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Old 10-01-2012, 10:39 AM   #27
Conrad Gus
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Dojo: Victoria Family Aikido
Location: Victoria, BC
Join Date: Dec 2001
Posts: 268
Re: spirtuality in the dojo

Matthew Gano wrote: View Post
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.

I've trained around a little bit, and I've never seen anything that comes close to your dojo. It's very, very special.

I'm sure it isn't everyone's cup of tea, but if a person is interested at all in integrating spirituality with their aikido practice, Kannagara Aikido is worth checking out. I wish I could train there more -- it's been far too long.

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