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Old 11-21-2002, 12:05 PM   #10
Dojo: Messores Sensei (Largo, Fl.)
Location: Florida
Join Date: Mar 2001
Posts: 1,267
Re: Re: Re: Spiritual Understandings

Jun Akiyama (akiy) wrote:
So, Don. How 'bout yourself?-- Jun
Man, table's turning so fast it must be on gimbles...
Jun Akiyama (akiy) wrote:
mmm... Now, are those spiritual or philosphical (if even that)?
Tough call. But then, I have problems with what "spiritual" means anyway. For me, it is deeper and subtler than realization or precepts; something sunk into marrow.

I like what you wrote, especially 3, 5, and 8. They seem like conscious precepts to me, understanding as I write that they probably obtain as spontaneous sentiment--the spiritual(?)

For me, I have a curious resonance when confronted with someone's criticism with being attacked during training (as explicitly opposed to simply being attacked). I feel an engagement with the person and an appreciation and an expectation of mutual benefit.

Also, when physically threatened, I feel the same calm I do awaiting UKE's attack. In the Bahamas once, refusing to play sucker to a dishonest taxi, I was confronted with the man picking up a brick and brandishing over his head it at me. It felt more like a training opportunity than a fight.

More consciously, I strive for MUSHIN in practice(or, as I believe it's called in aikido, TAKEMUSU AIKI), a frequent synonym for "spiritual" in discussions of martial art. This involves calming myself, uniting with rather than defeating UKE, and responding spontaneously to every moment of the engagement, efforts grossly complicated by friendly partners wanting to talk (or worse, correct) and teachers demanding that students do only the technique presented.

Where I approach the greatest feeling of MISOGI, is as UKE. Making an honest attack is devilishly difficult, balancing between an ego wanting to "win" and a pal wanting my partner to feel success. Did I attack that hard to help or defeat? Did I go as far as safely possible in resisting before falling or avoid discomfort? Sometimes I wish we could have competition and be done with it. Then we'd know! (Irony intended.)

I feel this is inarticulate, but it's what I can offer.

Don J. Modesto
St. Petersburg, Florida
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