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Old 07-13-2015, 01:55 PM   #51
Cliff Judge
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Re: Shinto Clapping in Aikido

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Mary Malmros wrote: View Post
They're offended, so therefore "they DO believe that this makes the dead souls Mormon"? Based on what? There are plenty of other explanations that are equally plausible, if not more so. The outcome is not the only thing by which we judge actions: we also judge by intent. I consider it much more likely that the Supreme Being resembles a plate of spaghetti and meatballs than the LDS church can "make the dead souls Mormon" by baptizing them, or anyone else who is not both present and consenting. What offends me is the sheer presumptuous crust of their thinking that they have some right to do so.

Your thinking in this thread seems much the same. You seem to think that because someone somewhere grants a spiritual or religious meaning to an action, it has the same meaning to others, including those who weren't even consulted.
I definitely believe this to be the case with Aikido and its religious underpinnings. You cannot choose to practice Aikido without participating in a religious activity. You can only choose whether or not it matters to you, personally. This has to do with the nature of the religion in question and the nature of what Aikido is.

Shinto is basically a behavioral religion. There is a clergy, there are various groups/cults that are more particular about how they admit members and what their spiritual journey is about, there are highly local customs and beliefs, and there are associations with ugly nationalism in modern times. But generally speaking, its a bunch of stuff you do. As opposed to the Abrahamic religions that we are more familiar with in the West and which shape our concept of religion itself even if we are not people of faith. Initiation is not important, just participation. Go to a shrine, wash your hands, lend the kami a coin, clap twice, make a wish - you are doing Shinto.

Now, when we step onto the Aikido mat the first time, do we do so with a complete understanding of what we are getting into? What is the full outline of our training experience, what exactly will we be learning, what will we come to understand later that we do not now? Of course not. We step onto the mat and begin a process that we do not fully understand, eager to learn new things. To change.

In other words, everybody gets into Aikido ASKING to participate in something they don't understand.

The koryu systems are heavily based on teaching the student in a way that their understanding of what they are doing and why is not of first-order importance. Aikido is not a koryu system but it certainly comes from the same pedagogical tradition. The student is trained to do things without the expectation that they understand exactly what they are doing. Some time after the movements are perfected, the student may begin to understand. Then, hopefully, they can apply technique freely if they're in a tight spot.

So furthermore, Aikido training requires us to engage in practice whose meaning we may not fully comprehend, hoping that it will cause changes in us that we may not be able to perceive in short intervals.

You are not required to profess a faith in Aikido or its religious underpinnings. If it is easy for you to just engage in dojo traditions without thinking about the metaphysical aspects, that's fine. (IMO good Aikido training will change you anyway.) But it also has no bearing on the simple fact that you are opening and closing your practice with a religious ceremony. If that bothers you, you shouldn't be doing it.
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Old 07-13-2015, 06:38 PM   #52
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Re: Shinto Clapping in Aikido

Quote:
Cliff Judge wrote: View Post
I definitely believe this to be the case with Aikido and its religious underpinnings. You cannot choose to practice Aikido without participating in a religious activity. You can only choose whether or not it matters to you, personally. This has to do with the nature of the religion in question and the nature of what Aikido is.

Shinto is basically a behavioral religion. There is a clergy, there are various groups/cults that are more particular about how they admit members and what their spiritual journey is about, there are highly local customs and beliefs, and there are associations with ugly nationalism in modern times. But generally speaking, its a bunch of stuff you do. As opposed to the Abrahamic religions that we are more familiar with in the West and which shape our concept of religion itself even if we are not people of faith. Initiation is not important, just participation. Go to a shrine, wash your hands, lend the kami a coin, clap twice, make a wish - you are doing Shinto.

Now, when we step onto the Aikido mat the first time, do we do so with a complete understanding of what we are getting into? What is the full outline of our training experience, what exactly will we be learning, what will we come to understand later that we do not now? Of course not. We step onto the mat and begin a process that we do not fully understand, eager to learn new things. To change.

In other words, everybody gets into Aikido ASKING to participate in something they don't understand.

The koryu systems are heavily based on teaching the student in a way that their understanding of what they are doing and why is not of first-order importance. Aikido is not a koryu system but it certainly comes from the same pedagogical tradition. The student is trained to do things without the expectation that they understand exactly what they are doing. Some time after the movements are perfected, the student may begin to understand. Then, hopefully, they can apply technique freely if they're in a tight spot.

So furthermore, Aikido training requires us to engage in practice whose meaning we may not fully comprehend, hoping that it will cause changes in us that we may not be able to perceive in short intervals.

You are not required to profess a faith in Aikido or its religious underpinnings. If it is easy for you to just engage in dojo traditions without thinking about the metaphysical aspects, that's fine. (IMO good Aikido training will change you anyway.) But it also has no bearing on the simple fact that you are opening and closing your practice with a religious ceremony. If that bothers you, you shouldn't be doing it.
I'll have to disagree with this. Intent is key in the exercise of religion.

From a Christian perspective - 1 Corinthians chapter 8:5-11 come to mind.
It's possible that this could be used as a rationalization, but I don't think so, I don't think I am participating in a religious practice, nor do I think that those around me think I am. (Present company excluded).

Moreover, if I then tell you that I am placing no religious value in what I am doing, that should hold.
Now, if, on the other hand your position is that in practicing certain traditions (clapping), the goal of the dojo is to proselytize, well, I may have to rethink quite a few things (assuming that's actually true with dojos other than your own, or ASU dojos (of which I am a member) in general).
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Old 07-13-2015, 07:02 PM   #53
Garth Jones
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Re: Shinto Clapping in Aikido

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Joseph Dostie wrote: View Post
I'll have to disagree with this. Intent is key in the exercise of religion.

From a Christian perspective - 1 Corinthians chapter 8:5-11 come to mind.
It's possible that this could be used as a rationalization, but I don't think so, I don't think I am participating in a religious practice, nor do I think that those around me think I am. (Present company excluded).

Moreover, if I then tell you that I am placing no religious value in what I am doing, that should hold.
Now, if, on the other hand your position is that in practicing certain traditions (clapping), the goal of the dojo is to proselytize, well, I may have to rethink quite a few things (assuming that's actually true with dojos other than your own, or ASU dojos (of which I am a member) in general).
I'll second this. If I am, say, at a wedding in a Christian church and the pastor instructs everybody to stand while he offers a prayer and I stand too, am I by definition doing something Christian? Well, not in my mind since I am not of that faith and do not believe in God. My intent, at that moment is to be polite and respectful.

Likewise, if I clap when I bow in my class and offer a prayer to the kami of the dojo, then sure, I am doing something Shinto. On the other hand, if I clap as a way to call class to order and settle everybody, and because I think it's kind of a cool tradition, then I'm really not doing anything religious, at least not in my own mind. And ultimately, that's all that matters, I think, when it comes to issues of faith.

Cheers,
Garth
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Old 07-13-2015, 07:09 PM   #54
Peter Goldsbury
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Re: Shinto Clapping in Aikido

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Very interesting! Thank you for sharing your insights, Peter! As usual I have more heat than light to bring to the table. Is the grab-bag of traditions you're referring to the formation of the distinction of Shinto when Buddhism arrived or is this referring more to Omoto doctrines?
...I imagine the TIE articles would go pretty deeply into this...I think it's time I visited them more seriously.
Thank you again!
Hello Matthew,

Well, yes. I have written extensively about this in TIE articles and do not intend to repeat myself here.

When considering Shinto one needs to remember several points.
1. The Japanese did not have a word for religion until after the 1850s. Religion was a new word for them, because Western powers insisted that freedom to practice what it meant was a condition for having trade relations with them.
2. Many studies of Japanese 'religion' are based on Western models of what a religion should be like. This is because much of postwar research on Japan has been led by European and American scholars, who appear to have had a certain frame of reference. Because what was called Shinto did not fit this frame, the Japanese have been censured for being confused about their religious practices.
Evidence of this confusion is sometimes cited, as, for example, the Japanese practice of following Buddhist, 'pre-Buddhist' and Christian practices all at the same time. In response to the comment that you cannot believe three religions at the same time, my Japanese students usually smile or shrug. A good example of this thinking comes in the film The Life of Pi, when Pi Patel's father talks to Pi about behaving rationally in religious matters.
3. A consequence is that Shinto is often (wrongly) called 'Japan's indigenous religion', which existed before other 'religions' arrived. This was usually done to mark it off from Buddhism, which was a 'real' religion, like Christianity and Hinduism. However, Shinto was assumed to be a 'real' religion. This way of thinking is anachronistic and makes unwarranted assumptions based on later religious models.

To argue that following a particular religious practice means that one is doing something more than simply performing an action is not correct. This depends on what constitutes a religious practice and what is the significance of that practice for the adherents who follow it. 'Intent' might be a factor here, but not necessarily.

The OP also assumes without any further thought that the clapping at the beginning of aikido practice is 'Shinto' clapping.

Best wishes,

Last edited by Peter Goldsbury : 07-13-2015 at 07:14 PM.

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Old 07-13-2015, 08:24 PM   #55
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Re: Shinto Clapping in Aikido

What if the class, as we do... or rather do not do to be more gramattically correct... do not clap at all?

My class is not insulted - or at least they don't express it to me - because we don't clap. I would postulate that they don't clap because I don't clap, and I don't clap as my instructors don't clap, and their instructors didn't clap before them.

As I trace my.... hmmmm lineage, if you will, from O-Sensei, there's him, the O-Sensei guy with all his personality trats which made him the person and genius martial artist he was. I presume that he clapped as described, though I doubt if anyone on this board actually "knows" that he did it all the time every time, as non of us were there. Video does not count, y'all. But let's assume it was his thing as has been reported.

So, O-Sensei claps prior to class in one manner or another. I presume Kenji Tomiki was present during this? Did he just toss it out because of the background he had when he came to train? I imagine that the phys-ed/judo stuff he had in his head when he went may have, if not conflicted with Shinto observance at least sort of strayed? I don't know, do people in gym class/judo class in Japan go through such clapping rituals prior to a standard workout? Knowing judo, somehow I doubt it.

Tomiki Sensei conveyed his art to Karl Geis personally and though various instructors (Ms. Miyaki, Riki Kogure (spelling always messes me up here) etc. I know from that group of Sensei Geis' students that they didn't do clapping..... so I didn't do clapping, so my class doesn't do clapping.

So, are we not doing aikido because we simply start class with a different sort of centering tradition to our practice?

I find it interesting that the kanji character for kuzushi illustrates a mountain falling on a house.
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Old 07-13-2015, 11:54 PM   #56
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Re: Shinto Clapping in Aikido

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I definitely believe this to be the case with Aikido and its religious underpinnings. You cannot choose to practice Aikido without participating in a religious activity.
Sorry to be so blunt, but this is ridiculous.

A picture of O Sensei is hanging in a gym, somewhere in the United States.

None of the assembled students speaks Japanese, has ever been to Japan, or has any knowledge of Shinto practices. Neither does the teacher. The teacher bows and claps because his teacher did, and he likes the way doing so creates a "separate" space. The students do because they are following the teacher.

And yet, by participating in an activity that some people thousands of miles away consider to be religious, these people are inextricably involved in a religious practice, despite having no knowledge or intent to do so?

Ridiculous. If the gym happens to be oriented so that the students are facing Mecca, does this mean that they have become Muslims as well as Shinto practitioners?

Katherine
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Old 07-14-2015, 05:45 AM   #57
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Re: Shinto Clapping in Aikido

If I cross myself entering a Catholic Church, I guess I am acknowledging a religious function though I am not Catholic. I was raised Methodist.

My parents had me circumcised at birth and I prefer my cheeseburgers and pizza without bacon. I am still not Jewish in my eyes, nor the local Rabbi's.

I'll look for the TIE articles, I remember reading one of them some time ago.
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Old 07-14-2015, 06:52 AM   #58
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Re: Shinto Clapping in Aikido

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Katherine Derbyshire wrote: View Post
[...]
And yet, by participating in an activity that some people thousands of miles away consider to be religious, these people are inextricably involved in a religious practice, despite having no knowledge or intent to do so?

Ridiculous. If the gym happens to be oriented so that the students are facing Mecca, does this mean that they have become Muslims as well as Shinto practitioners?
[...]
Yes, from a Shint˘ standpoint pretty much.(answer to the first question)
Atleast for Tenshin Sh˘den Katori Shint˘-ryű this holds true.
We clap and bow to a Kamidana were Futsunushi no Mikoto is enshrined.
I am pretty sure that the most people who start training with us don't know they're participating in Shint˘ until they ask. And sometimes it lasts months till they ask what they are doing.

Also facing Mecca and bowing doesn't turn you into a Muslim.
Reciting the schahada officially does.
But for Shint˘, just Ni rei, ni hakushu ippai is enough.

Last edited by Inushishi : 07-14-2015 at 06:59 AM.
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Old 07-14-2015, 09:40 AM   #59
Cliff Judge
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Re: Shinto Clapping in Aikido

Folks seem to be holding to an understanding of religion - in particular, that initiation and profession of faith are the core element to one's religious life - that is very Western-centric here.

None of these comparisons to Catholicism or Islam fit because those religions are based on you willfully giving yourself to them. Saying that when you do a Shinto rite you aren't doing anything religious in nature because you don't profess a faith in Shinto kami is a miscategorization. If you can't think outside of the judeo-christian box, sure it will seem ridiculous.
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Old 07-14-2015, 12:53 PM   #60
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Re: Shinto Clapping in Aikido

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Cliff Judge wrote: View Post
Folks seem to be holding to an understanding of religion - in particular, that initiation and profession of faith are the core element to one's religious life - that is very Western-centric here.

None of these comparisons to Catholicism or Islam fit because those religions are based on you willfully giving yourself to them. Saying that when you do a Shinto rite you aren't doing anything religious in nature because you don't profess a faith in Shinto kami is a miscategorization. If you can't think outside of the judeo-christian box, sure it will seem ridiculous.
I do hold a Western religious perspective, but I also distinguish faith from ritual from religion. In an earlier post, I distinguished participating in a ritual from a proclamation of faith. To your point about confirmation, presumably you willfully entered into a proclamation of faith witnessed during a ritual. Your willful participation differentiating between your confirmation of faith and simply going through the motions. Obviously, if you don't believe in God, you're not a Catholic. As I understand Shinto, it does not have a strong distinguishing element between going through the motions and professing one's faith in the religion. Rather, I think is a general point of confusion, even among the Japanese (whether one practices Shinto as opposed to simply observing/participating in ritual).

You used the term action-based to describe participation in Shinto rituals, but I am not sure participation is equivalent to a profession of faith. It may also be true that an Eastern-centric perspective on Shinto should not be applied to Western religions. For me, its sounds equally ridiculous to exclaim that participating in a Shinto ritual is a profession of faith as a Shintoist. As soon as you label something a "religion" you are juxtaposing it against the chosen religion of your students and entertaining the conflict that arises from that relation.

None of this is to diminish the relevance of religion in our lives nor the place of Shinto in Japanese arts. I think Carsten made the best point I have read - that the essential teachings of O Sensei are wrapped up in his spiritual understanding of aiki. That we should spend [more] time debating if we clap in class is maybe an observation of our priorities with regard to how deeply we want to look at spiritual commitment to our training and the crazy things the old man said...

Last edited by jonreading : 07-14-2015 at 12:58 PM.

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Old 07-15-2015, 02:21 AM   #61
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Re: Shinto Clapping in Aikido

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Cliff Judge wrote: View Post
Folks seem to be holding to an understanding of religion - in particular, that initiation and profession of faith are the core element to one's religious life - that is very Western-centric here.

None of these comparisons to Catholicism or Islam fit because those religions are based on you willfully giving yourself to them. Saying that when you do a Shinto rite you aren't doing anything religious in nature because you don't profess a faith in Shinto kami is a miscategorization. If you can't think outside of the judeo-christian box, sure it will seem ridiculous.
Oh, I have no doubt that a Shinto adherent would say that I am participating in a Shinto rite. My point is that what they think is irrelevant to me, precisely *because* my understanding of religion is judeo-christian.

Katherine
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Old 07-15-2015, 01:32 PM   #62
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Re: Shinto Clapping in Aikido

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Katherine Derbyshire wrote: View Post
Oh, I have no doubt that a Shinto adherent would say that I am participating in a Shinto rite. My point is that what they think is irrelevant to me, precisely *because* my understanding of religion is judeo-christian.

Katherine
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Old 07-15-2015, 07:51 PM   #63
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Re: Shinto Clapping in Aikido

Cliff, methinks your "job" was to simply wind people up.

I find it interesting that the kanji character for kuzushi illustrates a mountain falling on a house.
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Old 07-16-2015, 08:39 AM   #64
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Re: Shinto Clapping in Aikido

Love this Shinto picture - https://www.facebook.com/bonsaistyle...type=1&theater
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Old 07-16-2015, 09:53 AM   #65
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Re: Shinto Clapping in Aikido

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Cliff Judge wrote: View Post
Folks seem to be holding to an understanding of religion - in particular, that initiation and profession of faith are the core element to one's religious life - that is very Western-centric here.

None of these comparisons to Catholicism or Islam fit because those religions are based on you willfully giving yourself to them. Saying that when you do a Shinto rite you aren't doing anything religious in nature because you don't profess a faith in Shinto kami is a miscategorization. If you can't think outside of the judeo-christian box, sure it will seem ridiculous.
Hakushu is subject to a pretty wide field of intent and meaning even in Shinto. But to a 'western-centric' such as myself -- the Church has long recognized key degrees in forms of reverence: Doulia is veneration of any person, thing, or even an occasion that is sufficiently high or worthy of an expression of deep respect and appreciation, as opposed to latria, which is worship in fact -- reserved only to God.

By expression of doulia in the Shinto context of hakushu, I give respect to those high things (kami) properly worthy of my respect -- while reserving from the occasion any sense of worship, which is not proper.

Cordially,

Erick Mead
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Old 07-16-2015, 04:04 PM   #66
Robert Cowham
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Re: Shinto Clapping in Aikido

I had an interesting experience with a shinto priest who was lecturing to me and a Japanese training partner about Shinto and Christianity. The Japanese guy could explain more things off the bat about Christianity than he could about Shintoism! And yet he was a believer in Shinto...
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Old 07-16-2015, 05:14 PM   #67
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Re: Shinto Clapping in Aikido

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Robert Cowham wrote: View Post
I had an interesting experience with a shinto priest who was lecturing to me and a Japanese training partner about Shinto and Christianity. The Japanese guy could explain more things off the bat about Christianity than he could about Shintoism! And yet he was a believer in Shinto...
In fairness to the nature of Shinto -- Shinto has mythic history and experiential but not doctrinal teaching -- the tales and the rites are the thing -- not the analysis. Christianity possesses mythic history, and both doctrinal as well as experiential elements. Christianity's oft criticized and often violent debates about the finer points of doctrine -- are part and parcel of its less fluid and more stable character of development over these two millennia of many forms of dissension. Shinto has been more fluid in its development over a much shorter period of time. Feature or bug -- your call.

Shinto, as I have seen it, does not seek to proclaim an eternal cosmic truth of individual human significance -- but rather to bring what is lower into right relationship to what is higher, and to order all things in all circumstances according to their nature, irrespective of the things being viewed otherwise as good, bad or indifferent.

Cordially,

Erick Mead
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Old 07-17-2015, 01:35 AM   #68
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Re: Shinto Clapping in Aikido

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I had an interesting experience with a shinto priest who was lecturing to me and a Japanese training partner about Shinto and Christianity. The Japanese guy could explain more things off the bat about Christianity than he could about Shintoism! And yet he was a believer in Shinto...
Christianity belongs to a long tradition that believes in categorizing and analyzing things. Shinto does not. While this makes Christianity superficially easy to "explain," there are Christian mystics, too, and they would probably agree that the pointing finger is not the moon.

Katherine
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Old 07-18-2015, 03:19 AM   #69
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Re: Shinto Clapping in Aikido

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Katherine Derbyshire wrote: View Post
I understand that this is what the people who erected the shrine at Iwama believe. But are you saying that the practice of aikido requires belief in those kami?
Um, in the first place I'm just saying, that there are those 42 (43) kami of aikid˘. When you take a look at aikid˘ they are simply part of the picture. I think, we have to accept them in which way ever. If we only cut them out of the picture, we destroy it. Whatever that actually means.

Right from the beginning (nearly) up to this day there exists an aiki shrine. Just like there is a katori shrine or a kashima shrine we also have a shrine as the center of our ryű. aiki jinja simply is there. And it is in use, it's "active". Our d˘shu, our shihan, our sempai, maybe we ourselves attende ˘omoto ceremonies there.
It happens. It exists. Whatever that means actually means to you.

I think, we simply have to deal with this part of the picture. It is there. Whether we like that or not.
I practice with teachers who clap. And with teachers who don't.
I practice with teachers who practice shint˘. And with teachers who don't.

It is my experiences that ikkyo is ikkyo all the time. But I think there is a deeper layer of practice.
And it is my experience that what is eventually conveyed by practicing this same ikkyo depends on those deeper layers.

Quote:
What does it mean to "work with" Daoist spirituality?

There are interpretations of, for example, Ueshiba Sensei's Floating Bridge, that are entirely grounded in observable physical phenomena. ....
It is my experience that doing the "ten of ten" e.g. - and the body work we practice in general - does not only lead to physical effectiveness. But that it also leads to a state of inner calmness, of sereness. (I have one student who is practicing opening to six directions explicetly in stressfull situations to become calm.)

I presume, everyone who practices knowst these "sideeffects". Daoism explains why that is so. And it helps the practioner - if he or she wants to - to work with those effects. Here also a deeper layer exists. One does not need to work with that, but if one is interested to understand and to go on with that, it helps to learn about Daoism.

Well, in-yo-ho simply is a daoist term, it is daoist thinking. Moving by intent stems from Daoist thinking.
To merge fire and water is the the thema of Daoist internal alchemy.

And so on.

No. I don't think that someone has to believe in whatever to really do aikid˘.
But. I think it opens up one's world to be able to see the whole picture, to examine the deeper layers, to try to understand what they are meant to convey.
Simply that.

And then ...
... it is my experience that the ikkyo of practioners who acutally have access to those deeper layers becomes different ...
But this I can't put in clear words. Simply my experience that eventaully you can feel, experience these deeper layers very concrete.
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Old 07-18-2015, 04:07 PM   #70
Robert Cowham
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Re: Shinto Clapping in Aikido

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Erick Mead wrote: View Post
In fairness to the nature of Shinto -- Shinto has mythic history and experiential but not doctrinal teaching -- the tales and the rites are the thing -- not the analysis. Christianity possesses mythic history, and both doctrinal as well as experiential elements. Christianity's oft criticized and often violent debates about the finer points of doctrine -- are part and parcel of its less fluid and more stable character of development over these two millennia of many forms of dissension. Shinto has been more fluid in its development over a much shorter period of time. Feature or bug -- your call.
Indeed - this was the explanation - there are no doctrinal texts. And further elaborated by others - Japanese tend to "follow along" and Shinto feelings are absorbed over a period of time (osmosis).

The Shinto priest mentioned that many Japanese follow Shinto rights in early years (for example with certain children's milestones such as 5/7 years old), have a Christian marriage, and a Buddhist funeral! But they may have a Shinto shrine in their home throughout their lives...

There are pros and cons for both approaches. And I see them replayed in the world of learning aikido (or other budo).
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Old 07-18-2015, 11:18 PM   #71
JohnSeavitt
Location: Boston, MA, USA
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Re: Shinto Clapping in Aikido

Katherine -

Hello. I'm curious - I never trained there in Boston, but did discuss with Gleason on a couple of occasions regarding his thinking on the strength of connection between his understanding and practice of kotodama and his technique. He was quite definitive that the former was essential, at least for him. Would you care to comment on your experience in this regard? This is a bit off-topic, of course, and I'm not driving in any regard in the direction of suggesting that there's any sort of broad and mandatory co-experience of Shinto and aiki, or Ueshiba's aikido.

Regards,
John
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Old 07-19-2015, 11:35 AM   #72
JP3
 
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Re: Shinto Clapping in Aikido

Katherine, I think I want to change my signature to: "Do not confuse the pointing finger with the Moon."

Excellent! Were you quoting Bruce, or reaching in another direction?

I find it interesting that the kanji character for kuzushi illustrates a mountain falling on a house.
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Old 07-19-2015, 11:39 PM   #73
kewms
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Re: Shinto Clapping in Aikido

Quote:
John Seavitt wrote: View Post
Katherine -

Hello. I'm curious - I never trained there in Boston, but did discuss with Gleason on a couple of occasions regarding his thinking on the strength of connection between his understanding and practice of kotodama and his technique. He was quite definitive that the former was essential, at least for him. Would you care to comment on your experience in this regard? This is a bit off-topic, of course, and I'm not driving in any regard in the direction of suggesting that there's any sort of broad and mandatory co-experience of Shinto and aiki, or Ueshiba's aikido.

Regards,
John
I think Gleason Sensei's books are the definitive exposition of his thoughts in this regard. I wouldn't care to speculate beyond that.

Probably the most important thing to realize about Gleason Sensei is that both his understanding of aikido and his teaching methods are in a constant state of evolution. He's still learning and growing, and as a result anything that he tells you is subject to change as his own understanding changes.

He just taught an entire weekend seminar out here, and didn't mention kotodama once. On other occasions, he has tied specific sounds very explicitly to specific movements/energies. In my experience, he incorporates whatever tools seem to be the most effective in conveying whatever he is trying to teach to the specific group of students present on the mat.

Katherine
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Old 07-19-2015, 11:42 PM   #74
kewms
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Re: Shinto Clapping in Aikido

Quote:
John Powell wrote: View Post
Katherine, I think I want to change my signature to: "Do not confuse the pointing finger with the Moon."

Excellent! Were you quoting Bruce, or reaching in another direction?
I think the observation about the finger and the moon is centuries old, Bruce Lee just made it famous. But yes, that's the direction in which I was, uh, pointing.

Katherine
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Old 07-20-2015, 12:59 PM   #75
Cliff Judge
Location: Kawasaki, Kanagawa
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Re: Shinto Clapping in Aikido

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John Powell wrote: View Post
Cliff, methinks your "job" was to simply wind people up.
I apologize for that.
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