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Old 03-17-2006, 01:21 PM   #64
Dojo: Seattle Ki Society
Location: Seattle
Join Date: Dec 2003
Posts: 522
Re: Religious Restrictions on Training

Mark Freeman wrote:
Good post Mary, good points.

Would it be impudent to ask, what the philosophical differences are? I completely understand if you don't want to go into it.

We are a Ki Society dojo. K. Tohei sensei has written a little book of ki sayings which express his philosophy of aikido and life, and for a while we were doing responsive readings (leader reads the saying, students recite it back). I was finding it increasingly troublesome to be asked to repeat these sayings. They sound like pledges or promises, and I don't agree with them religiously or philosophically.

One example was ki saying #11 (can't quote it precisely) which divides the universe into yin/yang, light/darkness, "plus ki and minus ki", and then says we strive to get rid of all of the dark pole of this dichotomy. This is dramatically opposed to my religion and I just choked on having to repeat it.

I explained this to sensei in private and asked for permission to sit silently during these readings. She agreed. But I would have supported her right to say "This is the dojo philosophy, and if you can't work within it, find another dojo." (And I would, regretfully, have left.) We talked specifically about ki saying #1, which ends "To unify mind and body and become one with the universe is the ultimate goal of my practice." I said, no, it isn't. She asked about my goals and decided she found them adequately compatible.

Mary Kaye
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