Anyone who turns to this lovely volume hoping to learn how to perform some of aikido’s legendary techniques will be disappointed. But for those disciples of the practice who wish to delve more deeply into the philosophical and religious underpinnings of its founder’s cosmology, this tiny book is a gem.

With its sober green cover, soft cream paper, cloth bookmark and diminutive size, this book feels designed to be carried around and studied like a sacred text. For it is indeed a spiritual manual rather than a technical one, a collection of lectures given by the founding father of aikido, Morihei Ueshiba, to members of the religious group Byakko Shinko Kai.

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