Welcome to AikiWeb Aikido Information
AikiWeb: The Source for Aikido Information
AikiWeb's principal purpose is to serve the Internet community as a repository and dissemination point for aikido information.

Sections
home
aikido articles
columns

Discussions
forums
aikiblogs

Databases
dojo search
seminars
image gallery
supplies
links directory

Reviews
book reviews
video reviews
dvd reviews
equip. reviews

News
submit
archive

Miscellaneous
newsletter
rss feeds
polls
about

Follow us on



Home > AikiWeb Aikido Forums
Go Back   AikiWeb Aikido Forums > Spiritual

Hello and thank you for visiting AikiWeb, the world's most active online Aikido community! This site is home to over 22,000 aikido practitioners from around the world and covers a wide range of aikido topics including techniques, philosophy, history, humor, beginner issues, the marketplace, and more.

If you wish to join in the discussions or use the other advanced features available, you will need to register first. Registration is absolutely free and takes only a few minutes to complete so sign up today!

Reply
 
Thread Tools
Old 10-01-2012, 10:22 AM   #26
mathewjgano
 
mathewjgano's Avatar
Dojo: Tsubaki Kannagara Jinja Aikidojo; Himeji Shodokan Dojo
Location: Renton
Join Date: Feb 2005
Posts: 2,113
United_States
Offline
Re: spirtuality in the dojo

Quote:
Andrew Macdonald wrote: View Post
ok this is kind of a general question

how much spirituality do you see in your dojo? do you try to find it just thorugh the techniques or is there focused mediatation practice.

did you join aikido for spirtual practice? if not are you interested in it now?
I see quite a bit of spirituality at my dojo, but I also train at a Shinto shrine and my teacher is a priest. I think this tends to attract people who are looking for a spiritual practice or who otherwise seek that kind of environment, but not everyone fits that description. I would describe many of my fellow students as being pretty spiritual, but my sense of the word is based on having a sense of deep awe for nature and an effort to connect with that awe throught one's activities...so it's pretty open-ended.
Speaking from my own sense of the word, and from what I understand of Shinto, any activity can be "spiritual," but we do have focused meditation times. Saturdays, for example, people can do misogi no gyo, daily Shinto ceremony (chyohai), and formal Chinkon no gyo before Aikido practice. After each practice session that sensei leads there is an abreviated Chinkon no gyo.
I started Aikido because I wanted to learn something meditative that also included some kind of "martial" training. So per my own sense of spirituality, yes I joined an Aikidojo for the spiritual practice and continue now with a similar sense of purpose. My spirituality is based very much on the concept of self-improvement and being the best person I can be and the concepts of gyo/discipline and "self victory" I see in Aikido are big parts of that for me.

Last edited by mathewjgano : 10-01-2012 at 10:25 AM.

Gambarimashyo!
  Reply With Quote
Old 10-01-2012, 10:39 AM   #27
Conrad Gus
 
Conrad Gus's Avatar
Dojo: Victoria Family Aikido
Location: Victoria, BC
Join Date: Dec 2001
Posts: 243
Canada
Offline
Re: spirtuality in the dojo

Quote:
Matthew Gano wrote: View Post
I see quite a bit of spirituality at my dojo, but I also train at a Shinto shrine and my teacher is a priest. I think this tends to attract people who are looking for a spiritual practice or who otherwise seek that kind of environment, but not everyone fits that description. I would describe many of my fellow students as being pretty spiritual, but my sense of the word is based on having a sense of deep awe for nature and an effort to connect with that awe throught one's activities...so it's pretty open-ended.
Speaking from my own sense of the word, and from what I understand of Shinto, any activity can be "spiritual," but we do have focused meditation times. Saturdays, for example, people can do misogi no gyo, daily Shinto ceremony (chyohai), and formal Chinkon no gyo before Aikido practice. After each practice session that sensei leads there is an abreviated Chinkon no gyo.
I started Aikido because I wanted to learn something meditative that also included some kind of "martial" training. So per my own sense of spirituality, yes I joined an Aikidojo for the spiritual practice and continue now with a similar sense of purpose. My spirituality is based very much on the concept of self-improvement and being the best person I can be and the concepts of gyo/discipline and "self victory" I see in Aikido are big parts of that for me.
Matthew,

I've trained around a little bit, and I've never seen anything that comes close to your dojo. It's very, very special.

I'm sure it isn't everyone's cup of tea, but if a person is interested at all in integrating spirituality with their aikido practice, Kannagara Aikido is worth checking out. I wish I could train there more -- it's been far too long.

Conrad
  Reply With Quote
Old 10-01-2012, 11:11 AM   #28
Chris Evans
Location: Berkeley, CA.
Join Date: Oct 2010
Posts: 169
United_States
Offline
Re: spirtuality in the dojo

i wish to see zero "spirituality" in my dojo unless it's a show of gratitude (respect) and kindness.
i hone my "spirituality" at a zendo and at home where i "zazen (shikantaza)"
i do like to see combative/fighting spirt in a martial arts dojo: that's a the kind of "spirituality" that ought to be blended in with gratitude and kindness.

"The state that separates its scholars from its warriors will have its thinking done by cowards and its fighting by fools."
  Reply With Quote
Old 10-03-2012, 03:37 PM   #29
aiki-jujutsuka
 
aiki-jujutsuka's Avatar
Join Date: Aug 2012
Posts: 192
Offline
Re: spirtuality in the dojo

Quote:
Chris Evans wrote: View Post
i wish to see zero "spirituality" in my dojo unless it's a show of gratitude (respect) and kindness.
i hone my "spirituality" at a zendo and at home where i "zazen (shikantaza)"
i do like to see combative/fighting spirt in a martial arts dojo: that's a the kind of "spirituality" that ought to be blended in with gratitude and kindness.
agreed. well said Chris
  Reply With Quote
Old 11-03-2012, 12:51 AM   #30
OwlMatt
 
OwlMatt's Avatar
Dojo: Milwaukee Aikikai
Location: Wisconsin
Join Date: Dec 2009
Posts: 401
United_States
Offline
Re: spirtuality in the dojo

Quote:
Andrew Macdonald wrote: View Post
ok this is kind of a general question

how much spirituality do you see in your dojo? do you try to find it just thorugh the techniques or is there focused mediatation practice.

did you join aikido for spirtual practice? if not are you interested in it now?
The level of spirituality at my club varies from student to student, which I think is as it should be, and there is no formalized meditation at my club, which I think is also as it should be.

Aikido, like any activity, is no more and no less spiritual than one makes it. I do look for opportunities in aikido to face my fear, my pain, and my insecurity, and to better understand how I interact with others. I do think these opportunities can provide me with tools for spiritual advancement, but I've never gone looking for any specific kind of "spiritual practice" in the dojo, and I think I'd regard any instructor as a quack who claimed to offer it.

  Reply With Quote
Old 11-10-2012, 12:45 PM   #31
Tom Verhoeven
Dojo: Aikido Auvergne Kumano dojo
Location: Auvergne
Join Date: Aug 2011
Posts: 295
France
Offline
Re: spirtuality in the dojo

Quote:
Matthew Gano wrote: View Post
I see quite a bit of spirituality at my dojo, but I also train at a Shinto shrine and my teacher is a priest. I think this tends to attract people who are looking for a spiritual practice or who otherwise seek that kind of environment, but not everyone fits that description. I would describe many of my fellow students as being pretty spiritual, but my sense of the word is based on having a sense of deep awe for nature and an effort to connect with that awe throught one's activities...so it's pretty open-ended.
Speaking from my own sense of the word, and from what I understand of Shinto, any activity can be "spiritual," but we do have focused meditation times. Saturdays, for example, people can do misogi no gyo, daily Shinto ceremony (chyohai), and formal Chinkon no gyo before Aikido practice. After each practice session that sensei leads there is an abreviated Chinkon no gyo.
I started Aikido because I wanted to learn something meditative that also included some kind of "martial" training. So per my own sense of spirituality, yes I joined an Aikidojo for the spiritual practice and continue now with a similar sense of purpose. My spirituality is based very much on the concept of self-improvement and being the best person I can be and the concepts of gyo/discipline and "self victory" I see in Aikido are big parts of that for me.
I am not familiar with your dojo, but it sounds as a good and interesting place to practice Aikido. The study of Shinto and practicing Shinto does in my experience enhance a deeper understanding of Aikido and the teachings of the founder of Aikido. It also brings changes to the body and mind that helps in daily life and in practising Aikido. A sense of deep awe for nature becomes part of that. Just as a feeling of connection with the community. There are not many dojo in the world where one can practice Aikido and Shinto - you are very fortunate!
Tom
  Reply With Quote
Old 11-12-2012, 10:30 PM   #32
mathewjgano
 
mathewjgano's Avatar
Dojo: Tsubaki Kannagara Jinja Aikidojo; Himeji Shodokan Dojo
Location: Renton
Join Date: Feb 2005
Posts: 2,113
United_States
Offline
Re: spirtuality in the dojo

Quote:
Tom Verhoeven wrote: View Post
I am not familiar with your dojo, but it sounds as a good and interesting place to practice Aikido. The study of Shinto and practicing Shinto does in my experience enhance a deeper understanding of Aikido and the teachings of the founder of Aikido. It also brings changes to the body and mind that helps in daily life and in practising Aikido. A sense of deep awe for nature becomes part of that. Just as a feeling of connection with the community. There are not many dojo in the world where one can practice Aikido and Shinto - you are very fortunate!
Tom
Hi Tom,
I don't have much of a frame of reference, but I do think it can help add to an understanding of Aikido...and I do feel fortunate: it's a very rare mix, even more so outside of Japan. It's definately an interesting and beautiful place and I appreciate the atmosphere for helping to instill a certain mindset. I'm a big believer in the impact our surroundings have on our state of mind and I really like the idea of cultivating sacred space for potentially adding to "deeper" interactions/operations. For example, I find the awareness of the centerline running through the jinja has a direct impact on how I pay attention to the centerline running through my own body.
Also, the fact that sanpaisha will occassionally ring the bell and pray at the entrance during keiko, which demands we completely avoid the centerline, adds to the demands for awareness and consideration of our surroundings in general.
...Of course that can be found where ever we put it, not just in a jinja, but that's what I find to be reinforced in what little I understand of Shinto and Aikido.
Take care,
Matt

Gambarimashyo!
  Reply With Quote
Old 11-13-2012, 08:00 PM   #33
Tom Verhoeven
Dojo: Aikido Auvergne Kumano dojo
Location: Auvergne
Join Date: Aug 2011
Posts: 295
France
Offline
Re: spirtuality in the dojo

Quote:
Matthew Gano wrote: View Post
Hi Tom,
I don't have much of a frame of reference, but I do think it can help add to an understanding of Aikido...and I do feel fortunate: it's a very rare mix, even more so outside of Japan. It's definately an interesting and beautiful place and I appreciate the atmosphere for helping to instill a certain mindset. I'm a big believer in the impact our surroundings have on our state of mind and I really like the idea of cultivating sacred space for potentially adding to "deeper" interactions/operations. For example, I find the awareness of the centerline running through the jinja has a direct impact on how I pay attention to the centerline running through my own body.
Also, the fact that sanpaisha will occassionally ring the bell and pray at the entrance during keiko, which demands we completely avoid the centerline, adds to the demands for awareness and consideration of our surroundings in general.
...Of course that can be found where ever we put it, not just in a jinja, but that's what I find to be reinforced in what little I understand of Shinto and Aikido.
Take care,
Matt
Bonjour Matt,
I really like the example that you give here.
I am not familiar with a prayer during practice - but I can imagine that it will highten everyones level of awareness.
It really sounds like a special dojo - will have a look at the website (it does have a website?).
kind regards,
Tom
  Reply With Quote
Old 11-14-2012, 08:10 AM   #34
Cliff Judge
Dojo: Aikido Shobukan Dojo
Location: Columbia, MD
Join Date: Sep 2005
Posts: 976
United_States
Offline
Re: spirtuality in the dojo

I think we do this well at my dojo. Aikido works well as a spiritual practice when it is not engaged in for that purpose.

The instructors clap us in and improvise variations of standard Aikido forms, illustrating whatever point they feel is important. Then students pair up and do whatever they think they just saw. From time to time someone needs to get very technical, other times you are worried about how something feels. Then - at intervals - Saotome Sensei visits the dojo and gives us a fiery "What kind of art you practicing here? You look like modern dance!" lecture and we all try to figure out what that means.

The combination of extemporaneous form and stern, direct, but extremely general guidance from our leader makes day-to-day practice an exoteric component to an annual ritual. It is a mass ritual, to the extent that it is meant to transform each of us at an individual level, that is not a consciously-directed process. I think maybe the overall thing is supposed to bring about stuff that is above the realm of personal transformation on an individual level though. For that reason it is actually pretty inclusive - you don't need to think too hard on it, you just have to show up and do your best, whatever that is.
  Reply With Quote
Old 11-14-2012, 09:39 AM   #35
mathewjgano
 
mathewjgano's Avatar
Dojo: Tsubaki Kannagara Jinja Aikidojo; Himeji Shodokan Dojo
Location: Renton
Join Date: Feb 2005
Posts: 2,113
United_States
Offline
Re: spirtuality in the dojo

Quote:
Cliff Judge wrote: View Post
I think we do this well at my dojo. Aikido works well as a spiritual practice when it is not engaged in for that purpose.

The instructors clap us in and improvise variations of standard Aikido forms, illustrating whatever point they feel is important. Then students pair up and do whatever they think they just saw. From time to time someone needs to get very technical, other times you are worried about how something feels. Then - at intervals - Saotome Sensei visits the dojo and gives us a fiery "What kind of art you practicing here? You look like modern dance!" lecture and we all try to figure out what that means.

The combination of extemporaneous form and stern, direct, but extremely general guidance from our leader makes day-to-day practice an exoteric component to an annual ritual. It is a mass ritual, to the extent that it is meant to transform each of us at an individual level, that is not a consciously-directed process. I think maybe the overall thing is supposed to bring about stuff that is above the realm of personal transformation on an individual level though. For that reason it is actually pretty inclusive - you don't need to think too hard on it, you just have to show up and do your best, whatever that is.
I really like this! That was beautifully put. Just wanted to say thank you, Cliff!

Quote:
Tom wrote:
Bonjour Matt,
I really like the example that you give here.
I am not familiar with a prayer during practice - but I can imagine that it will highten everyones level of awareness.
It really sounds like a special dojo - will have a look at the website (it does have a website?).
kind regards,
Tom
Bonjour Tom,
The web site is http://www.tsubakishrine.org/
And I just wanted to make sure I was clear, the prayers are from people who happen to be visiting the shrine grounds, just as when folks visit a jinja in Japan, offer a few coins, and pray. We just have to ensure there is an unobstructed line between them and the honden.
Take care!
Matt

Gambarimashyo!
  Reply With Quote
Old 11-14-2012, 10:49 AM   #36
Tom Verhoeven
Dojo: Aikido Auvergne Kumano dojo
Location: Auvergne
Join Date: Aug 2011
Posts: 295
France
Offline
Re: spirtuality in the dojo

Quote:
Matthew Gano wrote: View Post
I really like this! That was beautifully put. Just wanted to say thank you, Cliff!

Quote:
Bonjour Tom,
The web site is http://www.tsubakishrine.org/
And I just wanted to make sure I was clear, the prayers are from people who happen to be visiting the shrine grounds, just as when folks visit a jinja in Japan, offer a few coins, and pray. We just have to ensure there is an unobstructed line between them and the honden.
Take care!
Matt
Hi Matt,
You meant the bell outside! Got it - already imagined someone praying inside the dojo during practiced. I am used to prayer before class. And in Zen-practice the teacher holds up a small bell, thought it might be somewhat like that. Thanks for clarifying.
And thanks for the link!

Tom .
  Reply With Quote
Old 11-16-2012, 07:10 AM   #37
Edgecrusher
 
Edgecrusher's Avatar
Dojo: Tampa, FL
Location: Tampa, Florida
Join Date: May 2007
Posts: 76
United_States
Offline
Re: spirtuality in the dojo

If one is looking for spirituality in the dojo I train at then, you will find it. We do not overemphasize it and it is usually practiced on the mat before class starts or not at all. The atmosphere is relaxed and turns intense based on what we are learning and the willingness of the mudansha. I do not want to turn this post into a "in Tomiki we do things differently" reply however, it is all I know. While practicing outside of the dojo spirituality should thrive and be practiced regularly.
  Reply With Quote

Please visit our sponsor:

AikiWeb Sponsored Links - Place your Aikido link here for only $10!



Reply


Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 1 (0 members and 1 guests)
 
Thread Tools

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

vB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off

Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
We need dojo help Aiki-lost Anonymous 13 05-13-2006 09:17 AM
Beginners Retention Rates akiy Teaching 45 04-05-2006 11:13 PM
Need advice/new guy to area's dojo YinYaker Training 17 02-15-2005 01:57 PM
Questions on Starting a New Dojo Paul Barrett Teaching 12 08-01-2004 05:46 PM


All times are GMT -6. The time now is 05:19 AM.



vBulletin Copyright © 2000-2014 Jelsoft Enterprises Limited
----------
Copyright 1997-2014 AikiWeb and its Authors, All Rights Reserved.
----------
For questions and comments about this website:
Send E-mail
plainlaid-picaresque outchasing-protistan explicantia-altarage seaford-stellionate