Don J. Modesto wrote:
FWIW, and that may not be much, I tend to think that the spirituality Osensei intended aikido to embody is pretty much dead, dessicated, and blown away. We aiki folk like to babble about it, but over and against the living entity it was for the founder, aikido spirituality is pretty bleak indeed.
Then again, it is ever the project of the practitioner to vivify his art, so caveat emptor.
It is said that O-Sensei performed Chinkon Kishin as the beginning of his every practice, which most dojos incorporate in their own warmups to some degree.
Has it not occurred to anyone else, that O-Sensei's Chinkon Kishin did not stop a the beginning of practice, but at its end?
As he said (which I quoted above and I believe from my own experience), the whole spirituality of aikido lives, breathes and is communicated in the movement of the body that we practice.
Not only is O-Sensei's spirituality not dead -- it has been practiced and transmitted everyday, around the world, continuously for the forty-odd years since his death.
The orthodox Christian beleives that the Divine has identified with the mundane, and thus redeemed it of death. The orthodox Jew believes that a human being's role is a divine mandate (mitzvah) of "tikkun" -- repair of the world. Shinto teaches that Heaven and Earth are ultimately One. O-Sensei taught that human spirits may become part of the "Floating Bridge" connecting them -- neither part wholly of the one nor yet wholly of the other but connecting them both.
Remember this the next time you are doing tenchi-nage, and tell me that the spirtuality of aikido is dead. Aikido merely does without need of labels or names -- even though they are there -- in plain sight -- there are no secrets.