Jennifer Johnson wrote:
I'd be curious to hear any insights from any of you that are religious. Do you feel Aikido has a spiritual component that enhances your religious life, or do you consider Aikido to be an entirely seccular activity?
I am religious (Baha'i) and while I didn't sign up for Aikido for spiritual reasons, I have been pleasantly surprised at how much Aikido complements my religious faith. The teachings the Baha'i Faith focuses on unity and peace, and is also a religion with firm laws and obligations.
As someone who originally came from a completely non-religious background, I embraced my religion on something of an intellectual and emotional level - the meditative and "formal" qualities of my religion have been somewhat awkward for me to embrace. In the six short weeks I have taken Aikido I have felt enhanced in my religious life.
My dojo actually offers seminars on things like non-violent communication with Aikido principles. My schedule doesn't permit me to attend them but, interesting! My religion has teachings on the same topic, as most religions do I imagine.
Hello Jennifer San,
as my frist post here I hope I dont brake any rules :-)
O'sensei once said that
"Aikido is the religion that is really no religion, it perfects and completes all religions."
You see, Aikido does nothing but enhance my spiritual and physical life. I am not what you would call a "Christian" perhaps, but I dont really fit into any catagories. Budo is my way of life, and I know it does nto contradict any religion except maybe extreme christianity. Aikido is a way to develope peace, harmony, and compassion in your life so as to live in those concepts, having them you pass them on to the rest of the world, creating a better world, aikido teaches us to respect life, and nature, and to love all living things. The highest level of Aikido is such where you will not need your hands and fist to defend yourself, but your mind, heart and spirit. You will beable to avoid a physical encounter, and is it does come to that, you will be able to defend both the life of yourself and the life of your opponet whihch is how things should be done. In this way you fight the fire of hate, anger, and fear, with the water of compassion, love, and kindness. Your two bodies become one and the motions flow outso you treat your opponet as your own body with respect and love, so you put out the firse before it comsumes the situation. In this way you spread the love of Aikido, and better the world, and our personal community.
This is the highest spiritual leval in Aikido in my eyes, realizing that true defense and strength does not lie in agressive actions, and harfull course of action but rather in the true path of love, kindness compassion and respect. This is the way of the warrior, and the spiritual side of Aikido that enhances all of our lives consciously or sub-consciously.
Truly yours in