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Old 06-14-2012, 12:31 PM   #42
Tom Verhoeven
Dojo: Aikido Auvergne Kumano dojo
Location: Auvergne
Join Date: Aug 2011
Posts: 295
Re: My Spiritual Aikido.

Chris Parkerson wrote: View Post
I agree that spiritual consciousness can be obtained through body yogas. Hatha yoga is a prime
example outside of the Aiki world. But as I experienced Bakhti yoga (Love and devotional service)
while living in an ISKON ashram in the late 1960's, i noticed that one can go directly to the
spiritual source - yes, it can often leave the body in an acstatic limbo to be sure. The Bakhti folks
critique the Hatha folks as being too slow in their a process.
I began to live with this idea. My experience of the spiritual are encompassed within three forms
that are bound together. Together, they ensure balance. I must have:

1. Some form of mindful experience. For me it is about clarity, acstatic/mystical seeing, and awareness of heaven and earth.
2. Some form of ethics. For me it is the faith of Jesus (not faith in Jesus) and the 14 precepts of engaged Buddhism
3. Some form of practice. For me, it is sacred activism ,
my martial and internal gung and meditational training.

I am not convinced that body training will necessarily lead to mindful compassion or ethical living. Mindfulness alone can lead some into a denial of the body and sometimes a complete rejection of the world. Ethics alone can make one self righteous judges over others.

Thus the three provide balance - Heaven and earth meeting within the center (lymbic system) of the body. (There is, however, a fusion of tantien, heart and mind that is very important for manifesting things)

There are many ways to bow and kiss the ground (Rumi). As for me, I follow this 3 fold path. Aikido is a part of that path and helps to inform all three elements.


Thank you for this wonderful description of your practice. Bringing all those three together and including the service as practiced in Bhakti yoga would to me be a fine description of Aikido experienced and enjoyed to the fullest.

I wonder how many Aikido dojo still practice service to those who need help or to the community. But that question might be the start of a new thread.

(and I really need to find that book of Rumi! Loved that quote!)