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Old 04-04-2008, 09:38 PM   #1
Buck
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The poll on aikido spirituality

The poll asks, how important is connecting aikido spirituality to your physical on-the-mat aikido training to you?

Out of all who voted 3/4 found aikido spirituality important. That is impressive. Though how is it important?

What about what others feel aikido spirituality being important to them. Aikido spirituality is something that is important because_________. What about you?

I will go first hoping others will follow. For me it isn't important. I have a strong Christian background. Some of aikido's spirituality is similar to what I believe, and for the rest of aikido's spirituality there is no conflict with my beliefs. I don't think not having aikido spirituality is connected to learning, and for that matter doing waza.

Spirituality of aikido is a pillar of aikido. If you say you are a sensei of aikido it would be important to know the spirituality. It would be true also for anyone wanting to be hard core at aikido. Not being hard core or teaching, spirituality isn't important for me. Having said that I think any good spirituality added to aikido would be important.

Wow, the enlightening cool stuff you learn about yourself when you write. I just realized, I mix in alittle of aikido's spirituality into my life. Because the spirituality is mixed into the whole approach of taking part in anyway of waza. Being so, body influences the mind, what the body learns then the mind does too. Learning is then not done in a direct conscious manner known to us to be familiarly recognizable. That would be our mind comprehend it first then our minds direct our bodies. I better stop now. I have been watching too much Dr. Phil for my own good. I might just end up on his show screaming ROSEBUD. I never knew what that meant until I suffered through that movie- my wife's movie nights kill me.

Please tell me how aikido spirituality is important to you.

Last edited by Buck : 04-04-2008 at 09:53 PM.
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Old 04-04-2008, 11:48 PM   #2
Ryan Sanford
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Re: The poll on aikido spirituality

I think it's important because it sometimes helps me to figure out what the heck I'm supposed to be doing. Sensei calls up an uke and the next moment uke is lying down. Sensei says something about not fighting and about blending and accepting uke's energy, which gives me a better idea of what's going on.

Also, being an atheist with mostly utilitarian ethics, I am in agreement with Aikido philosophy/spirituality. I apply Aikido principles to everyday life. Enter and blend with the situation, and all that other mumbo-jumbo.

"There's only one corner of the universe you can be certain of improving, and that's your own self." - Aldous Huxley
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Old 04-05-2008, 03:11 AM   #3
dps
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Re: The poll on aikido spirituality

Spirituality is the relationship I have with God.. Religion is the means I chose to develope and express my spirituality. Aikido has no spirituality. Aikido is a only a tool I use to help me.

David

Last edited by dps : 04-05-2008 at 03:13 AM.
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Old 04-05-2008, 03:25 AM   #4
Mark Uttech
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Re: The poll on aikido spirituality

I tend to think of aikido as a natural expression or an extension of who we are. We are already who we are before we begin aikido. Then this aikido thing appears in our lives, and we have this expression, this extension. If we are lucky enough to find a real teacher, we can go deeper and deeper into the confines of "now what?"

In gassho,

Mark

- Right combination works wonders -
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Old 04-06-2008, 01:50 PM   #5
mathewjgano
 
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Re: The poll on aikido spirituality

Quote:
David Skaggs wrote: View Post
Spirituality is the relationship I have with God.. Religion is the means I chose to develope and express my spirituality. Aikido has no spirituality. Aikido is a only a tool I use to help me.

David
I might be splitting semantic hairs, but my view is that it's not exactly correct to say Aikido "has no spirituality". I would say Aikido has no religion. Certainly Aikido is many things to many people and in that sense it won't always have spirituality attached to its practice, but in my own case I certainly derive spiritual practice from my Aikido practice...and that has nothing to do with my practice within the Shinto religion. I think OSensei intended Aikido to be spiritually enriching.
Take care,
Matt

Gambarimashyo!
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Old 04-06-2008, 04:00 PM   #6
mathewjgano
 
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Re: The poll on aikido spirituality

Quote:
Philip Burgess wrote: View Post
Aikido spirituality is something that is important because_________.
...Please tell me how aikido spirituality is important to you.
The most practical thing I can think of here is that spirituality, as I understand it, creates a sense of humility and passion which helps us in our sincerity of action. This sincerity of action and intensity of purpose is what we can then spread around to the other aspects of our lives. In my mind this is the most valuable aspect of Aikido because it's the most far-reaching. This effect isn't exclusive to Aikido of course, just as the sense of spiritual rewards one may have isn't exclusive to whatever particular religious/spiritual practices one may perform, but it's there and it's one of the things that attracted me to Aikido in the first place.
In my continuous pursuit of personal improvement I seek to develop the logical and abstract "left-brain" and the emotional and spacial "right-brain" aspects of my perception. I view spirituality as being the communion between those "left" and "right" qualities...a realization of their interactive potential.
Not sure how much sense I'm making...it always sounds good in my head Thoughts anyone?
...Anyhow,
Take care,
Matt

Gambarimashyo!
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Old 04-06-2008, 04:43 PM   #7
jennifer paige smith
 
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Re: The poll on aikido spirituality

Rosebud is spiritual....hmmmmm.........
And all this time I thought I was special.....

Citizen Jen

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Old 04-06-2008, 04:57 PM   #8
Aikibu
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Re: The poll on aikido spirituality

I don't separate the two. They are one and the same...

William Hazen
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Old 04-06-2008, 07:55 PM   #9
dps
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Re: The poll on aikido spirituality

Quote:
Matthew Gano wrote: View Post
I might be splitting semantic hairs, but my view is that it's not exactly correct to say Aikido "has no spirituality". I would say Aikido has no religion. Certainly Aikido is many things to many people and in that sense it won't always have spirituality attached to its practice, but in my own case I certainly derive spiritual practice from my Aikido practice...and that has nothing to do with my practice within the Shinto religion. I think OSensei intended Aikido to be spiritually enriching.
Take care,
Matt
Spirituality resides in the person. Everyone's spirituality is unique and it is with them whatever they are doing.

It can be separate from religion but most people use a doctrine or code of beliefs to understand and express their spirituality.

Any physical activity can be used as as a tool to spiritually enrich, depending on the state of mind of the person when doing the activity.

David
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Old 04-07-2008, 01:55 PM   #10
mathewjgano
 
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Re: The poll on aikido spirituality

Quote:
David Skaggs wrote: View Post
Spirituality resides in the person. Everyone's spirituality is unique and it is with them whatever they are doing.

It can be separate from religion but most people use a doctrine or code of beliefs to understand and express their spirituality.

Any physical activity can be used as as a tool to spiritually enrich, depending on the state of mind of the person when doing the activity.

David
I agree completely; well said.
Matt

Gambarimashyo!
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Old 04-09-2008, 02:10 AM   #11
matsusakasteve
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Re: The poll on aikido spirituality

If what we practice and learn in the dojo can be applied to the world outside of the dojo, then, yes, aikido has spiritual/religious/psychological value. Parents encourage their kids to play a sport because "it's good for them". It fosters teamwork and determination. Not just for physical exercise. Why do Christians go to church on Sunday? Just for the sake of going there? Ideally, they go to learn how to be better people.
The atheist's comments caught my eye. I'm more or less an atheist myself, but find value in aikido's philosophy. Learning to respect our partners on the mat, deflect aggression, and such have definitely increased my awareness of other people and how my behavior affects them.
Come to think of it, if church had more over the shoulder throws on Sunday, I would still attend.
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Old 04-13-2008, 01:28 PM   #12
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Re: The poll on aikido spirituality

"Rosebud" by Citizen Jen. A good one.

I do miss all the Santa Cruz folks, that's for sure, though I will say that I'm certainly not bad off here in Seattle. Great dojo and great people. I'm fortunate.

Meanwhile...back on topic...

Spirituality? Religion? Aikido?

My thought is any nomiker which has "the way" as a component pretty much says the whole deal.

Humans...we do like to use alot of words, however. There is a wonderful part to this. The desire to communicate. To be heard and to hear. To gain new information, fresh perspectives and so on. To share one's own and strive to be a part of the whole in the process.

Of course another part might be to say one needs no words at all...for anything.

Using words can kind of be like always searching...trying to find that nice in between place which never stays put which is just as well which gives me reason to use the word "which" three times in a single sentence and ain't that something dontcha know and kinda like Bob Dylan or cherry pie fillin' or maybe even as fantastic as an I can do after a thousand can'ts or even Sarah Vaughn's neice's aunt.

Oops. This isn't the rambling poetry thread, pardon me.

Okay...coming back on now.

Sprituality. Religion.

Words. Constructs of humanity, words are. Little tools to build things.

As a carpenter I can't help but wonder how long those things will stand.

Last edited by Dan O'Day : 04-13-2008 at 01:37 PM.
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Old 04-14-2008, 05:23 AM   #13
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Re: The poll on aikido spirituality

IMHO, aikido is an external tool, a context.
Spirituality is an transpersonal internal intent.
If you can put it into words, its dogma, religion (another external context).

Lynn Seiser PhD
Yondan Aikido & FMA/JKD
We do not rise to the level of our expectations, but fall to the level of our training. Train well. KWATZ!
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Old 04-20-2008, 01:49 AM   #14
CorkyQ
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Re: The poll on aikido spirituality

In his book Enlightenment Through Aikido Kanshu Sunadomari writes:

" 'This budo is both martial art and religious faith.'

The Founder of Aikido, Morihei Ueshiba , spoke these words directly to me in 1942, when I was his live in apprentice
."

and he also quotes Osensei thusly:

"Aiki is the power of the spirit. The power of the spirit - we must study and train to realize this."

How can the spiritual nature of aikido be denied with words like this from the Founder? It is essential to the art.

Last edited by CorkyQ : 04-20-2008 at 01:59 AM.
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Old 04-20-2008, 11:03 AM   #15
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Re: The poll on aikido spirituality

If one is a sensei of aikido, above all, one should have a superior sense of ethics. Good ethics come from good spirits. The spirit of aikido is in perfect alignment with my own spirituality. It fits like a glove.
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Old 04-23-2008, 01:08 PM   #16
Steve Dainard
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Re: The poll on aikido spirituality

May I share with you some information that I believe is very
worthwhile? This August 15-17/2008, Jason House--sensei of Matsuba Dojo will host Reverend Koichi Barrish at Kings Beach, California on North Lake Tahoe. Barrish Sensei is the Chief Priest of Tsubaki Grand Shrine of America (the US Branch of one of Japan's oldest and most prestigious shrines) located in Granite Falls, Washington. (www.TsubakiShrine.org) A long time Aikidoist, he was the first non-Japanese to be awarded the Jinja Shinto priest license. He shares a special insight into the intertwining of Aikido and Shinto practices. Recently on the occasion of the 21 year anniversary of his introducing Aikido to the former USSR in 1987, he conducted a large Aikido seminar in Moscow, Russia. The basic concepts of Aikido were examined with an emphasis of this simple equation:

JUJITSU + SHINTO = AIKIDO

Relying on insights gleaned from 38 years in Budo and the special
training received as the Shinto Priest, Barrish-sensei has gained an
understanding of the rising and falling of KI and what that means to
creating and experiencing fully the "Aiki moment" in each of our techniques. This training is pristine, as is the setting………………

This Fifth Annual Kings Beach seminar is hosted by Jason House-
sensei, of Matsuba Dojo. (Telephone: 530-546-9388) The seminar
will be held at the elementary school located at 8125 Steelhead
Avenue. The cost for the three day seminar is $75.00. All styles
and affiliations are invited to participate and explore the dynamic
connection between Aikido and Misogi.

Participants at past seminars have experienced great Aikido training
in a very beautiful location! Please join us this August! For more
information, please call Jason House at 530-546-9388 or matsubadojo@yahoo.com. or Barrish Sensei at www.TsubakiShrine.org

Thank you so much—I hope to see some of you there!

Steven Dainard/ Kannagara Tsubaki Ko
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Old 04-28-2008, 04:25 PM   #17
Diane Stevenson
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Re: The poll on aikido spirituality

Aikido spirituality is important because the spirit individuals bring to the practice mat is the essence of the community of that dojo. The physical challenge of training is exhausting and exhilarating at the same time. But without the community, it's really no different that joining a swim club, or training with a group to run a marathon. When I train at a dojo, I trust each person I practice with to refrain from hurting me. Whether they treat me with compassion or with callousness is a reflection of their spirit, which in turn is a fruit of their spirituality. The further along in life I get, the more I realize just how precious are the friends whom you can trust with life and limb.

I am a committed follower of Jesus, and it has been my choice to thus define my life for the past 25 years. So the spiritual impact of where I choose to invest my time, my relational-coin, as it were, is significant to me. I find in my practice of Aikido, a physical echo of my desire to love each person God puts in my path. To accept each where they are and redirect the energy they give me in a positive direction (towards healing and reconciliation with God). And to really have that ki-ful smoothness, you have to not only understand what it is that you are trying to do, but also be deeply aware of what uke is doing. Aikido helps me understand compassion, gentleness.

And when I get too full of myself (oh, about every 15 min or so, maybe less) I get a good practical lesson in humility!
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Old 05-18-2008, 09:20 PM   #18
Matt Reischer
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Re: The poll on aikido spirituality

Its ALL spiitual. No shock points in development without integration of chi energy.
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Old 06-05-2008, 06:54 AM   #19
KamiKaze_Evolution
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Re: The poll on aikido spirituality

Quote:
David Skaggs wrote: View Post
Spirituality is the relationship I have with God.. Religion is the means I chose to develope and express my spirituality. Aikido has no spirituality. Aikido is a only a tool I use to help me.

David
Maybe Tomiki Ryu has no any spiritual element i think, such element of Yoshinkan is exactly nothing.

KamiKaze
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Old 06-05-2008, 10:01 AM   #20
jennifer paige smith
 
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Re: The poll on aikido spirituality

All things are creations of god imbued with the love of god's spirit.

Aikido is a creation of god imbued with the same love.

Pick your poison.

Jennifer Paige Smith
Confluence Aikido Systems
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Old 06-05-2008, 02:01 PM   #21
Jonathan
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Re: The poll on aikido spirituality

I don't, as the chief instructor of my dojo, typically overlay training with any sort of religious dogma or spiritual dimension. I speak of ki and movement of energy as it relates to training, but don't elevate these things to the realm of the spiritual.

I am a Christian and have been for many, many years. As such, the Bible teaches me that, until a person has had a spiritual second birth, they are "dead in trespasses and sins." Not literally, physically dead, of course, but spiritually. The Bible tells me that, until God has spiritually regenerated a person, whatever spirituality they may think they have is just a pale shadow of the real thing that He offers.

Nothing in the Bible gives me cause to view my Aikido training as a spiritual pursuit. My spirituality is bound up in a relationship with a person (Jesus Christ), not a physical activity. (This isn't to say that my spiritual life doesn't manifest itself in a physical, tangible way -- it does. However, there are clearer, more constructive ways that this takes place than through twisting the arm of my partner in Aikido training.) In my thinking, then, Aikido and spirituality have little to do with each other. And because I believe this to be true, I don't introduce any kind of spiritual or religious teaching into the Aikido I teach my students. From my perspective as a Christian urging my students to view Aikido as a spiritual pursuit would be tantamount to urging a blind person to watch a movie.

"Iron sharpens iron; so a man sharpens the countenance of his friend."
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Old 06-06-2008, 10:13 AM   #22
mathewjgano
 
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Re: The poll on aikido spirituality

Quote:
Jonathan Hay wrote: View Post
Nothing in the Bible gives me cause to view my Aikido training as a spiritual pursuit. My spirituality is bound up in a relationship with a person (Jesus Christ), not a physical activity. (This isn't to say that my spiritual life doesn't manifest itself in a physical, tangible way -- it does. However, there are clearer, more constructive ways that this takes place than through twisting the arm of my partner in Aikido training.) In my thinking, then, Aikido and spirituality have little to do with each other. And because I believe this to be true, I don't introduce any kind of spiritual or religious teaching into the Aikido I teach my students. From my perspective as a Christian urging my students to view Aikido as a spiritual pursuit would be tantamount to urging a blind person to watch a movie.
I think Aikido is spiritual in the same way washing a car can be spiritual: it's what you put into it that nurtures the soul; not the actions themselves. Personally, I'm not big on people urging one another on how to act spiritually. One of the reasons I really like my dojo, a religious center in fact, is that this is always so well respected. That said, I can also see why folks would apply a Martial Art to their spirituality (or vice versa, more likely).

Gambarimashyo!
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Old 06-06-2008, 02:42 PM   #23
Jonathan
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Re: The poll on aikido spirituality

Quote:
I think Aikido is spiritual in the same way washing a car can be spiritual: it's what you put into it that nurtures the soul; not the actions themselves.
I think people use the term "spiritual" to refer vaguely to a great number of things. They often do this via a number of catch phrases borrowed, more often than not, from the New Age movement. Your "nurture the soul" comment sounds like one of them. So, let me ask you, what do you mean by "nurture the soul"? Do you mean if you wash your car the right way, in a spiritual way, you'll feel good about yourself? Does the phrase, "nurture the soul" simply mean doing whatever in a way that makes me feel positive about life and myself? If so, how, is that spiritual, exactly? How do you do Aikido so it nurtures your soul?

Quote:
I can also see why folks would apply a Martial Art to their spirituality (or vice versa, more likely).
I can see why, too, but I think, given my Christian perspective, that they are "barking up the wrong tree."

"Iron sharpens iron; so a man sharpens the countenance of his friend."
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Old 06-06-2008, 03:03 PM   #24
Erick Mead
 
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Re: The poll on aikido spirituality

Quote:
Jonathan Hay wrote: View Post
I am a Christian and have been for many, many years. As such, the Bible teaches me that, until a person has had a spiritual second birth, they are "dead in trespasses and sins." Not literally, physically dead, of course, but spiritually. The Bible tells me that, until God has spiritually regenerated a person, whatever spirituality they may think they have is just a pale shadow of the real thing that He offers.

Nothing in the Bible gives me cause to view my Aikido training as a spiritual pursuit. ... My spirituality is bound up in a relationship with a person (Jesus Christ), not a physical activity. ... From my perspective as a Christian urging my students to view Aikido as a spiritual pursuit would be tantamount to urging a blind person to watch a movie.
I'd say look harder at what the Scripture teaches, and then look harder at what the physical teaching of Aikido imparts.

Christianity is an emphatically incarnational spirituality, and salvation is yet through the body, though not of the body. "Be in the world but not of the world." There is this which is of great interest and should, standing alone, compel a committed Christian to greater study of the correspondences between the systems of understanding, their history and import, in my view:

Quote:
Kirisuto ga ‘hajime ni kotoba ariki' to itta sono kotodama ga SU de arimasu. Sore ga kotodama no hajimari de aru." (‘In the beginning was the Word', spoken by Christ is this kotodama SU. This is the origin of kotodama.)
{Tr. Perter Goldsbury}
A few others to chew on, maybe:

Quote:
Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called sons of God.
St. Matt., 5:9.

A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another; even as I have loved you, that you also love one another. 35 By this all men will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another.
St. John, 13:34-35

But I say to you, Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, so that you may be sons of your Father who is in heaven; for he makes his sun rise on the evil and on the good, and sends rain on the just and on the unjust.
St. Matt., 5:44-48
But this is not a daisy-gathering form of peace, love and understanding:

Quote:
Do not think that I have come to bring peace on earth; I have not come to bring peace, but a sword. St. Matt., 10:34

He said to them, 'When I sent you out without purse or haversack or sandals, were you short of anything?' 'No, nothing,' they said. He said to them, 'But now if you have a purse, take it, and the same with a haversack; if you have no sword, sell your cloak and buy one, because I tell you these words of scripture are destined to be fulfilled in me: He was counted as one of the rebellious. Yes, what it says about me is even now reaching its fulfilment.' They said, 'Lord, here are two swords.' He said to them, 'That is enough!'
St. Luke, 22: 35-38

The law and the prophets were until John; since then the good news of the kingdom of God is preached, and every one enters it violently."
St. Luke, 16:15-16.

Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you; not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your hearts be troubled, neither let them be afraid. St. John, 14:27

For the kingdom of God does not consist in talk but in power. What do you wish? Shall I come to you with a rod, or with love in a spirit of gentleness?
1 Cor. 4:20-21
And vis av vis Aikido and the admissibility of its teachings:

Quote:
To the pure all things are pure, but to the corrupt and unbelieving nothing is pure; their very minds and consciences are corrupted. Titus 1: 15

All that is true, by whomsoever it has been said, is from the Holy Spirit.
St. Ambrose, Commentary to 1 Cor. 12:4-6.
And in reference to all of the above, what is Aikido's physical training, considered as misogi, intended to impart?

Quote:
Morihei Ueshiba wrote:
"I have been told there is only one Creator in this world. I assimilate myself with this Creator. Always. Then I perform ascetic practices every morning and evening. I don't mean pouring water over my head. I pray to the eastern sky for harmony, salute all creation and divine spirit. I would like to live a good life as a man and a Japanese. Then when I look back, I would like to send a message to everyone, although I don't know if it is possible, and pray for the peace of world."

"The Way of the Warrior [budo (武道)] has been misunderstood as a means to kill and destroy others. Those who seek competition are making a grave mistake. To smash, injure, or destroy is the worst sin a human being can commit. The real Way of a Warrior is to prevent slaughter - it is the Art of Peace, the power of love."
I find a great deal of use to grow in my faith in the violent misogi of aikido. While you may or may not be Catholic, the catechism's statement on violence, for me, almost defines Aikido, in the underlined portion:

Quote:
Those who renounce violence and bloodshed and, in order to safeguard human rights, make use of those means of defense available to the weakest, bear witness to evangelical charity,

Cordially,

Erick Mead
一隻狗可久里馬房但他也不是馬的.
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Old 06-06-2008, 05:03 PM   #25
mathewjgano
 
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Re: The poll on aikido spirituality

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Jonathan Hay wrote: View Post
I think people use the term "spiritual" to refer vaguely to a great number of things. They often do this via a number of catch phrases...Your "nurture the soul" comment sounds like one of them. So, let me ask you, what do you mean by "nurture the soul"?
People certainly do like their catch phrases! I mean it pretty simply though: promote its health. I think a person can have a spiritual experience at any given moment of their life, whether that person is buying groceries or kneeling in Church or training. Similarly, I believe we can enrich our spirit through purposeful action.

Quote:
Do you mean if you wash your car the right way, in a spiritual way, you'll feel good about yourself?
Well, sure, but why wouldn't I feel good about myself for having a spiritual experience? Personally, washing the car hasn't proven to be the best approach so far.

Quote:
Does the phrase, "nurture the soul" simply mean doing whatever in a way that makes me feel positive about life and myself? If so, how, is that spiritual, exactly? How do you do Aikido so it nurtures your soul?
If you mean to ask if i agree with the idea that just because something feels good it is good, then no, that's not what it means. How does anything nurture your soul? Or do you disagree with that concept?

Quote:
I can see why, too, but I think, given my Christian perspective, that they are "barking up the wrong tree."
Your perspective may well preclude the possibility...and for all I know, you're right.

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