Krystal, you've got a lot of good points, but you're wrong about meditation. It's off the topic completely and the subject for a much longer thread, but believe me, you're utterly wrong that "[a]nyone can get all evolved and spiritual and crap when its quiet." Sit for a weekend, really DO IT as opposed to pretending to do it, as opposed to making up your own mind what it's all about and talking to yourself and making up your own stories about "this spiritual crap is crap" and thinking about what you'd rather be doing and what you'll have for dinner -- all the while you're supposed to be meditating -- and then come back and tell me that anyone can do it. Hell, tell me that YOU did it. I'll have much more respect for your views at that point...and, I predict, you'll be embarrassed by your earlier statements.
You have some good points here, but sitting isn't in contrast to what you advocate. Wanting one's aikido practice to always be congenial and comfortable is. You're right to tee off on that notion, but sitting meditation is not by any means congenial and comfortable,
Like I said, my post was a rant, a little hyperbolic, a little venting. If I came across too strong, just take is as entertainment. I used to sit. I would sit until I sweated from sitting. Sticks, no sticks, sitting, walking, a bowl, no bowl, half a glass of water, I've done a fair amount of that sort of meditation. I watched other folks' demons come out, I watched my own demons come out, I've rounded off more suzu than I've made. Toho kami emi tame from sun down to sun up. I just dont get hardly the value from it that I get from practicing the same mindfulness, presence, acceptance and intro/extrospection while in the midst of distraction and effort. Meditation is inherently paradoxical. Is the master awake? How is a fundamentally solipsistic practice ever going to answer that?
Most of y'all know I'm a pretty enthusiastic atheist, and I do think that a whole bunch of the spiritual/philosophical crap put on top of aikido is not just crap but crap that is a misinterpretation of a misappropriation of another culture's crap. If other folks get goodness out of it, go ahead on, I'll just tiptoe through and stretch in the dressing room. What I got from sitting was good in and of itself. It just didn't translate well to reality. It was ultimately just imbalance in the other direction.