Re: When you bow do you worship or just...
Aisatsu to all in this thread.
I have been a Born Again Christian for some time and have been an Aikido practitioner long before. This thread caught my interest and felt moved by the Holy Spirit to participate in Aiki.
Lets start with this:
To come to be a butterfly, the larvae has to go through some phases. From an egg, larvae, cocoon, caterpillar, butterfly.
Many of us also pass through some phases. Being worldly or spiritual. How do I know where I stand?
1. If you are larvae, your decisions are based on personal benefits.
If you are butterfly, you simply do it because.
2. The larvae does not believe or has no knowledge in/of a supreme being. A butterfly is conscientious of it's spiritualty and the existence of a creator.
3. A larvae goes by what it sees. A butterfly, by faith.
4. A larvae battles to accumulate riches. A butterfly will ask itself, What is my purpose in life?
5. The larvae complaints of how the world is. The butterfly will ask, What can I do in respect?
6. The larvae, first me, then me and last me. The butterfly likes to serve.
If you are butterfly, congratulations! If not, it does not matter. Remember, larvaes are just one step before changing into a butterfly. The transformation depends on you. The important thing is that you detect your areas of spiritual growth.
In a corespondence with a Sensei of an Aikido school that I have been practicing in, I expressed to him that I was having trouble with some of the religious aspects integrated in Aikido. His response was the following:
"As to religion, I have some comments. I am not Buddhist nor Shintoist but you have to realize that Aikido was created within a very strong religious context. O Sensei's philosophy has many religious backgrounds. You don't have to become a Shintoist but to appreciate any culture or art derived from a specific culture, you will have to immerse yourself in that environment to really appreciate it. If you see the Vatican's architecture, you can not see it only from the architectural point of view. The design itself brings the concept of how the religion tried to create an "awe" image for those people who were not educated in the middle ages. I don't mean as an insult since many religions follow this rule. Large Bhudda structures, Mosques and so forth. Power and symbols sometimes get together.
If you are truly a born again Christian and believe in the All Mighty, I think the best you can do is to show great sense of compassion and understanding for others as well. I believe that true religions are based on forgiveness and compassion, not on ignoring and disrespecting others for not believing what you believe. That is the same pricinple I have when I accept people with different interpretations of Aikido as long as it makes logical sense as a true martial art".
Since then I have come to a halt. Under lots of prayer and meditation with God and our Lord.
I agree with some of the members of this thread when they say that if your not in the same mindset, you are segregated to a degree.
I don't think you have to immerse yourself into something in order to appreciate it.
I love Aikido and practice it for health, mental and spiritual reasons.
So now I'm inclined to and considering opening a Christian based Aikido dojo that would be soly for the purpose of enjoyment and heath without affiliation, if it's Gods Will.
It really comes down to your personal beliefs and convictions.
Mr. Basone, I hope this small contribution to this thread could help and be of some insight.
God Bless you all.
Exodus 20.3-6, 1 Peter 3.8-20.