Thread: Shinto
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Old 12-12-2002, 02:34 AM   #33
Jeff Tibbetts
Dojo: Cedar River Aikikai
Location: Cedar Rapids, Iowa
Join Date: Oct 2002
Posts: 142
I see, Ghostİ I'm sorry if I was too quick to judge, you are clearly very knowledgable on this matterİ My apologiesİ You make a good point in returning to my analogy, I think you're right about how people would perceive our fictitious American founder and simplify his viewsİ Some things you mentioned struck a chord with meİİİ in my community college I often go to a "Japanese culture club" which is really just a bunch of anime geeks who watch animeİ I go to see free videos and watch the hilarious music videos and commercials, but I can't stand the attitudes of a lot of the peopleİ I'm not sure if you're familiar with it, but there's a snack called Pocky that's quite popular in Japan, and even more so among anime geeksİ The reason for this is that it tasted EXACTLY like a "normal" American snack and doesn't conflict with our palette the way many Japanese foods do, so it's a way for some people to "feel" Japanese without being adventerous at allİ There's nothing Japanese about it other than the packagingİİİ I think that people do this all the time, with food, sure, but also with culture and religionİ I think that the Zen that you're referring to is more like the "zen and the art of motorcycle maintenance" variety, in that it's really tailored to a Western view and consequently dumbed downİ I think that real Zen is quite esoteric and obtuse to the Western mind in it's own ways, but you won't get that around hereİ Zazen is, as you said, fairly universal, and I think that when people see others sitting in zazen they just immediately call it Zenİ I can really see you're point about how Zen itself has nothing to do with Aikido, but the centering part cannot be overlookedİ Much of what Zazen involves is centering, and when people call Aikido moving Zen they're really meaning that this is a way to maintain center in motion, not in Zazenİ It would be more accurate to call it flowing Zazen, but that would also be silly in the Western senseİ See what's happening here? There is no easy way for the Western mind to quantify a lot of these conceptsİ I really do think that you're on to something in that Aikido is constantly reworked to fit the comfort level of the "everyman", to the detriment of the serious philosopher, I'm afraidİ I guess there's the element of "what can I do" involved at this point, it's out of our hands for nowİ If you run a dojo you simply will have a hard time attracting students if you're performing major misogi rituals for a half-hour before class and calling out the kami during practiceİ This is the price of trying to get rid of Christian mental oppression by secularizing the youthİ No-one wants to believe anything, and anything that could be a belief is shut down so as not to offend anyoneİ ugh

If the Nightingale doesn't sing-
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