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.
My take on it: aikido is not a spiritual practice, and if a spiritual practice is what you want, aikido is not an adequate substitute for it. The large majority of sensei have no training in teaching esoteric practices, and (appropriately) therefore don't attempt to teach them. If you have a personal spiritual practice, there are certain things about aikido that make some parts of the practice a useful vehicle for reinforcing some
of the lessons of some
spiritual paths. Also, for people who don't have a personal spiritual practice, some aikido practices can be conducive to giving you glimpses of something beyond the thing itself. In both cases, though, aikido is not unique: the same reinforcement or the same glimpses can come about through many other activities, and indeed, there are others that are probably better than aikido in that regard.