The experience of duality dissolving into unity has a great spiritual tradition and is often the basis for a deep unrequited longing. But how is it that "Aikido shows that"? If it could consistently, then wow!
What is unique about Aikido that brings us to spiritual experiences? For example, I have often heard an observer unfamiliar with Aikido state that it doesn't look like it could do much martially. Observations like this and our own experience as practitioners has led to vast amounts of written angst on this forum. I am afraid that the same may be true for Aikido spirituality. An objective observer might just shrug their shoulders.
Do Aikidoists in general have a an aspect of their practice that is consciously spiritual? How is this different from, let's say Karate, or even some non-martial activity that requires practice and skill? Am I just projecting my own spiritual ideas on my practice or is there an approach that has some required elements in order to be considered Aikido? Is there a connection between martial prowess and sprituality?
What are Aikidoists trying to do when they practice?
Those are good points Don
Most notable is that duality dissolving into unity is a profound budo principle that starts in yourself and then is epressed externally in an extremely powerful form. The reason for the angst is simple; so many discussing it have no clue as to what it means, are nothing extraordinary and will impress no one with any real skill.
The reason for the angst is very simple; they cannot deliver and they know it or those they touch know it. For those who really know what these things were about, there is no angst, and up against the senior teachers of budo...well...there really is no doubt either.
If people want a cooperative ride and "joining" why not take off the budo clothing, stop faking hitting each other and falling down, put down the weapons and put on yoga clothes and go play. Leave Budo to those involved with Budo.
I claim a spiritual side to my practice. It is expressed in an effective way to live my life and influence, family, co workers, friends, and community and it creates a dramatically effective budo. All of which are put to the test regularly.