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Old 06-13-2012, 09:53 AM   #21
mathewjgano's Avatar
Dojo: Tsubaki Kannagara Jinja Aikidojo; Himeji Shodokan Dojo
Location: Renton
Join Date: Feb 2005
Posts: 2,240
Re: My Spiritual Aikido.

Hi Chris,
That is very humbling! Thank you for sharing that! It's amazing to me how comfortable we get with our own part of the world and how uncomfortable we can get when we experience something distinctly different.
I was lucky enough to take part in a "charity tour" in Cambodia and it was interesting to see how people resonded to the deprivations we were witness to. In particular, I thought it was interesting that some folks were surprised when an overt expression of resentment was displayed (a child drew his finger across his throat at us). One person said, "that was odd." I thought I understood it right away. As nice as it is that we were there to help in some way, the sense of dignity of those we sought to help wasn't much of a consideration. We were outsiders coming in on an air-conditioned bus and snapping pictures of people in their daily lives. Imagine someone coming to your home and looking with pity as they make you the object of their interest. Some folks are naturally going to resent it, whether out of a sense of shame, or pride, or what have you. That such an idea never seemed to occur to some folks initially made me resentful. I by no means grew up in poverty, but I lived closer to it than most Americans do and part of me found it outrageous. After thinking about it I had to admit we're all limited by our experiences, and some of us simply have few points of reference to form much understanding.
So where I've come to with all this is the idea that spirituality is another way of finding universal qualities...or put another way, of connecting to disparate realms of this very vast reality. I tend to think spiritual endeavors have a purpose of finding what connects us all and operating from there to arrive at greater understanding and greater cohesion of interaction. To my mind this is very much in keeping with kaiso's vision for Aikido and why I've been so attracted to it as a medium for fostering spirituality...despite being somewhat uncomfortable with sharing in my spirituality.
I can see a parallel here with Graham's idea of starting from the spiritual and proceeding to the mental and then to the physical.
...For what it's worth.
Take care,

Last edited by mathewjgano : 06-13-2012 at 09:56 AM.