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Old 01-18-2012, 08:47 PM   #15
hughrbeyer
Dojo: Shobu Aikido of Boston
Location: Peterborough, NH
Join Date: Aug 2010
Posts: 653
United_States
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Re: The Realm of Aiki

I'm highly sympathetic to the mindset that Takahashi Sensei points us towards in his column. The principles of aiki should point us towards a harmonious relationship to our world, as O-Sensei suggested. I'm unwilling to cede the term "aiki" for this, though--as Dan posts above, I think O-Sensei had a highly specific set of skills in mind when he talked of aiki, and we should use the term as he did to refer to those skills. Maybe "aiki-do" would be closer to the mark, but shouldn't "aikido" be the martial art based on aiki skills? So I would fall back on talking about the aiki mindset, or aiki spirituality--what happens when you incorporate the body practice and apply it to the spirit--as you must, if you understand that body and spirit are one.

But that suggests that applying "aiki" to our relationship to the world is not easy, or cheap, or free. Just as the body practice of aiki requires discipline, constant practice, and honest no-bullshit feedback, so the spiritual practice of aiki requires the same. You may have your own path, but if it doesn't lead to honest, centered encounters with real connection and real understanding--you've missed the path of aiki. I may honor your effort, but regret to inform you your path is junk.

Tonight's posting brought to you by Taz Pinot Noir of Santa Barbara County, on 50% discount at the NH state liquor store. Highly recommended.
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