Aikido as Living Prayer or Love kicks #$$
People who come to aikido have had many different experiences. My experience has included the realization that Aikido gives my spirituality a language and an expression. The longer I practice, the more true this has become. All the while my spirit has grown and bent and swayed and I find more and more evidence that this art is my living prayer.
The following is an exerpt from a lecture by O'Sensei:
Prayers are also born in the form of martial art techniques when coming into existence. Prayers themselves should without exception be martial arts. Moreover, prayers themselves must also actually purify this world. That is to say, prayers themselves are the same as the execution of martial arts. Thus, those who have faith in God like you (addressing the Byakko Shinko Kai audience) truly need to study martial arts. This is because one is not able to master takemusu aiki without having the virtue of faith, meaning that the practice and execution of aiki lies in learning from the manifestation of the Great God, the Source of True Love and True Faith, under the Great Spirit of Loving Protection of all nature; that is, it lies in working for Izunome with the virtue of faith.
What experiences have you had with spirit/prayer in the context of martial technique?