Thank for all your additional explanations, I found that very insightful and interesting to read. I had never heard of the peace dojos international - just had a quick look on their website; this might be something that I will look into in the near future to learn more about it and maybe to join.
I think Aikido has a deeper layer and meaning that is not always so easy for everyone to see or perhaps has for some less urgency then for others. Or the emphasis lies on a different aspect - like training the body or looking at Aikido as kata that need to be learned.
Besides O Sensei's teachings and my own Aikido teachers, there are others whom I find a continuing inspiration - among them is Thich Nhat Hanh and a few other Buddhist teachers. Although there might be differences in details, what they have in common is that they all see the Way as a route to peace, happiness and enlightenment. Without it Aikido would for me nothing more than a exercise routine. Maybe nice to do but not very fulfilling.
Anyway, just wanted to thank you for the column and the follow-up in this thread.