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Old 09-05-2003, 01:11 PM   #26
Neil Mick
Dojo: Aikido of Santa Cruz
Location: Santa Cruz, CA
Join Date: Jun 2002
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Re: How spiritual?

Quote:
Dean Suter (Amassus) wrote:
We talk of spirituality in aikido, this made me think about the emphasis of spirituality in the dojo and how it applies to aikidoka who already have a strong religious background.

In fact, it was because of a strong religious background that one of the people at my club had a constant argument with her husband just to attend the sessions.

How much is spirituality emphasised at your club and have you had a similar clash of ideas as I mentioned above?
But, to return to the original question:

In my dojo, great emphasis is placed upon the spiritual aspects. Occasional classes are offered in chanting (the seven sacred sounds, etc), and 1/2 the Summer Intensive was dedicated to meditation and chanting.

When he was here last, I asked Anno Sensei about any connection between Omotokyo (the religion that O Sensei practiced) and Aikido today. He simply said: "None." Except, he added, for the chants he uses, as part of his daily practice.

There are no clashes between the spiritual practices and religious beliefs at my dojo, AFAIK.
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Old 09-06-2003, 12:30 AM   #27
mike lee
Location: Taipei, Taiwan
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read it and weep

Quote:
Also, how do you judge an explanation of ki?
Quote:
the teacher i was referring to says that he thinks this whole ki thing is a bunch of bull.
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Old 09-06-2003, 12:38 AM   #28
mike lee
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Quote:
Hey thanks! It makes so much more sense now
It's all in the thread entitled "ki and scientific thought."

Although the word "thought" in this case is a contradiction in terms.

But excuse me you guys are looking for deep, dark mysteries that will make you unbeatable warriors. (Only the Japanese can know and understand those things.)

Nobody's interested in the plain old simple truth these days.
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Old 09-06-2003, 11:30 PM   #29
Bronson
 
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Quote:
Mike Lee (mike lee) wrote:
But excuse me you guys are looking for deep, dark mysteries that will make you unbeatable warriors. (Only the Japanese can know and understand those things.)

Nobody's interested in the plain old simple truth these days.
Wow! You sure have me pegged. It's amazing how you know exactly what we are all looking for without ever having met or trained with us....really impressive

Bronson

"A pacifist is not really a pacifist if he is unable to make a choice between violence and non-violence. A true pacifist is able to kill or maim in the blink of an eye, but at the moment of impending destruction of the enemy he chooses non-violence."
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Old 09-07-2003, 02:00 PM   #30
tedehara
 
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Quote:
Mike Lee (mike lee) wrote:
...(Only the Japanese can know and understand those things.)

Nobody's interested in the plain old simple truth these days.
Like a fish who has no understanding of water, most Japanese don't know what's in their culture.

Sometimes the simplest truths are the hardest ones to realize.

I know some Ki Society members have found Aikido compliments their religion, rather than conflicts with it. This might depends more on the "style" of Christianity and Aikido you practice.

It sounds like the husband has control issues and is just using Christianity as a behavioral model.

It is not practice that makes perfect, it is correct practice that makes perfect.
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Old 10-04-2003, 05:50 PM   #31
Kevin Leavitt
 
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I think that Ki just IS. You can't explain it.

Many of us know how to drive a car. But few of us can expertly explain how to get the metal from the earth to build it, drill and refine the gas that fuels it...but most of us know how to us the KI that is present in it and drive it down the road. And THAT we can teach to others!

It's not important to be able to explain KI, just important to know how to use it and THAT is why we have teachers to teach us!

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Old 10-20-2003, 12:22 AM   #32
RoninKivjoru
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Ki was never explained to me. But they showed me how I could feel it and understand it myself. I think that words tend to fail anyway. Especially since many people experience Ki in many different ways. If you explain how you discovered it, they may be watching for the wrong things.

Chris Owen
Y'know Fellas, the most important thing is...
Breathe, breathe, breathe
-Sinichi Suzuki Sensei
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Old 10-20-2003, 12:30 AM   #33
RoninKivjoru
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Quote:
Ted Ehara (tedehara) wrote:
I know some Ki Society members have found Aikido compliments their religion, rather than conflicts with it. This might depends more on the "style" of Christianity and Aikido you practice.
I agree with Ted. I am a Christian, and I've found that there's no conflict either in my mind, or the minds of the pastors I've talked to about it. I'd say if a Christian was hung up about it not being a "Godly" power, likening it to their understanding of The Holy Spirit, is helpful. I honestly believe it's a labelling issue, that's it. God gave us this energy, but most mainstream churches have downplayed it because it sounds to much like "witchcraft." Aikido got me back in touch with a part of me that western culture had, unfortunately failed to teach me about.

Chris Owen
Y'know Fellas, the most important thing is...
Breathe, breathe, breathe
-Sinichi Suzuki Sensei
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Old 10-20-2003, 02:03 AM   #34
Suzanne Cooper
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I hope I'm not reading, in places throughout this thread, that Christianity is being blamed for being out-of-touch with what is really real, or possible, or present, in and with the human soul?

Jesus said that if we had faith the size of a mustard seed, we could say to a mountain 'throw yourself into the sea' and it would do it.

The unbendable arm, as an exercise, doesn't have a Christian equivalent since the mountain-into-the-sea thing can't be 'done' just to test God (expressly forbidden, that is), but the human part of the action is present in both--faith, ki, it has other names too.

I feel completely certain that once I've trained and learned, I will be able to toss an attacker around a bit and say, 'jump in a lake, mate' and it will happen.

Depending on how much ki I can put with my mustard seed, of course!

I got guts, yes I do. I do aikido--do YOU?
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Old 10-20-2003, 02:14 AM   #35
Alan Lomax
Dojo: Doumukai Aikido
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Wink

Quote:
Lynn Seiser (SeiserL) wrote:
We do not much talk about spirituality. In fact, we don't talk about or discuss much of anything. We practice the physical techniques which demonstrate and illustrate the underlying principles. With physical practice we hope to change our minds so it can apply the same principles to life and being open to spirituality. But we don't talk about it, it just is.
Lynn,

Isn't it quite interesting that spirituality is very seldom even discussed by Phong Sensei, especially when his spirituality is so profound? From my perspective no person I have ever met teaches more by example in his personality, character and actions.

I will be returning to San Diego in late December and I am looking forward to make the trip to come back to the Dojo.

Best regards

Alan Lomax
Doumukai Aikido
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Old 10-20-2003, 02:29 AM   #36
RoninKivjoru
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I'm saying that the majority of modern, mainstream Christian churches, (including the one I grew up in) have let themselves become out-of-touch. It's not about testing God, you're testing yourself. You're testing your own faith. In her Book, "The Healing Light," Agnes Sanford, describes many ways to experiment with prayer for healing. It's not experimenting whether God has the power to heal, it's whether we have the faith to use his power, as He always told us we could. As Agnus says, "If we try turning on an electric iron and it does not work, we look to the wiring of the iron, the cord, or the house. We do not stand in dismay before the iron and cry, 'Oh, electricity, please come into my iron and make it work!'" My point is where the church has failed to help me find the problems in my wiring, Aikido has been succesful.

Chris Owen
Y'know Fellas, the most important thing is...
Breathe, breathe, breathe
-Sinichi Suzuki Sensei
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Old 10-20-2003, 04:18 AM   #37
Alan Lomax
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Quote:
Chris Owen (RoninKivjoru) wrote:
" My point is where the church has failed to help me find the problems in my wiring, Aikido has been succesful.
(Here I don full rubber gear and flame resistant underwear, preparing to stir the pot)

That's great, I wouldn't wear it but it looks good on you. You really have nailed the point down quite well though.



We could debate "Ki" for as long as threads exist on this website and all of the others too, but really Mike does have it down. Just because some choose to accept and others choose to deify it doesn't make it any less what it really is. Maybe it's just me, I am pretty gullible. I do tend to take certain things for granted when presented by senseis with 50 or more years of experience, who can, not only explain but demonstrate and teach the concepts and application of "Ki". Mike Lee, my thanks to you for keeping the BS detector on high.

"How much Spirituality?" indeed... That must necessarily be a function of each individual. Now, blaming Aikido for ones spirituality seems a bit shallow for me, along the lines of blaming any particular religion or political affiliation. All are pretty weak excuses. Now, Spirituality through life experience, challenge, adversity absolutely. Aikido is merely a conduit. Unfortunately many unusual and frankly unbelievable properties are bestowed upon Aikido and some Aikidoka just for Aikido's sake.

As Aikido is just a means to an end, it is not in any means the end itself. To attain the spirituality, the "Ki" or any of the other highly regarded and debated properties any one is seeking, requires the same old-fashioned recipe that so many before us have tried and proven true. Repetitive, regular training and critique over an extended period.

I quite enjoy all of the folks that believe they have such a total grasp of the many facets of such dynamic stuff as Martial Arts, Aikido is no exception. Aikido is kind of new to me but Martial Arts and Martial training is not. To gain 50 or more years of understanding, savvy, experience, I will necessarily have to be directly involved for 50 or more years. To realize the spirituality I seek I must endure experiences through training and time. WOW!!! what a concept, to get it, I have to do it. By doing it over time, my perceptions are shaped by experience. My experience shapes my outlook. My outlook adjusts my direction. My direction helps me to reach my goals. My goals are formulated and shaped by all of the aforementioned factors as well as others.

It is my opinion(seldom will I be accused of being humble) all good folks who aspire in Martial Arts training, should keep the BS detectors on high at all times. Don't blame your behavior on your respective choice of training, religion or politics. Be a good person because of your own motivation, then enjoy the enlightenment of perseverance in your chosen Art(s).

(he backs away, slowly, step by step, he turns...)

Regards

Alan Lomax
Doumukai Aikido
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Old 10-20-2003, 06:13 AM   #38
RoninKivjoru
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After that post, I kind of feel like I need to defend myself. But since I can't seem to explain myself very well, I'll just say this: I don't have the answers, I was just trying to explain the way some of my experiences have worked out. Sorry if it sounded like bs.

Chris Owen
Y'know Fellas, the most important thing is...
Breathe, breathe, breathe
-Sinichi Suzuki Sensei
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Old 10-20-2003, 09:57 AM   #39
Kevin Leavitt
 
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I think spirituality is something that is discovered through experience.

Some may find the dojo and aikido to be a very spiritual place and may find that they feel closer to a God, person, or humanity in general when they are training.

Others may find drinking a good beer with the guys on Saturday watching the game to be spiritual.

Others find hunting or fishing a way of getting in touch with nature and harmony. (Not me, I find destroying life an oxymoron, but I can see how others find it that way I supose!).

I grew spiritually through the practice of the martial arts and believe it or not in much of the hard training I did in the military.

Earlier in my life the Christian Church served that purpose...but not any longer for me.

While I do find martial arts and yoga to be a spiritual practice, I would never discuss it while training since I am there to train and do, not talk.

I think spirituality is a individual thing that each person must find his own way through. Yes, I do think it is important to figure out how that Iron is wired to get to the root!!

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Old 10-20-2003, 12:47 PM   #40
tedehara
 
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Off Topic

Quote:
Kevin Leavitt wrote:
I think spirituality is something that is discovered through experience...I think spirituality is a individual thing that each person must find his own way through. Yes, I do think it is important to figure out how that Iron is wired to get to the root!!
Hey Kevin,

Are you on manuevers or stationed in Hohenfels?

Are there any units from 8th Infantry Division still there?


It is not practice that makes perfect, it is correct practice that makes perfect.
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Old 10-20-2003, 02:13 PM   #41
markwalsh
Dojo: Airenjuku Brighton
Location: On the road - UK
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Off subject or on?

I'm fairly new to aikiweb and was wondering what the general etiquette is?

Quite surprised by some of the content to be honest.

Mark

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Old 10-20-2003, 04:23 PM   #42
Anders Bjonback
Dojo: Boulder Aikikai
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My aikido is only as spiritual as I want to make it, regardless of what the teacher says or whatever his or her emphasis is.

"For peace and happiness are presences, not objects we can grasp and hold onto."
--Lilian Smith
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Old 10-20-2003, 08:23 PM   #43
Alan Lomax
Dojo: Doumukai Aikido
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Quote:
Chris Owen (RoninKivjoru) wrote:
After that post, I kind of feel like I need to defend myself. Sorry if it sounded like bs.
Chris,

No worries and absolutely! no need to defend anything you believe. Stick to your guns. The comments I made about BS detectors was not directed at your beliefs but rather at the dangers of over inflated egos and deification of human properties.

Obviously I tend to believe a great deal of what I project to others, go figure huh. For that reason and my lack of better graces, I put forth my opinion somewhat strongly. It was not meant as an assault on you.

Regards

Alan Lomax
Doumukai Aikido
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Old 10-22-2003, 10:52 AM   #44
Kevin Leavitt
 
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Ted, Stationed at Hohenfels and love it here (aside from not having anyone to train with).

I am with the 1-4th Infantry Regiment OPFOR.

No 8th ID units that I am aware of. Just 1st ID and 1st AD, and they are not doing too much right now because of deployments to other parts of the world.

The box looks the same as it has for last 50 years...but not as much action here since the cold war end!

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Old 01-14-2005, 11:27 PM   #45
Johann Yaeger
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Re: How spiritual?

Ask me on tuesday or saturday off the mat and you can hear it from the horses mouth!
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Old 01-15-2005, 02:18 PM   #46
Dillon
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Re: How spiritual?

I don't know about this forum in particular, but general etiquette that I try to stick to is to be polite and honest. What more could anyone ask? If you breech etiquette for a particular circumstance, but are honest and willing to learn, it's hard to find fault.

"Karate begins and ends with courtesy." -Gichin Funakoshi
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Old 01-17-2005, 06:59 PM   #47
Bill Danosky
 
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Re: How spiritual?

IMHO, spirituality is a completely separate consideration from any physical reality. I believe that it's something which can only be experienced through literal spiritual practice, so learning spirituality through Aikido practice would be like trying to learn to box at a ballet studio.

In my case, spiritual practice led me to Aikido, as I was formerly learning some highly violent MA. I think if you're inspired by the non violence of Aikido, it could lead you to some separate spiritual study. I bet Ted Ehara could give you some better clues than I could, being a Ki Society brother.

I've noticed that Aikido draws very spiritual people and that is probably what makes it so easily confused with spiritual practice. You even hear a lot of spiritual talk around Aikido circles, but talk is just talk and practice is practice. Or as Alan Watts said, "You can't get wet from the word water."
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Old 01-18-2005, 03:57 AM   #48
Jason Haines
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Re: How spiritual?

"spirituality" vs "religious" segregates the matter completely.

Bowing is a sign of respect, not of worship. Which took me a while to get over due to false sense of considering it "idolitry" from very religious upbringing.

Aikido, beyond technique, focuses on refinement of a person's entire being and how he/she exists and reacts with nature and the forces (negative & positive) around us.

To criticize and judge Aikido, can in some ways be like criticising the bible... no one REALLY understands the bible completley. We all have different interpretations, different translations, and different applications into our individual life. But again, there is dynamic separation between one's spiritual development and one's religious development, even though they can & do intertwine like DNA, it makes us who we are.

Let me offer this. Many forms of religion, choose yours, offer unique ways of theory and principal to apply in one's life. Take for instance, Christ's teachings, if stricken, "turn the other cheek". Does that purely mean to stand there and accept persecution, hatred, and negativity.... or is 'turning' a word lost in thousands of years and multiple translations that could mean "tenkan"- to turn- dissipate the negative energy, offer peace, balance, and harmony to conflict, thus physically manifesting Christ's love through Aikido.

Aikido teaches us how to physically manifest our own beliefs. Why do we fail at relationships, friend ships, at LOVE... because we fear, we fear intimacy, we fear commitment, just as much as we fear the blade of a katana shomen strike. But to concur it, to accept it, to understand it, we must find harmony and balance, to enter without fear, to enter and gain another's perspective without losing our own, in essence to "irimi"...

Aikido is not a religion, but a physical AND spiritual way to improve our lives, to enter and fulfill our principals and entire self-being.
But none of us are right, we each contain a piece of a grand puzzle, without each others harmony and understanding, the puzzle is never complete, the answer is never exact.

Find the greater good of your religion and beliefs, Aikido can help you to physically, emotionally, mentally, and spiritually manifest it.

That is what Aikido has done for me. It may not be the same for many of you.
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Old 01-18-2005, 09:18 AM   #49
Qatana
 
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Re: How spiritual?

Quote:
Bill Danosky wrote:
IMHO, spirituality is a completely separate consideration from any physical reality. I believe that it's something which can only be experienced through literal spiritual practice, so learning spirituality through Aikido practice would be like trying to learn to box at a ballet studio.

."
What about the Buddhists who do 108 prostrations a day? How bout the American Indians who dance for all their spiritual ceremonies.Or the Tibetan monks who dance? Or the sects that practice ritual fasting? The sects that fast, that perform austerities, that inflict ritual punishment on their own bodies. How about the Quakers? And the Shakers? How about just about all the "pagan" philosophies? The Sufis? Coming of age physical/bodily manipulation such as tatooing or scarring?

And as aikido is a perfect example of the Golden Rule, or "turning the other cheek" it could even be a Christian practice.

Its too early in the morning for me to think of ohter specifically physical spiritual practices.

And I cannot underatend your analogy about ballet & boxing. Which one of those is the Spiritual half of the comparison? HOW Is spirituality>aikido anything like boxing>.ballet?

For that matter, I spent many years performing dance in church services. As part of the liturgy. Tell me that's mere entertainment.

Q
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