If you have not linked yourself to true emptiness, you will never understand Aikido

~ O’Sensei

These eternal words from Aikido’s founder O Sensei, point to Aikido’s spiritual source. A source from which Aikido’s universal principles, technical expression, and transformational potential come. Linking yourself to this Spiritual source of emptiness is also the goal of the path of meditation.

If we are to believe this quote of O Sensei – that Aikido is linked at its core to a spiritual depth – then why doesn’t it always feel like that?

Much of the message we get in the Aikido world is that you should practise for technical perfection and martial protection. Or that you should preserve your Aikido style, or set a goal for your next rank in the art.

All of these are fine parts of our Aikido. But do they bring you any closer to realising Aikido’s spiritual core?

Has your practice helped you to unlock the transformational potential that is Aikido’s spiritual core?

If Aikido is meant to be a higher path of spiritual practice, then why doesn’t it feel that way?

Is there more to Aikido than this? Is the path really about getting better, faster, and stronger?… Until we get older and then become worse, slower, and weaker.

The question remains; Is it possible to reclaim Aikido as an authentic spiritual path?

To realise Aikido’s spiritual potential it must be practiced as a path of physical, mental, relational, and spiritual discipline. At the core of this path of discipline is the universal practice of mindfulness. A practice that fully includes Aikido and meditation.

If you could blend Aikido AND meditation together as one path of spiritual practice, would you?

Well, now you can.

Welcome to the Aikido & Meditation Retreat

with Aikido Sensei and meditation teacher Miles Kessler
Join us for three days of aikido, meditation, community, connection and good food in a beautiful setting.

The location

Retreat center Meeuwenveen

The retreat centre is in a unique location. The surrounding terrain is rich in flora and fauna and expands into an ancient nature reserve.

There is room for up to 40 people, mostly in two person bedrooms. There are 9 showers and 10 toilets. There is a large and light dining room, a large kitchen,  and wheelchair sanitation.

Then there is a beautiful seminar/meditation room of approximately 120m², and last but not least the dojo hal of 180m².

Find out about the location on the website: https://meeuwenveen.nl/

To reach the location read here: https://meeuwenveen.nl/en-info/how-do-i-reach-meeuwenveen

The Program

ZANSHIN – Sustained Mindfulness

No matter how passionate we are about spiritual awakening, growing up only happens when we meet each moment fresh and new.

MUSHIN – Aikido And No Mind

O Sensei said “To understand Aiki you must first understand emptiness.”

DAISHIN – Big Mind, Big Heart & Aikido

If the meditative state of “No Mind” dissolves all into emptiness, then the state of “Big Mind” embraces all in Oneness.

TAKEMUSU AIKI – Harmony Created From Conflict

Takemusu Aiki  is the highest expression of Aikido. It is the tantric practice that merges the absolute and the relative together as one Path.

Program excerpt

This might change

18:00 -22:00 Arrival, dinner, Meditation & Aikido practice


8:00 – 17:00 Meditation & Aikido practice and meals
19:00 – 22:00 Dinner & Authentic Relating Games


8:00 – 15:00 Meditation & Aikido practice and meals
15:00 – 17:00 Checkout

The Retreat – Aikido | Meditation | Inquiry

The Aikido & Meditation Retreat is a full weekend of practice that combines the best of an Aikido seminar and a meditation retreat through the 3 practices of Aikido, Meditation, & Inquiry. 


The Aikido training will be a “principles-based” approach open to all levels and abilities. The practice will focus on aligning with an open and natural state of being, while deeply connecting with others. 

Although there will be technical expressions, all classes will enter the practice from a principles-centered approach. 

During these sessions you will have the opportunity to integrate the meditative states of “Zanshin” – sustained presence, “Mushin” – no mind,  “Fudoshin” – unshakable mind, and “Takemusu Aiki” – a harmony that is born of conflict.


The meditation practice will include formal sitting periods and the integration of mindfulness throughout the day. Miles will help you to establish mindfulness in your practice, understand how to work with the challenges of the practice, and cultivate the further development of meditative insight.


The practice of “Inquiry” is a perennial spiritual practice. Inquiry is a powerful method that will help you go beyond superficial patterns in relating, and discover your most authentic self. Our inquiry practices will be done in the “dyadic” format as well as “embodied inquiry” through Aikido exercises. 

About Miles Kessler

Miles Kessler is a dual-lineage holder in both the Burmese “Mahasi” tradition of mindfulness meditation, as well as the “Iwama” tradition of the martial art of Aikido. 

For over 25 years Miles has been teaching Aikido, meditation, and the embodiment of spiritual awakening to thousands of people around the world.

His work focuses establishing self awareness through Aikido and meditation, embodying the universal principles of Aikifo, and discovering your own spiritual potential.

“Miles is a rare kind of teacher. He has cultivated deep meditative discipline and most importantly, his heart is wide open. You can’t help but grow in his company.” `~ Diane Musho Hamilton Roshi – Zen Teacher, Professional Mediator & Author

Register now for the Aikido Meditation Retreat 2023

Price: €450,-

What you will get:

  • a weekend deep dive into aikido as a spiritual practice
  • personal coaching when needed
  • all-inclusive: dinner, breakfast, lunch, fruits, coffee, tea, shared bedroom (2 persons)
  • beautiful environment with a lot of surrounding nature
  • vegetarian food prepared by a professional cook

Join us now for this community event!

Register now!