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Old 03-31-2008, 09:49 AM   #10
Join Date: May 2002
Posts: 498
Re: Aikido as Misogi

For consideration:

O-Sensei's Misogi-no-Gyo (practices of misogi) were and are a completely active pursuit. Even the meditative aspects involved in chinkonkishin-no-gyo for example are considered highly active. There are very little if any passive elements that "just seem to happen" over time or that are discovered while waiting around, focusing on other things or practicing hard. Misogi as O-Sensei practiced it, shared it, taught it, passed it on to specific individuals...etc is specific, dynamic and produces tenable results. It is at the very core of what we (should) seek to understand what O-Sensei meant when he said, "...Aikido is misogi..." Reliance upon hope will not provide any real solutions. As aikidoka who seek O-Sensei's way it becomes paramount to find a teacher who understands and can demonstrate O-Sensei's Misogi. While it is not zazen, nor shinto, buddhist or even religious in practice it is certainly taken from those and other sources both in form and in deference. We must strive to attain both a rudimentary and practical understanding of how to apply this to our body, mind and spirit (oddly enough, in that order), all of which are separate aspects of this training.

One's teacher must be able show the specifics of misogi, not just the basic ideas of misogi, or just the words (chants) or outward (empty and meaningles) form, but the actual practices O-Sensei, himself used and taught as the way through which to absorb the hidden teachings. If for one reason or another this level of teaching is not a focus early on in our training then it is not only worthwhile to refer to someone who can and will teach it, we would be derelict in our training if we did not go out and find it regardless of the effort, cost or time needed to do so. Loyalty to one's teacher, organization or what have you aside, we owe it to ourselves and to those who may come after to seek out, make sense of and ultimately master these practices and the principles which are revealed through vigorous and sincere training over a prolonged and intense period of study and reflection.


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