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Old 09-29-2011, 06:51 AM   #76
Tim Ruijs
 
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Re: Spiritual Power

Very awake Graham, very. Thanks for sharing your view.

It reflects of what I think Aikido means: the ability to do the right thing at the right time (harmony eastern style).
So what we are going for is not to have power, nor to have ability, but be able to employ that ability.
Like you said, the potential (i.e. energy) is already inside, but we cannot employ/use it properly when we want to.

Polishing the mind, is not it great?

In a real fight:
* If you make a bad decision, you die.
* If you don't decide anything, you die.
Aikido teaches you how to decide.
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Old 09-29-2011, 06:57 AM   #77
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Re: Spiritual Power

Quote:
My goal is to have every technique have correct feeling with every uke in every situation...
I probably read something in this...

In a real fight:
* If you make a bad decision, you die.
* If you don't decide anything, you die.
Aikido teaches you how to decide.
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Old 09-29-2011, 08:10 PM   #78
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Re: Spiritual Power

Quote:
Graham Christian wrote: View Post
So much discussion on power I thought I'd give another perspective.

As I see it following the desire for power and more power is a fools errand as far as Aikido is concerned. As I see it I see people debating and believing they are achieving something yet to me no matter how much they try to justify this search they are unaware they are merely standing still or even going backwards.

Can anyone describe what power is spiritually?

I have seen explanations based on many different things discussed but all boil down to superior something that in turn therefore can dominate by choice the less superior. Whether it be through better skills, better education, better .....well whatever.

So we are still looking at the ability to dominate, to control, to be in a position where you have choice.

Is that power? I believe it is stupidity therefore if you really want to be ultimately stupid then that is the path to follow.

The secret to Aikido is it has nothing to do with power or strength internal or otherwise.

Regards.G.
I am not sure I understand the thread. The title alludes to a definition of spiritual power, yet Graham then asserts that power is bad. It would therefore reason that spiritual power would also be bad based upon the presumption power is bad. However, I do not think that was the intended assertion.

Taking this into consideration... Power has neither positive nor negative connotation, in spiritual or any form. Graham has chosen to socially define power and assign a negative connotation to the social definition.

For me, the term "power" refers to the quality with which to bring about an effect. For some reason, power is a bad word in aikido. For me, aikido is about the stewardship of power in our own bodies. Aikido is about learning to use the power within our bodies, share it with others and use it to accomplish good things in this world. The morality of the term is derived from the application of power, a decision which rests in the hands of the individual.

To that extent, spiritual power is simply the quality and ability to use your spirituality to bring about some effect... Or, strangle star destroyer captains at random intervals...

I do not know why we are so scared of power as to transform the very term into a pejorative.
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Old 09-29-2011, 09:41 PM   #79
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Re: Spiritual Power

Quote:
Jon Reading wrote: View Post
I do not know why we are so scared of power as to transform the very term into a pejorative.
People often fear what they don't understand...

One of the really transformational experiences for me in aikido (so far) was realizing that I actually *had* power -- something women in particular are conditioned not to believe -- and that having power brought the responsibility of learning when and how to use it.

Similarly, that's one downside of denying the existence/importance of power: it can easily be an excuse for irresponsible behavior.

Katherine
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Old 09-30-2011, 12:18 AM   #80
gates
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Re: Spiritual Power

Quote:
Katherine Derbyshire wrote: View Post
People often fear what they don't understand...
Although I think this is very valid I'd take a slightly different slant on it and add that:

As they don't understand it, they can't really fear it. They have a feeling of loss of control or an underlying feeling of uncertainty. From a negative mindset the uncertainty turns into fear, on the other hand from a positive mindset fear turns into courage. Small children are a good case in point. Go onto any children's ward and you will find an enormous number of truly brave and courageous souls. Somewhere along the way many of us lose our awe and wonderment of life.

I think that perhaps power is the wrong word to use from a spiritual perspective.

The crux of the issue for me is:
What is the motivating factor in the search for power?
What are you going to do with it once you get it?
(and what is it going to do to you)
It is easy to get wrapped up inside our own worlds and forget the bigger picture.

I think it is fairly self explanatory why spirituality is closely linked to many Martial Arts. At a basic level you cannot go around teaching dangerous techniques to any tom, dick and harry. More importantly I think it is the framework that they are taught under that defines how the information will be taken. There are alot of people that just should not be trusted with 'power'. For a person to rise to the top of a major corporation or become a senior politician, there has to be a strong base desire, a motivation, if this is based on an egocentric perspective then things surely deteriorate for the others around them.

Selfless altruistic characters are an unusually rare bread and don't generally have the kind of desire needed to rise into a position of 'power', obviously there are some wonderful exceptions.

Maybe a better tranlation for 'spiritual power' is 'strong positive spiritual energy'.

Last edited by gates : 09-30-2011 at 12:23 AM.

Enjoy the journey
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Old 09-30-2011, 06:28 AM   #81
graham christian
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Re: Spiritual Power

Quote:
Jon Reading wrote: View Post
I am not sure I understand the thread. The title alludes to a definition of spiritual power, yet Graham then asserts that power is bad. It would therefore reason that spiritual power would also be bad based upon the presumption power is bad. However, I do not think that was the intended assertion.

Taking this into consideration... Power has neither positive nor negative connotation, in spiritual or any form. Graham has chosen to socially define power and assign a negative connotation to the social definition.

For me, the term "power" refers to the quality with which to bring about an effect. For some reason, power is a bad word in aikido. For me, aikido is about the stewardship of power in our own bodies. Aikido is about learning to use the power within our bodies, share it with others and use it to accomplish good things in this world. The morality of the term is derived from the application of power, a decision which rests in the hands of the individual.

To that extent, spiritual power is simply the quality and ability to use your spirituality to bring about some effect... Or, strangle star destroyer captains at random intervals...

I do not know why we are so scared of power as to transform the very term into a pejorative.
It's all in your first sentence Jon. So either you haven't read the thread properly or you're playing games.

Now having pointed that out I will say I like most if your explanation.

Regards.G.
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Old 09-30-2011, 06:38 AM   #82
graham christian
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Re: Spiritual Power

Quote:
Katherine Derbyshire wrote: View Post
People often fear what they don't understand...

One of the really transformational experiences for me in aikido (so far) was realizing that I actually *had* power -- something women in particular are conditioned not to believe -- and that having power brought the responsibility of learning when and how to use it.

Similarly, that's one downside of denying the existence/importance of power: it can easily be an excuse for irresponsible behavior.

Katherine
Ahh, at last I see the reason for your reaction to what I say. Time for differenciation methinks.

You will find I have stated before, in fact recently, that one of the main reasons for teaching Aikido is to empower people.

What I hoped to achieve with this thread was to get people to stop blindly using the word power without thoroughly inspecting what it means. I even point out how desirable and attractive it is to ego and and how those blindly yet determinedly setting about getting into positions of power may arrive there with no useful ability.

It is not power that should be aimed for it is the truth of what it means and what goes with it.

Regards.G.
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Old 09-30-2011, 06:42 AM   #83
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Re: Spiritual Power

Quote:
Jon Reading wrote: View Post
I am not sure I understand the thread.
Jon, what is there not to understand? it's power and spiritual. incidentally, i don't understand them myself. maybe we just don't have the right kind of spiritual stuffs. i guess i'll see you in a week to exchange some power, then afterward we go to the local pub and exchange some spirits. i think we could convince Ledyard sensei to come along for the spiritual exchange.
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Old 09-30-2011, 08:00 AM   #84
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Re: Spiritual Power

Quote:
Phi Truong wrote: View Post
Jon, what is there not to understand? it's power and spiritual. incidentally, i don't understand them myself. maybe we just don't have the right kind of spiritual stuffs. i guess i'll see you in a week to exchange some power, then afterward we go to the local pub and exchange some spirits. i think we could convince Ledyard sensei to come along for the spiritual exchange.
I am completely planning to increase my spirit-uality next week. Weapons, drinking... what is there not to look forward too?

Quote:
Graham Christian wrote: View Post
It's all in your first sentence Jon. So either you haven't read the thread properly or you're playing games.

Now having pointed that out I will say I like most if your explanation.

Regards.G.
My first sentence was, "I am not sure I understand the thread." Seriously, I do not understand your point. I do not think you are claiming that spiritual power is bad, correct?
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Old 09-30-2011, 08:20 AM   #85
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Re: Spiritual Power

Quote:
Jon Reading wrote: View Post
I am completely planning to increase my spirit-uality next week. Weapons, drinking... what is there not to look forward too?

My first sentence was, "I am not sure I understand the thread." Seriously, I do not understand your point. I do not think you are claiming that spiritual power is bad, correct?
That is correct. In my last two responses to Tim I expanded on the subject and actually if you read them again you will find they are not too dissimilar to you own personal view.

In fact as the thread progressed I feel the responses are now less reactionary and more to do with ability which was a point I was alluding to.

In the field of promotion power may be used to attract and work much better than using the word ability but even there I think you'll find it attracts more people for the wrong reasons.

Regards.G.
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Old 09-30-2011, 01:24 PM   #86
kewms
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Re: Spiritual Power

Quote:
Graham Christian wrote: View Post
It is not power that should be aimed for it is the truth of what it means and what goes with it.
See also my discussion of waterfalls and aiki, upthread.

Katherine
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Old 09-30-2011, 04:59 PM   #87
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Re: Spiritual Power

Quote:
Katherine Derbyshire wrote: View Post
See also my discussion of waterfalls and aiki, upthread.

Katherine
Indeed Katherine. I stand corrected. Guilty as charged.

Regards.G.
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Old 10-04-2011, 04:56 PM   #88
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Re: Spiritual Power

Just a point, didnt O`sensei first have spiritual training in shingon buddhism, in his home town of Tanabe, then trained in martial arts that his farther introduced to him?
Then came daito ryu which gave Aikido its technical base.
Finally culminating in more spiritual training und Deguchi Senei, and learning chinkon Kishin techniques, from him.

Thus O`sensei I believe words to the effect, spirit first, Body second.

Also I have read small transcriptions from reiki monagatari, which deguchi wrote, that says, In the begining was spirirt, ame no minakushi no Omi kami (centre). Then came power, tamatsume no O kami to deliver that spirit into the myriad of things, Third came the body which carries the spirit, Kami musubi no Okami,and the power.
This was deguchi's, personal view of how we should develop ourselves, and indeed this was his own interpretation of the beginnings of the kojiki.

Spirit first,Second Power, Third Body. Interestingly the three deities mentioned above are the first deities described at the very begining of the kojiki.

This information has been around a very long time.

Andy b

Last edited by TheAikidoka : 10-04-2011 at 05:10 PM. Reason: Clarification, and entreated the third deity, kami music no Okami
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Old 10-04-2011, 05:18 PM   #89
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Re: Spiritual Power

Quote:
Andrew Bedford wrote: View Post
Just a point, didnt O`sensei first have spiritual training in shingon buddhism, in his home town of Tanabe, then trained in martial arts that his farther introduced to him?
Sort of - in that he was educated in a Shingon temple. Of course, temple education was pretty much standard pre-Meiji, until Japan transitioned to the western educational system, so there's nothing necessarily that special about it.

Best,

Chris

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Old 10-04-2011, 06:12 PM   #90
kewms
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Re: Spiritual Power

Quote:
Andrew Bedford wrote: View Post
This was deguchi's, personal view of how we should develop ourselves, and indeed this was his own interpretation of the beginnings of the kojiki.

Spirit first,Second Power, Third Body. Interestingly the three deities mentioned above are the first deities described at the very begining of the kojiki.

This information has been around a very long time.
Quote:
1In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth.

2And the earth was without form, and void; and darkness was upon the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God moved upon the face of the waters.

3And God said, Let there be light: and there was light.

4And God saw the light, that it was good: and God divided the light from the darkness.

5And God called the light Day, and the darkness he called Night. And the evening and the morning were the first day.

6And God said, Let there be a firmament in the midst of the waters, and let it divide the waters from the waters.

7And God made the firmament, and divided the waters which were under the firmament from the waters which were above the firmament: and it was so.
But whether one views such spiritual teachings as instructional or merely mythological does rather depend on one's religious beliefs, doesn't it? Do you mean to argue that one must adhere to Omoto-kyo in order to draw spiritual benefits from aikido?

Katherine
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Old 10-04-2011, 08:09 PM   #91
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Re: Spiritual Power

Quote:
Andrew Bedford wrote: View Post
Just a point, didnt O`sensei first have spiritual training in shingon buddhism, in his home town of Tanabe, then trained in martial arts that his farther introduced to him?
Then came daito ryu which gave Aikido its technical base.
Finally culminating in more spiritual training und Deguchi Senei, and learning chinkon Kishin techniques, from him.

Thus O`sensei I believe words to the effect, spirit first, Body second.

Also I have read small transcriptions from reiki monagatari, which deguchi wrote, that says, In the begining was spirirt, ame no minakushi no Omi kami (centre). Then came power, tamatsume no O kami to deliver that spirit into the myriad of things, Third came the body which carries the spirit, Kami musubi no Okami,and the power.
This was deguchi's, personal view of how we should develop ourselves, and indeed this was his own interpretation of the beginnings of the kojiki.

Spirit first,Second Power, Third Body. Interestingly the three deities mentioned above are the first deities described at the very begining of the kojiki.

This information has been around a very long time.

Andy b
Nicely put.

Regards.G.
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Old 10-05-2011, 06:25 AM   #92
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Re: Spiritual Power

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Mary Eastland wrote: View Post
Chuckle...I do hope it is helpful to my students.
Really? If you simply say to your students, "When you have it, you know it," how does that help them?

Also, and I'm not saying this is true in your case, but phrases like "When you have it, you know it" can be a complete copout -- in fact, I think it's unfortunately true that when dealing with less concrete aspects of the martial arts, such phrases are more likely to be a copout than an honest description.
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Old 10-05-2011, 06:40 AM   #93
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Re: Spiritual Power

Quote:
Mary Malmros wrote: View Post
Really? If you simply say to your students, "When you have it, you know it," how does that help them?
it helps the student to learn how to sound wise so they can do the same thing when their turn come. sort of along the line "take the pebble from my hand. when you have it, you know it." similar to ki, when you have it, you know it..... so are all the folks within a few meters radius, know it too. unless, you take preemptive measure by yelling at the person near you: "would you stop projecting your ki??!!!!"
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Old 10-05-2011, 06:45 AM   #94
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Re: Spiritual Power

I am not sure how this got be something that I tell my students. It is a process to devolop correct feeling. For me, correct feeling was at first a fleeting feeling and it grew as I learned to trust the feeling and myself.I am not flippant nor disrespecful of anyone's process. If you noticed that was said with a self dreprecating chuckle.

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Old 10-05-2011, 07:36 AM   #95
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Re: Spiritual Power

Quote:
Mary Eastland wrote: View Post
I am not sure how this got be something that I tell my students.
Fair enough -- your statement was a general observation and didn't have anything to do with teaching.

Quote:
Mary Eastland wrote: View Post
It is a process to devolop correct feeling. For me, correct feeling was at first a fleeting feeling and it grew as I learned to trust the feeling and myself.I am not flippant nor disrespecful of anyone's process. If you noticed that was said with a self dreprecating chuckle.
So, call it a digression...maybe I should start another thread, somewhere other than the Spiritual forum? Anyway, my thought was that when we do get into a teaching context, or anywhere that an explanation is asked for, I'd really like to see us do a whole lot better than "when you have it, you know it". Because even when it is true, it sounds like one of those cheezy Master Po aphorisms that Phi mentioned, and it certainly can be used as such. No matter how ethereal the topic, I think it's imperative to avoid these obfuscating cliches. They really don't help anything.
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Old 10-05-2011, 08:31 AM   #96
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Re: Spiritual Power

Quote:
Mary Eastland wrote: View Post
I am not sure how this got be something that I tell my students. It is a process to devolop correct feeling. For me, correct feeling was at first a fleeting feeling and it grew as I learned to trust the feeling and myself.I am not flippant nor disrespecful of anyone's process. If you noticed that was said with a self dreprecating chuckle.
It has to do with the fact that "correct feeling" is as meaningless a term as incorrect feeling. There is a feeling that is a real thing that can be taught with definitive words so that people don't stumble around searching for some feeling that may feel and mean something different to them than their neighbor.
There is a well established model for what moving from center is and how to connect the body so it connects and controls those who connect to you. What is more important is that the quality of it needs to be cultivated and trained to be more profound and to handle more stress.
What do you do to grow someone's abilities and power? Tell someone to feel even more correct feeling?
I prefer to use real world models and words that charge the mind and affect the body. Moreover, I would bet, hands down that it is is a superior method and that people who train it get results faster, and are more effective, both short term and in the long run.
Searching for correct feeling is about as good advice as Move your insides.
I don't know where or how we budo people all got afraid to say or challenge that one method is better than another. And everyone got all sensitive. Success used to be lauded as a measure the world used for generations. Now you have to apologize for it and lie and say that everyone is equal so as not to hurt someone's...feelings.
When Ueshiba..the teacher you follow... showed up on the scene, he was weighed, measured, challenged and judged and graded. No one got all sensitive and said We're all equal. Don't say what I am doing is not as good as you. Instead they said "Screw this ...what are you doing to do that to me?"

The Japanese have not helped us very much with this type of random, ill defined, steal this technique idea. Whether purposefully or by incompetence or both-("Don't teach white people, and this is our Japanese cultural heritage are real quotes) we need to do better for each other.
Since we now know that Ueshiba himself was using defined physical models that have a rock solid pedagogy that worked to produce power and aiki for generations, and whether by accident or on purpose curiously were never translated for us to read...we should at the very least be using his terms.
Heaven/earth/man
Six directions
Opposing spiral energy
Yin and yang on opposite sides of the body
The five bows

Searching for correct feeling will no longer do in the face of the man who defined his own art's methods for us.
We can do better for each other, than what has been done in his name.
Dan

Last edited by DH : 10-05-2011 at 08:46 AM.
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Old 10-05-2011, 08:37 AM   #97
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Re: Spiritual Power

Quote:
Mary Malmros wrote: View Post
Fair enough -- your statement was a general observation and didn't have anything to do with teaching.

So, call it a digression...maybe I should start another thread, somewhere other than the Spiritual forum? Anyway, my thought was that when we do get into a teaching context, or anywhere that an explanation is asked for, I'd really like to see us do a whole lot better than "when you have it, you know it". Because even when it is true, it sounds like one of those cheezy Master Po aphorisms that Phi mentioned, and it certainly can be used as such. No matter how ethereal the topic, I think it's imperative to avoid these obfuscating cliches. They really don't help anything.
+1
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Old 10-05-2011, 08:41 AM   #98
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Re: Spiritual Power

@ Mary: I really never know what you are talking about. I see that you are very smart. I think our understanding of Aikido is very different.
Good luck in your training.

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Old 10-05-2011, 08:46 AM   #99
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Re: Spiritual Power

@ Dan: We train from different places. Thank you for your corrections. You may be right about everything.

I believe there is no in competition in Aikido. It is a fundamental difference in where we are coming from. Your arguments to me are like comparing apples and oranges.

Enjoy your path. Please don't confuse my pathetic attempts to talk about correct feeling with people who are looking to argue about everything with my teaching methods. If you want to complain about them at least experience them first.

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Old 10-05-2011, 08:51 AM   #100
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Re: Spiritual Power

May I interject here. I have stated I like that principle of correct feeling.

I think it is very important not only in Aikido but in life also for it teaches you to differentiate and be honest with yourself.

To act off of incorrect feeling is not very wise in my opinion.

So what is correct feeling?

O.K. Let's get honest here. When you do a move or technique that was so good, so effortless, so right, almost perfectly executed complete with desired result then how do you feel?

That feeling is special. That feeling is what you desire every time. That feeling is correct feeling.

Therefore it is a good principle to follow for it tells you if everything was aligned properly or not.

Correct feeling is therefore a result of.

Correct feeling is the hidden teacher.

This in no way detracts from what others have said here for whether it takes yin or yang or whatever to achieve this it is still a valid and in fact essential principle in my estimation.

Regards.G.
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