Before I started in training (in karate) I thought that the mind forged the body. As I progressed I began to see how the opposite was in fact true. Through vigorous, regular physical training, the mind becomes disciplined. I progressed well but hit a wall in karate. Not physically but spiritually. Although my body could do more, I found the techniuques of karate were forging my spirit in a manner that was not quite right for me.
Fast forward 10 years later- I have since discovered that I hit that wall because I was training against my nature. The techniques of karate didn't allow for me to reach a higher level of consciousness although of course it does for others. I found for me that aikido is THE PATH to my natural spiritual growth. Although I am labeled as a Muslim I am probably the most unconventional Muslim there is. I don't pray in the prescribed manner, I don't attend regular service. I found that I fell into ritual with no meaning to me. Aikido gave me a method to reconnect with the Universal in which I am mindfully there.
Very good and relevant thread, Anders.