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    I’m jumping back on the bandwagon and keeping journal entries here as well as over at the JRC and in my own blog. There will NOT always be synchronicity between these so be sure to check them out sometimes.

    http://www.jediresourcecenter.org/smf/index.php?topic=3070.0 Inari’s Training Journal


    http://inari76.wordpress.com/ Inari’s Holocron


    Today I was working at the City of Onkaparinga (Council), 5.5 hrs of corporate massage. It turns into ‘factory massage’ to an extent sometimes, and while I was working I had all sorts of interesting thoughts and insights.

    Unfortunately, after picking up the various family members, cooking tea, getting the kids to bed and doing the dishes, I seem to have forgotten them all.


    A couple of pathetic remnants that have been saved by my strained grey matter are my intention to review and modify my current exercise regime. Well, ‘regime’ may not be the right word, that sounds both disciplined and organised. Basically, I do between 10 and 20 hours of massage a week, walk when I can, Tai Chi and Sword form classes 1.5 hrs/week plus about 20 minutes daily, and have been doing a lot of digging and yard work lately. I have an exercise bike but have been walking more (nice weather) than riding it lately. Daylight savings starts in South Australia on the first Sunday in October, and I’m looking forward to doing more in the evening once that’s started. I’ll do some actual planning later when my brain is less mushy.

    I’ve also been considering my options for undertaking the Healing the Light Body training from the Four Winds society, this will be offered in Australia from late March next year, at a cost of $1850/session (7 are needed, generally over 2 yrs for certification). And that’s USD, not AUD. Unfortunately, my family is looking to move to New Zealand before this time, and I’ve been humming and ha-ing over whether to register for it or not. If anyone is wondering why, it’s not only the cost but the practicality of being away from my family for a week when they are in a new country, my hubby has started a new job, and there are no family or friends to help with school etc. What I’ve decided to do is to email them about that course and find out whether they’ll only run the program once every 2 years here in Oz, or if the first classes will run again in 2010. My kids will both be a bit older by then, I’ll have time to save some money, and I’ll also ask how late one can register so if by some chance it turns out I can make the 2009 training then I’ll do so. I feel pretty comfortable with this decision, I tried asking my guide for some advice, all he said was that I have some time for training and I should do what I think best.


    At work today, I gave a Shiatsu massage for the first time since June. I took time before the session to stretch and meditate, and both myself and the client were very calm and peaceful at the end of the session. But…it wasn’t as good as it could be, as good as it has been in the past when I was doing shiatsu more often.

    Thinking about this later on in the day, it occured to me that there are several different levels of connectivity involved with the healing work I do. When I am seeing people with their sore necks or backs, or frozen shoulders or whatever, I always get a lot of ‘how do you know just where the sore places are’ questions. I have a few ‘stock answers’ for this question, but took some time to really think about and consider the issue today, and I realised that what I’ve been doing is essentially ‘dowsing’. So, for example, working on someones neck. Areas that are excess in energy are often, but not always, associated with a rounded lump or ‘knot’ as people like to call them, though really they are a localised spasm of the muscle. Usually, these ‘knots’ are associated with a buzzy feeling, a ‘pressure’ and in Shiatsu they are described of ‘jitsu’ or excess in chi. Sometimes though, the knots while physically present do not give this ‘buzzy’ feeling and they are not very painful for the client in this instance. Sometimes, there are places on the muscle that do not have a knot but give the ‘buzzy’ feeling. What I tend to do is find the ‘buzzy’ places and put pressure on them, which has both an energetic and a physical effect. In the best case scenario, both the physical knot and the excess feeling will be dispersed, and the client will think I’m absolutely wonderful for ‘curing’ their headache  ;)

    Also present are corresponding areas of weakness, lack of energy or ‘kyo’ in Shiatsu. These are harder to ‘fill’ in a physical massage but it can be done to an extent. Whether treating either of these conditions, though, the energetic connection to the client, while very much present, is shallow. It allows me to find and treat surface to mid-level physical problems such as described above, and will usually give me a sense at least of any chronic energetic issues the client might have. The connection is NOT, however, strong enough to treat these deeper, chronic issues.

    In shiatsu, the aim is to connect at this deeper level with the client and feel their chi/energy connecting to and responding to the lead given by your own. It was this deeper connection that I missed today…the client did respond well to my work and enjoyed it, but I, at least, knew that there was an aspect to the treatment missing.

    Generally, you’ll find that there are therapists who treat the clients at the physical level, and there are therapists who treat the clients at the energetic level, but I want to be able to do both. I feel that both are important and one should not be neglected in favour of another. Today I realised, though, WHY people tend to do one or the other. It’s because it’s really darn hard to do both. I was having a think today about how I can work to reestablish the ability to connect more deeply, partly having a quiet and peaceful environment is helpful, perhaps practising more often. I’ll try to come up with some more ideas.


    Night out with the Boys…Marksman Shooting range.

    Yesterday I handled a firearm for the first time in my life. Here in Australia, we have very strict gun control laws, brought in after the Port Arthur massacre in the late ’90’s. However, you can still go to firing ranges and as part of a ‘social outing’ with my husbands workplace (previously my own workplace too) six of us went to a local firing range. The others had been there before, last time they went my youngest was still quite small and I wasn’t able to get a babysitter.

    I was the only female. Surprise surprise.

    We used four different types of guns. These were (number of shots plus gun):

    30 x 9mm semi-auto plus

    10 x 45ACP semi-auto plus

    12 x .357 mag revolver plus

    6 x .44 mag revolver

    We had two people in the group who were pretty good. One American, he’s married to an Aussie and lives here, he’s an ex-marine (looking at his chubby, good-natured face you wouldn’t pick it) and another chap who was in the Australian Army. They did quite well, as you might imagine.

    I was actually a little nervous, which surprised me as I wasn’t scared about hurting myself or anyone else. I’m not sure why I was nervous. We used the 9mm first and I did OK with that, I was basically shooting right in the centre line of the target but wavered up and down a little. I wasn’t very good with the next two, had a lot of trouble with the recoil but funnily enough I was the best of the non-military folk with the biggest gun, the .44, actually getting 3 shots in the bullseye and 2 just on the edge (and one way off…remember to cock it first next time Inari lol). The guys were very surprised at this, I said that it was actually the most comfortable for me to use as it recoiled back instead of up, the instructor said I was right with that as the weight of the gun apparently softens the recoil somewhat.

    I enjoyed going and it got my competitive streak going (can’t be letting the guys win lol) and I was thinking about what I might have been doing wrong, and I realised that it was probably my martial arts background. In martial arts, we relax…unlock the knees (OK), drop the shoulders (OK), and don’t lock the elbows (probably the source of my poorer efforts). By the time I’d got to the magnum I’d realised I was unlocking my elbows as we do in sword form and consciously locked them and I think that was what helped me do well.

    We’re planning on doing this again later in the year. I’d like to practice more with the 9mm. I’d also like to talk to them about the rifles, as I learned in my studies of New Zealand that there is a feral turkey problem there, pretty much if they’re on your land then they’re potentially dinner lol.


    I have a new element to my exercise regime, which could be titled ‘Running the fat off the neighbours obese corgi’. My neighbour has a 3 yr old Pembroke corgi, a sweet little dog called Penny who is, unfortunately, about twice the weight a healthy Pembroke should be. As such, I have volunteered to take her for walks to try to get her weight down. I have just returned from taking her for a walk, and the walk that takes me 1/2 hr took 1 hr and 5 minutes with her. She is VERY slow, and I forgot to allow for ‘sniffing’ time too, important that lol.


    Just something I wanted to take a note of. I’m currently reading ‘2012: The return of Quetzalcoatl’ by Daniel Pinchbeck. In there, he said

    In his own life and the dreams of many of his patients, Carl Jung frequently experience the phenomenon of a voice, seemingly from a source outside the individual, revealing information — similar to the telepathic intelligence that communicated with McKenna in the Amazon. The voice “always utters an authoritative declaration or command, either of common sense or of profound philosophic import,” wrote Jung, who considered the voice to be ” a product of th emore complete personality of which the dreamers conscious self is a part.”

    I’ve been looking to improve my skills in physical massage, I’m definitely well past the ‘fundamentals’ level and am looking for more intermediate and advanced skills to help my clients. As such, I’ve been examining some resources to buy to both improve my skills and to fulfill my yearly CPE (continuing professional education) requirements. I was looking at a ‘Bodyreading 101 – Visual assessment’ DVD, this was going to cost me $199 plus postage. Today however I wandered into Ramseys books (a specialist bookseller for the medical industry) that just happens to be about 50 metres down the road from my old workplace. I had some thoughts of looking for a book with more detailed muscle charts…the basic charts are just that…too basic these days. I did end up buying a book ‘Muscles: Testing and function with posture and pain’ which has, as far as I can see, the charts I was looking for plus the postural stuff I was looking for, and for a much lower price than the DVD.

    I’ll be going through this over the next few days. Hopefully it’ll be comprehensive enough I can spend my money on another DVD that interests me…perhaps clinical shiatsu.


    Medicine Bag workshop

    Today I went to Reynella, to a medicine bag workshop. I went with Ros, whom I did the Munay Ki course with and also Josie was there, who also did the course. Josie had organised the workshop, and though I didn’t really know what I was getting into I thought I’d go along and see what it was all about. Also I’ll be making a singing drum at the same place in a couple of weeks, and thought this would give me a good chance to check the place out.

    Walking in the door was a revelation. There were feathers and rattles and drums and wall hangings and all sorts of stuff absolutely everywhere. I didn’t know what to look at first! I was introduced to James and Anne, and then Josie arrived and we had a cuppa before we got started.

    Anne had already traced the template for the bags onto some very soft hide (it feels fabulous) and we cut it out. I had some trouble punching the holes for the lacing, I was being too gentle with the hammer I think. One interesting thing that occured during this time was we noticed a large brownish praying mantis on the table. Josie put her hand out to it several times and it would sway aside each time, keeping a steady 2? inches between itself and her hand. ‘Ah, mustn’t like my energy’ she said. I was sitting next to her, and put my hand out to the mantis, and it started climbing onto my hand. Not a flinch to be seen. Anne, Ros and Josie were a bit surprised, and so was I actually, but I do like insects and I guess that this one knew that. Sometimes I wonder if the mantis is one of my totem animals, I never dream of them but often see them in the garden, though no one else in the family does. I think that they are just not as observant as I am, I’m better at spotting them. Anyway, I let it climb over my hand and then it wandered off down under the table.

    I took my time making my bag, I was probably a bit fussy. We were then asked if we wanted to put a horn button on, and James showed us one he’d made before with a buffalo tooth on it. They also had beads and whatnot. I asked if they had any fox teeth, as I’d like to explore fox medicine and James was surprised, he said no one had ever asked for anything from a fox before (though he had a beautiful skin I had been feeling and admiring earlier). I joked and said I’d put some pliers in the car and if I saw a dead fox by the road I’d have a go at getting my own and would get a few for his collection.

    Then we had lunch. We’d each brought a plate of food to share, and while we were eating another chap turned up. He refused any food, and then proceeded to share a good deal of information about his dietary and spiritual practices. While I was listening politely, I was also weighing him up and thinking about many of the ’spiritual’ people that I’ve met lately.

    One thing I’ve noticed, and that I mentioned to Ros on the way back home (we carpooled) was that most of the people tend to be older than I am now, forties and older. I may actually be the youngest of the group who did the Munay Ki, not totally sure there. While listening to the talk, of how these people came to realise that material things were not the most important things in the world, how they stayed in jobs that made them miserable, how they had addictions and a whole host of other things, and I compared their situations to my own. Something that has puzzled me for some time is that it seems to have taken a lot of people a lot more of their lives to come to a number of realisations that I had at a much younger age. So here I am, in my early 30’s and I feel in some ways older and perhaps ‘further along’ than many of these people 15-20 years older than me. I listened to this man and his words and demeanor spoke to me of a man who had not conquered his addictions at all, but had transferred the mindset associated with them to the following of his new spiritual path. His ego was strongly tied up in this new identity, there seemed to be a lot of work yet to be done on transcending the ego. Then I wondered if I was just being judgmental, and how one can tell how and if one has moved past the stage of acting from the ego.

    After lunch, Ros and Jo were looking through the objects for sale, as Josie was supposed to be getting a few feather fans for smudging for some friends, and Ros ended up buying a rattle. Nothing really drew my attention, until I spotted a small fan lying behind and under a number of others. Many of the other fans used dark coloured feathers from eagles, pelicans, crows etc but this one was in a different colour scheme, warmly coloured browns and brown and cream barred feathers, with a single small, contrasting iridescent blue feather. I asked her what that was made out of and she said it was pheasant. I decided to buy it as I know that it is only Australian native bird feathers that need a permit to be taken out of the country, and she gave it to me instead. Wasn’t that kind of her? It is now in my cabinet, out of the kids and cats reach. It may not be made out of a ’special’ bird feather, but it is attactive to me and has a nice ’swish’ for smudging. After looking at all of the fans though, I’d really like to make my own once in New Zealand, from their native birds.

    I also noticed that she did a lot of bead weaving for the handles of her rattles and fans, and asked if she’d ever tried finger-woven bands. She doesn’t know how to do that, so I think that I will make her some and show her the technique. It’s really simple. She and James will be doing the Munay Ki course next weekend, I am doing the second half of the course and will see her at it.


    At an interesting place in my life

    I’ve been thinking about what I’m going to write for this for a few days now. It occured to me…when I was trying to contact my guide, in fact, that I am currently in the enviable position of being to restructure my life as I see fit. Over time, we all get lured into undertaking tasks that do not fit with our desired life direction. By moving to Dunedin I have largely wiped that aspect of my life clean, and can start again.

    I do have some things that I still have to do. Look after the family, house and property; these all consume a considerable chunk of my time. But work wise, recreation wise…I can focus on that which will further my goals. Then of course I have to decide just exactly WHAT my goals, my priorities will be. That’s the hard part.

    So, a broad list first:

        * Living and training daily as a Jedi.
        * Become more energy efficient and self-sufficient on our block and in our house.
        * Practising and teaching conservation principles to my children and others.
        * Training myself (either teaching myself or being taught) more about spirituality and healing.

    Things to remember are the importance of not overcommitting myself time wise. I’ve done that before and observed it in others and it just makes for stress and a lack of real commitment.

    A good bit of my daily life is involved with just running the household, dropping and picking up, cleaning, cooking, gardening etc etc. Some of this can be incorporated into my energy efficiency and self-sufficiency goals, I’ve already implemented some changes such as…

        * Bought a butter dish and am no longer using margarine, as the margarine containers are not recycled in Dunedin and have to go to landfill.
        * Using powdered milk instead of fresh milk, it’s cheaper and creates less waste. It probably also uses less energy to dry the milk as well in comparison to producing the plastic bottles and recycling these.
        * Today I went around and weather-stripped windows and doors (need to get something more heavy duty for the front door).
        * Am starting to bake my own bread instead of buying it. It is reasonably expensive and hardly ever nice and fresh to buy. There is an initial outlay (baking stone and pizza peel) but otherwise it’s just flour, salt, water and yeast. I’m trying a 5-minute artisan bread recipe from Mother Earth News, if it works well I’ll share it.
        * Bought materials for a kill-mulch to prepare a bed for cane berries to go into. I’m waiting for a little nicer weather to do that.

    I’ve done a little research into sword traditions available here in Dunedin, there is Kendo (trains for 2.5 hours twice a month, the main club is in Invercargill), fencing and Muso Jikiden Eishen Ryu, which is advertised as ‘Japanese sword fighting’ but when Googled it seems more like Iaido, which I don’t want to take up. I may need to contact the person running this to get that clarified. I haven’t yet decided which direction to go in in regards to sword training.

    I would like to find a group to practice Tai Chi with, and am also looking at some other volunteer groups that may be able to provide me with appropriate skills, such as the Red Cross Response Team. To quote the newspaper clipping I’ve got here, they ‘offer welfare support and assistance to affected communities when required, including victim support for house fires, welfare support for rural firefighters and support for search and rescue. THey provide regular assistance with first aid events, and undertake exercises such as comprehensive first aid traiing, stretcher carrying, patient care, bushcraft, radio communication, navigation and orienteering and river crossings’.

    I’ll also have a look at other groups like USTER.

    I also need to allocate time for my own studies and also for teaching. Somewhere in there I’d also like to work part time again. It is hard right now to plan for work, with a 12:30pm kindy pickup, a 3pm school pickup and a 5pm hubby pickup but I’m sure I’ll manage it sooner or later.


    Warning: Spoilers regarding The force unleashed game…

    Last night I finished The Force Unleashed, on Wii. In the end the main character sacrifices himself to save his friends. It got me thinking about the Jedi path and sacrifice. It is, I think, a subject worthy of serious meditation, but a quick thought that I had was that in the movies Jedi often sacrifice themselves, perhaps they are a little too quick to do so. It can be harder to live a life in service than to lay down that life your friends or ideals.

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