Welcome to AikiWeb Aikido Information
AikiWeb: The Source for Aikido Information
AikiWeb's principal purpose is to serve the Internet community as a repository and dissemination point for aikido information.

Sections
home
aikido articles
columns

Discussions
forums
aikiblogs

Databases
dojo search
seminars
image gallery
supplies
links directory

Reviews
book reviews
video reviews
dvd reviews
equip. reviews

News
submit
archive

Miscellaneous
newsletter
rss feeds
polls
about

Follow us on



Home > AikiWeb Aikido Forums
Go Back   AikiWeb Aikido Forums > Spiritual

Hello and thank you for visiting AikiWeb, the world's most active online Aikido community! This site is home to over 22,000 aikido practitioners from around the world and covers a wide range of aikido topics including techniques, philosophy, history, humor, beginner issues, the marketplace, and more.

If you wish to join in the discussions or use the other advanced features available, you will need to register first. Registration is absolutely free and takes only a few minutes to complete so sign up today!

Closed Thread
 
Thread Tools
Old 06-22-2012, 10:08 AM   #101
mathewjgano
 
mathewjgano's Avatar
Dojo: Tsubaki Kannagara Jinja Aikidojo; Himeji Shodokan Dojo
Location: Renton
Join Date: Feb 2005
Posts: 2,113
United_States
Offline
Re: My Spiritual Aikido.

Quote:
Dan Harden wrote: View Post
As I step on the mat...I take apart everyone who thinks like the above examples .......I thank good training, not mother earth, eros, father sky...or anything else that essentially does not one meaningful thing to help those followimg such paths.....
To remain vertical.
Dan
Please pass the glue!
Surely they do at least one thing to help those following such paths. The question is what. Let's assume they don't undertsand how to use their mind-body as well as you, like just about everyone else you teach, does that invalidate the spirituality of their Aikido? Does a "lesser" understanding invalidate the spirituality?

Gambarimashyo!
 
Old 06-22-2012, 10:45 AM   #102
Marc Abrams
Dojo: Aikido Arts of Shin Budo Kai/ Bedford Hills, New York
Location: New York
Join Date: May 2006
Posts: 1,302
United_States
Offline
Re: My Spiritual Aikido.

Quote:
Matthew Gano wrote: View Post
Please pass the glue!
Surely they do at least one thing to help those following such paths. The question is what. Let's assume they don't undertsand how to use their mind-body as well as you, like just about everyone else you teach, does that invalidate the spirituality of their Aikido? Does a "lesser" understanding invalidate the spirituality?
Matthew:

Maybe we should look at your question from the opposite side. What is the validity of assumed spirituality in absence of consensual reality? In many respects, deep spirituality is integrally linked to the depth of reality of one's life (my opinion at least).

Marc Abrams
 
Old 06-22-2012, 11:31 AM   #103
Chris Parkerson
Dojo: Academy of the Martial Arts
Location: ohio
Join Date: Nov 2007
Posts: 740
United_States
Offline
Re: My Spiritual Aikido.

Quote:
Dan Harden wrote: View Post
As I step on the mat...I take apart everyone who thinks like the above examples .......Dan
Of this, I have little doubt. You have made this your primary focus. I honor that and that is why I want to train with you.

As for me, I have made survival my primary forcus. I will be 59 years old in one week. I believe myself to be successful at my goal as well.

Since I began in Kenpo in 1974, I started protecting people and surviving. I survived being a drug and undocumented alien hunter while in the Border Patrol where I ecountered at least 40 "resistings" that were rather dangerous We often worked the King Ranch and Kennedy Ranches alone in the day and only with one partner at night. Back up could be a hour away. I survived every one of these fights without having to cause blood, bruises or broken bones on the perpetrators. That was my standard and I succeeded mainly due to Colonel Mark Mile's style of jujitsu and Russell Waddel's Tomiki Aikido. My kenpo would have just taken me to the opposite extreme and likely before the internal affairs board.

Before the Border patrol, in1983, I surived the the streets of Managua, Estelli and a dozen other Nicaraguan towns as I wrote my Thesis for the Master of Divinity at Princeton Seminary.

As a professional body guard for the last 21 years, I have gone unarmed in places most sane police would not go to in Mexico City, Tijuana, Mexicali, Juarez, Nuevo Laredo and Matamorros. In those places, you simply do not bring your "Boxer Rebellion" to the terrain in order to face down gangs with machine guns. Strategy became the greater tool. And with it, I survived.

When I was 50 years old, a government subcontractor hired me and let me carry a Tabook (pistol grip AK 47) in Baghdad, Iraq in 2004. Still, in that environment, teamwork with fields of fire and team-centered driving skills became the best strategy to protect my team, my client and myself (a new military-style paradigm for me rather than a State Department/Secret Service model), My empty hand and sword skills were much less of a priority, though I trained with the guys there both in Aikido and Jujitsu. If I or anyone there overly touted their fighting skills, the team would have become rather nervous as if that person were a loose cannon. Everyone had fighting skills on that team, the Brits, the Americans, the South Africans the Poles, the Lebanese, Spaniards and the Iraqi's.

Now, I am old. Like Sitting Bull, I would say, "Nothing is so strong as gentleness, nothing so gentle as real strengh".

That is my path. I do not judge anyone for having a different path. Neither does it mean I no longer want to perfect my martial skills.

Best Wishes,

Chris
Click image for larger version

Name:	chris baghdad.jpg
Views:	8
Size:	5.8 KB
ID:	1025

Last edited by Chris Parkerson : 06-22-2012 at 11:35 AM.
 
Old 06-22-2012, 11:34 AM   #104
George S. Ledyard
 
George S. Ledyard's Avatar
Dojo: Aikido Eastside
Location: Bellevue, WA
Join Date: Jun 2000
Posts: 2,639
Offline
Re: My Spiritual Aikido.

Quote:
Marc Abrams wrote: View Post
Matthew:

Maybe we should look at your question from the opposite side. What is the validity of assumed spirituality in absence of consensual reality? In many respects, deep spirituality is integrally linked to the depth of reality of one's life (my opinion at least).

Marc Abrams
I might disagree... although I know what you are saying. Much of what has been considered spirituality of great depth requires going into some alternate paradigm of perception of reality. This has often contradicted "consensual reality". This has always been a reality that contradicts the fundamental way ordinary folks perceive their reality. This is what has traditionally made it difficult to decide if someone's spirituality is genuine or he or she is a charlatan.

In Aikido it is equally difficult in that we are willing to accept that the art is a mix of the spiritual and the technical. The question is... does great technique yield deep spirituality? I think it is apparent to all of us that this is not a necessary result. Or does spiritual insight yield great technique. I think we can readily see the disconnect there.

If you look at someone like the Founder, he was rather other worldly in both respects. He had a very different world paradigm from that in which most folks function. He also had a technical level of ability that seemed other worldly to many. I do think that what makes Aikido truly Aikido is that if ones insight is valid, he or she can manifest that insight on the mat technically. That's the bottom line. Ones "other worldly" spirituality and technique needs to function with people whose reality is firmly anchored in the ordinary mundane world. O-Sensei could walk his talk. Most of the deshi could walk their talk on some level. Most of our contemporary Aikido folks cannot do so on the level that was once considered important.

George S. Ledyard
Aikido Eastside
Bellevue, WA
Aikido Eastside
AikidoDvds.Com
 
Old 06-22-2012, 11:36 AM   #105
donhebert
Dojo: River Valley Aikido
Location: Vermont
Join Date: Sep 2004
Posts: 47
United_States
Offline
Re: My Spiritual Aikido.

Hi Everyone,

I apologize ahead of time for length of this.

I have appreciated reading everyone's posts on this topic and have found them to be thought provoking. I continue to be fascinated by the levels of interest that Aikidoists sustain in the spiritual aspect of training and how difficult it is to talk about it.

My own interest in Aikido was sparked when I learned that there was a martial art that was based on fostering harmony between people instead of conflict. This was influenced to some degree on fantasies generated by watching too many Kung Fu episodes as a kid, but even so I think my desire to face fear and open up to life was genuine.

This was the hook for me - to become strong enough to manage a martial situation and at the same time to have the choice of sparing my enemies and fostering the common good. This is, actually, the ancient and noble archetype of the warrior-king and many people admire it. My own personality is such that this promise of becoming an effectively better person through practice remains deeply appealing. Actively engaging in the well-being of others is my "default setting", so to speak. Like most default settings, this has some major downsides. I will spare everyone an exposition of my own personal material, but for those interested in an insight into the craziness of do-gooders I suggest looking up the "The Proverbs of Hell" from "The Marriage of Heaven and Hell" by William Blake.

In any case, my own ideas about Spirituality and Aikido have evolved over the years. To provide some context, let me just say that I have become moderately proficient in conventional Aikido practice. I have become increasingly interested in what is happening inside Aikido techniques and between me and my partners. I have also had a brief introduction to IP through Dan Harden and came way believing that this material was extremely important to Aikido. This direction in my physical practice has informed my spiritual experiences in important ways.

The essential point of a spiritual practice is that it changes one's consciousness. The daily circumstances of life can narrow our vision and disconnect us from what the soul needs in order to live out its potentialities. This is one reason why it is useful for dojos to be so beautiful in austere way. If Aikido was solely concerned with training fighting or self defense, one could practice in any gym. It might even be advantageous to train somewhere ugly. However, stepping onto the mat in a meticulous dojo that is beautifully designed invites a change of consciousness on the part of the practitioner. It draws one to a sense of nobility and larger purpose. This beginning of expanding one's mind is not fantasy but is a real and critical process that is at the core of human transformation.

Aikido training, when striving for a high level, can transcend the physical and gives us an amazing sense of enlarging our life. Its forms echo the forms of nature and the larger world and demonstrate how the human sense of beauty is connected to strength of form. To take a set of movements whose genesis is the lowest forms of human behavior and transmute it into something life affirming is valuable sort of alchemy. By working through the predicaments and trials of an effective Aikido practice, a person comes away stronger and with an expanded capacity to live in the world. Underlying all of this is a fundamental perception of the mystery that is at the root of existence and is the heart of all great religions. I think Aikido has the capacity to enable the practitioner to experience all of this physically in the body and work with spiritual themes in ways that are very integrating.

This approach to spirituality is not unique to Aikido. It can be found in traditional religions as well as art, poetry, storytelling, music and other great forms of human discipline and expression. This then brings me to the question of martial effectiveness. Each of the human disciplines has parameters that enables a person achieve the quality of experience that the path promises. For example, to be able to produce music that truly moves the human soul requires a huge amount of study, effort and practice. If a person ignores musical principles and just tries to "do their own thing", they often simply produce lousy music. It is clear to me that if I am not interested in really embodying the principles that Aikido is trying to get me to find, I will simply do lousy Aikido and in consequence also miss out on the authentic spiritual experience that would otherwise be available. The great thing about effective practice is that it exposes our shortcomings and provides feedback about our technique. A t the same time it exposes our spiritual condition, whether we are aware of it or not. This exposure is the key to growth.

Aikido in the world has become a large landscape. On one hand, I think it is entirely possible to have a deep spiritual training without focusing on becoming an effective fighter or physically more powerful than other people. For example, I am probably not alone in recognizing that physical prowess has been of no use to me at all in dealing with the most wrenching dilemmas in my life so far. These have required me to call upon some other aspects of my character. I might even go so far as to say that having an internal access to a sense of mother earth has, in some cases, been way more useful. However, it is extremely important not to be deluded. If one wants to practice a highly rarified form of Aikido where all of the movements are symbolic, then this is fine. However confusing this type of practice with one that is creates martial effectiveness is not a good thing. Delusion is not a sign of spiritual clarity.

Dan Harden likes to challenge Aikidoists to delve deeply and demand a higher level from their art. Even further, he is challenging us to put something back into the art that has been lost. I think he is doing a great service in doing so. At the same time, I don't think that martial effectiveness negates the spiritual evolution of someone who doesn't have this power. It's ironic to me how many of the highest level teachers have conducted lives that are a mess while there are many middling students that are true gems as human beings.

I would like to challenge Aikido to deeply question its spiritual dimensions in the same way that Dan challenges it physically. It is not easy to sustain focus on just one dimension of the art, say IP, and succeed. It is even more difficult to sustain effort in multiple dimensions at the same time. But this is what make a "way " hold up over time - that it has the capacity of being ever deeper and wider the more one goes into it. The fact that the art is difficult is part of the spiritual path and the reason that Aikido give us the warrior archetype to sustain us.

I stayed with Aikido practice all this time because it has proven to be deep enough and difficult enough to sustain my interest. Aikido has also given me rewarding network of friendships with people I would have been unlikely to meet any other way. We tend to be an odd cast of characters and I enjoy this tremendously.

Best regards,

Don Hebert
 
Old 06-22-2012, 11:39 AM   #106
Conrad Gus
 
Conrad Gus's Avatar
Dojo: Victoria Family Aikido
Location: Victoria, BC
Join Date: Dec 2001
Posts: 243
Canada
Offline
Re: My Spiritual Aikido.

Quote:
Chris Parkerson wrote: View Post
Gary,

Do you limit Aikido just to a body art? I affirm the body art. I affirm all you say about it. I affirm Dan and his skills. I honor my teacher.

But what are you, as a teacher, offering Stephen who just had a stroke? He is in a wheel chair? So is Joe Arriola. How about a paraplegic. Can they study aikido? Is someone allowed to ask such a question under this thread or on this site?

Is your definition of Aikido reductionistic? I am asking this in sincerity.

Chris
My Sensei once accepted a student who was paralyzed and in a wheelchair, with only about 50% use of his arms. He was a great guy with a great attitude, and I know he appreciated and valued the chance to train what he could.
 
Old 06-22-2012, 12:48 PM   #107
Chris Parkerson
Dojo: Academy of the Martial Arts
Location: ohio
Join Date: Nov 2007
Posts: 740
United_States
Offline
Re: My Spiritual Aikido.

Don Herbert,

I loved your piece. It reminded me of when I first heard of Tai Chi Master Cheng Man-Ching being called the Master of the Five Excellences.

calligraphy
painting
poetry
Tai Chi
medicine.

Such a worthy goal.

regards,

Chris
 
Old 06-22-2012, 12:52 PM   #108
tombuchanan
Join Date: Nov 2009
Posts: 19
Offline
Re: My Spiritual Aikido.

John 3:6 "Flesh gives birth to flesh, but the Spirit gives birth to spirit."

Can any physical discipline (flesh) really provide a gateway into the spiritual?

Also, notice the first Spirit is capitalized, implying -- can a spirit really enlighten itself or must it be "sparked" from an external, Spiritual source?

Are we sometimes confusing perception and consciousness with true awakening and enlightenment? Is there another way "in"?
 
Old 06-22-2012, 12:56 PM   #109
Chris Parkerson
Dojo: Academy of the Martial Arts
Location: ohio
Join Date: Nov 2007
Posts: 740
United_States
Offline
Re: My Spiritual Aikido.

Quote:
Tom Buchanan wrote: View Post
John 3:6 "Flesh gives birth to flesh, but the Spirit gives birth to spirit."

Can any physical discipline (flesh) really provide a gateway into the spiritual?

Also, notice the first Spirit is capitalized, implying -- can a spirit really enlighten itself or must it be "sparked" from an external, Spiritual source?

Are we sometimes confusing perception and consciousness with true awakening and enlightenment? Is there another way "in"?
I rather resonate with Rupert Sheldrake's "Morphic Resonance".
Where is memory stored? I think I know how to download memory with my brain. But where is it stored?????
Where does inspiration come from? Creativity?

Bewildered,

Chris
 
Old 06-22-2012, 01:12 PM   #110
graham christian
Dojo: golden center aikido-highgate
Location: london
Join Date: Oct 2010
Posts: 2,697
England
Offline
Re: My Spiritual Aikido.

Nice posts. Nice to see most on topic.

I could never teach anyone if their only view was on physical application and effectiveness. That seems so selfish and insular to me and is like seeing a leaf and yet being blind to the tree.

Students must use the principles and improve their relationships with their family and friends as par for the course. They must learn to apply the principles to life and living itself.

I find it is very zen koan really. To really improve martially to such higher levels then the principles learned 'seem' un-martial. Herein lies the secret of all advanced, beyond the norm, martial arts.

Without knowing or reality of this then the logical mind could never see it for logically it doesn't make sense, or rather within the framework of usual thinking.

Me, I don't consider taking another apart or any such type of views on the mat or in life situations. I prefer the challenge of making that other comfortable even if he is trying to take me apart. This I see as Aikido and is a much greater challenge than merely damaging another and takes much, much more discipline.

Peace.G.
 
Old 06-22-2012, 01:17 PM   #111
Mary Eastland
 
Mary Eastland's Avatar
Dojo: Berkshire Hills Aikido
Join Date: Aug 2002
Posts: 1,200
Offline
Re: My Spiritual Aikido.

The spirit comes into play when you don't see uke as the enemy but as another self. When you don't see that those that disagree with you as seperate or wrong. When you don't think that you are more or less human than others. Aikido shows us all that.

 
Old 06-22-2012, 01:27 PM   #112
donhebert
Dojo: River Valley Aikido
Location: Vermont
Join Date: Sep 2004
Posts: 47
United_States
Offline
Re: My Spiritual Aikido.

Graham,

Just to be clear - however much I admire the goal of being able to protect the attacker, I don't have the skill. If my life was in danger from a strong physical attack I would most likely have to become an animal to survive - so much for my training. During practice I don't think much about this. I spend a lot of my time in the feedback loop - discovering that something I am doing doesn't work and then trying to fix it. I am then often amazed at the counter-intuitve natue of the solution.

Best regards,

Don
 
Old 06-22-2012, 01:38 PM   #113
mathewjgano
 
mathewjgano's Avatar
Dojo: Tsubaki Kannagara Jinja Aikidojo; Himeji Shodokan Dojo
Location: Renton
Join Date: Feb 2005
Posts: 2,113
United_States
Offline
Re: My Spiritual Aikido.

Quote:
Marc Abrams wrote: View Post
Matthew:

Maybe we should look at your question from the opposite side. What is the validity of assumed spirituality in absence of consensual reality? In many respects, deep spirituality is integrally linked to the depth of reality of one's life (my opinion at least).

Marc Abrams
Hi Marc,
I think that's a very fair question and one that fits with my own sense of spirituality. Despite being rather devoutly anti-organized religion, I've come to love Jinja Shinto (as I loosely understand it). Largely becaus of its emphasis on the natural world; on understanding the world around and within us through observation and intuition.
The tough thing for me in conversations about spirituality is that it seems like anything goes...in other words, it regularly doesn't seem to seek consensus from the physical reality we seem to live in...per my perception of it, at any rate. I'm an agnostic precisely because I seek that agreement from my 5 (or 6?) senses.
I don't think others have to do this...and more to the point I don't think it's possible to judge others' perceptions in this regard. Nao Deguchi sounds like a lot of people I've seen on the streets of Seattle and Everett, never mind the even more interesting world the internet gives us access to. And yet, here's a person who sparked a tremendous spiritual influence on a relatively large number of people. I think a lot of people would write her off as a kook and yet because she lived in the untouchable past, she's given more authority. I apply this example to the Abrahamic religions as well. Prophets tend to be...well..."interesting," to say the least, but because I think of spirituality as the relationship between individuals and the "meta," I cannot judge them very far. Where I start to judge is where it impacts others; where it seeks to interject between the relationship of other's private relationships with that "meta." Even in that case though, I feel I have to respect the fact that people are autonomous individuals who will do what they want anyway. All I can do where I think I see a problem is offer the most reasonable or otherwise virtuous observations I can muster. I used to talk to some very frightening groups of people (Joy of Satan, anyone?) trying to critically evaluate and demonstrate holes in their attempted logic, but it rarely worked. That it didn't seem to work only made me try harder and I think if anything I only served to further entrench them in their views. I think it was the perceived oppositional nature of my language. This is an extreme example, but I think the principle holds true in more benign cases too.
That all said, despite my strong affinity for scientific methods, I'm very proud of my Celtic and Native American heritage and often look to their surviving concepts for an understanding of the Universe. It's just another lense I use for trying to make sense of something vastly too...er...vast, for me to comprehend. Mythology and the like doesn't have to be correct in order to serve a valid purpose. If someone wants to literally believe a Crow swallowed the sun I don't think it's necessarily invalid even though I think that's impossible in the conventional sense.
...A bit of a ramble, sorry, but I hope that answers your question.
Take care,
Matt

Last edited by mathewjgano : 06-22-2012 at 01:40 PM.

Gambarimashyo!
 
Old 06-22-2012, 01:59 PM   #114
Chris Parkerson
Dojo: Academy of the Martial Arts
Location: ohio
Join Date: Nov 2007
Posts: 740
United_States
Offline
Re: My Spiritual Aikido.

Quote:
Don Hebert wrote: View Post
Graham,

Just to be clear - however much I admire the goal of being able to protect the attacker, I don't have the skill. If my life was in danger from a strong physical attack I would most likely have to become an animal to survive - so much for my training. During practice I don't think much about this. I spend a lot of my time in the feedback loop - discovering that something I am doing doesn't work and then trying to fix it. I am then often amazed at the counter-intuitve natue of the solution.

Best regards,

Don
Don,

In my experience, there is nothing wrong with becoming animal. Most hunter animals do not kill just to kill. They kill to eat and to survive. They fight, not to win, but to survive. And in the act, they will look into each other's eye as one gives up the ghost.

As a human animal, I choose to do one more thing. As we kill for food (most of us citified martial artists are very divorced from this practice), I try to honor the ritual of becoming a protector of the rest of the animal kingdom from which my food source came.

This, too, seems to be a major disconnect in modern Budo. Few of us question our food source, how it is raised, brought to market, and placed on our tables. We have no idea if the salmon will be running in 10 years or if the tuna will be radio active and die as a species.

And I suspect we will pay a very big price for maintaining such a disconnect. Soon, we will see horrific violence in our cities. Food wars, water wars, and terrirotial wars will be in our neighborhoods.

And I beleve only great courage, creativity and compassion will help us navigate our way out of it.

Fighting each other will only add fuel to the fire.

Waging Peace,

Chris

Last edited by Chris Parkerson : 06-22-2012 at 02:02 PM.
 
Old 06-22-2012, 02:00 PM   #115
graham christian
Dojo: golden center aikido-highgate
Location: london
Join Date: Oct 2010
Posts: 2,697
England
Offline
Re: My Spiritual Aikido.

Quote:
Don Hebert wrote: View Post
Graham,

Just to be clear - however much I admire the goal of being able to protect the attacker, I don't have the skill. If my life was in danger from a strong physical attack I would most likely have to become an animal to survive - so much for my training. During practice I don't think much about this. I spend a lot of my time in the feedback loop - discovering that something I am doing doesn't work and then trying to fix it. I am then often amazed at the counter-intuitve natue of the solution.

Best regards,

Don
Don.
Such an admirable goal I teach is never to be let go of in the practice on the mat of Aikido. Of course most people believe they don't have the skill to or even that it's possible but I can only say to you that it is not only an admirable goal but can be standard procedure through all levels.

When someone finds what they are doing doesn't work I can usually remind them of why and 100% of the time it is because they have failed to apply one of the principles of that 'admirable goal'.

This is my experience.

Although people read spiritual and equate it with various things I give spiritual principles to apply directly. Whenever someone is stuck I remind them. They may go into all kinds of reasons and feedback and loops and even internal or whatever but I point them back once again to the basic given principles and say there is no other reason.

It's a discipline, it's zen like, it's no detours or other reasons. It's not working because you are not applying the said principle and that's all. Thus the person has no escape, they carry on until they do apply it.

The problem is most are not taught such principles as a discipline and therefor are completely unaware of their effectiveness.

Spiritual principles given as a rule, a law, a must follow, take you to places your mind doesn't want to go to yet when you do apply them you learn something new and enlightening let alone effective.

Then it starts making sense.

Peace.G.
 
Old 06-22-2012, 02:26 PM   #116
donhebert
Dojo: River Valley Aikido
Location: Vermont
Join Date: Sep 2004
Posts: 47
United_States
Offline
Re: My Spiritual Aikido.

Graham,

I am not sure I understand what you are trying to say.

For me, the Aikido invites me into a more vivid experience of being alive and the opportunity to confront myself. However, the pratice itself is firmly rooted in the mundane. I can't move my partner, I just got hit, my structure just collapsed. These "problems" are the places where I actually make any progress. The rest is comfort zone.

Another example: It is easy for me to care for partner's well being when training. They are my friends, most of them are nice. I am a nice guy. What a recipe for collusion! I am better off with partners who give me a hard time.

Training doesn't have to be grim but I better be working hard or I will never advance. The clearer I become about what doesn't work for me personally the more interested I become in things like IP that can really inform the basis for effective movement in Aikido without having to depart from its goals or forms.

Such skills are hard to acheive (and ultimately may require more dedication than I am able to invest). Ikeda Sensei has shown me personally how to do certain things multiple times and I still can't do them well (yet),

Best regards,

Don
 
Old 06-22-2012, 02:38 PM   #117
graham christian
Dojo: golden center aikido-highgate
Location: london
Join Date: Oct 2010
Posts: 2,697
England
Offline
Re: My Spiritual Aikido.

Quote:
Chris Parkerson wrote: View Post
Don,

In my experience, there is nothing wrong with becoming animal. Most hunter animals do not kill just to kill. They kill to eat and to survive. They fight, not to win, but to survive. And in the act, they will look into each other's eye as one gives up the ghost.

As a human animal, I choose to do one more thing. As we kill for food (most of us citified martial artists are very divorced from this practice), I try to honor the ritual of becoming a protector of the rest of the animal kingdom from which my food source came.

This, too, seems to be a major disconnect in modern Budo. Few of us question our food source, how it is raised, brought to market, and placed on our tables. We have no idea if the salmon will be running in 10 years or if the tuna will be radio active and die as a species.

And I suspect we will pay a very big price for maintaining such a disconnect. Soon, we will see horrific violence in our cities. Food wars, water wars, and terrirotial wars will be in our neighborhoods.

And I beleve only great courage, creativity and compassion will help us navigate our way out of it.

Fighting each other will only add fuel to the fire.

Waging Peace,

Chris
Chris, I agree that given choice most animals wouldn't even kill.

I assume you must be versed in Buddhism and a part of Buddhism I haven't seen touched on in these threads is that of past lives, previous existences. A fundamental tenet of Buddhism. The whole karmic cycle of being trapped in this recycled living. As O'Sensei was also well versed in Buddhism I find this surprising.

The reason I say this is that firstly it points to the spiritual continuous you rather than the body and secondly that the whole theory of such cycles is to do with acting against your own true nature, doing harmful things etc. No wonder the way out is love and true 'budo' is love.

Finally I'll leave you with this question: Throughout time immemorial through all your past lives and getting less and less aware what happened to your power? Why did it get less?

Peace.G.
 
Old 06-22-2012, 02:53 PM   #118
graham christian
Dojo: golden center aikido-highgate
Location: london
Join Date: Oct 2010
Posts: 2,697
England
Offline
Re: My Spiritual Aikido.

Quote:
Don Hebert wrote: View Post
Graham,

I am not sure I understand what you are trying to say.

For me, the Aikido invites me into a more vivid experience of being alive and the opportunity to confront myself. However, the pratice itself is firmly rooted in the mundane. I can't move my partner, I just got hit, my structure just collapsed. These "problems" are the places where I actually make any progress. The rest is comfort zone.

Another example: It is easy for me to care for partner's well being when training. They are my friends, most of them are nice. I am a nice guy. What a recipe for collusion! I am better off with partners who give me a hard time.

Training doesn't have to be grim but I better be working hard or I will never advance. The clearer I become about what doesn't work for me personally the more interested I become in things like IP that can really inform the basis for effective movement in Aikido without having to depart from its goals or forms.

Such skills are hard to acheive (and ultimately may require more dedication than I am able to invest). Ikeda Sensei has shown me personally how to do certain things multiple times and I still can't do them well (yet),

Best regards,

Don
Hi Don.
For me too it leads to the same, more vivid, more alive, more confronting of self.

Student: "I can't move my partner"

Me: "Well we know that's not true, you're not moving him, that's true."

Student: "Thus I got hit and structure collapsed and, and, and......"

Me: "Yes, it appears that way but following that logic is not Aikido."

Student: "Then how do I move him?"

Me: "First by having no intention or desire to move him. Your only lessen is how to harmonize with him and he will move himself. This is Aikido."

So Don, this is how I talk and do. This doesn't mean your way is 'wrong' just explains mine.

Keep going.

Peace.G.
 
Old 06-22-2012, 02:58 PM   #119
Chris Parkerson
Dojo: Academy of the Martial Arts
Location: ohio
Join Date: Nov 2007
Posts: 740
United_States
Offline
Re: My Spiritual Aikido.

Well, even in Buddhism, they allow for the option of calling into question all "beliefs" including their own. But I do really love the song by the Johnny Cash called Highwayman.

I fly a starship across the Universe divide
And when I reach the other side
I'll find a place to rest my spirit if I can
Perhaps I may become a highwayman again
Or I may simply be a single drop of rain
But I will remain
And I'll be back again, and again and again and again and again..

If such is true, I guess I have that covered. I committed myself as a baby Bodhisatva.

Coming back as less.....
We shall see.
One of my Taiist training partners thinks he's going to become an immortal. He's well on the way. He got so strong internally, his Silat buddies cannot train with him anymore. His licks and strikes are way to strong.

Be well,
Chris
 
Old 06-22-2012, 03:22 PM   #120
graham christian
Dojo: golden center aikido-highgate
Location: london
Join Date: Oct 2010
Posts: 2,697
England
Offline
Re: My Spiritual Aikido.

Quote:
Chris Parkerson wrote: View Post
Well, even in Buddhism, they allow for the option of calling into question all "beliefs" including their own. But I do really love the song by the Johnny Cash called Highwayman.

I fly a starship across the Universe divide
And when I reach the other side
I'll find a place to rest my spirit if I can
Perhaps I may become a highwayman again
Or I may simply be a single drop of rain
But I will remain
And I'll be back again, and again and again and again and again..

If such is true, I guess I have that covered. I committed myself as a baby Bodhisatva.

Coming back as less.....
We shall see.
One of my Taiist training partners thinks he's going to become an immortal. He's well on the way. He got so strong internally, his Silat buddies cannot train with him anymore. His licks and strikes are way to strong.

Be well,
Chris
Ha, ha. Shame about your friend though. You can't be anything but immortal. Licks and strikes and buddies not being able to train with him anymore sounds to me like he's missed the point.

Peace.G.
 
Old 06-22-2012, 04:13 PM   #121
Conrad Gus
 
Conrad Gus's Avatar
Dojo: Victoria Family Aikido
Location: Victoria, BC
Join Date: Dec 2001
Posts: 243
Canada
Offline
Re: My Spiritual Aikido.

I just want to say thanks for an interesting thread. It is so interesting to read about your different (and deep) approaches to spirituality and aikido.

Peace,

Conrad
 
Old 06-22-2012, 04:58 PM   #122
graham christian
Dojo: golden center aikido-highgate
Location: london
Join Date: Oct 2010
Posts: 2,697
England
Offline
Re: My Spiritual Aikido.

Quote:
Conrad Gustafson wrote: View Post
I just want to say thanks for an interesting thread. It is so interesting to read about your different (and deep) approaches to spirituality and aikido.

Peace,

Conrad
Thanks Conrad.
I'm meeting up with some old timers tomorrow. Should be interesting.

Peace.G.
 
Old 06-22-2012, 05:45 PM   #123
graham christian
Dojo: golden center aikido-highgate
Location: london
Join Date: Oct 2010
Posts: 2,697
England
Offline
Re: My Spiritual Aikido.

Quote:
Mary Eastland wrote: View Post
The spirit comes into play when you don't see uke as the enemy but as another self. When you don't see that those that disagree with you as seperate or wrong. When you don't think that you are more or less human than others. Aikido shows us all that.
But that would mean spirit is a thing of oneness, of unity, of harmony, of universal love, of co-existence, of blending, of Ki, of granting others the right to be, of.......

Surely not

Peace.G.
 
Old 06-23-2012, 07:53 PM   #124
stan baker
Location: east granby, ct
Join Date: Dec 2006
Posts: 174
Wake Island
Offline
Re: My Spiritual Aikido.

your not going to have the ability to harmonize with someone like Dan, aikido or martially
end of story. If your smart you will realize that your still in kindergarden
which is not a bad thing, most people are not smart, zen is about pulling the
rug out from under you.

stan
 
Old 06-24-2012, 04:30 AM   #125
Carsten Möllering
 
Carsten Möllering's Avatar
Dojo: Hildesheimer Aikido Verein
Location: Hildesheim
Join Date: Sep 2008
Posts: 833
Germany
Online
Re: My Spiritual Aikido.

Quote:
Mary Eastland wrote: View Post
Aikido shows us all that.
?
How does it show that?

Thoughts about enemies or not, being different person, and so on may root in a certain worldview. But is there one certain worldview connected unseperable to aikidō?
And if so: Why isnt't it tought in the dōjō?
And how come that people with completely different worldviews can practice together?
Af if there is taught a certain worldview in the dōjō where does it stemm from? The students of Ueshiba told that he didn't teach a certain religion (not even ōmoto kyo), philosophy or spiritulity to be necessary to learn aikidō. So from where and when does this come in if someone teaches it on the mat?

I appreciate your view of aikidō, and I try to accept the view of Graham. If it works for you, this is fine with me. I think this is most important in life that people find their own way, a way the can follow and lead a "good" life.
But looking at my experiences on and off the mat and refering to my reading not only about aikidō, for me it is very clear, that this is your view of aikidō and the world. But that it is not universal, absolute. As no truth is. We always see only our section of the world. We don't see the word "as it is".

Quote:
Tom Buchanan wrote: View Post
Can any physical discipline (flesh) really provide a gateway into the spiritual?
Obviously yes. Maybe not if only refering to a christian worldview. In a daoist understanding the body clearly is kind of vehicle and provides a gateway into the spiritual.

To me aikidō means using the body, kneading the body, practicing with the body, experiencing changes of the body, development ...
And experiencing how all this affects my "spiritual" Dimension in some way.

Last edited by Carsten Möllering : 06-24-2012 at 04:34 AM.
 

Please visit our sponsor:

AikiWeb Sponsored Links - Place your Aikido link here for only $10!



Closed Thread


Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 1 (0 members and 1 guests)
 
Thread Tools

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

vB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off

Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
If you could buy just ONE book about Aikido techniques, what would it be? Karol Kowalczyk Techniques 45 01-31-2014 11:35 PM
What exactly is an independent dojo? David Yap General 64 11-14-2011 02:05 PM
Is two Days a week enough? EMelanson78 General 237 11-03-2010 10:57 AM
I'm Leaving Aikido Daniel Ranger-Holt General 122 10-07-2010 08:01 PM
The purpose of Aikido? Reflection Anonymous 100 06-02-2010 07:20 PM


All times are GMT -6. The time now is 07:03 AM.



vBulletin Copyright © 2000-2014 Jelsoft Enterprises Limited
----------
Copyright 1997-2014 AikiWeb and its Authors, All Rights Reserved.
----------
For questions and comments about this website:
Send E-mail
plainlaid-picaresque outchasing-protistan explicantia-altarage seaford-stellionate