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Old 02-21-2014, 06:16 PM   #1
Sojourner
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Which branch of Aikido emphasizes Spirituality?

Greetings All,

I have raised questions in the past about the various schools of Aikido and the different affiliating Aikido organizations. The question that I have is which Aikido Organization has the greatest focus on Spiritual Content as a part of their recommended AIkido training?
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Old 02-22-2014, 11:58 AM   #2
ze'ev erlich
 
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It's not in the branches :-)

Rather than "branch" I would say routs. Aikido's spiritualism is in its routs.

From the little I saw here and there, it is the Sensei who would emphasize spirituality, not he organization.

As well as I know, the amount of spiritual teaching is not something that is decided by any particular aikido organization.

Ze'ev from Masatake Dojo Rehovot
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Old 02-25-2014, 06:37 AM   #3
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Re: It's not in the branches :-)

Quote:
Ze'ev Erlich wrote: View Post
Rather than "branch" I would say routs. Aikido's spiritualism is in its routs.

From the little I saw here and there, it is the Sensei who would emphasize spirituality, not he organization.

As well as I know, the amount of spiritual teaching is not something that is decided by any particular aikido organization.
No not really - the question is completely fair. I would say that all organizations contain some spirituality in that there is bowing to the kamiza but beyond that there is a huge variation. It is probably best seen not on how much is discussed in the class but how their students rate the importance. If we had a straw poll asking what organization are you from and how high do you rate spirituality the answer wold become clear pretty quick and putting myself out on a predictive limb I would say that the pre-war styles would be less inclined to identify themselves as spiritual.

To start with Shodokan Aikido - spirituality low.

That said my teacher for a time taught at Ueshiba's old Omoto-kyo dojo and the Kamiza at Shodokan honbu is blessed by Omoto-kyo priests once a year. Just that Aikido practice is primarily technical and any lectures reflect that.

Shodokan Aikido

Peter Rehse Shodokan Aikido
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Old 02-25-2014, 07:16 AM   #4
Alex Megann
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Re: It's not in the branches :-)

Quote:
Peter Rehse wrote: View Post
I would say that all organizations contain some spirituality in that there is bowing to the kamiza ...
Is the rei necessarily spiritual at all? My interpretation is that the baseline is acknowledgment of, and respect for, what has come before, and that is how I explain shomen-rei to my class. You can add whatever sentiment you like on top of that.

I like Kanshu Sunadomari's statement that aikido practice itself can be thought of as a spiritual exercise. Again I don't believe that it is necessarily so for everyone, but I think I understand what Sunadomari Sensei means.

Alex

Last edited by Alex Megann : 02-25-2014 at 07:19 AM.
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Old 02-25-2014, 08:27 AM   #5
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Re: It's not in the branches :-)

Quote:
Alex Megann wrote: View Post
Is the rei necessarily spiritual at all? My interpretation is that the baseline is acknowledgment of, and respect for, what has come before, and that is how I explain shomen-rei to my class. You can add whatever sentiment you like on top of that.

I like Kanshu Sunadomari's statement that aikido practice itself can be thought of as a spiritual exercise. Again I don't believe that it is necessarily so for everyone, but I think I understand what Sunadomari Sensei means.

Alex
Spirituality varies by degree - I would say that rei certainly is - but that does not necessarily mean there is a religious connection and if there is (ie. the kamiza or seat of the Gods) that aspect can be safely ignored.

By the by - the way you describe rei is exactly how I do. Its use has the added effect to prepare yourself for what is to come. It certainly does not fall into the technical realm of Aikido.

Peter Rehse Shodokan Aikido
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Old 02-25-2014, 08:47 AM   #6
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Re: Which branch of Aikido emphasizes Spirituality?

I don't think anything can be presumed about the mindset or intent of someone performing rei. Perhaps they're just thinking, "Oh, my ankle hurts," or "I wonder what's for dinner?" In this, as in all things, the world of sposed-to is immaterial.
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Old 02-25-2014, 09:31 AM   #7
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Re: Which branch of Aikido emphasizes Spirituality?

Quote:
Mary Malmros wrote: View Post
I don't think anything can be presumed about the mindset or intent of someone performing rei. Perhaps they're just thinking, "Oh, my ankle hurts," or "I wonder what's for dinner?" In this, as in all things, the world of sposed-to is immaterial.
And that would be the depth of their spiritual action - there is no presumption as to degree or what thoughts to have.

Peter Rehse Shodokan Aikido
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Old 02-25-2014, 10:07 AM   #8
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Re: Which branch of Aikido emphasizes Spirituality?

Quote:
Peter Rehse wrote: View Post
And that would be the depth of their spiritual action - there is no presumption as to degree or what thoughts to have.
Understood. But what makes it "spiritual"? Can an action be considered "spiritual" regardless of the mindset of the person who is performing the action? Is it purely in the eye of the beholder: bowing to the kamiza = "spiritual" because that's what we label it?
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Old 02-25-2014, 10:20 AM   #9
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Re: Which branch of Aikido emphasizes Spirituality?

Quote:
Mary Malmros wrote: View Post
Understood. But what makes it "spiritual"? Can an action be considered "spiritual" regardless of the mindset of the person who is performing the action? Is it purely in the eye of the beholder: bowing to the kamiza = "spiritual" because that's what we label it?
I am probably guilty of defining spirituality by what it isn't but I concur the mindset of the person is critical. For that reason I insisted that you need to ask the individual students what their level of spirituality is rather than look into what's said or done.

If all I thought about was "lunch" (guilty of that too) then my answer would be low spirituality. With respect to rei - the demonstration of respect is spiritual - again not necessarily religious. My bar for spirituality is probably far lower than yours but I do consider the mental aspect of what we due to be spiritual as opposed to the technical.

Peter Rehse Shodokan Aikido
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Old 02-25-2014, 02:34 PM   #10
phitruong
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Re: Which branch of Aikido emphasizes Spirituality?

Quote:
Peter Rehse wrote: View Post
If all I thought about was "lunch" (guilty of that too) then my answer would be low spirituality.
if you want to raise your spirituality points, then you need to think breakfast, dinner, mid-morning snacks, mid-afternoon coffee, and late night snacks. if you only think about lunch, then enlightenment will come very slowly, if at all.

"budo is putting on cold, wet, sweat stained gi with a smile and a snarl" - your truly
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Old 02-26-2014, 08:40 AM   #11
Krystal Locke
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Re: Which branch of Aikido emphasizes Spirituality?

Quote:
Phi Truong wrote: View Post
if you want to raise your spirituality points, then you need to think breakfast, dinner, mid-morning snacks, mid-afternoon coffee, and late night snacks. if you only think about lunch, then enlightenment will come very slowly, if at all.
I find that if I honestly and truly think about my meals and then act from the courage of my convictions, enlightenment doesn't come at all. Quite the contrary, in fact.

This is much like the weird thing that I have noticed over the years about my obi. Something about my missing class (and this is happening a lot lately due to lack of time and chronic vertigo) makes my belt shrink. Stupid belt.
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Old 04-10-2014, 12:46 PM   #12
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Re: Which branch of Aikido emphasizes Spirituality?

How do you define spiritual content? Meditation? Chanting? Scheduled lectures? In terms of technical emphasis within the techniques?

There are aikido teachers who are ordained priests. There are aikido teachers with extensive academic credentials in eastern religions, philosophy, and related fields. There are dojos with Buddhist and/or Shinto altars on the premises. There are dojos that schedule meditation retreats, and there are dojos that schedule rock climbing trips.

What are you looking for?

Katherine
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Old 04-10-2014, 08:58 PM   #13
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Re: Which branch of Aikido emphasizes Spirituality?

Its kind of annoying how widely interpreted "spirit" is. We should add some works to delineate...would prevent a few arguments.

Ichi Go, Ichi Ei!
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Old 04-12-2014, 06:59 AM   #14
Sojourner
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Re: Which branch of Aikido emphasizes Spirituality?

Perhaps in these terms, - the "point" of Aikido, Aikido gives people the capacity to take down an attacker without hurting them, why? Because it relates to holiness and the ideal that its offensive to the Creator or the First Cause of the universe to kill and or hurt and maim people. Aikido teaches us to live our lives in such a way as to gain the favour of the Creator. How do we reach the Creator, chants, meditation, prayer etc. Ki, the point of Ki Energy perhaps the ideal that its meant to heal people spiritually and physically? This would be the start of the information I would be expecting from a spiritual branch of Aikido.
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Old 04-12-2014, 08:27 AM   #15
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Re: Which branch of Aikido emphasizes Spirituality?

My feeling has always been that aikido is as spiritual as you make it. I think it's a mistake to go looking for "spiritual" aikido training because there's no guarantee you're going to find someone whose idea of spirituality matches your own, and because there's nothing about aikido training in and of itself that qualifies someone as a spiritual instructor. Better to decide what kind of spirituality you want in your own life and then bring it to aikido with you.

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Old 04-13-2014, 10:11 AM   #16
dps
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Re: Which branch of Aikido emphasizes Spirituality?

This definition would include all branches of Aikido.

From Wikipedia:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Spirituality

Definition[edit]
There is no single, widely-agreed definition of spirituality.[1][2][note 1] Social scientists have defined spirituality as the search for the sacred, for that which is set apart from the ordinary and worthy of veneration, "a transcendent dimension within human experience...discovered in moments in which the individual questions the meaning of personal existence and attempts to place the self within a broader ontological context."[8]
According to Waaijman, the traditional meaning of spirituality is a process of re-formation which "aims to recover the original shape of man, the image of God. To accomplish this, the re-formation is oriented at a mold, which represents the original shape: in Judaism the Torah, in Christianity Christ, in Buddhism Buddha, in the Islam Muhammad."[note 2] In modern times spirituality has come to mean the internal experience of the individual. It still denotes a process of transformation, but in a context separate from organized religious institutions: "spiritual but not religious."[5] Houtman and Aupers suggest that modern spirituality is a blend of humanistic psychology, mystical and esoteric traditions and eastern religions.[6]

Waaijman points out that "spirituality" is only one term of a range of words which denote the praxis of spirituality.[10] Some other terms are "Hasidism, contemplation, kabbala, asceticism, mysticism, perfection, devotion and piety".[10]

Spirituality can be sought not only through traditional organized religions, but also through movements such as liberalism, feminist theology, and green politics. Spirituality is also now associated with mental health, managing substance abuse, marital functioning, parenting, and coping. It has been suggested that spirituality also leads to finding purpose and meaning in life.[3]


dps

Last edited by dps : 04-13-2014 at 10:18 AM.
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