Ignatius Teo wrote:
I find it hard to believe that a simple hakama can carry so much spiritual symbolism. Spirituality isn't in the external "trappings", it's inside you. Would you feel less "spiritual" if you were attacked in the street, without your hakama?
The fact that you are so hung up on it, really means one thing - you're not ready for it.
Indeed, good luck!
If only you could tell that to OSensei! I only wish that I could say that I knew him personally, but from every indication I have been able to find, I doubt that he would concur with you, and I feel that to honour him is my duty...
And this is what I'm saying... It's not just that I'm "hung up" on the hakama, I'm also hung up on the fact that noone else seems to care at all....As I said earlier, I have never been able to find any evidence that OSensei was anything but pro-hakama, in fact all evidence I have found indicates that he was strictly 'hakama or no training'. Please correct me if I have been misinformed...
This makes me wonder as to the dedication of the school I would be attending if they do not support their Master's way. I do understand that there are other concerns involved. For example if I were running my own school, I certainly would not turn away the poor child of a single mother who can barely afford to eat, simply because they could not afford a hakama. I understand that in order to improve the physical movements of the students, sometimes the hakama can be an impediment, however I cannot say that I feel the physical learning is more important than the spiritual learning...
Still, I wonder whether OSensei would say that I would be better to train alone/not at all, than to train in a manner going against his tradition. We may never know.
Regarding spirituality, I'm not talking about being attacked on the street, I'm talking about training in the dojo.... My spirituality whilst being attacked on the street can be manifested in innumerable ways, so I won't even start that list... But while in the dojo, or training alone or with friends practicing our form in the park, or meditating, etc etc, I feel that to do these things to 100%, is my duty, and to do so 100%, means not cutting corners... I wouldn't skip bowing in and out, I wouldn't skip the image of OSensei, I wouldn't skip the Kannon Sutra, and I wouldn't skip the hakama...
It's a shame that I'm being so misunderstood here and that instead of trying to help or come to an understanding, most replies are trying to shoot me down. I am a fellow aikidoka, perhaps you may even consider me a friend as I would you...Surely though, I am certainly not an enemy unless you choose for me to be, and I wonder why I'm being treated as though I am.
I dare say I'll need that luck, so thankyou
Edit: Changed "with friends doing forms " to "with friends practicing our form " to clear my words up... Didn't want to sound like I was talking about kata, lord knows I'm already misunderstod enough!