After looking over the answers for Jun's thread on Misogi, in this forum, it's beginning to occur to me that Aikido, as practiced today, is generally just about martial arts technique and absent of traditional spiritual practices.
Spiritual practices would be something that was taught to you in the dojo, and is practiced by yourself, in a scheduled class or a seminar. Things like chanting, bell ringing, river misogi, breathing exercises and meditation are just some of the activities I'm talking about.
Things like prayer or reading spiritual text are also something I wouldn't consider, since I'm basically interested in things you wouldn't normally do, except that you were introduced to them through Aikido.
[Edited by tedehara on September 10, 2000 at 11:30am]
those who know me know i'm no expert on spiritual things, but i would disagree with saying that chanting, bell ringing, etc are necesssarily spiritual practice (as opposed to religious practice), while other things are not. I think that what makes something spiritual is what is in your heart; cooking dinner or weeding a yard is spiritual to me, if i hold God in my heart then, while chanting or anything else, if just done as an activity, is not. the fact that one practice or another was done in Japan before, during, or since O' Sensei's lifetime does not make it any more or less valuable as a spiritual exercise. and i would like to think he would rather we focus on what thoughts we hold inside us, rather than the external activity we are doing. one a dojo i once belonged to said Judeo-Christian prayers at the start of class, rather than the traditional (Shinto inspired) rei...amazing the number of people who objected to the former, but not to the latter.