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Old 09-09-2004, 12:08 PM   #16
Join Date: May 2003
Posts: 494
Re: Article: Lack of Spirituality by George S. Ledyard

Great article Ledyard Sensei. Great arguments as well from all on this thread. It just goes to show what a "hot" topic this is.
I'm not a scientist or a big religionist. In fact, as a Muslim anything outside of the 5 Pillars I regard as suspect. I do consider myself a spiritual person without the attachments of any particular religion. I do have a practice that is built on several models and is also constantly evolving. I take what is useful and throw away what is not (for me). What I DO know is that I have gone through periods with and without my mind-body connection and it does effect my aikido and my daily life. Someone above described it as "clarity". I would agree with that definition.
My feeling on this is that there is no right or wrong. Just food for thought. O'Sensei did what he felt was true to him and it worked for him. Tohei Sensei did the same. And I believe that is the lesson. My instructor said to me that O'Sensei said WE should surpass him. I don't see how that is possible if we imitate what Ueshiba Sensei did.
BTW- I also find it interesting that O'Sensei (in later years) did not perform any formal aikido jo kata. When you see him working with jo on tape, he appears to be just gathering up "energy", as part of his mind-body connection. Today we use jo kata to assist us in the mechanics of aikido. So have we already "lost" something or taken a step back? I don't know, just thinking out loud.
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