I go once a week to a spiritualist church and sit in a meditation circle and my current guide (spirit) is a small Japanese man not unlike O'sensei in appearance, although I would not like to assume it is 'him'!! The feeling of peace and calm that this guide exudes to me is very warming and as I progress I may be able to 'speak' with him too.
In fact I have a circle tonight (Thursday) so I may attempt something new in the meditation like proper communication!!
As to whether I believe O'sensei is a par of my life, I think that he is watching over all of his disciples (if that is the right word!) as much as he can and guiding those who need it when they need it!!