David Edwards wrote:
Thus I say, give to God the respect that is due to him, and give to O Sensei the respect that is due to him. We know perfectly well that bowing in this context is a sign of respect, not worship. And if we do... All-knowing God certainly does, and understands perfectly.
Good post, David E
My two sen on this thread is this:
I have across some sensei who would start the class in ceremonious way, clasped their hands in silent prayer (or with incomprehensive mumblings), clapped their hands twice, then bowed to kamiza (or towards the picture of O Sensei) and then repeat the process twice more before turning around to bow to the class. The bows towards the kamiza were done by the whole class in unison. Those who would not follow the process were always frowned upon and sometimes regarded as arrogant.
I think the knife always cut both ways. Sensei who insist (that students should follow such ceremonies) are just as arrogant in the sense that they ignorant and insensitive to individuals' religious beliefs & sentiments.
As for me, bowing once is traditional (respect), more than once is worshiping. Our collective aim at the dojo primarily is just to train.