Faith on the Mat

Français : Zazen au dojo

Image via Wikipedia

Faith is the first step on any religious or spiritual journey.  It suggests that we believe in a God, higher power or some universal spirit. According to religious scholar Karen Armstrong  most of us “tend to equate faith with believing certain things about God or the sacred.”

When I started aikido and Zen Buddhism I’m not sure I had much faith or trust —  yet felt drawn to the journey.  There was nothing logical to tell me that sitting for hours on a cushion or being thrown by (and throwing) another human being for years on end would somehow enhance my life beyond any other form of regular, rigorous physical exercise.  In retrospect, I suppose there was a vague hope for  a more meaningful existence and increased purpose.

Yet I’m a bit surprised that, over the years, this combination of practice has led me to live more consciously, with more compassion and prayer, weeding out ego wherever I can.

Prayer in the dojo?  Yeah, I know. But, in some respects, prayer is ‘givin’ myself a pep talk.’ I’m addressing deep personal needs and fears in what seem to be dangerous and dark times.  Anyone who is paying attention needs some mechanism to deal with injustice, wars, greed and violence.  It’s a survival, man.

A path to faith from A to Z?  Aikido and Zazen  may be the way.



One Response to “Faith on the Mat”

  1. Great doubt, great faith, great determination…all keys to the way. Thank you for sharing, be well~

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