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Old 08-31-2001, 10:32 PM   #26
jimbaker
Dojo: Aikido of Norfolk/ Aikido Society of Memphis
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Question Re: Common respect

Quote:
And if I take it too far in terms of the questioning, try to remember that I am looking at Akido from the outside, never having had the opportunity to practice or even visit a dojo. ( I will be visiting one nearby in the next couple of days ) Akido seems to have ...
Please forgive me for asking, by why do you keep referring to the art as "Akido". At first I thought it was a typo, but it seems that this is the way you always spell it. I believe that "Akido" has no real meaning in Japanese.

Jim Baker
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Old 10-01-2001, 02:52 AM   #27
Kelly Cook
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Although I don't understand where the "force" tangent was going, I'm encouraged to see this topic here. I have studied informal Aikido under a christian instructor for a year now, and as I leave for college, am forced to part ways with him. I'm seeking a good Aikido dojo near my college, though, and was somewhat worried by this same subject. Being a severely devout christian, and being told that Aikido was in the running for the most spiritual of martial arts, I was obviously worried that I wouldn't find an appropriate place to train. If the descriptions of a more traditional Aikido training depicted here are accurate, I think I'll find my search much simpler than I orginally suspected! Thank you!

IPT (In Persuit of Truth),
Kelly
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Old 08-18-2002, 10:39 AM   #28
ChristianBoddum
 
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Hi !

I really know very little about the Omoto-kyo but as I understand it,it's a blended practice of christianity and shinto beliefs,the japanese seems to have been able to blend beliefs in a working manner, ex. you can marry according to christianity and be burried in a buddhist manner.

As to the practice of aikido,when you bow to shomen and O'senseis picture,as a christian you can bow to God to say thank you for the creation of man - without man there would be no O'sensei,then you thank for giving you such a great teacher to help you transform into a being that is complete, in accord with yourself and your belief.Finally,Nishio sensei has said that aikido is the Budo of forgivenes,so by training aikido you can become not just the word but also the physical expression of christianity.

The original japanese sword - the one that cuts through to new sollutions may not be the sword Jesus was the speaker of but I do see the two can act in accordance of each other.

I too have chosen Jesus as my saviour and have no trouble with the two,it's just a shame that it is so hard to get other believers to enter a dojo to try the wonderful practice of aikido.

Turn your foot from evil, prov.4 v.27 -

irimi tenkan.

yours - Chr.B.
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Old 08-18-2002, 04:28 PM   #29
31n13
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I haven't read all the posts mostly because I don't care for religion,

but how can you believe in something if it 'comes in conflict' with practicing a martial art.

It's something that frutstrates me so much that in this age of evolution people still believe in a 'godlike' being and all the other nonsense fantasized around it,

believe in yourself
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Old 08-18-2002, 04:48 PM   #30
Kevin Leavitt
 
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God mean different things to different people. As well as religion. It is the attachment that we personally put on it is where we all seem to disagree.

Religion is a personal thing. It is something that some people find peace and solitude in...nothing wrong with that.

Believing in yourself is a religion and philosophically that makes you your own god. So it would appear that you to believe in a god! Not that there is anything wrong with that!

We could debate all day long about the empirical evidence if god/or gods exist or not. What does it really change?

We are still all here on earth. We all agree that love and compasssion are good things and hate and greed are bad things.

Seems to me the world would be a better place if we all tried to find similarities and joy in each other as humans than trying to define concepts of god and "what is right and wrong" with believing or not believing.

In all cases I find the concept of god is all just semantics! We all believe in something!

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Old 08-18-2002, 04:52 PM   #31
opherdonchin
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Freaky! Bowing and a bit more

Back to the issue of bowing for a second. In the dojo where I currently practice, we have an islamic student who does not bow (either to the dojo or to other students). Similarly, orthodox students in dojos in Israel where I practiced often did not bow to the shomen (but did bow to other students). Most aikido dojos that I've visited are respectful enough of one's religious needs to be considerate.

The flip side, your ability to be respectful of aikido's religious roots, is a separate question. Let's imagine for a second that I had some good friends who are from some strange branch of christianity where their regular service makes no explicit reference to god or jesus but is modelled closely on more traditional christian worship in other ways. I go with my friends to their 'group meeting' (or whatever) out of curiousity. I find that I'm enjoying it in a purely secular way (perhaps it feels like an appropriate kind of meditation to me, or maybe I find the values expressed really inspiring and uplifting). I continue to attend regularly for years, but I insist that I am not a christian.

I feel like many of us (and certainly me) are in the same situation vis a vis Buddhism. I don't know if I 'believe' in Buddhism (whatever that would mean) or count myself as a Buddhist, but I sure do seem to engage regularly in what is, fundamentally, Buddhist religious practice.

Yours in Aiki
Opher
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Old 08-18-2002, 05:00 PM   #32
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I am a buddhist, if I must choose a label. The funny thing you find about buddhist is the more you learn about buddhism, the less you really want to have a label attached to you! (At least that is my experiences!)

But my dogtags, (I am in the Army) say Buddhist for religion! so I guess that makes me so.

Buddhism to me is more about philsophy than relgion per se. There is no dogma, or requirement to renounce anything. Only that you believe in the four noble truths. (Which I think all major religions in some form or another adhere to).

So it is possible to be a buddhist, and a christian, and an Akidoka at the same time! I really is up to you personally the attachment you put on things.

BTW, I still consider myself a Christian, since I believe in the teaching of Jesus, but I am sure by many Christians I would not meet their requirements. Same goes for Buddhist, I am sure as a westerner, I would fail to meet several things they consider to be relevant.

Again, who really cares...it's all about where you find peace and comfort! For that matter Aikido can also be considered a religion. It seems to meet the basic critieria!

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Old 08-18-2002, 06:18 PM   #33
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"So it is possible to be a buddhist, and a christian, and an Akidoka at the same time! I really is up to you personally the attachment you put on things". Leavitt

You got my vote.

"Again, who really cares...it's all about where you find peace and comfort! For that matter Aikido can also be considered a religion. It seems to meet the basic critieria!" Leavitt

I follow the line.

Pretorian
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Old 08-18-2002, 06:50 PM   #34
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I don't think there is a conflict with practicing Aikido so long as the person is rational. My first sensei was a Methodist Minister.
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Old 08-20-2002, 01:54 PM   #35
Bruce Baker
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Representations of faith

Ok ... back to the religious thing.

If I was to say my saviour for the my soul was say, a rock, how would that be any less valid than the representation of someone's faith in a human being who has died.

I have the same faith in my rock. I am a good human being who tries to life a good life because I worship my rock. I even get along with others who don't believe in my faith of the rock as they pursue their own religion.

Every religion has a representation of faith that allows you to put aside your emotional stress, your fear of death, and in this belief or peaceful state of mind we are allowed to co-exist within our environment.

There are a thousand deviations to the basic goodness of Christianity, and lessons that we need to remember as we live our lives, but the most important one is get along with our fellow human beings.

There are many historians who believe Jesus traveled to India, experienced Buddhism, and then adapted it to the Jewish faith, never expecting to create a new religion, but make his own faith more alligned with the universal god of human beings. How weird is that by the Bible's writings, the doctrine of the Christian Church, and the practices of todays Christians?

I have my certificate of membership for the Methodist Church, and have spent many long hours of study in Bible study before I went looking for historical references to support my given faith. Actually, finding true answers that dispell much of "Believe what I tell you, what they tell out side of our faith is lies" mentality has spurred me on to discover the universal truths of not only Aikido, but of the twisted mentality behind most religions.

If you seek the universal truths that bring peaceful co-existence, rather than looking for the simple things that show respect and increase your knowledge by training in another cultures martial arts, you faith will grow stronger and be enlightened.

Most of the group I practice with do go to Mass in the Catholic Church. The fact that we use different types of standing or kneeling bows to show respect for O'Sensei, or a teacher becomes unimportant.

Over the picture of the masters is always the sign of our faith, be it a representation of Christianity, or any other religion, we recognize that above all learning comes the faith in a higher power, or god.

Don't be put off by superficial things that are done to enter, practice, and leave the mat.

Most importantly, you must bring the love of your faith to the mat to generate that energy into heaven for those who have passed away, those who practice today, and those who will practice tomorrow.

If that is the force of our lives for today's reality in Aikido practice, then let the force be with you my friends.
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Old 08-20-2002, 02:24 PM   #36
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Bruce,

I can't resist...i tried...but I can't...

What exactly do you learn from you rock?

Have a nice day

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Old 08-20-2002, 02:39 PM   #37
opherdonchin
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Actually, I'm with Bruce. A 'true' religion would encourage its disciples to find their own truth just like a 'true' sensai encourages his students to find their own aikido.

It does raise interesting issues of the role of community in your religion, though. While we are each meant to find our own AiKiDo / God / Enlightenment, we are often encouraged to do so in the context of a dojo / church / community. What do those other people add?

Yours in Aiki
Opher
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Old 08-20-2002, 02:49 PM   #38
Kevin Leavitt
 
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I don't think any religion really professes anything but people finding there own path.

Albeit some religions are more faith based than others...but I really think at core level everyone must have faith in something.

I totally follow Bruce...I was just giving him a hard time!

I am buddhist. One of the things I really liked about Buddha was that one of his first things was to question his teachings!

I think Christianity as a whole at it's core has no problem with this.

Although the history of the Christian church as a institution definitely has a background of dealing in undesirable ways with those that question...believe it was called heresey. (spanish inquisition to name one example).

But a religion shouldn't be judged on the actions of misguided humans! Every religion has a few skeletons it is not proud of.

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Old 08-20-2002, 02:56 PM   #39
opherdonchin
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Just real quick before I take off:

***********

A religion shouldn't be judged on the actions of misguided humans!

***********

I would say that is the only way a religion could or should be 'judged' (if judging religions was something we want to do).

Yours in Aiki
Opher
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Old 08-20-2002, 03:25 PM   #40
virginia_kyu
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Quote:
Ringo Calcoen (31n13) wrote:
I haven't read all the posts mostly because I don't care for religion,

but how can you believe in something if it 'comes in conflict' with practicing a martial art.

It's something that frutstrates me so much that in this age of evolution people still believe in a 'godlike' being and all the other nonsense fantasized around it,

believe in yourself
Wow, you are so enlightened

-- Michael Neal
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Old 08-20-2002, 03:52 PM   #41
ChristianBoddum
 
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How to believe in yourself -

the funny thing is that I used to believe in myself very much and was a hardhead ,

but now putting my belief in Jesus and knowing

if I'm alright with him ,I can believe much more in myself,actually limits disappear.

How about that ?

yours - Chr.B.
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Old 08-20-2002, 04:16 PM   #42
Erik
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Quote:
Ringo Calcoen (31n13) wrote:
It's something that frutstrates me so much that in this age of evolution people still believe in a 'godlike' being and all the other nonsense fantasized around it,
http://www.celebatheists.com/entries/atheist_4.html#6

Believe in the pumpkin.
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Old 08-20-2002, 08:29 PM   #43
Kevin Leavitt
 
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Opher,

Since you are from Maryland, you are a person, and my experiences in Northern VA have been that Maryland drivers can't drive...then it is safe to assume based on your reasoning...then it is safe for me to assume that you cannot drive?

A simple logic argument...but I think it follows the logic of a religion should be judged by the actions of the people.

People should be judged by their own actions.

In the case of Christianity and it's history...(and all religions) or for that matter any definable "institution" has had "issues".

While I do not consider myself a Christian, I am well versed in Christian Dogma having grown up in the Anglian sect. I choose a different path for spiritual reasons. And yes, I have criticisms of the Institution and some people that identify with it, but I stop at dismissing the Bible, Jesus, or the teaching of Judaic/Christian principles- the core religion.

At it's base, you will find that today, Christians are trying to do the right things. Albeit there are many people who profess to be Christians that are really contradicting hipocrits...(however we all do that on occasion.)

But, As a religion, No, it should not be judged on the actions of people. Cause people are people and religion is a concept.

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Old 08-20-2002, 08:35 PM   #44
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Erik,

Speaking of George Carlin, that great philosopher, One of my favorite movies is Dogma!

If anyone has not seen it I recommend watching it.

If you listen to the message real close, all it is really doing his poking fun at a few of the contradictions in Dogma of the church.

Might be considered blasphemous by some, but I think it is important to have a little introspection from time to time and have the ability to laugh at yourself!

Oh, that is why I like South Park to!

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Old 08-20-2002, 09:35 PM   #45
virginia_kyu
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I agree that Marylanders can't drive

-- Michael Neal
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Old 08-20-2002, 11:15 PM   #46
opherdonchin
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Quote:
Kevin Leavitt wrote:
Since you are from Maryland, you are a person, and my experiences in Northern VA have been that Maryland drivers can't drive...then it is safe to assume based on your reasoning...then it is safe for me to assume that you cannot drive?

A simple logic argument...but I think it follows the logic of a religion should be judged by the actions of the people.

People should be judged by their own actions.
Kevin, I don't follow the analogy here. I wasn't generalizing at all about people, I was saying that there is an inalienable connection between a religion and the behavior of its adherents. In some, sort of deep, senses, a religion is the behavior of its adherents.

Think about it another way: I've rarely known a religious person who is not willing to ascribe at least some aspects of the positive behavior of religious people from their particular faith to the religion's teachings.

In the same way that I'm happy to give credit where credit is due, and I really feel that there is much to admire, I think that it is important to think seriously about the failings. Is it true that all religions fail in the same way? Are some more prone to particular 'distortions' than others? These are real and important questions that people choose not to look at when they say, "That's not REALLY XXXXX."

Let's take an example closer to home. I really and truly think that AiKiDo, properly practiced, could not lead to Sensei's with big egos and ugly complicated politics. Still, the truth is that I KNOW that it has and that it probably will again. On the one hand, I tell myself 'that is not AiKiDo.' On the other hand, I need to say to myself, 'No, Opher, that IS AiKiDo. How does that change your understanding?'

And it's true, of course, that you would be wise to give me a wide berth on the road!

Yours in Aiki
Opher
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Old 08-21-2002, 05:28 AM   #47
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just think though, as a Christian Aikidoist,

you could turn your cheek the other way so effectively that the other person would miss altogether and unbalance themselves.

DL Gadd
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Old 08-21-2002, 06:09 AM   #48
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Quote:
Ringo Calcoen (31n13) wrote:
I haven't read all the posts mostly because I don't care for religion,

but how can you believe in something if it 'comes in conflict' with practicing a martial art.

It's something that frutstrates me so much that in this age of evolution people still believe in a 'godlike' being and all the other nonsense fantasized around it,

believe in yourself
I have to say that as someone who devoutly believes in and studies evolution and science for a living, I hope this wasn't a serious post.

Most of if not all of the best scientists have believed in God in one way or another. Einstein's famous quote: "He does not play dice" being a good example. Michael Faraday was a devout christian who believed his work as a scientist was to better understand the mind of god as it is in nature. Charles Darwin was also the Rev. Darwin, though he lost his faith big time when one of his children died.

There is nothing in science that is in conflict with god if god is indeed truth.

The philosophy of modern science is that of Popperian science, Karl Popper said effectively that science doesn't ever proove anything, it only disproves what is demonstrably false. If however you can find only two options and disprove one, then the other being left over is by default the truth.

In essence this leaves plenty of room for belief in god or any form of religious practice so long as you do not interpret many of the things written in holy texts literally (i.e. the garden of eden is directly at odds with current scientific knowledge), instead treat them as allegory or whatever.

A good scientist does not dismiss anything simply because they think they know better, this leads to mistakes in the form of assumptions that can mislead an earnest researcher.

Sincerely

Mike Haft

"Our scientific power has outrun our spiritual power. We have guided missiles and misguided men."
-Martin Luther King Jr
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Old 08-21-2002, 06:32 AM   #49
Kevin Leavitt
 
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Opher,

As it is with most cases in threads...we are probably talking around the same issue.

I agree there is a connection between peoples actions and religion...no question about it.

But I tend to look at it as people use the concept and principles of religion to justify there actions. Therefore, judge people based on their actions, not the religion!

We should not judge islam as a bad religion because terrorist bastardize the concepts to justify their actions. Judget the terrorist.

It is very true that most religions how written scripture condoning the use of violence. Well that said aikido also condones the use of force and violence. It cannot be taken fundamentally or literally as it is lifted out of the scripture. You must consider such actions based on the totality of the situation.

Life, religion and even aikido is a paradox.

That is why I like the zen koan. "Do not harm, but stop harm".

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Old 08-21-2002, 06:37 AM   #50
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God is a huge concept.

Some relate to God as a bearded diety sitting on a cloud.

Some believe that god is the life force that permeates all living things.

Some people only believe in themselves and that they exisit.

Whatever you call it, philosophically we all believe in something bigger than ourselves.

Even if Science is our god.

We can debate this concept forever and never reach a solution.

I say life is too short to waste debating the exsistence of such a paradox. we should get on with living and practice the things we should all do regardless of our belief.

If we did that then "God" would be happy!

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