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Old 08-16-2002, 10:54 AM   #17
Dennis Hooker
Dojo: Shindai Dojo, Orlando Fl.
Location: Orlando Florida
Join Date: Aug 2002
Posts: 456
What little I know of the true spiritual aspects of Aikido come from second, third and even further removed sources. As I neither speak nor read Japanese I must depend on what I am told and what I read in English interpretations of O-Sensei's work. I admit this aspect of Aikido is extremely interesting to me and I may find something during the physical training that stimulates a thought and I may stop class to explore it a little. After all I'm not really on the mat for those other people, I am out there for me. As I learn and grow they absorb my past experience in the process. There thereby learn. It dose not matter if there is one person or thirty on the mat I will do the same thing and I will be there because I am training me, and the spiritual side of life has always fascinated me so naturally I am drawn to that aspect of Aikido. Being a Christian and a Mason a sociologist and a working engineer I find many of M. Ueshiba Sensei's symbols and exotic writings hold to universal geomantic patterns. Now perhaps it is the interpreters I have listened to and their understanding of his teachings that skew it, I don't know. Quite frankly I don't care. It does what I need it to do in my life. It fill out the fabric of my spiritual believes rather nicely. Kind of fits in.

I don't find anything wrong with this spiritual quest in Aikido in myself or others. I don't find anything thing wrong with a lack of it either. I can't imagine how hollow I would feel without it, but some folks seem to get along just fine without it and that is just fine with me. I believe the essence, the universality, and the cultural commonality of the Circle, the Square and the Triangle are the root of his teaching and spirituality is the path to realizing their true power be it through Aikido, Christianity, Masonic symbolism, Shinto or geometry.

Dennis Hooker: (DVD) Zanshin and Ma-ai in Aikido
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