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Old 12-16-2010, 05:55 PM   #1
aikidoaddict
Dojo: Aikido Alliance Australia Inc.
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To obtain a certain spiritual level in Aikido.

I believe that O-Sensei gave us Aikido as a vehicle to a better self.

I strongly believe that you must thoroughly and systematically go through the physical side of Aikido for many many years to have the possibility of reaching the spiritual side.

If you rush, take short cuts, or pretend to understand when you do not, you will only fool yourself.

If O-Sensei wanted us to just become spiritual beings, he would have given us chants, prayers, or some other method to obtain that.

Work through the physical side of Aikido with passion and commitment. As you become more skilled (enlightened), so shall you gain a better insight and understanding of what O-Sensei had in mind for us all.

Aikido is so much more than just a martial art. Enjoy the journey.
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Old 12-16-2010, 06:28 PM   #2
Marie Noelle Fequiere
 
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Re: To obtain a certain spiritual level in Aikido.

My instructor is very big on the spiritual aspect of Aikido, but he insists that the only way to reach it is through meditation. He believes that physical training is not enough. I think that meditation helps one relax and raises one's awareness, both things that are essential to master the techniques of Aikido. Wich is probably the reason why I struggle so much: I don't have much time to meditate, and my life is rather hectic these days.
O Sensei was a very spiritual man, and this can not not have influenced the style that he elaborated.
Of course, plenty of folks will storm this tread claiming to master Aikido without ever meditating. Maybe they don't realize they would be even better if they did.
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Old 12-16-2010, 10:15 PM   #3
Janet Rosen
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Re: To obtain a certain spiritual level in Aikido.

Noelle, everybody finds their own path. Meditation is not aikido and meditation is not my spiritual path. I have no interest in it. For me the human to human connection of partner practice is simultaneously a martial and a spiritual practice. For some people sweeping the floor is a spiritual practice. AFAICT there is no human endeavor that has a monopoly on it or is inherently spiritual.

Janet Rosen
http://www.zanshinart.com
"peace will enter when hate is gone"--percy mayfield
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Old 12-17-2010, 01:47 AM   #4
carina reinhardt
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Re: To obtain a certain spiritual level in Aikido.

Quote:
Paul Araki-Metcalfe wrote: View Post
I believe that O-Sensei gave us Aikido as a vehicle to a better self.

I strongly believe that you must thoroughly and systematically go through the physical side of Aikido for many many years to have the possibility of reaching the spiritual side.

Work through the physical side of Aikido with passion and commitment.

Aikido is so much more than just a martial art. Enjoy the journey.
Thanks Paul, great post, I agree with that and I think since I began Aikido changed me a little bit in that way.
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Old 12-17-2010, 03:12 AM   #5
SeiserL
 
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Re: To obtain a certain spiritual level in Aikido.

IMHO, the principles of Aikido (connection and nonviolent conflict resolution) are content and context free.

You can apply them strictly to the physical practice on the mat or you can incorporate and integrate them into other contexts such as spiritual growth.

From what I understand, that was O'Sensei's intent.

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 12-17-2010, 07:20 AM   #6
Tony Wagstaffe
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Re: To obtain a certain spiritual level in Aikido.

Quote:
Janet Rosen wrote: View Post
Noelle, everybody finds their own path. Meditation is not aikido and meditation is not my spiritual path. I have no interest in it. For me the human to human connection of partner practice is simultaneously a martial and a spiritual practice. For some people sweeping the floor is a spiritual practice. AFAICT there is no human endeavor that has a monopoly on it or is inherently spiritual.
Spirit to me is my consciousness and the reality that goes with it....

Well put Janet....
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Old 12-17-2010, 08:45 AM   #7
lbb
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Re: To obtain a certain spiritual level in Aikido.

Quote:
Lynn Seiser wrote: View Post
IMHO, the principles of Aikido (connection and nonviolent conflict resolution) are content and context free.

You can apply them strictly to the physical practice on the mat or you can incorporate and integrate them into other contexts such as spiritual growth.
This gets my vote. I think it's possible to say that aikido is based on principles of connection and nonviolent conflict resolution without making assumptions about why it does so: one can pursue nonviolent conflict resolution out of highly altruistic motives, or for purely pragmatic reasons of wanting to avoid hassles. Neither is implied, and furthermore, neither is better than the other -- not in the context of aikido.
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Old 12-20-2010, 04:33 PM   #8
Cynrod
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Re: To obtain a certain spiritual level in Aikido.

Quote:
Lynn Seiser wrote: View Post
IMHO, the principles of Aikido (connection and nonviolent conflict resolution) are content and context free.

You can apply them strictly to the physical practice on the mat or you can incorporate and integrate them into other contexts such as spiritual growth.

From what I understand, that was O'Sensei's intent.
I second that of Mary. Thank you very much Lynn Seiser sensei for sharing that.

Of all the books that I read about Aikido, one of them is my main favorite. "Enlightenment through Aikido" by Kanshu Sunadomari shihan of Manseikan Aikido. I find the book to be more closer to what O'sensei really want about Aikido, IMHO.

Domo Arigato Gozaimashita.

Last edited by Cynrod : 12-20-2010 at 04:34 PM. Reason: missing letter o on the word Aikido

"For The Secret That The Warrior Seeks: You Must Know That The Basic Principles Lie In The Study Of The Spirit." - Morihei Ueshiba
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Old 12-21-2010, 02:20 AM   #9
Nicholas Eschenbruch
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Re: To obtain a certain spiritual level in Aikido.

Quote:
Paul Araki-Metcalfe wrote: View Post
I believe that O-Sensei gave us Aikido as a vehicle to a better self.

I strongly believe that you must thoroughly and systematically go through the physical side of Aikido for many many years to have the possibility of reaching the spiritual side.

If you rush, take short cuts, or pretend to understand when you do not, you will only fool yourself.

If O-Sensei wanted us to just become spiritual beings, he would have given us chants, prayers, or some other method to obtain that.

Work through the physical side of Aikido with passion and commitment. As you become more skilled (enlightened), so shall you gain a better insight and understanding of what O-Sensei had in mind for us all.

Aikido is so much more than just a martial art. Enjoy the journey.
Hi Paul,
I really appreciate your first and last sentences. I also share your vision of aikido as dedicated physical practice.

However, whatever enlightenment may be, I do not think it is synonymous with skill - if that was your point?

Whatever deeper meaning can be "gained" from our practice, I am convinced it can be "gained" and "lost" any moment, regardless of technical skill and experience. In that sense, I think there is a certain temptation for some people to delay their quest for a spiritual understanding of aikido (if that's what one is interested in) to some hypothetical point after one has mastered all those techniques - which is never. And, in the meantime, project the understanding that is to be had on O Sensei, or the teacher, or whoever. Of course, the temptation for others is to jump to premature conclusions, as you point out.

I am convinced if we are to find some deeper meaning in aikido, it is our very own, to which we may come on very different routes facing our very own obstacles - O Sensei's were his, mine are different.

And actually, he did gove some of his students chants and prayers. They are there for whoever is interested, in the Shingu lineage for example.

Thanks for a moment of reflection! I think I am not that far from your opinion, just looking at it from a slightly different angle maybe.

Best

N

Last edited by Nicholas Eschenbruch : 12-21-2010 at 02:23 AM. Reason: grammar, spelling
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Old 12-23-2010, 11:59 PM   #10
aikidoaddict
Dojo: Aikido Alliance Australia Inc.
Location: Melbourne
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Re: To obtain a certain spiritual level in Aikido.

Quote:
Nicholas Eschenbruch wrote: View Post
Hi Paul,
I really appreciate your first and last sentences. I also share your vision of aikido as dedicated physical practice.

However, whatever enlightenment may be, I do not think it is synonymous with skill - if that was your point?

Whatever deeper meaning can be "gained" from our practice, I am convinced it can be "gained" and "lost" any moment, regardless of technical skill and experience. In that sense, I think there is a certain temptation for some people to delay their quest for a spiritual understanding of aikido (if that's what one is interested in) to some hypothetical point after one has mastered all those techniques - which is never. And, in the meantime, project the understanding that is to be had on O Sensei, or the teacher, or whoever. Of course, the temptation for others is to jump to premature conclusions, as you point out.

I am convinced if we are to find some deeper meaning in aikido, it is our very own, to which we may come on very different routes facing our very own obstacles - O Sensei's were his, mine are different.

And actually, he did gove some of his students chants and prayers. They are there for whoever is interested, in the Shingu lineage for example.

Thanks for a moment of reflection! I think I am not that far from your opinion, just looking at it from a slightly different angle maybe.

Best

N
Nicely put.
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