How is aikido related to your spiritual path?
This may be a really stupid idea for a thread... but I'm curious in discussing this. How is aikido related to your personal spiritual practice, if it is?
Personally, (keep in mind that I've only been training for a year and a half)... Over summer vacation, I did pretty much nothing but aikido. I thought of giving up everything, including my lineage of Buddhism, and just training in aikido as my spritual path. And I did that. The curious thing is that in training in aikido, I naturally began to gravitate towards meditation. Then, as I meditated at the shrine room at my college (Naropa University) between aikido classes, I began to gravitate towards looking for Buddhist teachings on meditation and brining it into one's life. I began to get involved with Zen. After awhile, when I went to a meeting of my old sangha, or religious community, I realized just how realized the head of my sangha, Sogyal Rinpoche, was. I was very inspired by the teaching of his I saw that night, although I don't remember it was about. I thought to myself, "Sogyal Rinpoche is a Zen master!" I came full circle to being dedicated to my lineage of Buddhism once again.
What I found interesting was that in training in aikido, I naturally gravitated back to that. Getting back into meditation and the Buddhist teachings was like a next step in my training (maybe towards making me a better person or whatever). I am well aware that O-Sensei was not Buddhist--he was of a new sect of Shinto, Omoto Kyo. But it seemed like training naturally brought me towards doing what was right for myself.
I've found that aikido doesn't interfere or conflict with my spiritual path at all, and instead strengthens it. Despite this, though, I do not feel like aikido is by itself my spiritual path (at least, where my training is right now).