Thread: meditation
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Old 07-02-2000, 09:35 PM   #18
AikiTom
Dojo: Aikido Martial Arts Center
Location: Blue Grass, IA
Join Date: Jul 2000
Posts: 84
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I like carrots.
Seriously, though, some recent interviews I've read of older students of O-sensei say he hated Zen and advised his students not to practice it. Thus, I think it would be hard to argue that aikido is "moving Zen" or "moving meditation."
I would say the only similarity it has to Buddhist thought is the idea of "non-attachment" which frees the mind to respond to an attack more quickly.
I think I've also read that O-sensei considered Zen almost the opposite of aikido. Buddhism's goal is to reach Mu, the Great Void, which is essentially "nothingness," whereas Aikido aims just for the opposite, the realization of the fullness of creation, the continuous "Takemusu Aiki," techniques created spontaneously, and in a sense furthering creation.
So, on the one hand you have "nothingness," and with aikido "something-ness."
I would say meditation for the aikidoist/ka is really more the Shinto "chinkon kishin," which is "calming the spirit and returning to the origin," that is tuning in to God. In that sense, yes, I think meditation connects with Aikido. In our classes we begin and end with short meditation. We refer to it as "misogi." I see it as a nice transition between the world we came from and the world on the mat, and sets the stage for focused practice.
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