Purification Rituals

Aikido founder O’Sensei was said to begin each day by standing under a waterfall—  yes, even in the winter—  as a daily ritual purification of body, mind and spirit.


waterfall (Photo credit: Sean MacEntee)

With some fear of being called an aikido purist, I think that any time we can approximate what the founder did in his daily life (and incorporate as much of his philosophy of aikido into our daily lives) we are on the right path.

There is a time and place for philosophical plagiarism!

Living in a city or the ‘burbs’ often precludes having a waterfall, ocean, or lake handy for a morning purification ritual. But, what about viewing the sun, rain and snow as our waterfalls?  I suppose, in the proper state of mind, the morning shower can serve.

Rain and snow particularly are perfect substitutes for waterfalls: steady, sometimes strong and often cleansing. Shifting our thoughts away from,  ‘oh darn I’m going to be caught in the rain and get soaked so I better scurry inside’ allows us to at least consider lingering to let the rain wash over your body. It’s a step.

How much easier is it to use the sunlight — especially the sunrise — in the same manner.  A morning gift.  How do you best connect with the light to welcome another day above ground?  To wake up every morning and work with what’s been given to us may, in fact, be following the path O’Sensei set out for us.

What are your rituals for purification?

2 Responses to “Purification Rituals”

  1. bearshouse Says:

    yesterday I read…”some people feel the rain while others just get wet.” -Bruce Lee i think,

  2. Zellie M. Quinn Says:

    I think the more we begin to see and appreciate the signs of the Divine all around us, the closer we are to joy!

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