Re: Discussion of Spirituality from an Aikido Perspective.
Sorry Tim, but I couldn't find what you wrote when you referred to intent behind ki. But I reread George's post instead of skimming that almost book'ish post like the first time around.
Interestingly enough we under stand the path to aikido to be...
Aiki no Kokoro, aiki no genri, aiki no waza, aiki no chikara, aiki no seishin.
So although principles is right there at the beginning before technical waza and physical training.... Without the heart (or mind) to embrace wiki, you really can't begin.
That chimes with the distinction of technical folks and spiritual folks...but only to an extent. Spiritual for spirituality's sake isn't going to get you far here. I won't argue for technical side, since being technical is an important third of aikido. Without equilibrium we'll all be lopsided in our approach.
What I meant by spirit in aikido is essentially a warrior's spirit. It is not love all mankind and be one with the force kind of mentality. It's to live a life to protect what is right. The abject subjugation to something greater. To understand that life is so fleeting and to realize that it has to be valued as a precious gift to mankind.
Osensei admonishes his students to always contemplate with nature. To listen to the voice of earth and voice of heaven. This has no bearing to the technical development of aikido. Yet it develops the mind, the heart and the spirit. You then have to manifest that in your waza... Otherwise it's still not a true reality. Eg, translate what you think you've understood into the physical otherwise it might just be a daydream.
Outside of conflict, the practice of aikido is conducted to find your true self. To purify or distill your movements beyond your ego. At my level...to just concentrate in getting center right and aligning intent, ki and physical as best as I can. So I don't really think I can contribute anymore in this thread since I know I haven't even approached the spiritual level at this juncture. My mind is still too much in this world i'm afraid.