I am interested to hear peoples perspectives on the spiritual aspects of Aikido. Specifically in how they see Aikido working for them practically as a tool for spiritual development.
What comes to my mind are the benefits of creating stillness. Perception (mindfulness) takes energy; in quieting my mind/body (stripping superfluous activity), I can perceive better. In perceiving better, I can act better. In acting better, I can "quiet" better. If I have diligence throughout the process, I create a kind of upward spiral that affects everything I do.
I had these ideas before I came to Aikido, and it's from them that I chose what I perceived to be a more meditative approach to physicality (and was reinforced in a somewhat profound way).
That's the general gist. Specifically, I practice Shinto meditation along with my meager physical aiki practice and that fits perfectly (minus the "meager" part) with my search for "inner peace" (stillness/clarity). Water misogi; various breath exercises; and gratitude might be a good description of my practice, and in doing them I've seen my body develop an element of what I call indominability. I've seen that as my mindfulness for practice declines, so too does my stability. So where I'm at now is trying to reclaim lost ground and developing a solid rythm of living/doing.
That's what comes to mind, at any rate. As I type different sections I get a bunch of other ideas, so it's hard to pick one. Each connection a thousand others. Another example of where I'm at with quieting my mind.
Lord I was born a ramblin' man...