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Old 12-20-2002, 07:37 AM   #1
Bruce Baker
Dojo: LBI Aikikai/LBI ,NJ
Location: Barnegaat, NJ
Join Date: Sep 2001
Posts: 893
Application of "aiki"

I have posed questions on the religious application of "Aiki" with questions like "Jesus is dead" because that is the religion I subscribe to, but .... what are the boundarys of "Aiki"??

Is it religion?

Is it actions of Aikido practice?

Is it actions in everyday life?

Or is it merely another acronym for something implied as a lesson but never really used in everyday life?

If it wasn't called "Aiki" would the old analogy of "a smack up side the head" be the equivelent of getting "Aiki"?
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Old 12-20-2002, 10:54 AM   #2
Thalib's Avatar
Dojo: 合気研究会
Location: Jakarta Selatan
Join Date: Nov 2001
Posts: 504
Aiki is not religion.

Aiki is not action of aikido practice.

Aiki is not action in everyday life.

In fact aiki is not an action by itself.

Aiki is a principle of life. Unbounded by religion, techniques, or physical means. But it could be reflected upon by anything that we do.

The best example of aiki that I usually use when explaining to people is listening, not just hearing. It is easy to hear people talk, but it is quite hard to listen. I still have that problem until today.

When somebody speaks, don't stare at them, look at them, not necessarily at the eyes, but focus on the speaker. Give the speaker your undivided attention. Feel what the speaker wants to communicate to you, don't ignore the speaker.

Aiki is a state of being. When one is in aiki, let's say with the speaker, one is in connection with the other. Do you ever have the feeling when you're talking to someone, everything just "clicks", that you and the speaker are on the same "wavelength" that you could speak for hours and hours without the sense of time. You are in aiki with that person, you are making a connection.

There are steps in aiki:
  1. Aiki with oneself - being of one mind/spirit and body.
  2. Aiki with others - such as in making connections in communications, taking care of others, etc.
  3. Aiki with the surroundings/nature - still have problems with number 1 and 2, cant' explain this one.
  4. Aiki with the universe - beyond my comprehension.
  5. Since I'm a muslim, I also believe being in aiki with the Creator - way beyond my comprehension.

When I have to die by the sword, I will do so with honor.
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Old 12-21-2002, 07:10 PM   #3
Kevin Leavitt
Kevin Leavitt's Avatar
Dojo: Team Combat USA
Location: Olympia, Washington
Join Date: Jul 2002
Posts: 4,376
That which you state above....is a religion to some!

Religion is defined by the person.

As a Buddhist, I belong to the religion of non-religion. Buddhism is by many considered a philosophy, by others a religion.

Same with Aiki or Aikido...to some it is a religion to others it is a work out, still to others it is a way of life.

What difference does it make if we define it?

I think people, westerners in particular, place far too much emphasis on labels and trying to fit everything in nice neat little boxes.

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Old 12-25-2002, 04:13 AM   #4
Jeff Tibbetts
Dojo: Cedar River Aikikai
Location: Cedar Rapids, Iowa
Join Date: Oct 2002
Posts: 142
Kevin, well said© I think that by westerners have the mentality that something simply is or isn't© You can't have something that's like a religion in purpose or function but isn't a religion in the sense of doctrine or dogma© We all have an idea of what we think religion should be or actually is, and most Eastern religions/philosophies do not easily fit into our pidgeonholes© I consider Aiki to be a state much as Thalib says, where one is connected to everything else, wether on a personal or cosmic scale© I don't really think of Aikido or Ki as a religion as there is not connotation of "you should do this and this and not this" involved with it© You may decide that you don't want to do one thing or another based on the awareness that being connected can bring you, but you aren't given a set of commandments written in stone that quantify what Ki or Aiki is© Quite the contrary, in reality© We are all given the tools to expierience Aiki, and what we do with it is for us to decide which makes it that much more valuable and meaningful© That's just my opinion, but I think that it's a core difference with western religions© Of course on the level of interpretation, many people would certainly define Buddhism as a religion in it's present form as it does tend to carry messages of morality or codes to live by© Shinto is entirely different and I think more related to Aiki because of those differences©

If the Nightingale doesn't sing-
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Old 01-08-2003, 08:43 AM   #5
Bruce Baker
Dojo: LBI Aikikai/LBI ,NJ
Location: Barnegaat, NJ
Join Date: Sep 2001
Posts: 893
You know what? Nope.

Funny thing about Aiki, it is both the becomining one with the Universe, being able to summon the forces of mind, body, and spirit .... and yet we embody the use of aiki as the energy that it takes to have life, or drawn upon energy to increase action within the motions of that life's actions to create harmony from disharmony.

As much as Aiki is not, it is defined as the actions of what we do, or the physical movements that define energy being used to create actions.

So, it is the measurement of energy by observation of movement, and yet it is not the movements that are the moving force, but the force that creates the movements.

I equate the understanding of harmonious forces that allow us to have the term Aiki as being not just Ki or Ai but the formulation of mind, thought, and deed that can not be describe by individual items, but are grouped into a common term that sends us in the right direction just like someone to "head west to find the river." Within that general direction the goal is achieved, or at least experienced with a give set of parameters.

Aiki? Hmmm...

Some people describe it as the right thing to do, the action, thought, and deed that rise to our expectations.

Aiki used in real life situations?

I guess that depends if you consider it a spiritual thought, or a practical description of thought and actions being explained by someone who has actually used this intangible idea to affect action and deed?

I guess we could disect the word, like the word 'assume.'

When you assume, you make an ass of 'U' and me... or that another lesson of learning Aiki?

The pieces are not always the meaning of the entirety?

Last edited by Bruce Baker : 01-08-2003 at 08:51 AM.
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Old 01-11-2003, 07:26 PM   #6
Kevin Leavitt
Kevin Leavitt's Avatar
Dojo: Team Combat USA
Location: Olympia, Washington
Join Date: Jul 2002
Posts: 4,376
spirituality does not in itself have to be connected with religion...but then again, it is all in your perception of the definition.

I think spirituality is simply recognizing that there is something more either within you or outside of you (or both) that is bigger than your ego or perception allows you to see.

To me spirituality is recognizing that there is an interconnectedness and relationship between all things in the universe. My spiritual path is trying to uncover or understand my relationship with the rest of the world.

Aiki has been a one great way to allow me to walk on the spiritual path.

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