Re: How is aikido related to your spiritual path?
Mr Clark and Ron,
Thanks for your comments. I think that what I wrote can fit with the ideas in your posts. I personally believe that we are continually expressing ourselves all the time. This can become especially clear during Aikido practice. I generally seem to be able to tell what kind of person my partner is after practicing with him/her even if we have never met. This is kind of scary as it seems to work the other way too, I can`t hide on the mat. However, I disagree with the notion of aikido practice as a formal way of expression. The problem may be in the definition of the word art. I think that what Onisaburo Deguchi meant by "art" is the creative impulse inherent with all of us. I think that if this kind of art is bereft of of self development (the mix Mr. Clark wrote about in his post) we are left with something that may be beautiful but without life changing characteristics. The art of Mozart and Van Gogh is sublimely beautiful and of inherent worth but both men were maladjusted in terms of society.
Similar is the story related by Shoji Nishio in an Aiki News interview about the difference between Ueshiba Sr. and Judo`s Mifune. Nishio Shihan relates that he quit Judo and continued to practice Aikido because of how the two teachers reacted to a robbery. Mifune`s house was apparently broken into a few times while he was away to which he responded that he would risk his life to stop the robber from doing it again. Ueshiba when learning that someone stole Tohei Koichi`s leather jacket, on the other hand, commented that the robbery was the fault of Tohei`s who allowed an "opening" through which the robber could (was forced to?) enter (fall into?). Nishio Shihan seems to indicate that while both were master martial artists, Ueshiba had developed his character to an extremely high level through his practice.
I`m in Japan now, but I`ll be in the US late July. When is the seminar?