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and The Seedling Grows

…and the student asked the Master: “What do you mean the movement must speak to me?” …and the Master only smiled.

seedling

So, the question is, how do you expand your vision? Exposure to superior challenges presents an opportunity to grow and strengthen the roots of your experience. Through the constant clashing with successes and failures, one develops a clarity of vision that leads to a path of accumulating the essential traits that will assist in developing along that path. Perception is a reflection of an individual’s state of mind, knowledge, and experience. Through clearing your perception you can refine judgment, enabling you to make better selective decisions. You have begun a journey of self-awareness and expansion.

Self-awareness is both physical and mental. and to begin the journey, it is best to start with the mental aspect, since the mind controls the body. A vital and important aspect of self-awareness is self-image. You must have a clear vision of your self-image in order to mentally see yourself accomplishing what you desire. Clarity of vision begins within oneself. Before you can have harmony in your outside world, you must first harmonize your inside world (mind). In the process of clearing vision a better relationship of ones own strengths and weaknesses begins to manifest. Through the process of expressing the desired movements through a variety of exchanges, a knowledge and clarity of possibilities develops. Movement must be able to fit within the confines of your abilities, strengths and weaknesses. When you are able to do so, they will be expressed naturally and effortlessly. Once you develop the mind/body relationship, you will begin to speak the language of movement, which is expand/collapse, hard/soft, straight/circle, and many more possibilities. However, you must allow the movement to communicate to your body. Through mastery of knowing, and achieving a clear mental self-image, you can combine the powers of the mind and the powers of the body to express the language of the movement.

…and the movement has spoken.

As the Seed Is Planted…

And the student questioned the master: “How do you use that movement?”

And the Master said to the student: “It hasn’t spoken yet.”

The student replied, “I don’t understand…”

And the master said: “To understand, you must first accept that you know nothing.

Truth lies within the action itself, and for it to reveal itself, you must reflect nothing but the truth.”

 

Planting a Seed

The martial arts has a vast intertwining of ideas that are hidden to most students. Hence, there is pervasive belief in what is referred to as the “secret techniques.” In reality, there are no secret techniques, the real secret is through a progression of clarity of vision, educated failures, and experience. These days, martial artists are in too big a hurry to accumulate as many empty hand or weapon forms or new fancy kicks, and other movements as possible. All the while they are leaving the essence of insight of the art itself and the experience one gets from patience far behind. Through patience and dedication a miraculous unexplainable metamorphosis takes place on several levels. The most important of these is clarity of vision, for you must understand that the young martial artist sees “what is” not “what could be.” In the haste of chasing belts, trophies, titles, etc., they quietly self-destruct their own progress. As they amplify their egos, their measurement of self imagery becomes unrealistic. Development in the martial arts must be by a natural growth. Just as when a seed is planted in the ground proper soil, as well as nourishment, sunlight, water, and patience must be given to it to grow along in a natural optimum way. In this way, it will grow strong, balanced and harmonious in it’s environment. Improper development leads a martial artist to an unclear perspective, understanding, and interpretations. Like gazing through smoke, nothing is quite clear. If the student proceeds on this misdirected path to his development, then instead of accumulating martial arts that can stand the test of time, his skill will disseminate over time. With clarity of vision, one move can have a variety of possibilities. An arm break can be an arm block. On a higher level, this move may be a pressure point strike. Martial artists who have clarity of vision will see such things as muscle and bone technique. The possibilities are wide and vast and will continue to expand as your vision expands. So, the question is, how do you expand your vision?

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Hesitation, the Quick Freeze

Hesitation interferes with the Universal Law of Action/Reaction (“For every action there is an equal and hesitateopposite reaction” … Sir Isaac Newton). Hesitation separates the desired, conscious and calculated response from the equation, by hijacking the thought process and causing a multitude of breakdowns, first attacking the mind, and then the body. Hesitation, the quick freeze, stops all thought processes and opens the door of fear, allowing self-doubt and further hesitation to manifest. Hesitation strikes the body like lightening, turning it on itself. The heart begins to beat off rhythm, as the lungs squeeze, grasping for air. Vision is blurred and unsure. The mind becomes its own worst enemy, as it allows fear and doubt to creep in. Fear gives birth to doubt, doubt leads to hesitation, …and failure. Once hesitation enters your mind, it brings the seeds of doom with it, which is why in strategy, my rule is Know myself and strengthen my weaknesses. …Know not myself, and destruction is mine for certain.” Destruction cannot exist where there is a strong foundation of preparation. No matter how long a person may have been doing a thing, if there is hesitation, then there is also a high possibility of failure. Hesitation can paralyze the whole creative process and to be in combat, you need to be in the moment. The scattered mind that is left behind after hesitation strikes, is in a weakened state of fear and doubt.

Hesitation, the mind-killer, can turn your own strengths into weaknesses. Hesitation can strike slowly or extremely quickly. It matters not, since the seeds of hesitation are born within. The external influences that we allow to access our minds can have positive or negative impacts on our view of all things. In other words, the mental preparation for combat begins way before that first blow of the physical engagement itself. Strategic conceptualization begins silently, hiding within the conscious and subconscious minds of the individual. There are a numerous amount of obstacles that need to be prepared for. Just as water can penetrate a rock, hesitation can and will do the same to a fighter’s will, focus, mental state and ability. Slowly and steadily, they are chipped away from the core until defeat arrives. Hesitation is like quicksand, slowly absorbing all the fight until you succumb. It matters not about your physical abilities, your level of attainment, or your physical strength. When hesitation strikes deep within, the roots of your mind turn inward on themselves. Hesitation is a form of stress, and like all stress, it places a powerful impact on the body and mind. Examples are headaches, heart palpitations, high blood pressure, and emotional destabilization leading to anger, anxiety, and depression. The chemical imbalances can develop into a dangerous poison that will lead to destruction. In combat, perception is all you really have. The clearer the perception, the more accurate are your decisions. A martial artist must be flexible and able to make agile mental and physical adjustments, understand the power of mastery over tenants of fear, and be able to recognize the traits of it.

Through knowing where your fear lies, filtering your experiences and renewing with positive new perceptions, you can contain or eliminate fear. So, through a careful selective process, fear, doubt and hesitation can be defeated. The tools lie within each individual and can only be discovered after gathering total knowledge of your physical and emotional intellectual aptitudes. We are an experiential combination of the things we feel and believe, and these have a strong impact us. Both positive and negative intellectual and emotional influences impact our total connection, and knowledge of how we see ourselves and our world. Attempt to become aware of the forces that resonate in the internal and external environment. A great martial artist must live inside out and outside in. This means that a great martial artist is connected inside outwardly from his soul to the external environment, sensing all life forms and energies that he is exposed to. The great martial artist must also to be able to respect the energetic expressions of the possibility from outside elements while seeking balance and nourishing his spirit. The causes of hesitation reflect upon many habits and distorted beliefs that have now attached to conscious and subconscious thoughts. This influences perception and actions and reactions. Hesitation in combat is a fatal form of self-destruction. It allows for imperfection to dominate years of striving for perfection, while derailing the brain’s harmonious distribution of energy, causing a mental meltdown.

Fear

understanding-fearThe obstacles to martial art’s excellence lie within each of us. One of these obstacles is FEAR. Fear is real. Yet, fear is unique because in actuality, fear is an illusion and a misunderstood reflection of an individual’s perception, experience, and lack of knowledge. For a martial artist, it is extremely detrimental. Fear has the capacity to choke out all creative expression, and can create doubt in the heart of every man. It can cause individuals to shake with the sheer thought of a thing. Fear expresses itself in many different locations throughout the body, and a martial artist must be aware of where fear resides. Fear expresses in the external body by freezing motion and instilling hesitation, locking down movement, creating rigidity in the muscles. Next, it can reside in the organs, creating extra stress, and it has the capacity to steal away the courage that resides in the heart, and causing anxiety and heart palpitations. Stress can also cause serious damage to organs and body cells. Very importantly, fear can attack one’s mind, scattering thoughts, and leaving doubt and worry to enter. Thus, it gives the martial artist an altered reality or perception of what he is actually facing. This allows it to steal opportunity, and hinder growth and development.

So, a martial artist, should not give in to fear and indulge in fearful thoughts, but to master fear, and utilize it to his benefit. For a martial artist to dedicate his time trying to eliminate fear would be a life-long endeavor, for we are bombarded with illusions or perceptions that induce fear. Time is better spent trying to understand the mechanisms that stimulate fear and those connections that extend inwardly to himself from the physical world. We have ways to do this. Fear in the body can be released through relaxation techniques. Fear in the heart can be released through deep breathing exercises and Qi regenerating exercises. Fear in the mind can be relieved through meditation, visualization and self-analysis, and focused intentional thought. Remember, fear’s effect is to keep you from accomplishing a thing, and your job is to forge your way through fear, coming out on the other side more determined and stronger than before.

“Perception is a relative dimension of the understanding of an individual’s abilities, to sift through the muck and mire, of the dominating influences that have their impact on the thought processes in each individual’s life.” ………Sifu Saleem

Precision Nourishes the Soul

DSCF3285-300x225In spite of the multitude of Martial Art forms and movements that one may collect, and the level of proficiency that one may attain with them, the ingredient of precision is of utmost importance. Precision allows your technique to radiate and express itself in a variety of ways. There are many different levels of precision, such as the procession of body which involves the placement of steps and alignment and connection of oneself. The precision of breath allows one to expand upon the natural energy of Qi that it has and elevate it to another level and more importantly, to achieve more physical output with minimal breath.

The next level is precision of mind, in which thoughts crystallize into a unified, clear consciousness giving insight of what a fighter or his opponent can accomplish and all possibilities of engagement. The tempered crystallization of the spirit allows the individual to accomplish all these things in a tranquil state that is beyond verbal explanation and must be experienced to understand. This crystallized precision of spirit stimulates the activation of the Soul. This acts like a tuning fork allowing the individual to express intent from inside out and outside-in. This expression is so strong that to witness it gives recognition of the alignment of body and Soul and demonstrates clearly the mastery of the crystallization process. So, the spirit brings calmness, peace, and stillness, to the mind, body and Soul. It acts to balance and bring equilibrium. At this point, we are no longer in competition; we are in complete harmony with Nature, and a part of the Oneness of Creation.

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The Elevated Mind

We exist in a universe that is constantly expressing itself micro-cosmically. The multitude of energetic elevated mindvibrations, some which we are aware of and some which we are not, are in tune with the expansion and contraction of life itself and is therefore connected and expressed throughout our entire mind/body being, to the degree that we could probably say that the mind/body is a receiver and transmitter of information on several levels. This energetic interaction gives the body what we could call an inherent intelligence connection and expression that teaches us through existence and experimentation. The plasticity of the mind/body reflects inwardly and outwardly the microcosmic impact of the universe. This however, is based on the ability of the mind/body to receive energy and resonate energetically with the cosmic universe, giving us the ability to receive as well as to give off information energetically.

Every living thing has the ability to give off energy, yet, energy falls into two main categories: generating energy and non-generating energy. Generating energy reflects giving and receiving, while non-generating energy can only receive energy. As a living, breathing energetic unit, it is of utmost importance for each of us to strive to give and receive the energies that we come into contact with physically, and also those we create mentally. An example of this is how we create a relationship between the mind and body with Qi cultivation. We must spend time performing certain meditational breathing techniques, and focus turning our senses (mainly through “listening”) inwardly, so that we can develop a connection with the elusiveness of Qi.

The effects of these energies have dramatic impact upon us. They can reshape our minds, which in turn, influence our soul and spirit, which will bring us back home to the Oneness. When a martial artist is able to elevate his or her thought processes and in turn be able to tune into a higher divine level, the mind has the ability to capture thoughts that have existed on that level, and fuse with the higher divine thought process.

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Star Stuff

We are made of star stuff, and we are of the stars.

 

star stuff

At a glance, the vast ocean of emptiness that embodies the Universe appears to be without the functional intention of design.  However, there are systematic chemical fusions and mathematical intelligence found in elements and their atoms, that reflect grace, beauty and purpose.  Through  independent unifications of simplistic conceptualizations, this distinctive creativity permeates all matter, allowing the elements to fuse and create new compositions throughout the Universe.  The substance that gives birth (through The “Big Bang”) to this intelligent design expresses itself within a creative theory of Oneness of Everything.  This Oneness operates in a state of supreme conscious awareness that functions on independent layers through a conscious intelligence.  The Universe is designed to fulfill all needs of existence.  The Intelligent Designer of Universal Truths responds in action/reaction to necessities of life.

The smallest particles of matter in the Universe are atoms.  All elements are made up of atoms, and created in the Universe.  Elements are vital for human existence.  Atoms have protons and neutrons that bond through strong electrical interaction within the nucleus.  Electrons, holding an opposing charge, orbit the nucleus, without bonding directly to it.  Atoms are the building blocks of matter/mass. Energy and mass fill the Universe.  The total energy contained in an object is identified by its mass.  Energy, like mass, cannot be created or destroyed.  Cells are made of molecules and molecules are made of atoms of different elements, such as hydrogen, oxygen, carbon, nitrogen, phosphorus, and calcium, to name a few.

Oxygen is the source and supporter of all life.  Without oxygen, life would cease to exist.  By combining oxygen with hydrogen, water is created which is a vital source of life sustenance.  Nitrogen is a constituent element of amino acids, proteins, and nucleic acid, DNA/RNA.  It resides in the chemical structure of neurotransmitters.  Our bodies depend on Calcium, with 99% in bones, and teeth, while soft tissues hold a lesser degree of it. It is vital for human existence since it provides structural support.  Carbon is the building block of the body.  It has the greatest capacity to bond non-metallic elements.  Thereby, it traps vital minerals in our bodies.  There are many billions of carbon atoms that make up life, and the human body is made up of them and is constantly depending and interacting with many more of them.  They are important to hold material and non-material substance in its essential forms.  Without atoms, there can be no structure.

We breathe atoms.  We consume atoms in our food.  We drink them in liquids.  We are able to see when atoms and photons within the eye meet.  A touch is created when atoms in the skin repel other atoms/objects.  We are a collection of atoms, the Universe is a collection of the same atoms.  We were born in the creativity of The Intelligent Designer’s heart, in the loving mist of organic consciousness and blessed with unlimited resources and opportunities.  We are made of star stuff, and we are of the stars.

 

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