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-   -   Is aikido a spiritual practice ? (http://www.aikiweb.com/forums/showthread.php?t=12481)

jennifer paige smith 04-29-2007 11:17 AM

Is aikido a spiritual practice ?
 
open terrain, here. Let's let it fly!

domo, jen

dps 04-29-2007 03:05 PM

Re: Is aikido a spiritual practice ?
 
Quote:

Jennifer Smith wrote: (Post 176921)
open terrain, here. Let's let it fly!

domo, jen

What do you mean by spiritual?
David

SeiserL 04-29-2007 03:43 PM

Re: Is aikido a spiritual practice ?
 
IMHO, it can be, but it doesn't have to be. We each put our own purpose and intent into our practice (of whatever we do). It is not inherently there.

So, is the question, "Is my/your Aikido a spiritual practice?"?

Chuck Clark 04-29-2007 05:42 PM

Re: Is aikido a spiritual practice ?
 
Need to define "spiritual" and "practice"... I think if we're human we're involved in spiritual practice of one kind or another whether we want to or realize it. It can take a long, long time ... or not.

George S. Ledyard 04-29-2007 07:29 PM

Re: Is aikido a spiritual practice ?
 
Quote:

Chuck Clark wrote: (Post 176948)
Need to define "spiritual" and "practice"... I think if we're human we're involved in spiritual practice of one kind or another whether we want to or realize it. It can take a long, long time ... or not.

Hi Chuck,
Since Body - Mind - Spirit are fundamentally inseparable one could say that any activity must involve the spirit. I think that it's a matter of degree in terms of the amount of commitment made to the "practice". When it gets to the point at which one could consider a practice a "way of life" rather than simply an activity that one does, one is certainly getting to what I would call a "spiritual" practice since the doing of it will necessarily involve change on the part of the person doing it.

I think you are right that "spiritual" needs to be defined, at least each one of us needs to know what he means by it. It's quite a bit like Robert Pirsig in Zen and the Art of Motorcycle maintenance assigning his class to define what is meant by "quality". It became a Koan that eventually drove him crazy because he insisted on trying to come up with an objective definition and it turned out that it was impossible. I would maintain that "spiritual" is another such concept.

As a working definition I would say that "spiritual" pertains to how the person we believe we are relates to the reality it thinks it sees around it. Anything that is a "spiritual" practice is an activity that is designed to change both of those perceptions i.e. who we think we are and what we see as the reality around us. For this to be the case, the person doing the activity must be open to this change or the activity can be empty spiritually even though a certain amount of time and effort have gone into it.

I remember years ago reading a letter to the editor of Black Belt Magazine. The writer stated that he was sick and tired of reading about the spiritual side of the martial arts and that he himself had done martial arts for over twenty years and had no "spiritual" benefit whatever. I thought that represented something of an achievement.

Chuck Clark 04-29-2007 09:17 PM

Re: Is aikido a spiritual practice ?
 
Hey George,
I think we've visited enough both online and in the flesh (literally in the hot tub) that we have lots in common. I agree with your post above.
After some point, our realization of practice and doing becomes one with no distinctions that separate them.

Janet Rosen 04-29-2007 11:25 PM

Re: Is aikido a spiritual practice ?
 
VERY interesting topic given this article in today's SF Chronicle:
http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/articl...NG22PBS151.DTL

Personally, yep, aikido has been my spiritual practice and as such it showed me how living is a spiritual practice.

dps 04-30-2007 12:11 AM

Re: Is aikido a spiritual practice ?
 
Quote:

Janet Rosen wrote: (Post 176973)

Personally, yep, aikido has been my spiritual practice and as such it showed me how living is a spiritual practice.

Is it your only spiritual practice?

David

kironin 04-30-2007 01:48 AM

Re: Is aikido a spiritual practice ?
 
Quote:

Chuck Clark wrote: (Post 176966)
Hey George,
I think we've visited enough both online and in the flesh (literally in the hot tub) that we have lots in common. I agree with your post above.
After some point, our realization of practice and doing becomes one with no distinctions that separate them.

Okay, what's the deal with Chucks and hot tubs ?

and do we really need this visual ?

:D

after aikido practice,
a foot massage while you are in a hot tub,
that is a spiritual practice.

L. Camejo 04-30-2007 06:43 AM

Re: Is aikido a spiritual practice ?
 
Quote:

Craig Hocker wrote: (Post 176977)
after aikido practice,
a foot massage while you are in a hot tub,
that is a spiritual practice.

Amen to that brother. You just described heaven to me there.:)

Just goes to show that pretty much anything can become a spiritual practice if ones mind and heart is set in that direction.

LC:ai::ki:

barry.clemons 04-30-2007 09:11 AM

Re: Is aikido a spiritual practice ?
 
Quote:

Jennifer Smith wrote: (Post 176921)
open terrain, here. Let's let it fly!

domo, jen

1. http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/spiritual
2. http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/practice

Yes; Aikido is a spiritual practice for me.

Janet Rosen 04-30-2007 10:42 AM

Re: Is aikido a spiritual practice ?
 
Quote:

David Skaggs wrote: (Post 176975)
Is it your only spiritual practice?
David

I have always defined myself as an atheist - my longer discussion of that and how aikido came to be my spiritual practice is in an old Mirror column
http://www.aikiweb.com/columns/themirror/2004_05.html
What I meant by the sentence in this thread, and maybe didn't elaborate on enough, is that it via aikido as a spiritual practice I was able to generalize, to see how daily living (aikido off the mat) was in fact a viable spiritual practice.

Dan Reynolds 04-30-2007 11:57 AM

Re: Is aikido a spiritual practice ?
 
Quote:

Lynn Seiser wrote: (Post 176945)
IMHO, it can be, but it doesn't have to be. We each put our own purpose and intent into our practice (of whatever we do). It is not inherently there.

So, is the question, "Is my/your Aikido a spiritual practice?"?

Spoken like a true Master!

For me the answer would have to be "yes" the study of Aikido is part of my spiritual development .

jennifer paige smith 04-30-2007 12:35 PM

Re: Is aikido a spiritual practice ?
 
Quote:

Craig Hocker wrote: (Post 176977)
Okay, what's the deal with Chucks and hot tubs ?

and do we really need this visual ?

:D

after aikido practice,
a foot massage while you are in a hot tub,
that is a spiritual practice.

Someone above asked me what I define as' spiritual'. I would say this particular post just about covers it.

Beyond the flesh of humor, I would say an 'inveterate occupation with space' would begin to define my sense of the spiritual. The occupation, however, culminates in 'wholeness', or the full circle of generation.
Terry Dobson spoke of Ma-Ai,defined as 'space time' and the beauty that is generated from the place of that observation. The beauty of unveiled vision. To a painter it is colorful. To a musician, it can be rythmic dynamic. To a soundster it is a vibrational sensibility. The road is many fold. Gratefully.

js

Dewey 04-30-2007 02:06 PM

Re: Is aikido a spiritual practice ?
 
Quote:

Jennifer Smith wrote: (Post 176921)
open terrain, here. Let's let it fly!

domo, jen

I'm going to throw a wrench into the works and give you my solicited opinion. First, a short biographical note needs to be made here, since we all bring something to Aikido (call it baggage, if you wish).

Either respect me or revile me for it...I am a devout Roman Catholic. So much so, I spent 5 years in the seminary preparing for the priesthood. In the end, I decided that it wasn't for me. However, having spent those years in intense prayer and theological study, owing to the fact that my occupation was to ponder spiritual matters (i.e. navel gaze)...I reflected a great deal on a good many number of subjects. One of which was the martial arts.

I had been fascinated by the martial arts and wanted to study one, but I had trouble reconciling their study with my religious convictions (you know, the whole "nonviolence thing" that Jesus taught and countless saints & theologians expounded upon). That is, until I discovered Aikido.

Aikido is indeed a spiritual practice for me in that I have a medium through which I can confront violence & aggression without succumbing to it or in any way participating in it. By blending, entering, diffusing, neutralizing...I, in the words of St. Francis of Assisi, become "a channel of peace."

How do you like them apples?

dps 04-30-2007 03:37 PM

Re: Is aikido a spiritual practice ?
 
http://www.aikiweb.com/forums/showth...ad.php?t=10570[url]http://www.aikiweb.com/forums/showthread.php?t=10524[/url



David

dps 04-30-2007 03:53 PM

Re: Is aikido a spiritual practice ?
 
Brian Dewey wrote: "How do you like them apples?"

From a previous post on another thread,

http://www.aikiweb.com/forums/showthread.php?t=10584

"Welcome to the forum Jess,
On this forum you will meet people who will just appreciate that you like apples, some will wonder what kind of apples you like ( Jonathan,Red Delicious, Yellow Delicious, Fuji, etc), why you like the apples you do, what is the technique you use to eat the apples, what is a better way to eat the apples,what is the spirituality of eating apples and where apples came from and how they are not the same as they where. Great fun and exercise for the mind."

David

Chuck.Gordon 05-01-2007 05:36 AM

Re: Is aikido a spiritual practice ?
 
Quote:

Craig Hocker wrote: (Post 176977)
Okay, what's the deal with Chucks and hot tubs ? and do we really need this visual ?
after aikido practice,
a foot massage while you are in a hot tub,
that is a spiritual practice.

And then, we only got in the hot tub because it was cooler than the ambient outdoor summer temps in Austin! I don't remember the single malt having a THING to do with it.

How's cousin Craig and when are you coming to Europe? Better hurry ... Looks like (75% chance) I'm headed back to the USA about this time next year, if not earlier. Not sure where, but probably East Coast-ish.

As an atheist and skeptic, I have to ask for definitions of spiritual, too, as I don't believe in a 'spirit' as a distinction from emotions and intellect. As an abstraction, it can, of course, refer to intent, will, courage or any number of other intangibles.

It seems, for many, that 'Spiritual' is pretty much equivalent to 'I'm in awe of this and can't rationally explain it.' For me, budo certainly doesn't fall under that heading.

cg

salim 05-01-2007 09:00 AM

Re: Is aikido a spiritual practice ?
 
One the most prevailing behaviors that is so distasteful to some many in the Martial Arts community, the spiritual crap. This is one of the main reasons that Aikido is not taken serious. The Aikidoist is look upon as a long haired hippies chanting away, massaging there ego's with intellectual speech. To much attention direct toward the Japanese culture and spiritual stuff. There are many people would who just rather learn self defense.

salim 05-01-2007 09:01 AM

Re: Is aikido a spiritual practice ?
 
I can't believe this discussion exist!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Very sad.

dbotari 05-01-2007 09:35 AM

Re: Is aikido a spiritual practice ?
 
Quote:

Salim Shaw wrote: (Post 177066)
I can't believe this discussion exist!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Very sad.

Yet you continue to contribute to it. If it bothers you, step away from the key board, turn-off your computer and go train in your "self-defense" oriented aikido.

jennifer paige smith 05-01-2007 10:52 AM

Re: Is aikido a spiritual practice ?
 
Quote:

Salim Shaw wrote: (Post 177065)
One the most prevailing behaviors that is so distasteful to some many in the Martial Arts community, the spiritual crap. This is one of the main reasons that Aikido is not taken serious. The Aikidoist is look upon as a long haired hippies chanting away, massaging there ego's with intellectual speech. To much attention direct toward the Japanese culture and spiritual stuff. There are many people would who just rather learn self defense.

Not everyone who takes Aikido to it's spiritual equation is a chanting hippie. Unless of course you mean that skinny old guy in a skirt, with that long beard who went around, absurdly, claiming that, get this, Aikido is a manifestation of divine will as sent through him in the form of a martial art. What a stoner! Then he went on to continue his ego driven, narcissistic, intellectually snobbish chanting about Izunagi this and Izunami that. What a goon. It is hard to believe that he wasn't simply hauled out back to get his ass kicked by some 'real' martial artist.
God, I'm glad my eyes have been so opened. Until now I was shamelessy following in the footsteps of a stinky hippie who, obviously, couldn't fight his way out of a paper bag.
How could I have missed it?

John Kelly 05-01-2007 10:58 AM

Re: Is aikido a spiritual practice ?
 
Quote:

Salim Shaw wrote: (Post 177066)
I can't believe this discussion exist!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Very sad.

Thank you for stepping in. I was wondering when a dissenting vote would appear. If aikido has taught me anything, it is to appreciate the energy of others as a way of resolving conflict. Training in Aikido for self defense, I am trying to blend with an aggressors energy and redirect it in a way that brings no harm to either of us, but resolves the conflict without giving ground personally or endangering myself needlessly.

In my opinion, that is a spiritual practice, because I have discovered the use of this training when I am away from the dojo, in everyday life. Understanding others can lead to harmony, even with those I believe I have nothing in common with. It is indeed a spiritual journey that brings you to understand the value of your enemies hearts and minds.

John Kelly 05-01-2007 11:47 AM

Re: Is aikido a spiritual practice ?
 
I see. Thank you for clarifying for me. I understand from your first post in this thread that you do not care for the spiritual or japanese cultural aspects that are often associated with Aikido training. I think most people on the board, including me, would grant you that as your right. You train in aikido as a form of self defense only and wish to keep it that way. You implied, also in your first post, that you were annoyed by the way others think your chosen style is for hippies and such. No one likes their chosen style insulted, no one appreciates being told they are wasting their time training in a useless art.

So far, I get it. Where you lost me, and possibly the person who sent you a warning, is your second post where you said you couldn't believe that this discussion existed. Clearly, you were a bit hyped up, but by saying that you are doing exactly what you were complaining of in your first post.

The civil librities you speak of would also apply to those who you disagree with, as in all of those who posted on this thread before you. So by dissing the entire thread, you are insulting everyone here, including those who may be reading it and not posting. Only you know if that was your intent, but please consider what you say here before you submit it. Many could easily take offense by your language, regardless of your intent.

I believe all points of view are worth considering, and did not take offense to your statements. But I did take note of the inherent hypocracy of them, intentional or otherwise. If it were up to me, I would encourage you to post more often, I too find it stiflingly high minded around here sometimes. When that happens to me, I just jump to another thread. It's a big world, and not too hard to find a place that will keep my interest on the internet.

Even us hippies who can defend ourselves are not using Aikido to start fights in person, so why would we do so online?

best of luck,
jk

George S. Ledyard 05-01-2007 12:01 PM

Re: Is aikido a spiritual practice ?
 
Troll alert... time to use the ever popular "ignore function". Keep that blood pressure down and your "wa" harmonious.


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