Re: spirtuality in the dojo
I myself am probably more an atheist than anything else when it comes to categories - however I do firmly believe in some rules for how to behave towards each other, and I guess my aikido teachings has some values in common with basic christian belief. Compassion, forgiveness - and in the rare case walking on water - (sorry..bad joke.. I know). I just never point this out - it is up to each of my students to put whatever value into the things we do that they see fit based on their own way of life.
We have a short meditation before and after keiko. It is never EVER presented as being in any way related to religion or any type of deity. I encourage proper sitting, balance and breathing as far as I am able to teach this, and then I suggest that everybody use this moment to focus themselves on what they are about to do so that they can do it wholeheartedly. If for some reason they use this moment to connect with some sort of deity is their own responsibility - as long as they take care of each other and practice with a sincere effort and good mental attitude.
I guess I like to believe I create a lot of spirituality, but sort of with a 'void' in it where each student can put in whatever they believe to be true.