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Old 10-01-2012, 10:22 AM   #26
mathewjgano's Avatar
Dojo: Tsubaki Kannagara Jinja Aikidojo; Himeji Shodokan Dojo
Location: Renton
Join Date: Feb 2005
Posts: 2,225
Re: spirtuality in the dojo

Andrew Macdonald wrote: View Post
ok this is kind of a general question

how much spirituality do you see in your dojo? do you try to find it just thorugh the techniques or is there focused mediatation practice.

did you join aikido for spirtual practice? if not are you interested in it now?
I see quite a bit of spirituality at my dojo, but I also train at a Shinto shrine and my teacher is a priest. I think this tends to attract people who are looking for a spiritual practice or who otherwise seek that kind of environment, but not everyone fits that description. I would describe many of my fellow students as being pretty spiritual, but my sense of the word is based on having a sense of deep awe for nature and an effort to connect with that awe throught one's it's pretty open-ended.
Speaking from my own sense of the word, and from what I understand of Shinto, any activity can be "spiritual," but we do have focused meditation times. Saturdays, for example, people can do misogi no gyo, daily Shinto ceremony (chyohai), and formal Chinkon no gyo before Aikido practice. After each practice session that sensei leads there is an abreviated Chinkon no gyo.
I started Aikido because I wanted to learn something meditative that also included some kind of "martial" training. So per my own sense of spirituality, yes I joined an Aikidojo for the spiritual practice and continue now with a similar sense of purpose. My spirituality is based very much on the concept of self-improvement and being the best person I can be and the concepts of gyo/discipline and "self victory" I see in Aikido are big parts of that for me.

Last edited by mathewjgano : 10-01-2012 at 10:25 AM.

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