Last week I published a blog post on “The Buddha’s Advice To An Aikido Sensei” which covers the teaching of the 5 Qualities Of A Spiritually Mature Teacher. I got a lot of great feedback on the post and it seems to have struck a chord in the greater aikido community.
The early Buddhist term for a teacher is a “Kalyanamitta” – which means a “Noble Friend.” I love this phrase because it reframes the role of the teacher and student, and how this holy relationship impacts your life. In this blog post, I will share with you the advice the Buddha gave in his teaching on the 5 qualities of a “Nobel Friend.” As Aikido is a higher path of practice, I think that these guidelines are especially relevant to Aikido teachers. This is the Buddha’s advice to an Aikido Sensei.
The practice of self-reflection is essential for growth at any stage in Aikido. As a teacher, having the chance to practice and reflect with other teachers is something I highly value.
This past May I had the great pleasure of hosting an online global tele-summit called Aikido At The Leading Edge. It was an amazing event that brought so many gifts to my life, and the lives of over 2,300 people. Perhaps the greatest gift for me was that I had an opportunity to connect with 46 amazing teachers from the global Aikido community.
The martial art of Aikido is a spiritual practice. It is a spiritual practice because the technical application of Aikido is “nested” within a universal humanistic philosophy. And this philosophy is further nested within an Absolute spiritual perspective.
Aikido’s founder, Morihei Ueshiba, referred to this as the manifest, the hidden, and the divine. The manifest is the realm of physicality and techniques. The hidden is the realm of principles and philosophy. The divine is the realm of spirit Absolute.
This is a developmental frame that reflects the spiritual potential of human beings. Practicing Aikido in this framework activates growth and development. It will constantly challenge your egoic limitations, and continuously lead you forward into your spiritual potential.
The word Dharma is an ancient Sanskrit work meaning “Spiritual Teachings”, “Universal Principles”, or “Ultimate Reality.” And even though it isn’t always held this way, Aikido is an art that rests on the foundation of universal principles. This is the “Dharma Of Aikido”.
By all accounts, Aikido’s founder O Sensei had a profound spiritual awakening into ultimate reality. It was this awakening that transformed his martial arts into Aikido. Ueshiba’s Aikido was a profound expression of the Dharma, which in Aikido has one fundamental taste: Conflict becomes resolved into wholeness.
As a person who is walking the Path of Aikido surely, you know the dirty little secret about this art we all know and love; mastery in Aikido takes time! Everyone knows that there are no shortcuts to getting good in Aikido… or are there?
Sursee, Switzerland – Integral Aikido Seminar
“The Importance Of Sangha”
by Miles Kessler
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November 5, 2016