"Hello, I am not sure if this has much to do with Aikido, but I have noticed that Zen and Aikido are often shared interests by many people, so I figured I would ask this here...
Recently, while doing Zazen at my dojo, the Heart Sutra was chanted"
In terms of having something to do with Aikido: One of Stevens Sensei's books said that O Sensei chanted the heart sutra every day. I believe it was Secrets of Aikido that said this. Besides that, the Heart Sutra is considered by many to be the heart of all sutras. It is the heart essence, the distillation of all the prajnaparamita (transcendent wisdom) sutras. Transcendent wisdom is one of the two wings of enlightenment, the other being Bodhiccita, or infinite love. Further, one gives birth to the other, they cross cultivate, and the realization of the deepest truths of the heart sutra, i.e. transcendent wisdom, will automatically awaken infinite love because they are impossible to separate. In terms of Aikido, on a philosophical point, that is what it is a all about. We cultivate a non violent art. At the highest level, we lose our self grasping and generate a concern for the attacker. We wish that that attacker may attain realization, rather than percieve that persona as a threat to be destroyed. We try to help that attacker to the other side, to awakening, while protecting life. This is both Bodhicitta and Transcendent wisdom. I am not yet there, but at this point, I believe this is correct view. We'll see how my outlook develops over the years. Thank you all. Many blessings, Much love, May you attain supreme awakening and fullest realization of infinite peace.
Ultimately we loose the distintion of attacker and self. There is no enemy, there is no other, there is no self (there is no spoon).
The phrase 'keep your friends close and you enemies closer' is not just a strategy for war, it is a strategy for life. So that we may blend so closely with others energy as to absorb and become one. No self. No enemy.
The Heart Sutra is a chant that is almost sung. The person from whom you learn will influence your flux and tone, you will find your own sound in there soon enough.