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Old 08-22-2006, 04:09 PM   #15
6th Kyu For Life
Dojo: Oberlin Aikikai, Oberlin Ohio. Utah Aikikai, Salt Lake City, Utah.
Location: Oberlin, Ohio
Join Date: Nov 2005
Posts: 59
Re: Poll: Has aikido changed your spiritual life?

Yes, in fact this is probably the most visible way in which Aikido has changed my life, aside from small physical changes (posture, muscle structure.) Now, I try not to wear my religion, or Aikido for that matter, on my sleeve, but most people who know me would probably acknowledge that I've become a religious person, or at least, a spiritual person, since I started Aikido only two and a half years ago. But the change in my life has been visible or concrete in that it also changed my career path. In college, your future is heavily influenced by your interests, so an interest in Aikido that became coupled with an interest in Japanese Buddhism led me to major in East Asian Studies with a minor in Religion, and potential jobs in that field.

But that's not to say that job opportunities have been the first thing on my mind during this "awakening" to an interest in Asian thought and religion. I've also started Buddhist practice on my own, and with a group at school. I've also had the opportunity to visit temples in Japan, and travel to a few Zen Centers here in the US.

So, has aikido changed my spiritual life? Well, I now consider myself a Buddhist. But, in addition to changing my spiritual life, it's changed my academic life as well. I now study Buddhism and Japanese, instead of Chemistry. So, for better or for worse, Aikido can change your life. Sometimes is subtle and personal, spiritual, but sometimes it's obvious and practical. Aikido works in mysterious ways, I guess.

Anyway, just thought I'd like to share.

Tom Newhall
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