About Aiki Consciousness Institute

Welcome to ACI!

After being the owner and Chief Instructor of a traditional Aikido dojo for the past 25 years, the evolution of my practice has brought me to the realization that the world needs the teachings of Aikido now more than ever. Coupled with this reality is the truth that fewer and fewer people have the time or the inclination to devote themselves to the commitment and years that are required to truly advance and master this complex and comprehensive Art.

I believe that O’Sensei was a true Visionary who was a head of his time.The Aiki Consciousness Institute is being birthed in order to bring his teachings of truth, goodness, beauty, peace and love, to a greater number of people. While many people do not have the time or the ability to engage in rigorous  Aikido training, they do have the desire to feel more present, centered, balanced and connected in their daily lives. These internal states of consciousness are more accessible and significantly easier to master than the physical movements of Aikido.

The journey begins by asking and answering the questions of who am I and how do I want to live my life? From there, the process of engaging a practice that allows us to align to the truth of who we are as well as the qualities we seek to embody. This means that if you want to live a peaceful life, you have to practice being peaceful. If you want to live a meaningful life, you have to embody what matters to you. If you want to live an embodied life, you have to practice  living in your body. If you want to live a spiritual or compassionate life, you have to embrace your own heart.

To live the life of your choosing, requires practice. When practices become integrated,  mastery ensues. When mastery is at hand, freedom is available. We do not become free through a lack of structure or commitment. We become free when we commit ourselves to doing what it takes to cultivate the qualities of being that matter the most to us.

We are living in unprecedented times. Our commitment here at ACI is to do our part to help make the world a more peaceful, thriving and healthy place. We will be doing this through course offerings, coaching, writings, service and compassionate leadership. Through these offerings, we aim to share the founder of Aikido’s vision of a peaceful and beautiful world with all who seek to embody these qualities.

We are just get started. In time, this website will come alive with more offerings, more teachings and more possibilities. O’Sensei’s teachings are profound and powerful. We invite you to join us on the path (Do) of discovery as we journey into our hearts and connect with the essence of these teachings in favor or healing ourselves and healing the world. 


Denise Barry – Aiki Consciousness Institute Founder and Spiritual Director 


About Denise Barry Sensei

Denise Barry, M.A. (Psychology), 6th Dan (Aikido), was introduced to the Aiki Path when she was a junior in high school. It was in this all day workshop that she discovered the peaceful silence that existed within her Center (Hara). Although an accomplished athlete, she realized that she had never actually experienced her own embodiment. It was on this day that she experienced her mind, body and spirit as one unified field. She felt, for the first time, whole and in peace. When she learned that Aikido translates as ” the way (Do) of harmonizing (Ai) your energy (Ki), with that of the Universe, she declared to herself “that mastering this state of being, would be a life worth living” and has been training and teaching the Art ever since.

Along with her commitment  to mastering the Aiki Path, Denise Sensei specializes in bridging psychology, spirituality and O’Sensei’s teachings as a synthesis for healing and personal mastery. She sees mastery as a path to freedom. Freedom in this case means that through practice and a commitment to living and embodying the life affirming qualities that best reflect our values, we are able to heal our wounds and find wholeness. Through wholeness, our suffering diminishes and we are better able to offer positive energy and compassion to ourselves and to the world. In this place, we are free to chose to meet life with an open and loving heart.


B.A. Psychology

M.A. Psychology (Organizational Development)

6th Dan Aikido

Dojo Owner and Chief Instructor 25 years

Teaching Aikido in Sonoma County 32 years

Teaching Aikido to Adults and Children 42 years

Certified Massage Therapist

Cranial Sacral Training Level 4

Gestalt Therapy Training

Special Education Counselor/Teacher (20 yrs)

Retreat/Seminar Planning and Production

In Depth Participation and Teaching in Aikido and Meditation Retreats

Personal Development Coach 40 years