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Old 04-11-2003, 09:03 AM   #26
John Boswell
 
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One time in Pensacola I had a large club at the University of West Florida. I had two young men from warring Muslim sects. The training room had two large doors on either end and each man would enter his own set of doors, I kept them separated for the fist two years. The third year they begin to interact in the class. Just before they left after the fourth year they came to me together each giving me his prayer rug and gratitude. I still have both, the rugs and the gratitude. The rugs on my mantel and the gratitude in my heart. Aikido did good!
THAT... is an incredible story, Sensei! Especially given the events of the day. Thank you for sharing that with us!


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Old 04-11-2003, 10:29 AM   #27
opherdonchin
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That is an awesome story.

I've never seen anyone troubled by a failure to bow. I found myself very troubled, though, by some yudansha who would not work with women because their understanding of the Jewish faith prohibited touch between man and a woman (unless they are married). I felt that women students were being shortchanged because they were never in a position to feel how the technique felt when performed by the teacher. Ultimately, each of the people I know found a compromise that worked for them, though.

Yours in Aiki
Opher
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Old 05-03-2003, 07:35 PM   #28
Jeff R.
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Religions are varied, describing different interpretations of God and God's word and intentions.

But if we trim it all down to the bare essence, the common thread of everything . . .

The purest manifestation of God is unconditional love.

The purest physical manifestation of God is Nature.

The process by which God functions in Nature is Chaos and Logic.

The raw energy of God is electricity/magnetism.

The spiritual energy of God is Ki.

Aikido is the resolution of conflict (chaos and logic) with the movements of Nature and blending with the attacker by using unconditional love and accepting that we are all made of the same atoms and swimming in a contiguous ocean of Ki that moves through us and binds us.

Aikido simply demonstrates that we are natural beings and we have the ability to bridge all things natural when we let go of prejudice, presupposition, and preoccupation with the Self.

In other words:

No worship, no conditions, no fear.

Only reverence for life, and a joy of sharing it with everyone else.

You know what? . . . Nevermind. Just go with your gut.

Exercise and extend your Ki with conviction; feel its awesome power--just smile.
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Old 05-15-2003, 08:35 AM   #29
DGLinden
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O'Sensei's dream for aikido was for world peace. I don't think he wanted anyone to alienate himself from his own religion or spiritual path in order to train in Aikido. He had his own spiritual advisor, the Reverand Deguchi.

Aikido is a martial art that requires it's practitioners to be be ethical, moral individuals. Since we are not samurai - we should pursue this through the faiths or religions that are consistant with our own society.

Daniel G. Linden
Author of ON MASTERING AIKIDO (c) 2004
Founder Shoshin Aikido Dojos
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Old 05-15-2003, 08:43 AM   #30
happysod
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Sorry Daniel, I have to disagree with your last statement, I neither hold nor intend to hold faith in anything or join a religion of any denomination. Unless of course by faith you were extending it's meaning to include secular philosophies which are consistent with cooperation within (a healthy) society, in which case I retract my disagreement.

Sorry, but faith to me is a definite "burning bush" word as it is generally bruted about with regards to why proof is not necessary and argument almost blasphemous. (for the record, my own "faith" is born-again-coward)
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Old 05-15-2003, 08:55 AM   #31
mike lee
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no escape

Ever noticed that some people come to aikido thinking that it's a spiritual way that allows them to negate Christianity, only to find out that the philosophy embraces all religions and gods?
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Old 05-15-2003, 08:55 AM   #32
DGLinden
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Since we are not samurai - we should pursue this through the faiths or religions or spitual practices that are consistant with our own society.

Daniel G. Linden
Author of ON MASTERING AIKIDO (c) 2004
Founder Shoshin Aikido Dojos
www.shoshindojo.com
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Old 05-15-2003, 12:46 PM   #33
Vincentharris
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I'm not really sure what you mean by ALL gods, there's only one, period.

I haven't been in Aikido for a long time (less than a year) but I asked a question very similar to this thread a few months ago and I still do not see a conflict between Aikido and anything else, much less religion.

I like to think that my practice and meditation in Aikido is helping me become a better Christian.

Optimists consider the glass half full, Pessimists consider the glass haf empty. I consider the glass is TOO BIG.
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Old 05-15-2003, 02:21 PM   #34
Darren Raleigh
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Quote:
Vince Harris (Vincentharris) wrote:
I'm not really sure what you mean by ALL gods, there's only one, period.
I think he meant that aikido respects the views of all who intend to make peace, regardless of their mode of religious practice, if any. I infer from your post that you do not share this view.
Quote:
Vince Harris (Vincentharris) wrote:
...I still do not see a conflict between Aikido and anything else, much less religion.
Nor will you, for there is none. Conflict arises when we refuse to honor one another's views.

Last edited by Darren Raleigh : 05-15-2003 at 02:27 PM.

"If he would not be a stick whirled and whelmed in the stream, he must be the stream itself, all of it, from its spring to its sinking in the sea."
- Ogion the Silent
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Old 05-16-2003, 04:11 AM   #35
Kelly Allen
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Thumbs down Well Said Darren

[ Kelly nods in agreement with Darren]
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Old 05-16-2003, 06:25 AM   #36
Vincentharris
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I do share that view actually but if you really want to get in detail about it, I don't consider GOD a noun, it's a proper name.

Optimists consider the glass half full, Pessimists consider the glass haf empty. I consider the glass is TOO BIG.
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Old 05-16-2003, 06:45 AM   #37
Jeff R.
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How many Gods, Acceptance of all religions, Yahweh, The Great Spirit, WakanTanka--too many semantics, details, interpretations.

We are Samurai. There is only one thing at the base of all religions, all spirituality, and unarguably worth protecting--Nature, the purest form of whatever greater existence.

As Aikidoka, we are duty-bound to accept all people for their spirit, all living things for their place in Nature, and to foster Total Prosperity.

We can't blend with what we don't protect; we protect what we love; we love what we understand--understand Nature and blend with the Universe; easy concept, right?

Exercise and extend your Ki with conviction; feel its awesome power--just smile.
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Old 05-18-2003, 07:29 PM   #38
PeterR
 
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Wow.
Quote:
Jeff Rychwa (Jeff R.) wrote:
We are Samurai. There is only one thing at the base of all religions, all spirituality, and unarguably worth protecting--Nature, the purest form of whatever greater existence.

As Aikidoka, we are duty-bound to accept all people for their spirit, all living things for their place in Nature, and to foster Total Prosperity.
Sorry but I got to say. You need to understand the mindset of samurai (choose your time period) before you pontificate about their beliefs and what we as Aikidoists are duty bound to accept.

Peter Rehse Shodokan Aikido
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Old 05-18-2003, 09:13 PM   #39
Jeff R.
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Quote:
Peter Rehse (PeterR) wrote:
Wow.

Sorry but I got to say. You need to understand the mindset of samurai (choose your time period) before you pontificate about their beliefs and what we as Aikidoists are duty bound to accept.
It's a metaphor. The Samurai's main occupation was servant to a [political] power, an officer.

As Aikidoika, we take it upon ourselves to go beyond where the person without our skills must stop in the course of "doing the right thing." Since we delve into the realm of taking control of discord, of exercising unconditional love, and that we have the ability to offer opportunity in the resolution of conflict, it is our responsibility to exercise that position relative to something that cannot be interpreted with any bias. Religion, politics--any societal paradigm--is subject to bias interpretation and, therefore, takes a secondary position to the purest, simplest thing that exists, that makes us exist, that we cannot live without--Nature.

Why would one not want to protect the foundation of one's own life, the source of one's great grandchildrens' welfare?

Doesn't protecting our families with honor and conviction make us "Samurai?" If not, then I suppose it's up to your own interpretation.

Just a metaphor--representing an indisputable truth, but totally subject to interpretation in and of itself.

And that's usually where the conflict begins.

Exercise and extend your Ki with conviction; feel its awesome power--just smile.
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Old 05-18-2003, 09:18 PM   #40
Jeff R.
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P.S.--That totally sounds like a tirade, and I have to say that one of the fatal flaws of written communication these days is not being able to read the body language behind the verbage. I honestly don't mean to appear to be in an uproar, and I always read and respond with a smile (as I also try to do in my Aikido), so there is no intention here toward being callus and bitter.

Exercise and extend your Ki with conviction; feel its awesome power--just smile.
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Old 05-18-2003, 09:29 PM   #41
PeterR
 
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Don't worry Jeff I understand metaphor but I do think it is a particularily weak one. I also think that these discussion boards are exactly the place where we can discuss our ideas.

I study Budo in Japan and love history. It's a pet peave of mine when romantic ideals of the samurai are used in arguments especially when they overlay ones own societies preconceptions. It's quite common - I still do it.

By the way I just finished a book called the Heike Story of Eiji Yoshikawa which is a historical novel. Great read, a little idealized, but a nice way of gaining some understanding of the samurai and what it meant.

Peter Rehse Shodokan Aikido
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Old 05-18-2003, 09:44 PM   #42
Jeff R.
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Quote:
Peter Rehse (PeterR) wrote:
Don't worry Jeff I understand metaphor but I do think it is a particularily weak one. I also think that these discussion boards are exactly the place where we can discuss our ideas.

I study Budo in Japan and love history. It's a pet peave of mine when romantic ideals of the samurai are used in arguments especially when they overlay ones own societies preconceptions. It's quite common - I still do it.

By the way I just finished a book called the Heike Story of Eiji Yoshikawa which is a historical novel. Great read, a little idealized, but a nice way of gaining some understanding of the samurai and what it meant.
Excellent; thank you kindly.

If the metaphor is called weak based upon something I'm not understanding, then I will definitely be doing some more research. (One of MY pet peeves is: someone makes a weak reference or interpretation based upon lack of information, and then they don't try to correct the mistake. And I am happy to be educated!)

However, if the metaphor is called weak based upon the principle of upholding the integrity of Creation--being warriors for the Earth and our grandchildren--then I'm afraid we must either agree to disagree, or tread very carefully through any further discussion on this particular topic.

Thank you, sir, again for the response, and for the reference, as well. I will be looking into it.

Last edited by Jeff R. : 05-18-2003 at 09:51 PM.

Exercise and extend your Ki with conviction; feel its awesome power--just smile.
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Old 05-19-2003, 01:46 AM   #43
mike lee
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Cool the samuri are dead

Quote:
... or tread very carefully through any further discussion on this particular topic.
Ha! Another god!
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Old 05-19-2003, 07:02 AM   #44
Jeff R.
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Re: the samuri are dead

Quote:
Mike Lee (mike lee) wrote:
Ha! Another god!
(pssst. Mike. What does this mean??)

Exercise and extend your Ki with conviction; feel its awesome power--just smile.
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Old 05-19-2003, 07:30 AM   #45
mike lee
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grasshopper

Quote:
(pssst. Mike. What does this mean??)
When you know, it will be time for you to leave.
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Old 05-19-2003, 04:18 PM   #46
DGLinden
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Jeff, Peter,

GO to General, go to moral thermometer, Use those minds that show so much ability...Help.

Daniel G. Linden
Author of ON MASTERING AIKIDO (c) 2004
Founder Shoshin Aikido Dojos
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Old 05-19-2003, 06:28 PM   #47
PeterR
 
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Quote:
Daniel Linden (DGLinden) wrote:
Jeff, Peter,

GO to General, go to moral thermometer, Use those minds that show so much ability...Help.
No way. I took a look.

Besides the only way us truely evil people survive - is by picking our battles carefully.

Peter Rehse Shodokan Aikido
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Old 05-21-2003, 05:43 PM   #48
Dave Miller
 
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This is something that I have wrestled with as a Christian who practices Aikido. The only concept that I had to come to terms with is Ki. Ki is, at it's heart, a Budhist notion. The first question I had to ask was:
  • Can I, in good consciense as a Christian, involve myself in something that is steeped in Budhist philosophy?
My answer was yes. The reason is that, for the Christian, any Truth that is really true must, by definition, come from God. Therefore, the fact that something is Budhist should have no bearing on whether I think it to be true or good or whatever.

The second question I had to ask was:
  • Can I do Aikido without the notion of Ki?
My answer to this was also yes. As a scientist, I have yet to see any demonstration of Ki that doesn't have a plausible scientific explanation.

Therefore, what I could call potentially the most problematic concept in Aikido (or many other Asian martial arts) was really no issue at all.

Are there religious undertones to Aikido? Of course. O-sensei made that perfectly clear anytime he talked about Aikido. His religious philosophies influenced every aspect of the art. However, is it necessary for me to agree with O-sensei's religious philosophies in order to practice good Aikido? Absolutely not.

DAVE

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Old 05-21-2003, 06:00 PM   #49
Jeff R.
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Quote:
Dave Miller wrote:
This is something that I have wrestled with as a Christian who practices Aikido.
In practicing Aikido, there is no religious boundary. O'Sensei may have exercised Shintoism as his form of worship, but the method of reverence is irrelevant to the core of spirituality.

The common thread that binds all religions is Spirit. It doesn't matter how you connect with it, as long as you find the purity of it and can live in a state of physical and spiritual equalibrium. O'Sensei wanted everyone to follow the tenets of simple truths:

Show respect to all life

Preserve all life

Cut through the evil in the world with spiritual purity
Quote:
The only concept that I had to come to terms with is Ki. Ki is, at it's heart, a Budhist notion.
Maybe by the name "Ki" (and I think even that isn't necessarily true), but Ki in it's purest form has and will exist forever by no name at all.
Quote:
The first question I had to ask was:
  • Can I, in good consciense as a Christian, involve myself in something that is steeped in Budhist philosophy?
My answer was yes. The reason is that, for the Christian, any Truth that is really true must, by definition, come from God.
Though I call it by a different name: THANK YOU, THANK YOU, THANK YOU!!
Quote:
The second question I had to ask was:
  • Can I do Aikido without the notion of Ki?
My answer to this was also yes. As a scientist, I have yet to see any demonstration of Ki that doesn't have a plausible scientific explanation.
Aikido cannot be done without Ki. In fact, without Ki, we couldn't exist.

Trying to find a name or identity to Ki is creating lots of confusion and concern.

Ki can't be measured, seen, felt, smelt etc., but its effects exist. Once again, it is similar to unconditional love:

The more you give, the more comes to you;

You can't hold on to it or store it or it will do you no good.

It is a Universal Truth, and only works if we let it flow through us unobstructed;

A good portion of its efficacy rests in the faith that it is real;

Trying to find it makes it disappear; it just IS.

Exercise and extend your Ki with conviction; feel its awesome power--just smile.
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Old 05-21-2003, 06:36 PM   #50
Dave Miller
 
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Quote:
Jeff Rychwa (Jeff R.) wrote:
Aikido cannot be done without Ki. In fact, without Ki, we couldn't exist...

It is a Universal Truth, and only works if we let it flow through us unobstructed;

A good portion of its efficacy rests in the faith that it is real... it just IS.
Somehow, I would venture a guess that there are many a good Aikidoka who would choose to disagree with that notion. There are plenty of Aikidokas who are quite gifted in their art who don't believe a word of what you said about Ki. By your statement, they have no "efficacy" so far as Ki is concerned and yet their Aikido still works.

It's not often that I have seen someone say something with such conviction while shrouding it in a veil of "it can't be disproven so just believe it".


DAVE

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