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Old 11-20-2003, 10:34 AM   #3
fvhale
Dojo: none
Join Date: Oct 2000
Posts: 78
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Perhaps I understand your question, but I just can't answer it. Every dollar that I have ever handed over to a dojo or sensei has been, in my heart, a gift. Every dollar I receive as salary, or other income, I also view as a gift. I'm not trying to play word games. I have lived a monastic life for a long time, and trained in martial arts for a long time. What I receive is gift. What I pass to others is gift. I have had good discussions on this topic with other monastic artists. A book that we recommend on this topic is: "The Gift: The Form and Reason for Exchange in Archaic Societies" by Marcel Mauss (1872-1950). Original French title "Esasi sur le don." A recent English edition is available in paperback from Amazon, for $11.16.

It is easy enough to tally up dojo fees, equipment costs, testing fees, etc. But then how do you estimate the cost of your practice time outside the dojo? Or your mental practice or reading/study? Or your spiritual practice? How do you count the cost of time spent "outside of class" in the dojo doing things like sweeping and cleaning, or helping sensei with equipment, or changing lightbulbs, or helping with the dojo computer? What about time spent with other aikido folk? What about time spent just pondering the beauty of aikido, the ideas of peace and harmony and nonviolence? The cost of aikido to me is my life, my breath, my time, my energy, sometimes even my wounds. I can't put that into dollars.

Sorry, for me it is all gift!

Peace to you,

Frank
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