Charles Hill wrote:
The quote about O`sensei hating Zen comes from Okumura Shihan so I`m sure it is accurate. The way Okumura Shihan explained it was that Zen is a "Mu" form of Buddhism whereas O`sensei`s thought was more in line with the "Yu" form of Buddhism fond in the Shingon Mikkyo sect. Also, O`sensei apparently taught that students should not follow his religious beliefs unless they truly believed them. For example, he would use the Christian Bible to explain his teachings to Westerners. To me, this is similar to the Dalai Lama discouraging Westerners from becoming Buddhists unless they really feel they must do so.
Thanks for the info, not to doubt Okumura Shihan's quote, but I still have difficulty with the use of the word "hate". But, your post prompted a little research and I found out that O Sensei studied Shingon Buddhism when he was a child. Interesting, I wonder if how that study integrated with the Omoto Kyo religious influence? I don't know enough about the Omoto Kyo beliefs to tell you. Perhaps you can educate me?
Also, thank you for turning me onto Okumura Shihan. I just breezed through a few interviews on the Aikido Journal website with him and he seems like quite the interesting teacher. Does he still teach at Hombu dojo?
From my limited perspective, there exists no conflict between the principles in the practice of Zen and the practice of Aikido. In fact the practice of Zen compliments the pracitice of Aikido.