Well, "fundamentally change" sure sounds like it means a permanent and irreversible change...but I don't know that there's any such thing.
I agree. I don't view forms of enlightenment as necessarily permanent. I tend to believe the great constant is change.
I think it does land in your lap. The potential is there in every moment, not just in special circumstances. But the conditions that make it possible can be cultivated, through various practices. Aikido is not one of these practices, I don't think. It's possible to have an enlightenment moment in the middle of aikido practice, sure, just as it is in the middle of anything -- but it's kind of like trying to fill a bucket with stones by lobbing them at the bucket from fifty feet away as it dangles from a rope, with someone yanking on the rope to make it swing about all the while.
I think it can land in our laps...and that trying too hard tends to push it away, but I think in this case too, chance favors the prepared mind. As for Aikido providing enlightenment compared to other practices, I think it's hard to accurately compare "Aikido" because there are so many different forms of Aikido practice. In my opinion, meager though it may be, some of the most enlightening states of mind I've attained came at the dojo, usually at the end when we're practicing silent meditation before bowing out, but not exclusively. This isn't to say the practice makes the feeling of "enlightenment," but I tend to view any practice as being somewhat accidental to that aim, though certainly some lend more to fostering that state of mind than others...both in and of themelves as well as relative to different personalities.
Thank you for the replies, Mary!