission to find a way to live in harmony with all this, and all issues must be examined, and not simply passed off it we are to reach our fullest potential as aiki-ka. Life is life, breath is breath, and pain is pain. So I feel this is a valid point to explore imo.
Yours in :ai: :ki: ,
--joshua paszkiewicz

Mat Hill
12-04-2005, 08:28 AM
Thank you to Robert Neal and Jeff Miller for summing up my many years of thoughts on the matter. My exploration of Buddhism was a large part of my reasons for becoming veggie and for starting MA of which aiki was my first love.

Since the next to impossibility of being a vegan in Japan whilst keeping down a busy schedule and having to eat out (which I always thought was a lousy excuse in the UK!), ironically I took up eating fish in the first year I was here, but I still think I'm a vegan and organic when I can be!

LOL at Shaun Ravens! Unfortunately too often too true!

Mat Hill
12-04-2005, 08:50 AM
Anyone tell me what the kanji is for "Seiryoku Zenyo, Jita Kyoei" ? 宜しくお願いします。

RobertBrass
12-04-2005, 12:43 PM
A total lifestyle of compassion and harmony seem relevant to me
but I just started Aikido.