Mary Malmros said : Well...this is where y'all bring out the boffer bats (or the bokken) and start whaling on me and yellling, "Mary, shut UP!" But does "spirit" have anything to do with "spirituality"? I think of "spirituality" as a connection with the divine, whether that be Allah or the kami or Jesus or the god in you. The usage of "spirit" in the martial arts, OTOH, has always given me the sense that it was a translation of a word that referred to a particular attitude and that the original had no connotations of the sacred. So, am I wrong about that?
This thought made me think.
The words god and ki cause a lot of response...people get emotional and defensive when the words god and ki are used.
If we could set that defensiveness aside and continue to communicate our thoughts while listening to others the real issues might be heard.
Being in the moment and accepting what every uke offers is sacred. This experience helps me connect to others in the outside world. Both god and ki are in the now.
Aikido training deepens this experience for me making my life a sacred mysterious practice.
I think the hardest thing about Aikido especially in this area is the ambiguity of the terms spirituality, and ki which is left to interpretation. For us Westerners we want definitions and categories and such. We don't deal well with ambiguity. A older Japanese friend once told me the difference between the Japanese thinking and American thinking is the Japanese think in the opposite way Westerner's do. The Japanese see the world through a right hemisphere thinking and the Westerner's see it through the left.
I guess my point is this makes it really difficult, at least for me, to wade through the myths, symbolism, and abstraction of the Japanese and Aikido language. I want a definition too. I too can't be a piece of blank paper floating on the wind. I find that very frustrating as I believe there is no such definition of spirituality or Ki. And thus, no defined measures. That results in so many definitions and degrees of definitions.
I think the reason for the ambiguity of these terms was to be understood though experience. Once the proper experience guided by O'Sensei would result in understanding which would be more universal than now.