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Old 08-11-2004, 01:06 AM   #13
Anders Bjonback
Dojo: Boulder Aikikai
Location: Boulder, CO
Join Date: Jul 2003
Posts: 129
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Re: How to reconcile?

I think the problem is that you're labeling "spiritual" as having certain qualities which don't include violence or protection--openness as opposed to protectiveness, etc. Shouldn't a martial art as a spiritual (I'd prefer the word "contemplative") practice encompass those feelings of protectiveness, wanting to kick yourself for being letting your guard down?
But as I get more of a feeling for what you are saying, I think I see more of what you mean. Maybe being open and trusting seems opposed to the sharp awareness of a martial mind? Maybe those two can be brought together.
As for me, I rarely think about such things. I'm still pretty inexperienced so maybe that's why I'm not troubled by my pratice in that way yet. What I could see as a future struggle is cultivating an open heart and reconciling that with doing a martial art. I think for a open heart to be genuine there needs to be a sense of vulerability and openness, as well as caring, and that could be seen as opposite of what one is trying to do in a martial art. I think Saotome Sensei said something like "compasson/love is not weakness" in one of his books. Having an open heart doesn't mean being weak. Still, there is a slight difference in ideals. For one thing, I'd never kill another person, and I hope I would have the strength to keep that conviction in a situation where my life is threatened by someone.

Last edited by Anders Bjonback : 08-11-2004 at 01:16 AM.

"For peace and happiness are presences, not objects we can grasp and hold onto."
--Lilian Smith
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