Panchami's Training Journal

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Kol Drake replied the topic: Panchami's Training Journal

Lee: Teacher?

Shaolin Abbott: I see your talents have gone beyond the mere physical level. Your skills are now at the point of spiritual insight. I have several questions. What is the highest technique you hope to achieve ?

Lee: To have no technique.

Shaolin Abbott: Very good. What are your thoughts when facing an opponent ?

Lee: There is no opponent.

Shaolin Abbott: And why is that ?

Lee: Because the word "I" does not exist.

Shaolin Abbott: So, continue...

Lee: A good fight should be like a small play, but played seriously. A good martial artist does not become tense, but ready. Not thinking, yet not dreaming. Ready for whatever may come. When the opponent expands, I contract. When he contracts, I expand. And when there is an opportunity, I do not hit. It hits all by itself.

Shaolin Abbott: Now, you must remember: the enemy has only images and illusions behind which he hides his true motives. Destroy the image and you will break the enemy.


The 'it' hitting all by itself Bruce Lee's character refers to is his own hand... as if it is an entity of it's own. I like the idea of trying to 'go mindless' and see what the Force does... but, also remember, Mister Lee has literally decades of martial arts practice behind his insane abilities. Even as his 'character' we are looking at a decades trained Shaolin Monk. So, his 'not thinking' before acting (or reacting) is years upon years of muscle memory and responses.

Mostly, one could try to 'just not overthink' when in a bout -- be it martial arts or fencing or.. well, any kind. If you are still learning fencing, there are the positions, the various thrusts and parries, etc which your mind can get all loaded down with instead of paying attention to the opponent's tiny 'tell' movements. To see a high thrust before he fully engages or to 'see' a feign before it's executed. THAT would be closer to how one might view 'using the Force' -- having it such that you are almost reading the moves before they happen and being able to act/react as if they are a 'sure thing'... totally messing with your opponents mind when you are already in a responsive move which perfectly matches their intent.

Like a well choreographed dance. Or like is practiced in some martial forms -- as 'sticking hands' -- push and 'pull' yet they never come apart. It becomes a reflexive effort more then a 'focused mind' exercise.

Cool though, that you have a venue to try these kinds of things.
Not sure you should get too creative though -- like Master Sword fighter, Miyamoto Musashi, who supposedly fought cross eyed -- basically a 'soft focus' in the 'focus zone' -- using more of his Peripheral vision -- because Peripheral vision is good at detecting motion.

Keep at it. Perhaps not so much 'mindlessness' as soft awareness of your opponents twitches?

>> Nightwalking (and more) <<

***

As for 'desire to win' and passion... there is that. One has to kind of want to win to be competing in the first place. Hopefully it is healthy competition -- ie. the desire to improve -- more then a dark desire to see all you face skewered on a shaft of metal!
:surprised
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Panchami replied the topic: Panchami's Training Journal

Thank you both for the replies! I'll address them later today, but first, I wanted to share this 5-minute clip I came across of Rabbi David Aaron, a writer who has greatly influenced my spiritual ideas, about why he doesn't believe in God.

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Kol Drake replied the topic: Panchami's Training Journal

I have to ding him on his poor use of a classic Science Fiction 'character'.
Godzilla was originally named Gojira (gorilla whale) and the Japanese pronunciation is godzria - go dzira - with the d being silent. It was only the crappy American translation which turned it into God-zilla (since all Asians get their Rs and Ls confused.... NOT). So, his easy attempt to make Gojira into some form of God named monster is questionable.

** And, I saw that animated movie, Bambi versus Godzilla, way back in 1973. Fun little cartoon. **

The numerous names for God have been a source of debate among biblical scholars over the centuries.
Elohim (god, or authority, plural form), El (mighty one), El Shaddai (almighty), Adonai (master), Elyon (highest), Avinu (our father), are regarded by many religious Jews not as names, but as titles highlighting different aspects of YHWH and the various 'roles' of God.

(( heck, since Elohim *is* the plural case, some think it is gods -- not a singular god. ))

But, his re-working of the words to 'prove' his point is interesting.
But, one has to be very careful about how you parse words and their context in a sentence or paragraph. My Ex took Hebrew and Greek during her time in seminary and I got to help her with some of the direct translations of texts... so this is one I'm familiar with.

Ehyeh asher ehyeh is generally rendered in English "I am that I am". Some other ways to present it are -- "I will be what I will be" or "I will be who I will be", or "I shall prove to be whatsoever I shall prove to be" or even "I will be because I will be".

“I Will Become whatsoever I please.” Greek, Ego eimi ho on (ἐγώ εἰμι ὁ ὤν).

Other renderings include: “I am The Existing One”; and, of course, Latin - ego sum qui sum, “I am Who I am.”

At times, Hebrew is as bad as Latin -- in that certain nouns and pronouns are 'in question' depending on the ending on the verb forms and their placement in the sentence structure..... it's not all nice and (noun/pronoun)(verb)(direct object) as it is in English (( most times )).

Still, interesting stuff.
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Panchami replied the topic: Panchami's Training Journal

So, about a week later, and finally I have made time to reply to your most helpful responses, and to keep everyone who might be interested up to date on my progress.

Dueling and the Dark Side :maul
Perhaps the difference between taking an aggressive stance and being extra focused due to wanting to win and being swept away by passion is just that, the being swept away. In the bouts I fenced today, I noticed that there's a golden mean between apathy and uncontrolled lashing out that yields the best results. I think it's useful to keep in mind why I want to win, or do well at whatever I'm doing, but it shouldn't take over my mind.

The site on the Nightwalking looks intriguing, I'll read it more extensively some other time.

He Who Must Not Be Named
You're spot on with your remarks, Kol Drake. I've done quite some Hebrew myself, and what Rabbi Aaron says in this clip at least is all pretty mainstream (except for the Yisra'el = Shir El thing, that does work, but it's not 'real' linguistics, unlike his other statements). I hope you don't hold the Godzilla reference against him too much ;) According to my dictionary, a literal translation for YHWH would be 'Existence'. I started reading A Conversation With God, like you suggested, Jax, and it ties in pretty nicely with this. I'm interested to see where the author will take the argument; he's dangerously close to blaming people for getting sick and such, but he's avoided it so far, which is good. Other than that, it really reminds me of David Aaron's book that I read a while back (that's how I know him), The Secret Life of God. I think it's written for a broad enough audience that people that aren't too familiar with the Jewish tradition should be able to appreciate it.

Coursework and Meditation
I've been continuing the meditations with the mantra so 'ham. Like I said last week, focusing takes much less time now. Additionally, I'm starting to feel a kind of benevolence 'out there' after a while. I also did the exercises today (finished up the focusing on a picture one some time ago, didn't really have any interesting results): sat in my room and observed everything without thinking about it, and walked around without my head. While sitting and watching, I noticed that text is very distracting to me. Other than that, it went pretty well. The headlessness was interesting. Maybe I've just taken it from the instructions, but I am very quickly taken by this feeling that 'There Is', just like that, when I try to imagine observing everything without my head. It feels pretty objective, and also a bit lonely, for some reason. You'd think that feeling at one with the universe at large should be the opposite of loneliness, but apparently not.

I'll keep doing the exercises in the coming week. Next Monday, I'll be taking a First Aid refresher course, looking forward to it.

Have a good week!
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Panchami replied the topic: Panchami's Training Journal

Unfortunately, I missed the First Aid course yesterday due to some miscommunication. I hope I'll have another chance soon.

In other news, I've been doing the exercises for Force 101 and Meditation. They seem to be going pretty well, I had a nice time just sitting still and observing nature this weekend, but I didn't really have any new experiences other than the ones I've already described. So, a short post this time. I'll be moving on to the next weeks in the courses.
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Panchami replied the topic: Panchami's Training Journal

In the past week, I've done the Chan meditation a few times (two, I believe), in addition to my now regular mantra meditations. Strangely enough, I found it very unpleasant. The constant counting makes me very uneasy and keeps me from relaxing, even if I slow it way down. Am I doing it wrong? Things are still going well with the other meditations.

I also watched SW Episode VI, fun, and finished A Conversation with God. I became less skeptical about the book as I got further in it, and I think I have a good grasp of its main point. What surprised me most was that the God of the book was very strict about any amount of alcohol being bad for you. Other than that, he just seemed to be telling people what they wanted to hear, but he took an unpopular position on that issue. I'll think the whole material over a bit in the coming time and see what I come to think of it.

In other news, I'll be going on holidays for about two weeks, so don't worry if you don't hear anything from me, I'll be fine. :) Have a good first half of June!
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Jax replied the topic: Panchami's Training Journal

Meditation: It shouldn't be at all stressful. The counting is just something to focus the mind on. The numbers don't actually matter. Ask yourself, what bothers me about this? Take a deep breath and consciously relax whatever is tightening. See if it's any better. (ask question, relax, continue meditation).

CWG: If he was just saying what people wanted to hear, there wouldn't be a huge backlash against the book. ;-) Also, keep reading. The next two books get into more controversial topics. You might find your perspective shift.

Enjoy your holidays!
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