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Old 08-20-2006, 12:30 AM   #1
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Poll: Has aikido changed your spiritual life?

AikiWeb Poll for the week of August 20, 2006:

Has aikido changed your spiritual life?
  • I don't do aikido
  • Yes
  • No
Here are the current results.
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Old 08-20-2006, 05:32 PM   #2
Brad Pruitt
Dojo: High Desert Aikido
Location: Bend, Oregon
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Re: Poll: Has aikido changed your spiritual life?

The way aikido has changed my spiritual life is in the way it has helped me be aware of it on a daily basis.That connection. For me, alot of aikido is about connection.
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Old 08-21-2006, 12:32 AM   #3
Amir Krause
Dojo: Shirokan Dojo / Tel Aviv Israel
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Re: Poll: Has aikido changed your spiritual life?

For answering such a question, one should start by defining what does he mean by "spiritual life". One should then explain how can he know for certain, any change was generated by Aikido and not just by growing up and accumulating more experience in life.

Aikido practice does contain several simple messages about our way to approach confrontations. This can be seen on the mat and minor verbal explaining is sufficient to show its relevance to other confrontations as well.

Assuming one practices vigorously, and internalizes these concepts of handling confrontations, is such a change spiritual????


Amir
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Old 08-21-2006, 03:24 AM   #4
Mark Uttech
Dojo: Yoshin-ji Aikido of Marshall
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Re: Poll: Has aikido changed your spiritual life?

Growing up in the 60's and 70's was difficult for many because of VieNam and also the emerging Counter Culture. Aikido was also beginning to blossom on the East and West Coasts of America. Living in the Midwest, the heartland, I discovered Buddhism in books before anything else, which helped to temper my reaction to the world situation; but discovering Aikido in the 80's did so much more than temper my reaction: it gave me a response, a response that balanced violence and nonviolence.
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Old 08-21-2006, 06:47 AM   #5
dps
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Re: Poll: Has aikido changed your spiritual life?

Quote:
Amir Krause wrote:
For answering such a question, one should start by defining what does he mean by "spiritual life". One should then explain how can he know for certain, any change was generated by Aikido and not just by growing up and accumulating more experience in life.
I agree with Amir. I define spiritual as the personal relationship I have with God. If I did not practice Aikido the relationship would not suffer.
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Old 08-21-2006, 08:17 AM   #6
ian
 
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Re: Poll: Has aikido changed your spiritual life?

Interesting post Mark. I read more about Taoism and Buddhism because of my introduction (at the age of 16) to aikido, although since even earlier I was interested in ethical philosophy. I didn't get into aikido because of the philosophical aspect (it was to play with jo's). However, even though philosophically I tend towards the zen/taoist thinking the physical concepts that are applied in aikido affect the way I look at other things on a more psychological/spiritual level. I also find that with surfing as well though. Sometimes its just useful to have aikido (or some other activity) as a metaphore for other aspects of your life.

---understanding aikido is understanding the training method---
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Old 08-21-2006, 08:28 AM   #7
Mark Uttech
Dojo: Yoshin-ji Aikido of Marshall
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Re: Poll: Has aikido changed your spiritual life?

Aikido is a way to practice responding; in other words we no longer watch helplessly as the world situation unfolds around us- we can tell ourselves: "well, it is going to unfold anyway..." But because Aikido helps us learn the 'saving art of ukemi', we are better able to cope. In gassho

Mark
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Old 08-21-2006, 11:11 AM   #8
Erick Mead
 
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Re: Poll: Has aikido changed your spiritual life?

Quote:
Amir Krause wrote:
For answering such a question, one should start by defining what does he mean by "spiritual life". One should then explain how can he know for certain, any change was generated by Aikido and not just by growing up and accumulating more experience in life.
Oooh! I love category games ...

For posing such a question one should end in obscuring what he means by physical death. One should say nothing as to how he can ignore as uncertain, that any stasis was destroyed by aikido, or just by remaining infantile but losing a little ignorance in death.

Quote:
Amir Krause wrote:
Aikido practice does contain several simple messages about our way to approach confrontations. This can be seen on the mat and minor verbal explaining is sufficient to show its relevance to other confrontations as well.
Let's play again!

Aikido theory does release all complex silences about our way to avoid cooperation. This can be unseen off the mat but major non-verbal nonsense statements are insufficient to hide its irrelevance to THIS cooperation as badly.

Quote:
Amir Krause wrote:
Assuming one practices vigorously, and internalizes these concepts of handling confrontations, is such a change spiritual????
And finally:

Assuming one lazes about languidly, and externalizes this nonsense of fumbling cooperation, is such a stasis physical?

Cordially,

Erick Mead
一隻狗可久里馬房但他也不是馬的.
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Old 08-21-2006, 11:29 AM   #9
Krista DeCoste
Location: Nova Scotia
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Re: Poll: Has aikido changed your spiritual life?

I think it has deepened my spiritual life. I was drawn to Aikido because at first sight, somehting about it affected me spiritually. It continues to do so. I think it adds a dimension to my spiritual practice.
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Old 08-21-2006, 11:52 PM   #10
ESimmons
Location: Birmingham, AL
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Re: Poll: Has aikido changed your spiritual life?

Aikido itself has not affected my spiritual life. It is a martial art. When I go to the dojo, I don't feel like I'm communing with nature or studying the human spirit. I feel like I'm learning how to move in certain ways that allow me to exercise control over another human body.
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Old 08-21-2006, 11:58 PM   #11
Brad Pruitt
Dojo: High Desert Aikido
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Re: Poll: Has aikido changed your spiritual life?

Quote:
Aikido itself has not affected my spiritual life. It is a martial art. When I go to the dojo, I don't feel like I'm communing with nature or studying the human spirit. I feel like I'm learning how to move in certain ways that allow me to exercise control over another human body.
I to feel as though aikido is an exercise in body mechanics but for me that spiritual side is more and more ever-present.
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Old 08-22-2006, 10:20 AM   #12
Karen Wolek
Dojo: Kingston Aikido
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Re: Poll: Has aikido changed your spiritual life?

I said yes.

When I first started, sometimes sensei would have us meditate for a minute or two after class, during line-up/bow-out/whatever. I was curious, so I did a lot of research on meditation. Which led to reading a lot about Buddhism. Which led to taking a free meditation class in Woodstock. (which wasn't Buddhist, but very educational and interesting) So I began studying Buddhism a few years ago!

So even though we don't discuss anything spiritual in my dojo, yes, aikido HAS changed my spiritual life.

Karen
"Try not. Do...or do not. There is no try." - Master Yoda
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Old 08-22-2006, 11:29 AM   #13
James Davis
 
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Re: Poll: Has aikido changed your spiritual life?

Aikido has increased my options when dealing with violence. I have the ability to defend myself and my family without necessarily causing injury or death. I think that this can only make my creator happy, and my passing this art along to others gives my life extra purpose.

"The only difference between Congress and drunken sailors is that drunken sailors spend their own money." -Tom Feeney, representative from Florida
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Old 08-22-2006, 12:03 PM   #14
dps
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Re: Poll: Has aikido changed your spiritual life?

Quote:
Karen Wolek wrote:
I said yes.

When I first started, sometimes sensei would have us meditate for a minute or two after class, during line-up/bow-out/whatever. I was curious, so I did a lot of research on meditation. Which led to reading a lot about Buddhism.
Hi Karen, I hope in your research you found that meditation is not just in Eastern Religion/Philosophy. There is a tradition of meditation in the Western Religions as well. While not as pop culture as Eastern meditation it can be just as effective.

David Skaggs
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Old 08-22-2006, 04:09 PM   #15
6th Kyu For Life
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Re: Poll: Has aikido changed your spiritual life?

Yes, in fact this is probably the most visible way in which Aikido has changed my life, aside from small physical changes (posture, muscle structure.) Now, I try not to wear my religion, or Aikido for that matter, on my sleeve, but most people who know me would probably acknowledge that I've become a religious person, or at least, a spiritual person, since I started Aikido only two and a half years ago. But the change in my life has been visible or concrete in that it also changed my career path. In college, your future is heavily influenced by your interests, so an interest in Aikido that became coupled with an interest in Japanese Buddhism led me to major in East Asian Studies with a minor in Religion, and potential jobs in that field.

But that's not to say that job opportunities have been the first thing on my mind during this "awakening" to an interest in Asian thought and religion. I've also started Buddhist practice on my own, and with a group at school. I've also had the opportunity to visit temples in Japan, and travel to a few Zen Centers here in the US.

So, has aikido changed my spiritual life? Well, I now consider myself a Buddhist. But, in addition to changing my spiritual life, it's changed my academic life as well. I now study Buddhism and Japanese, instead of Chemistry. So, for better or for worse, Aikido can change your life. Sometimes is subtle and personal, spiritual, but sometimes it's obvious and practical. Aikido works in mysterious ways, I guess.

Anyway, just thought I'd like to share.

Peace,
Tom Newhall
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Old 08-22-2006, 06:46 PM   #16
connie brown
Location: washington state
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Re: Poll: Has aikido changed your spiritual life?

I had a very active spiritual life before I began aikido, and I feel that my aikido practice has changed and developed that as well as most other aspects of my life. The spiritual side of aikido isn't talked about much in my dojo, but of course you can feel that it's there. I use aikido as an extension of my spiritual practices, and it's given me the ability to experience a deeper level of commitment and self-discipline in my spiritual life.

Also, I feel that because aikido is so physical, being a martial art, and yet also has deep spiritual roots, it helps to bring an awareness of spiritual experience into everyday life. Since I began aikido, I've been able to start seeing other aspects of my life, like my job, and housework, and relationships, as spiritual practices too. If you can be patient, or emotionally strong, or whatever, on the mats, then you start to realize you can be those things in daily life as well.

It's an ongoing journey on all levels.
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Old 08-22-2006, 07:01 PM   #17
Karen Wolek
Dojo: Kingston Aikido
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Re: Poll: Has aikido changed your spiritual life?

Quote:
David Skaggs wrote:
Hi Karen, I hope in your research you found that meditation is not just in Eastern Religion/Philosophy. There is a tradition of meditation in the Western Religions as well. While not as pop culture as Eastern meditation it can be just as effective.

David Skaggs
Well, I was Catholic for my entire life up until then. I tried really hard to be Catholic, LOL, but it didn't work out. So I think I was looking for something that made more sense to me. Voila, Buddhism.

Karen
"Try not. Do...or do not. There is no try." - Master Yoda
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Old 08-22-2006, 08:27 PM   #18
dps
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Re: Poll: Has aikido changed your spiritual life?

Quote:
Karen Wolek wrote:
Well, I was Catholic for my entire life up until then. I tried really hard to be Catholic, LOL, but it didn't work out. So I think I was looking for something that made more sense to me. Voila, Buddhism.
You can still use the same prayer beads?
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Old 08-22-2006, 10:04 PM   #19
Erick Mead
 
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Re: Poll: Has aikido changed your spiritual life?

Quote:
Karen Wolek wrote:
Well, I was Catholic for my entire life up until then. I tried really hard to be Catholic, LOL, but it didn't work out. So I think I was looking for something that made more sense to me. Voila, Buddhism.
Then you were trying too hard. It's not an either/or. Nor is it about sense -- or nonsense. Try "Zen Catholicism" (1963) by Dom Aelred Graham. See his obit here: http://www.archive.zenwebhosting.com...y/graham_a.htm

My wife called me a Zen Catholic, only half-jokingly, when we first met and I had to get the book when I found out about it. Serious and very readable theology -- on both Catholic and Buddhist grounds-- by a Benedictine. His observations on the relationship of Christianity to Buddhist thought is worth pondering carefully.

In terms of aikido, two statements by Jesus should be read in conjunction with a number of O-Sensei's doka:
Quote:
"Do not think that I have come to bring peace on earth; I have not come to bring peace, but a sword." St. Matt., 10:34

"Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you; not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your hearts be troubled, neither let them be afraid." St. John, 14:27
If you are more Jesuitical of mind -- try here also: http://kennedyzen.tripod.com/ (Fr. Robert Kenedy, Roshi, SJ and especially look at the bottom of the page). The encyclical Dominus Iesus is really worth a good read in this regard, as is Pope Benedict's more popularized "Truth and Tolerance."

"All that is true, by whomsoever it has been said, is from the Holy Spirit." St. Thomas Aquinas, cit. 1 Cor. 12:4-11. Ultimately, the only antidote to bad, or (badly presented) theology is good theology. And we are thinking creatures -- trying not to think is as much an attachment as incessant thinking, O Ananda.

Cordially,

Erick Mead
一隻狗可久里馬房但他也不是馬的.
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Old 08-27-2006, 06:06 AM   #20
Laurel Seacord
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Re: Poll: Has aikido changed your spiritual life?

Quote:
James Davis, Jr. wrote:
Aikido has increased my options when dealing with violence. I have the ability to defend myself and my family without necessarily causing injury or death. I think that this can only make my creator happy, and my passing this art along to others gives my life extra purpose.
James, thank you for your insight into what "spirituality" can - and should - mean: what we do in our day-to-day lives. While I don't anticipate ever having to confront a violent opponent face-to-face, I do aspire to interacting with everyone around me in a way that does not deny or deprive them, while not "being a victim" myself. I think this principle of non-dissension is a very effective means of spiritual growth.
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Old 08-27-2006, 06:28 AM   #21
Donald Pillow
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Re: Poll: Has aikido changed your spiritual life?

I only wish I could say this is true. Spiritually, right now I'm at a crossroads. Life is testing me, sorely.

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