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Old 01-05-2007, 05:44 AM   #20
John Matsushima
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Location: Miura, Japan
Join Date: Dec 2003
Posts: 226
Re: Western religion and Aikido

I think it is not a matter of which religion you choose, or even if you choose one at all. But I think whatever we do we should act with sincerity. I think it is a mistake to chase after the Omoto-kyo practices just to make our Aikido better. If we choose religion, I think the most important thing is to follow our hearts for the purpose of being one with the universe, one with the God. Those who are spiritual, practice their spirituality in everything they do, from the moment they get up, to the moment they go to bed, not just because Mr. Ueshiba did it.
Erick gave us a lot of good information, I thought, showing that Western religion supports the same principles and ideas that Ueshiba held close to him (peace, love, harmony, etc). Reading those things, I could imagine that Ueshiba would have been the same no matter what religion he practiced. Omoto-kyo just happened to touch his heart and so that's why practiced it; not to make his budo better. Maybe someone can correct me, but I don't know of any of Ueshiba's uchideshi who became an Omoto-kyo follower. I have read that even Chiba sensei went off to practice Zen because Ueshiba's spiritual beliefs just didn't make sense to him. If one is serious about the spirituality found in Aikido, then I think it is better to practice a way which holds some meaning to the individual to bring fruition to these principles. And I'm not just talking about Christianity; if you are a Jew, Muslim, agnostic, or whatever, the point of it all is based in love and harmony.

"We must follow the way, but remember that the way is not the way."

Which leads to another important point that Jorge made as well:

" much as I respect O Sensei, His religious beliefs were definitely NOT compatible with any version of classic and orthodox Christianity in the mainstream for the last 2000 years. Some of the things he taught and believed were in fact true but the fundamental things he held to were not compatible with Christian teaching that accepts the basis of classical historic Christianity."

I agree with this because of the fundamental idea that while it is OK from Ueshiba's view, and from the Buddhist view to practice other religions, in Christianity it is not because of the tenant "There is only one God and there shall be no other god before me." That would make for a very interesting discussion on another thread.

Finally, for those who just like to play dress up and learn and be a part of Japanese culture, then if you are serious, then please do some research and find out more about it. I think we come to the dojo to learn and practice, not to dance around in ignorance.

John Matsushima

Last edited by John Matsushima : 01-05-2007 at 05:47 AM.
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