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Old 07-28-2002, 02:56 PM   #1
Kevin Leavitt
 
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Spirituality VS Religion

Here is a link to an article on Beliefnet Spirituality vs. Religion.

In light of all the discussion that I have seen on the conflicts that some people have with customs and courtesies with Aikido and martial arts in general. I thought this article offered some good insight on some of the differences between the two.

Beliefnet Article on Spirituality vs. Religion
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Old 08-13-2002, 11:56 AM   #2
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Kevin:

There is a lengthy discussion also going on on the Aiki-Journal bulletin board on this topic.
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Old 08-13-2002, 07:53 PM   #3
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cool. Don't really want to get involved...just seems like so many questions come up about the dividing line on these two things that it might help to have an article posted on it!

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Old 08-14-2002, 02:24 AM   #4
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I wouldn't agree with this article too much - it seems to have a biased view point. It's a bit like some of the book shops in Ireland where they put everything except Christianity under 'occult'. I think most people think of religion as an institutionalised set of beliefs, whereas spirituality is more based around the personal feelings towards ethics etc.

As an example, I was at a party recently and they asked if I was a christian, and I said no, I was a Buddhist. They questioned the validity of this, since I didn't go to a temple (not that there is one around here). However much of the philosophy of buddhism guides my actions and life, whereas many people who go to church are not guided by the christian ethics. To me that is the difference between spritiuality and religion. (having been interested in religion and philosophy from a young age and realised that what a lot of religions do is utlise the spiritual feelings you have, to pull you into a rigid belief system, and then expect you to agree with everything dictated by the religious authorities).

Ian

---understanding aikido is understanding the training method---
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Old 08-14-2002, 05:26 AM   #5
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Ian,

Sounds ike you and I have a similar belief system.

I too am a Buddhist. I have several sangha's in my area as well as a Pureland church. I decided that as a western buddhist that they did not necessarily meet my needs and that by simply belonging to a Sangha or church did not define my as a Buddhist. Any more than going to a Christian church defines one as a christian.

Whatever path you choose, spirituality must come from within. If you find it by defining yourself as a Christian and walking that path then great, if Buddhism, atheism, or paganism works then great!

I personally feel sometimes that people get a little too wrapped up into dogma and fundamentalism of religion and fail to see what the rest of the world has to offer them in the terms of personal and spiritual growth. It does not have to be a threat to your religion, but that is a personal decision and choice that MUST be made by the individual.

Aikido can help people of all religions realize of humanity and the joy of compassion and interdependence if we open our eyes up to it!

I tend not to tell people that I am a Buddhist. Not because I am ashamed, or worried what they might think, but that it is any such title is self defining and the one thing that attracted to to the philosophy of Buddhism was the fact that is was boundless and non-dogmatic. In our western world we are quick to label people "this" or that.

Usually when people find out, the conversation denegrate into a comparision of dogma, which I really do not like to discuss. Since for me Spirituality is an individual path and what I do and be does not apply to anyone else. I do not judge anyone based on their religions or paths....only by their actions as a human!

In fact for me, Aikido is a part of that path. So I am no more a buddhist than a aikidoka. I also read the bible and find much richness in the teaching as lessons of Jesus. (I was raised a Christian and still consider that a part of my heritage). So for me I am also a Christian!

Have a great day.

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Old 08-14-2002, 05:37 AM   #6
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cool,

we were just talking about this issue, and I go to my in box and this quote was there from beliefnet.

A shaven head

Doesn't mean a contemplative.

The liar observing no duties,

Filled with greed & desire:

What kind of contemplative's he?

But whoever tunes out

The dissonance

Of his evil qualities

--large or small--

in every way

by bringing evil to consonance;

he's called a contemplative.

-Dhammapada, 19, translated by Thanissaro Bhikkhu.

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Old 08-16-2002, 12:14 PM   #7
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Quote:
Kevin Leavitt wrote:
cool,

we were just talking about this issue, and I go to my in box and this quote was there from beliefnet.

A shaven head

Doesn't mean a contemplative.

The liar observing no duties,

Filled with greed & desire:

What kind of contemplative's he?

But whoever tunes out

The dissonance

Of his evil qualities

--large or small--

in every way

by bringing evil to consonance;

he's called a contemplative.

-Dhammapada, 19, translated by Thanissaro Bhikkhu.
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Old 08-16-2002, 12:16 PM   #8
aikidoc
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It is my understanding that the Buddhists don't consider you one of them until you take refuge vows-i.e. you are going to follow the path.
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Old 08-18-2002, 09:45 PM   #9
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Depends on who you look to for spiritual guidance as to "how" you take refuge in them.

I do agree unless you "take refuge" in them, then you probably can't really consider yourself a buddhist.

Ceremonially there are many ways to take refuge. It can be traditional or it can be private (as in my case).

One day I am formally and publically take the vows, but I don't really feel the need to at this point.

BTW, the vows do not require you to denounce anything you believe in. Only to accept the teachings and the path.

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Old 08-18-2002, 10:03 PM   #10
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IMHO, it is to take refuge in the teacher, the teachings, and the community. Sounds like a lot of learning situations to me.

Until again,

Lynn

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 08-18-2002, 10:09 PM   #11
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Yup you got it Lynn!

Never thought of it that way....but the precepts really do apply to MA and Aikido as well if you look at it like that!

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