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Old 07-17-2007, 01:00 PM   #10
ChrisHein's Avatar
Dojo: Aikido of Fresno
Location: Fresno , CA
Join Date: Apr 2005
Posts: 1,646
Re: Make spiritual side part of my training

Depends on what you call spiritual.

My first major Aikido teacher spent lots of time on the "spiritual" side of Aikido. I was uchi deshi with him, and much of my life became a spiritual practice. I am very grateful for that time, and feel that it has made me a much better person.

My second major martial art teacher didn't spend any time talking about the "spiritual" side of the martial arts. But was himself was an amazing human being. He never talked about enlightenment, or truth of character; but he had it in spades. Just the example of his giving honest nature had a very profound effect on me.

So what is spiritual? I personally would say that spirituality is conscious participation and acceptance of the human condition. To me a highly spiritual person, knows to his core what he is, excepts it, and is always aware of his current place in the universe. It doesn't' require intelligence, or charisma. Doesn't mean always making the right decisions for everyone else. Or that you have magic powers. It just means being you, completely.

Now how do you add that to your training? It doesn't depend on the art you teach. You could be a cook, a chimney sweep or a lion tamer. Doesn't matter. Budo (the warriors path to enlightenment), in all of it’s variations is a great road to travel. The only requirement to travel this path is to stay true to yourself. Ask yourself: what you are, who you are, and why you do what you do. There are no wrong answers, only truths and deeper truths. Be true to yourself always, and I would say you are a spiritual person.

Now weather you want to make this something overt at your school, or something that just happens naturally is up to you. But if you are true to yourself, just having you as an example will greatly help your students.

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