Meditation Point #103

ktadmin Posted in A Zen Thing, Quotes
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The past is not dead. In fact, it’s not even past.
William Faulkner

Many people say there is no past or future only the present. I have said this myself. In some respects this is partially true, we only have the now in which to live. Then what can Faulkner possibly mean? There is no past in the sense that we can change things we have done or witnessed. We can effect the past no more then we can control the future. For us there is no past, but that does not mean it is dead. Hardly, in fact Faulkner says it best for it isn’t even the past, because you are the collection of your past ‘present’ moments. You are the collective of your time here on Earth which means that the past is always present in us, effecting our behavior and decisions in the present and path into the future. Thus without introspection and discipline we are doomed to repeat our mistakes and failures as we are largely creatures of habit, good or bad.

Only through introspection can we see the patterns of our past and with discipline change our path into the future. In many ways George Costanza on the television show Seinfeld was a genius when realizing that all of his past decisions were wrong made a conscious effort to “do the opposite”. In his genius he found that this approach did indeed work and in the genius of the show we saw the difficulty in maintaining this new approach to life. George lacked the discipline and in the lacking gave up to his nature the fruits of his introspection.

Meditation Point #102

ktadmin Posted in A Zen Thing, Quotes
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If one could understand a flower as it has its being in God,
this would be a higher thing then the whole world!

-– Meister Eckhart (1260 – 1328 )

Born some 700 plus years before me… Why does it seem that most of wisdom today comes from so many in the distant past.  Is it the technology that distracts us from deep contemplations?  No it is our choices that lead us away from introspection and depth of thought.  When a society as a whole seeks the satisfaction of their materialistic desires it is hard for wisdom to emerge.  Like a beautiful rose growing in the center of a Mall parking lot, it is not impossible but highly improbable.  Even if we seek to live a life of deep introspection society seeps into our consciousness or being.  No wonder we cannot understand a flower as is has its being in God.

Remember what is important in life during the coming month.  We demonstrate our love and caring for others through our actions.  We demonstrate our self worldliness by camping in line over night at a store so we can get a limited toy!

Meditation Point #101

ktadmin Posted in A Zen Thing
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At the instant a warrior confronts a foe,

All things come into focus.

Life doesn’t give us many moments of clarity but moments of high stress seem to be filled with them. It is funny how most people who experiences a sudden accident or event like an accident or a fall recall how everything seemed to move in slow motion. Falling you understand what is happening, realize how much it is going to hurt, even analyze options all in the split seconds it takes before impact. Focus and clarity are yours, though they are useless in these situations except for illustrating this point. That focus and clarity should be ours always, how wonderful and bizzare that would be?!?finding clarity

My favorite form of meditation is not set in a prone postion or reciting a mantra, it is in the sparring ring. When we enter into a Martial conflict even a friendly one we find focus and clarity much easier to grasp. Perhaps it is simplicity of it all, hit and block! Except there is nothing simple about a martial conflict. So how is it that ‘all things come into focus‘? I personally think it is like loosing a sense. When our body looses a sense it strengthens another. Go blind get and increased sense of smell. When we enter a Martial conflict I think the thinking portion of our brain quiets and in that quiet our other senses can be heard more clearly. Perhaps this is a more animal state, survival and all. I don’t think so because there is a peace that is calming in those moments, nothing animal about that.

So sit in a prone position, chant a mantra, or enter the ring, regardless seek that clarity and focus of being that is so cleansing.

Meditation Point #100

ktadmin Posted in A Zen Thing
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….on the shore
Of the wide world I stand
alone, and think
alone, and think
Till love and fame to
nothingness do sink.
nothingness do sink.
John Keats

For this one you need to do some active visualization. It is hard to picture a shore facing the whole world but the sea shore is immense enough for this exercise. Standing there, alone it is hard not to be caught by your own insignificance. Standing there you are little more then a grain of sand before the world. The only thing greater then the world is Love. Yet here it say ” till love and fame to nothingness do sink” but in reflection I think you will see that it isn’t true love to which Keats refers. Here we reflect on our self-love and selfish desires, fame and self-importance.

Standing on the shore we are left with our thoughts which eventually also fade before the beauty and calm that is the unadulterated world. In this silence we see more clearly, understanding that all that truly matters in life all that lasts has little to do with selfish desires and everything to do with selfless love, true love. This is a kind and gentle love like the calm sea lapping against the short. To often though we forget that is selfless love, this true love can be as violent and turbulent as the raging seas. For in true love lies truth and peace but in possessing this truth the rage of righteousness and justice lives. While the more mainstream interpretations portray peace love and happiness as calm and giving and sappy picture in reality. The deeper we dig and reflect the more we realize that true love is justice in its purest form. So stand on the shore, let your mind go and let the immensity of the world give you a new perspective on the glory of your insignificance.

Create Yourself!

ktadmin Posted in A Zen Thing, Training notes
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Create Yourself

 

Here is an interesting fact for you:

Every year you have a completely new body.

How?

Because in the course of one year every cell in your body dies and is replaced.

Make you think doesn’t it?

Prayers and positive thinking are like sun light to flowers in this process.

Meditation Point #99

ktadmin Posted in A Zen Thing, Quotes, Reviews
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“Like dogs, some folks will go with whoever feeds ’em. Makes you think.”

Robin Hood, Sherwood
Parke Godwin

I just finished reading the historical fiction Sherwood. In the book is the above quote which stuck with me, especially since it is true. It also struck me that points of reflection can come from anywhere. This entire book was truly a point of reflection dealing with friendship, loyalty, justice, struggle and the reality of life and the concessions we must sometimes make. This book is a perfect blend of historical accuracy and high adventure. Godwin’s characters are real people, caught up in extraordinary circumstances and set on paths they never dreamed of. Along the way, there’s courage, betrayal, blood, pain, romance, and glory.

One of the central and reoccurring themes is how people react in a given situation and why. This sets this book apart from other historical novels. The above quote is an unfortunate truth we see daily whether at the office or at a sporting event or in our friends date (never our own!). We see the above quote most clearly in our histories. Perhaps I will add my thought later on but at the moment I remain silent. Today I leave it to you the reader to decide if the above sentiment should be insult or compliment? How do you react to this statement?

Meditation Point #98

ktadmin Posted in A Zen Thing, Quotes
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The turnip farmer points the way with a turnip.Issa

Perspective, one of the most important things to gain in life. Our perspectives are derived from our experiences. In life we have ourselves and our experiences. Our Self emerges from our experiences and our reactions to those experiences. The problem is that the world is a large place filled with a multitude of different people with different experiences. What is interesting though is that there seems to be a finite number of ways the Self can emerge. We either seem to devolve into “sin” or self-indulgence or we evolve toward selflessness. Often this path a conscious choice similar to the different paths chosen by Siddhartha. For people who are not introspective life develops more like a ship without a rudder finds its course.

Perspective and introspection are important counterparts vital to our development. Introspection aids us in finding ways to better understand ourselves and gain perspective from our experiences. Thus introspection is crucial for our perspectives to become more diverse.  Perspectives increase our understanding not only of our own life but of the lives of others.  Understanding breeds empathy.  In a heightened state of understanding or empathy  we can communicate with people in terms which they can relate.  So no longer would the turnip farmer only be able to point the way with the turnip.  He would speak to each person in terms they understood seeing the world through their eyes.

That may seem like a strange reflection to many of you, but it is my perspective.  Think on it while you train and perhaps the next time you are in a conflict you will see the world through the eyes of your adversary.  And in that moment of clarity perhaps you will see a way to communicate and avoid the conflict.  But in case that doesn’t work… Train hard and kick their butt!!

Meditation Point #97

ktadmin Posted in A Zen Thing, Training notes
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Listen or thy tongue will keep thee deaf. – – Native American Proverb

Listening is an essential part of communication. And it is different from hearing. Being a good and patient listener helps you not only solve many problems at work or home, but also helps you see the world through the eyes of others, thereby opening your understanding and enhancing your capacity for empathy. Besides which, you learn a lot from listening! As deceptively simple as listening to and acknowledging other people may seem, doing it well, particularly when disagreements arise, takes sincere effort and lots of practice.  Here are some tips on how to be a better listener.

Autumn Leaves

ktadmin Posted in A Zen Thing, OffTopic, Quotes
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Wind blows
and fills the skies
with gold and yellow
butterflies

 

which flit to earth
with skips and hops
to dance and twirl
like spinning tops.

 

The last one dips
in a puddle to float
like a single scarlet
sailing boat.

By Marilyn Helmer

Rocky Knows

ktadmin Posted in A Zen Thing, Quotes, Training notes
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Let me tell you something you already know. The world ain’t all sunshine and rainbows. It’s a very mean and nasty place. And I don’t care how tough you are. It will beat you to your knees and keep you permanently there if you let it”
“You, me, or nobody is gonna hit as hard as life, but it ain’t about how hard you hit, it’s about how hard you can get hit and keep moving forward, how much you can take and keep moving forward. That’s how winning is done”
“Now if you know what you are worth, go out and get what you are worth, but you gotta be willing to take the hits and not pointing fingers, saying you ain’t where you want to be because of him or her or anybody. Cowards do that, and that ain’t you. You’re better than that

–Rocky Balboa

Rocky is everyone’s favorite movie to poke fun at, but the movies really do have a great message, an American message, never quit. Perhaps Winston Churchill said it best in one of his last speeches, spoke before a graduating class. “Never give in. Never give in. Never, never, never, never–in nothing, great or small, large or petty–never give in, except to convictions of honor and good sense. Never yield to force. Never yield to the apparently overwhelming might of the enemy.

Rocky offers us a more contemporary presentation but it is still the same message and one worth learning. It pains me to increasingly see people shy away from this ideal, to turn their backs on their convictions of honor and good sense. Most people have become subjects of fear, for often fear is the enemy we face. The best explanation I ever heard for courage was from John Wayne, he said “Courage is being scared to death, but saddling up anyway.

Of all the combat veteran’s and violence survivors I have known and interviewed this sentiment shines through. Never give up. These are lessons our politically correct world is quickly erasing, they are becoming the things of fiction reserved for the movies and hopefully the military. The mantra our children are being sung is “Never go it alone. Never get involved. Never ever tell anyone they are wrong. Call for help that is someone else’s job. Never use force. Yield for fighting doesn’t accomplish anything.” I hope that our youth listen to the words of Rocky Balboa because I am sure they don’t know who Winston Churchill is or why he spoke those words. If you are a parent, don’t just speak the words, live them. Life is hard and as long as we go with the flow the tide grows stronger and makes life harder.

We would also urge people to buy the book: Rocky Stories: Tales of Love, Hope, And Happiness at America’s Most Famous Steps as it is filled with great stories of real people fulfilling their dreams by following in Rocky Balboa’s footsteps.