Almost a quarter century ago, I got this letter:
You ask for my help.
Your body has a weakness. I know you understand that the physical and
spiritual worlds affect each other, but because you have a physical
weakness or disability does not mean that your spirit is weak. It
will serve to strengthen your spirit, as I know it already has.
If your physical attitude is one of aggression and violence, your
spirit will be aggressive and violent; but, if your physical attitude
is one of harmony, your spirit will be affected in that way. This is
what is meant by saying that the physical affects the spiritual.
A disability is often used by God as a gift to make the spirit grow
and give deeper meaning to your life. Deep breathing and the movements
of harmony are very important - not aggression, not conflict, but also
not weakness. The true power is in spiritual confidence, flexibility,
and compassion in never giving up.
Most important in any training, especially misogi hara, is the reason
you are training. You must train with an open mind and always try to
do God's will. Your spirit must strive to purify itself and search for
unity with the Holy Spirit.
Discover and appreciate the beautiful gifts of life, enjoy the sky,
the songs of the birds, the food you eat, the air you breathe, and
give thanks with your body, mind and spirit. Discover a bright and
positive mind. Find good balance between food and sleep, exercise and
Enjoying life is giving thanks to God. Exercise and meditation will
help but what is most important is what you think of your life.
If you don't understand the direction, misogi will not help, refining
your life will not help. The most important thing to realize is that
you are truly a child of God. Your life has deep meaning of helping
others and setting a good example.
All Aikido practice is misogi- adjustment and control. All Aikido
practice is meditation, Aikido is misogi waza. But be careful. Do not
let your physical situation harm you mentally. This is most
important. Understand your limitations and thank God for your life.
When you do the practices outlined, please be careful. Listen to your
body. Please remember that balance is important.
This letter changed my direction in Aikido and started a great change
in my life.
To me, Aikido is very spiritual.