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Old 04-01-2003, 09:22 AM   #26
jxa127
Dojo: Itten Dojo -- Mechanicsburg, PA
Location: Harrisburg, PA
Join Date: Jul 2000
Posts: 420
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Liane,

You pose an interesting question. I think the answer is somewhat complicated.

First, I suggest asking your teacher about anything related to aikido. Physical techniques, his or her views on spirituality, ukemi, dojo etiquette, etc.

Does your teacher actively discourage questions, or is this simply a topic that you find very personal?

Anyway, the reason this topic can be complicated is that learning happens in stages. An appropriate tactic at one point in one's development may be inappropriate at another point. Generally speaking, a good grounding or familiarity in a spiritual discipline is necessary for more esoteric, self-guided studies later on.

In my own case, I was raised a Christian and learned the official Christian dogma for my denomination early in life. In college, I took a course on Eastern thought and was introduced to Zen, Tao, Buddhism, Confucianism, and others. It was amazing to be exposed to a different way of thinking, and even more amazing to begin to understand it. I give a lot of credit to my teacher for challenging me and really making me work.

A few years later, I started aikido. Again, I did some research. I asked my sensei for some recommended reading. He has an interest in the historical research on the founder and his students (much of which has been documented and discussed at the Aikido Journal web site). We've had some good discussions on the topic.

In the end, I've made some interesting discoveries. First, I've not had to renounce my chosen faith just because I started to explore other views of spirituality. Instead, my appreciation of my faith has been challenged and affected in some very profound and wonderful ways.

Second, this is some sophisticated and uncomfortable stuff. The links among mind, body, spirit and our concepts of the same can be shaken and rearranged simply by looking at them from another perspective. A good teacher can help you find those perspectives.

Third, and most important, in the end the only person with responsibility for your spirituality is you (as I'm sure you know). Spirituality is not an abstract thing; rather, it is the basis from which we make moral decisions. How we treat other people, how we view and use what power we possess, and how we approach relationships are all rooted in our spiritual selves.

Geez, I sound preachy. Anyway, my long-winded point boiled down to a short one is: your spirit is your own responsibility, but a good teacher (or several) can help you learn how to develop it the way you want it to develop. At least that's my perspective on the question.

In addition to the wonderful resources already mentioned, I'd check out: The Spirit of Aikido by Kisshomaru Ueshiba, The Magic of Conflict by Thomas F. Crum, and The Gift of Fear by Gavin De Becker.

Regards,

-Drew

----
-Drew Ames
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Old 04-01-2003, 06:57 PM   #27
Pretoriano
 
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To Aubrey Bannah: this name is masculine or femmenine? because I dont get sometimes northamerican names. Good post, since you should valid superpose "gods" to energies of different kinds available, not only to ask them but to reach and control it in yourself. I dont have a teacher yet in the sense youre talking, but my Aikido Teacher, hes proficient, pedagogical, he knows people very well, he does what he have to do.

To Peter Rehse: "Let's not forget it is a path of self discovery." Obvious, thats all about.

"It's very easy to read what you like and avoid what you don't. In the end you are very well versed in Jung (for example) but very poor in understanding the full context."Rehse

Yes, thats called following just one line of thinking. Ive been study Confucianism for twenty years, but I dont want to hang myself believes only on this line.

Rehse means: you pray.

Dodkins: Hi, you put "however reading widely is not the same as understanding deeply;"

.-Remarkable Dodkins, and I just cant explain to myself why people often confuse the concepts.

also, what you understand about a situation or reading is shaped very much by your previous experiences or understanding."

is only shaped...

I guess youre jew right?, Ive meet nice jew people, but see whatever the sect is, it can cover itself under many doctrines and adopt different practises, their chief could be a socalled mathatma, or pope or rabin, thats just thei external appareance .

"PS Manuel, Einstein was a failure at school, as was Darwin, and taught himself mathmatics whilst working in a patent office."

Yes Ian, and C Eastwood was rejected first from acting school for lack of talent.

But all those people have'd a model, if Einstein wasnt to study Pitagoras at first he wasnt to reach the next steps.

An old erudit I used to visit say:

Every in the universe in energy and concience

the first exist, the second is".

Pretoriano
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Old 04-08-2003, 02:27 AM   #28
aubrey bannah
Dojo: Yoshinkan Brisbane
Location: aust
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Manuel, It's a male name. I think that any hard continues training will lead to a awareness that there is more in the universe than that is first apparent. I was fornunate to find a teacher of meditation to quilde me in understanding the truth of reality. I feel strongly that in its purest form that Aikido is a religion ie training that will cause a spiritual awaking. The advantage of having a teacher that is adept is the shortcuts to introduce different knowedge to quickly advance you, ie different levels of understanding with engeries, sound and colour etc. This is spiritual knowgedge that all races and religions have but is dissimulated in different ways, normally to advance yourself spiritually, but like in Aikido with sounds and colour can be used in a physical sense.

Aubrey

Such powers I poccess for working in the political field have been derived from the spiritual field. Mahatma Gandhi.
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Old 04-08-2003, 07:04 PM   #29
Pretoriano
 
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Thanks Aubrey for to interact. See if you agree.

Ive observed many people from different ages and art-styles of trainning and the first that comes up it is the diversity of grades of perception and awakening showed by each individual. Independent on which are the reasons we train for, and the physical skill, We do approach so different to martial arts in tems of individual comprenhsion and its inherently constant change, that we spend years putting this together, and we can spend others more interchanging information, views and opinnions. Even in Aikido were the road is to harmonize and to look for peace our understandings on the matter differs a world!

We understand different, we live Aikido different and we express this understanding very distinctly. This is a positive thing I guess!.

Take a look to the Shihans youve seen or trained with, They are are truly survivors, they are the remanent of hundrend of thousands of people that once followed the path.

I think yes! if you follow a martial art for to awakenning, it will work! or at least some powerful tools may be given to you to close the gap between the ignorance and separativeness on you looking for unification.

We'll talk later on colors and sounds.

Praetorian
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Old 04-08-2003, 08:01 PM   #30
PeterR
 
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Quote:
Manuel Ch. Anderson (Pretoriano) wrote:
Take a look to the Shihans youve seen or trained with, They are are truly survivors, they are the remanent of hundrend of thousands of people that once followed the path.
Well not quite. Many were pegged from very early on in their training that they would choose Aikido as their profession. There is a real difference from those of us who stumble into Aikido and then continue to stumble and those that in their early 20s know exactly what they want to be doing.

Peter Rehse Shodokan Aikido
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Old 04-08-2003, 08:56 PM   #31
Pretoriano
 
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Yes I got your point Rehse, but still they re the survivors and the true remanent of those generations. Some of them engage in their early lives because they have had probably nothing else to do as a promisory future, at that time wasnt the wider spectum of choices and close alternatives we have today. Also, humans in my opinion, all have hiden skills for to succeed in diferent areas, and not always are discovered while youre in your twenties.

Praetorian
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Old 04-09-2003, 11:22 AM   #32
E.J. Nella
Dojo: Canyon Aikido Club, Aikido of San Leandro & Aikido of Berkeley
Location: Contra Costa County, California, U.S.A.
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I personally think a good teacher (like mentioned before) can maybe push you in a direction that may help you. But I also think that it is just as likely to learn Aiki philosophy from anyone. I can see what I do not wish to do or think from negative actions of others whether they are an Aikido teacher or a stranger on the street. I have seen very Aikido-like action from people that have never taken or possibly even heard of the art, and have seen Aikido teachers handle themselves in a most un-Aikido like fashion.

How do you want to be? If you are not sure, seek someone that best embodies the result you are looking for and learn by watching or reading about their actions. Realize you may not wish to be exactly like this person. But you can take what you need until it is time to fill in other attributes from another teacher more suited for the additional skills you seek. That teacher usually shows up right when you need them, whether you realize it or not!

Good luck!

E.J.
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Old 05-08-2003, 04:43 PM   #33
Charles Hill
Dojo: Numazu Aikikai/Aikikai Honbu Dojo
Location: Three Lakes WI/ Mishima Japan
Join Date: May 2003
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I was told an interesting story by Jack Wada about Kato Hiroshi Shihan. Apparently O'Sensei invited Kato Shihan to come up in front of the class and demonstate kototama (the manifestation of spirit through sound.) Having never been taught about it, Kato Shihan felt insecure and unsure, and so refused (to his regret years later.)

The point of the story was that O'Sensei felt that something like kototama is not taught or learned. It is something to do. I suggest that you should read about the various spiritual exercises O'Sensei did and try them. (Kototama is explained in John Stevens' Secrets of Aikido.)

O'Sensei spent many years engaging in spiritual practices on his own. He did have a grounding in Shingon Buddhism as a child and later learned Chinkon Kishin meditation from Onisaburo Deguchi, but most of the time, he was on his own.
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Old 05-09-2003, 03:14 AM   #34
cindy perkins
Dojo: AikiDog Dojo
Location: Pittsfield, New Hampshire
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Nothing substitutes for a skilled and inspiring teacher in the beginning. Sitting meditation is very difficult anyway -- how much more without a dharma teacher to talk you through the steps of posture, breath, sounds, body sensations, pleasant/unpleasant/neutral judgements, emotions and thoughts, not to mention the hindrances! Then it's practice, practice, practice!

I think E.J.s comments are key: find a person who embodies what you want to learn or who you want to be. Learn from them. Practice with intensity, watching your own experience as you do so. move to another teacher when the time is right. And sometimes the teacher of on point or another may be a book, a tape, an animal, etc...
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Old 05-10-2003, 03:23 PM   #35
DGLinden
Dojo: Shoshin Aikido Dojos
Location: Orlando
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I love these discussions of spiritual matters pertaining to martial arts. Over thirty five years I have trained with countless martial art masters. Osawa, 2 Toheis, Yamaguchi, - 2 Doshus etc.. and the number of enlightened spiritual masters I've found is exactly the same number as those individuals who have attained enlightenment studying Aikido. Zip. Have fun, kids.

Daniel G. Linden
Author of ON MASTERING AIKIDO (c) 2004
Founder Shoshin Aikido Dojos
www.shoshindojo.com
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Old 05-10-2003, 05:18 PM   #36
Charles Hill
Dojo: Numazu Aikikai/Aikikai Honbu Dojo
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Mr. Linden,

I understand you are a long time student of Mitsugi Saotome's. I would love to hear your take on Saotome Sensei's experience he described as a kind of enlightenment in the book, Principles of Aikido.

Sincerely,

Charles C. Hill
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Old 05-11-2003, 02:12 AM   #37
mike lee
Location: Taipei, Taiwan
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it takes one to know one

Quote:
... the number of enlightened spiritual masters I've found is exactly the same number as those individuals who have attained enlightenment studying Aikido. Zip.
How would you know if you encountered someone who had "attained enelightenment"?
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Old 05-11-2003, 11:40 AM   #38
Jeff R.
Dojo: River Valley
Location: New Hampshire
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If martial arts, or any Way of Spirit, was about "finding oneself," then enlightenment would be an extremely self-centered and finite achievement.

The point of a spiritual path is to find the common thread that binds all Spiritual Ways and religions, then learn how to live in a harmonious way in light of that thread.

Martial Arts and Yoga, Tai Chi, Meditation . . . all ways to learn about "yourself," but incomplete if they don't guide you toward the ultimate goal of LOSING yourself.

We need to understand ourselves, why we do what we do, how we 'fit in,' and what kind of person we are in order to abandon those issues and move on to being part of the whole of the universe.

It is natural to begin with an id, encounter the superego, and temper or mediate with the ego in the road to understanding the self in society. But the self is finite, and this perception is fostered in society--find yourself, make yourself better, self-help, self-improvement, etc.--and leads to our living in spiritually-void "pods," manifested in such physical forms as enclosed, controlled homes, office buildings, cars, headphones, televisions, etc.--seperating us from others and, more importantly, the purest physical manifestation of the Great Spirit--Nature.

As we begin in the martial arts, we learn techniques that, in the beginning, are tools for moving us on to higher levels of understanding. As we progress, we see that there is much more "magic" in these techniques, and they become more than just groundwork; they have a spiritual connotation. Further on still, we see that the techniques no longer matter in the "magic" of the martial arts anymore, that they were only a vehicle toward acheiving the spiritual awakening, Satori. The growing through the phases of Self is exactly the same.

Stopping after one "finds" oneself, is to maintain, fear, regret, subjectivity, and seperation from the Whole. One cannot understand the Whole without giving oneself to the Whole of the Universe. Then, there is no more personal attack, no fear of death or life (Marubashi), and an untainted channelling of unconditional love (the purest spiritual manifestation of the Great Spirit).

These things are not possible until we understand that WE DO NOT EXIST as a self; it is not possible without spiritually slitting our wrists.

If you want to find yourself, you can go to self-discovery workshops and classes just about anywhere. Heck, there are tons of books on finding yourself. But how can you truly know whom or what you are without connecting to the source of your life?

When we kill the earth, pollute the water, build our houses and factories, we are spitting in the face of the Great Spirit. How can we harm the purest form of God and be justified? And how then can we live in a way that directly opposes the benefit of Nature and still expect to have pure spirits? It simply doesn't work that way. Our duty as Aikidoka is to live in the truest way, to uphold the Spirit of the Whole by protecting Nature, protecting the future generations, living in the now for the future, and teaching the young to reconnect with Creation, Spirit--the real world.

(Have you ever considered how our "real" world consists mostly of dreams and thoughts that we've brought into existence with little to no benefit to Nature?)

There is Self until Self no longer needs to exist. Be very careful with those who want to help you find yourself. They may very well be ones who have stopped short on the path.

Besides, you're not really lost, maybe a little disconnected, but not lost. We're all right here together, whether we like it or not.

Exercise and extend your Ki with conviction; feel its awesome power--just smile.
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Old 05-14-2003, 05:01 AM   #39
malc anderson
Location: coventry
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hi liane, I enjoyed the article kiyojueryu ,thanks for that .I also have asked my tai chi teacher (LEE FAMILY}and my Aikido teacher and got the same answers as you. I to have a desire to find out about the innerself. but I come at this from a different angle, I have been practising "self knowledge" for for many years, and took up MA's for excercise . I was drawn to tai chi by Loa tsu and Chaung tsu. Aikido interested me because of Uisheba's spiritual writings.I think we must be careful what we want MA's to give us .After all Uisheba went to a visionary for his path of enlightenment and surely we must do the same , this is not to put down MA's in anyway ,I love them and the beauty in the movements. I find that practicing self knowledge [1hr] every day and then doing my forms I can become more deeply involved in the movements because I am already in that still point before I start .My teacher of SK has a web site perhaps you might like to take a look WWW.TPRF.COM . It has changed my life and helped me to understand the total importance of peace . I could talk allday on the topic of inner peace but I won't , have a look at my teacher's website ,I know it will answer many questions and make you feel nice .malc
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Old 05-14-2003, 09:10 AM   #40
malc anderson
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sorry Liane the web address is WWW.TPRF.ORG
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Old 05-15-2003, 09:50 AM   #41
DGLinden
Dojo: Shoshin Aikido Dojos
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O'Sensei dreamed of world peace. His goal for eveyone was not to bind us all in a form of aiki-religion, but to express the principles of aikido in our own society, through our own religious institutions, and in our own vision for peace.

I have know individuals who where blessed by a state of enlightenment and who expressed it in the living of their lives. Some actually trained in aikido. They did not achieve it through training in aikido. Aikido was the way they expressed it. This is an important difference.

I try to maintain an aloof, and even flip attitude towared this not because I don't think it has importance, but because I feel too many people find it all important.

Saotome Sensei expresses his sprituality through his experience of his own culture, religion, and the results of the guidance he received. However, even the Pope is not mistaken for God. So too, we all strive, not to be God, but to be merely good.

Daniel G. Linden
Author of ON MASTERING AIKIDO (c) 2004
Founder Shoshin Aikido Dojos
www.shoshindojo.com
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