Kyudo Chronicles: MN Seminar 2011- Zanshin

16 08 2011

I was delighted and relieved to be over the testing. Did I say relieved !! Seriously relieved, so much I forgot to pack my arrows to take home. A huge weight was off my shoulders. However soon to replaced with the increased weight of a new challenge…Sandan.

This is the getting Kyudo serious level. I heard it was Yondan, but now they are tightening up now even at Sandan. So Sandan is like a brown belt and Yondan is real black belt. From the preview of this week’s exams I can see reaching Sandan is to be bigger ( an more valued ) challenge. I some say, (I heard through the tsuru), this past test was more like real Japan testing, no giveaways ! So like Zanshin is really the beginning of the next shot, this was the beginning of the next test level training. I really want to nail down things for the test next year. It will be a real challenge, Shugyo Renshu for the year. With less than 360 days to prepare, training starts now…but on what ? Smoothness over all, more spirit, more power, less power, wider stance, narrower stance, Nobei? See where I’m going with this.

No idea who took this!

Here is an unofficial summary of the testing results from Friday:

1 – Nikyu
25 – Ikyu
29 Shodan
12 Nidan  (out of 15)
3 Sandans (out of 13)
2 Yondans (out of 18)
2 Godans ( out of 10)

From looking at these scores at Nidan – Sandan is where the crack down starts. Three out of thirteen passed , wow!

These test are good in that they let one see how their skill stands up to the traditional set standard, international…hmmm, Japanese standard I guess is the best description.

However the bad part of what I see is that, even though if you fail you will push yourself more next time. However there is no feedback system setup to let you know where you are weak in skills. Ok, in Kung Fu there is this saying, thought,  teaching that if you do something 1000 times, kick, punch etc, you will understand the practice item and do it correctly…suppose you do this “practice item” 1,000 times incorrectly because no-one told  you it was wrong. In this training, Kyudo, one can shoot 1000 arrows but do it wrong 1000 times, how do you really learn? From your Sensei, ? He/She said you were ok, before you came to the testing grounds. If pass fine, but if you do not…?

I suppose one could follow the philosophy that if you practice everything , the area you are the weakest will also improve. The shotgun approach. Is it efficient … Hmmmm , I wonder…?

I just had an idea, for feedback. Since there is already a record of who is what number, the Judges make notes beside the number, the local Sensei gets the note after the seminar and discusses it with the student. ii, ne !?

I think the part about only the judges from Japan can do the rank test is good. That way there is no local favorites involved in the process. I was told the way to pass these test is to remember the correction(s) you received when being watched at the seminar and do the correction at testing time. I think that is only part of it. That would be too simple, Kyudo is more complex than that. Also watching the higher levels it seems more complex than that. Perhaps this is true at the mudan, shodan, Nidan  level. With the high ratio of failures starting with Sandan I would think there is another factor involved. I wonder does Nihon have these same number ratios. I know someone said that the higher you look in the kyudo ranks, there are less people testing.

A thing that is similar to Kung Fu with Kyudo is the ranking business. In a way it is a big deal to go up the ranks, but the lack of having belts  or some visible symbol makes it not . We have no belts in Kung Fu because the point of the training is not the belts, it is the skill and knowledge. There are no belts in Renmei Kyudo, there is the ranking thing. I see the ranking as a verification of one’s skills and knowledge by an formal established recognized panel/organization. Like the American Sailing Assoc. saying yes you have the skills and knowledge to sail a boat safely. This in turns opens up access to a deeper knowledge base. In Kung Fu after proving one’s self by years of training and dedication to a school or Shifu (Sensei), you can become a closed door student or disciple…maybe. This gives one access to a deeper knowledge base for increasing skills and knowledge.  In Kyudo there is a formula to reach this knowledge pool, in Kung Fu there is none.  The down side of the ranking system is that many see the reaching of the rank or a rank is the goal and stop training when they reach the rank of their desire. So the lack of rank makes the training more of the goal, than the rank.

Anyway these are just some misc random thoughts that have come to mind. All this just to say, I think it would be good to have some way for those who did not pass to find out where they were lacking. That would be helpful in their training path, rather than just left hanging and bummed.

I had said in an earlier post Northfield was south of the boonies in the middle of no-where. I was right it is, however it is the nicest middle of no-where I have encountered in a while. In many cases I am quite fond  the middle of no-where, it can be peaceful.  The MN Renmei did an outstanding job putting all this together.  In many ways I learned more at this seminar than in Tokyo. I loved the lectures. It gives the learning of Kyudo more depth, than just being able to shoot. It goes well since the Kyohon is already a part of the study matter. Speaking of which the study of the Kyohon this time around was more insightful. That insightfulness awareness should increase as my eyes, mind and body grow in this expression of the Tao.

The biggest fault in the working of the seminar, (just to add some balance to the post for growth), I saw was the group photo at the end. The person taking the picture was not an aware photographer . Too many short people were standing in the middle of the group when the full group photo was taken. There is no way they were in the picture. No balance, but that was just me seeing/bothered by that perhaps having done these type of shot$  However chisai koto ( not a big deal ). It is a small thing compared to the large excellent product.  With the excellent job done by the organizers there was not much else one could have wanted from this event…well other than to pass.

Nor Cal Renmei, Photographer unknown

This was a great experience attending this event. Not just from the point of Kyudo study but also from the people encountered. Someone once posted on FB something like. ” it is the people and friendships we make during the study of Kyudo and at these functions that make the gatherings special ”

I notice there is a big increase of FB friendship hook ups after these seminars. It was interesting for me to meet a few if the people live I had only “seen” on Facebook. It will be interesting to see some of them again in Northern Ca and Japan in the future.

With my brain so on Kyudo these last weeks I noticed the other day there is a space just across from my boat, on marina property that I can ( QUIETLY) use for a 28 meter shooting range .

I can not leave it ip 24/7 but with the right equipment it could be setup and broken down easy. I know this year I need to work on my Tenouchi and my hitting. Last year I had more time to put the range I was more on point with my hits. My form is better this year but my hit rate is down. Next year I’m pretty sure I will need to hit one. Unless… my form looks really sharp…I’m guessing.

My plan is if I can pass Sandan next year. I will take the next two years for practice before testing for Yondan in Japan!
after that… we’ll see. The training will continue, the testing… We’ll see.

Anyway that is getting a head of things. Right now there is Nidan practice. 2o12 is the year of Shugyo Renshu. I need to make myself and the boat ocean ready, tighten up my Kung Fu and Tai Chi, and be Sandan test ready. It will be a busy year of training. It is good that training in one helps the training in another…There is no duality…



Kyudo Chronicles: MN Seminar 2011- Hanare

14 08 2011

It all comes down to this“…Miyatani Fuu

Another early morning, the open window and the backpack over the a/c vent has made a difference in the room for sleeping at night. It has been more comfortable over the past couple of days. It was a good plan, I would have died (being dramatic) from the cold if I had not come up with the idea. It was miserable the first night. Lucky I did not catch cold. Had a runny nose on the way here to MN, and I had some concern it was going to get out of hand but, it faded away … Yokatta!

At the gym today it was the finals. I went to my spot, did my stretching, Tai Chi, and meditation. The energy was different today I could sense the nervousness in the air, hang like a invisible fog. More people were active in their warmups today. I did Tai Chi, a fast version three times.

Finally it was show time. We had the opening ceremonies as usual and received our testing instructions. The Master did a Shooting demo.

I did not bring the good camera 😦

My concern today, beside passing the test, was I was unsure if I would have my test results before leaving however as it turned out I would be ok. My group had our written test first then the practical exam. If things went well I would be done by lunch and have the results shortly after.

My first stop was the written exam back in the classroom of the big lecture. One had no way of knowing how many questions or what they will be. One just has to be ready. My questions were. 1. What is the attitude one should have when doing Kyudo? The second was what is the Shaho hessetstu and describe Yoshiokoshi.  I was expecting three questions. We had only one in Japan, they gave us a break then.

Whewww not bad I was ready for those and gave a short paragraph answer to both. Then headed back to the gym. Two of my buds were testing , they were 85% nerves. I tried to give them some reassurance. I myself was a bit on edge being concerned about my Tenouchi change. it cost me alot to get here. It would be a costly shame if it was for nothing. Not really for nothing… because I did learn a lot but still my goal was Nidan. In a sense it was a double edge sword. Wanting it, yet needing to be non-attached to the outcome and just ganbaru (do my best).  This is what I wanted to convey to my buds, yet I had my own desires, attachments to deal with under the surface of still lake…this is one of those carry over, mirrored in life Kyudo Philosophies.  Do your best (in everything) but do not be attached to the outcome. “every shot is training“…for the next.

Sometimes when you lose, you win …Wong Lam Ling, Tai Chi Praying Mantis Master

Mine was the last group before lunch, I think, maybe almost last and it was now showtime. It all came down to this…we lined up.

Photo by Jean

We had to show our stuff in front of the Masters. We had the same lineup as practice during the week. I was not concerned about holding Kiza I already knew I could do that and since there were no corrections it should not take long. It did however take longer than I thought. Everyone was in slow-mo trying to do things right.  och och och…

Finally it was my turn to stand and deliver. I was nervous and uncomfortable. It was not a piece of paper disturbing my spirit, it was the piercing eyes of the masters, the judgement. In my head I ran through the list of the things to watch out for and correct. I was too tense on my first shot. It hit high and to the left. I have done better. Even though at my level I do not need to hit, I felt the shot itself was poor…yuk.

The next round I relaxed more, and lighten up my Tenouchi grip. In Kai I relaxed, held and did a more expansive Nobei. The arrow took flight with more of a sense of purpose. I missed the target again by this time by only a few inches. The shot itself was stronger and had a good sense if energy when it hit…BAM! My only concern was that I had opened my thumb a bit on release. I felt it raise in Disan but corrected it, but was unsure if the correction held when I went into the zone.

I did my exit from the shajo and saw all the judges eyes watch my steps as I exited. You can have done a perfect shoot but if you step out of the dojo wrong,  fail on the spot!! I did not.

Now it was all down to the waiting. Perhaps the hardest most tension filled time. The unknown zone. Right after I finished my shot and left the floor a Godan approached me and said your second shot was awsome! I felt better… that is until I heard from a couple of others about my mistakes. 😦

The waiting continued …

I packed up my stuff for the trip home, also giving as much comfort as possible to my still to be tested nervous buds.

I had a peaceful lunch perhaps a little oversized in celebration of being done!! About 1:00 pm the results from the first series was post. I looked at the posted list for my number 63 with nervous anticipation.

Like the character Hiro from the TV show Heroes, when I saw my number I exclaimed…


…next Zanshin

Kyudo Chronicles: MN Seminar 2011- Kai

12 08 2011

The early morning routine had no change from the day before. Well, other than the stirring thought, a quivering thought of; it all comes down to tomorrow! After breakfast I head to the gym. I have my routine set now . Today though I am more assertive with my warm ups. I do more Zazen and today I do some silk reeling drills. These are a series of drills done for Tai Chi to raise chi levels in the body and loosen joints for Tai Chi practice.

They can be used alone of course. There are I have found several Qi-Gong drills that are perfect for Kyudo training. Maybe when I become a Renshi I will have them as part of my class (hahahahahahah 🙂 )…or at least an article for the Kyudo Alliance Mag.

As I am walking over to my Yumi afterwards I cross paths with the Queen, Satake Sensei . I bow, she smiles and starts repeating my silk reeling drills. I ask if she knows Tai Chi and do a small portion. She returns the smile and copies the movement of sorts and says no. We both smile, bow, and go our separate ways. I think wow . I just had a personal moment with the queen, cool!

It is time for the morning opening ceremony. After we finish I see that today we are working with the master, Iijima Sensei. I am a bit nervous . We do our thing and my trouble spot is my Tenouchi. The problem was the lower part of my hand was not staying in contact with the Yumi. 😦

While others were getting their judgment on shooting I spent some time speaking with Ed Sensei asking about Tenouchi and what I thought was my correction.

During some of the break times, over the last couple of days I noticed that a few people I know were having neck and shoulder pains from the stress/tension of the event. I would help a couple of them with some accupressure. Today one of the ladies I know from the LA school comes over and asks if I would help her friend with her arm pain. I did a combination of accupressure and my Sifu’s healing Qi Gong. The woman said it helped a lot. I was a hero 🙂

Iijima Sensei called my group back to the shajo. He was not pleased. He had made two list of people. One had problems with Tenouchi, the other with the right hand, Torikake. He said some people may be on both lists. If not on either list they were really good or beyond help in the time set for this seminar. (0.0)

I thought I was on both list, but was really only on the Tenouchi list. I did not check my number, duh!  Sensei gave us a hard lecture on Tenouchi and what was expected if us after having been showed by Kubota Sensei the day before. In short he gave us hell, or maybe I just felt that way. I spent the rest of the day questioning my Sensei and another about what I thought was the correction to my problem which I thought was I was not deep enough with my thumb grip. Both sensei’s agreed my correction should help.

The other group on the list by Iijima Sensei was on the Torikake. While checking over people shooting he also checked their Kake ( wow, who knew!) to see how it was being used, how the grip was, if we were using the powder correctly to get not only grip but a good release. I was not in this list, yokatta! That was something I was doing right…at least enough …for now.

The rest of the afternoon after the beat-down lecture was spent on practicing timing for the test on Friday, that was good getting more use to maintaining a flow.

Thursday we ended the regular time. After dinner I did nothing special after checking with the Kyudo Supply vender for a few things. Many went back to the gym after dinner to practice. I did not. I spent the time using the quiet for me. I read, I played my flute, I studied, I watched “bleach”, a Japanese anime I like . I had planned on turning in early but that did not quite happen. After the evening shower I read some more since I took a nap right after class so I wasn’t that sleepy.

I was still concerned about my Tenouchi when I went to bed finally, still holding what I thought to be the correct position. This was my main concern for test day…

Kyudo Chronicles: MN Seminar 2011- II

11 08 2011

“when you shoot, do not let a piece of paper disturb your spirit”

The second day was similar to day one with some changes. I started out not quite as early and made an arrow’s flight line to the cafeteria. Even though my stomach had been weird for the last couple of days with the change in diet, etc I was still hungry.

I went from there to the gym where since I was already dressed, I just put my stuff in a locker and went on the floor to ready myself. People came in bit by bit, little by little and went through their get ready agendas. I found a spot off to the side and did some Zazen, and a few warm up stretches, and Qi gong. It was interesting to watch from the sideline how different people prepared physically and mentally for the task at hand. Only a few seemed to center themselves before they handled the Yumi.

When the masters arrived we lined up and did the same reading of the Raiki-Shagi and Shaho-kun as yesterday…. before going to our group’s Shajo.

Today we had Kubota Sensei as our leader. As yesterday with Satake Sensei he watched everyone shoot, then gave his opinion. My judgement was on my Tenouchi, and aligning my shoulders. He told me that he would go into Tenouchi after he finished watching the rest shoot and the main lectures…or something like that. He was speaking Japanese, I only got the main part of it. After something , he would explain Tenouchi.

Today we had a large group lecture in another location a real classroom. The first lecture was by Satake Sensei, she spoke on training, how the samurai used Tai Hai as part of their training in everyday life. She also spoke about the spirit of Budo and Kokoro.

“Budo can be applied to every part of your life” … Satake Sensei, MN lectures

That which is right will always over come that which is wrong. That which is true will always over come that which is false. Please train so you can understand this for your self“…Satake Sensei

“Budo is the way of compassion…love”…Satake Sensei

“your spirit can be seen when you shoot”…Satake Sensei

“when you shoot do not let a piece of paper disturb your spirit”…Satake Sensei

The next lecture was by the master, Iijima Sensei. His lecture was on Rei. How it is more than just an external bow. It is a spirit, a show of respect for everything, a way of behavior. A code of ethics it could be said, in harmony with the Universe. ( Being one with the Tao )

These lectures, all I thought to be a great benefit. This was not done in Tokyo. I thought they, the lectures, added a larger dimension to the scope of training.

I made major notes. of both Satake Sensei lecture and Iijima Sensei’s lecture.

After the two lectures we returned to the dojos where Kubota Sensei gave his lecture and instruction on Tenouchi.

“there is mind/ spirit things happening in shooting, but without some technique behind it they are useless”…Kubota Sensei, MN lectures

Kubota Sensei gave an in depth run down on Tenouchi. Theory wise it made sense, doing it was another matter. The phrase ” Easier said than done ” comes to mind. He covered the topic well and gave demos.

This was the meat of the day for us and we soon broke up for dinner. The day was a two part one as we had a banquet that evening.


It was a casual formal gathering. Most people looked different all dress up. A few of the ladies looked especially fine. I’ll say no more than that to stay out of trouble. After wandering around for 10 min or so I happened across my spot at a table. I sat with a group that had a large showing of Canadians. I like Canadians they are good people, at least most of those I have met.

The food itself was ok. I had Salmon. I was unsure how having Salmon in the Midwest was going to be…it was ok. The gathering was more about the sociableness of the dinner than the food.
Yoshiko Sensei and Hartman Sensei were pretty funny with their welcoming speeches, well it was her speech. Yoshiko Sensei wanted to speak in Japanese with Hartman Sensei translating to English. However she kept slipping back and forth from Japanese to English with Hartman Sensei following as she switched up randomly.

The evening ended on a good note with everyone going home with smiles and some with a bit of a tilt from the open bar…

Kyudo Chronicles: MN Seminar 2011- I

10 08 2011

It was another early start day , not quite as early as my standard but it was still early. I did not mind too much I wanted to get my Zazen done and organized for the day’s practice. First thing was find the cafeteria for breakfast. As I made my way on the campus grounds I encountered another doing the same. We chatted for a while as we tried to find the correct location. Finally after a couple of wrong turns and backtracking we arrived at the cafeteria. We were the first!

Little by little others showed up. After greeting old friends with chit chat the doors finally opened and we lined up for breakfast. There was a large selection of items with several locations from which to choose. It was an impressive spread. I used some will power and did not over do it on the food…eat 70-75 % full…Chan training.

Being early for breakfast naturally flowed to being I was finished early so headed to the gym. It was a bit of a hike, but not unpleasant as it was a little overcast . The grounds were beautiful and the gym was impressive. The hosting MN Renmei group did a outstanding job of setting things up. It was an impressive and comfortable venue.

Little by little the attendees showed up and made ready for the official start.

In attendance were Argentina, Mexico, Brazil, Canada as well as the US chapters. It was a good turn out of about 120 entries. It was interesting being a new guy yet experienced at the same time. I had been to the big event in Japan but I had not been to a local event with so many stateside attendees.

We did the opening ceremonies and the masters did the opening sharei, before we sat for the daily lecture. They showed us how Kyudo is suppose to look…

The first lecture was on equipment. The leader was Satake Sensei. I had seen her shoot in the past and I was impressed with her. She was also my group leader …

I had a picture taken with her in Japan but did not get to work with her there. This time she was in charge of our section for the first day. I  found her charming and funny I got another picture with the Queen…

Next up for the group was the individual shooting. This was the part where we shoot for the visiting Sensei’s so they can see what they have to work with. Another way of saying would be receive  Judgement.

It is said that what you fear the most will find you. Here is where my demon surfaced. This is where I fund out I am Omar (?), last in the line up of five. This means for those who do not know , I have to stay in Kiza the longest time! While the other four people in front of me stand, shoot, get corrected, lecture, adjusted, I have to be in Kiza! (argggg)

It is fortunate for me I had been practicing extended Kiza posture at home. As painful as it was I maintained. Kiza is the horse stand of Kyudo. I did it with that mindset. Breath, go beyond the pain, keep a mind of no mind, detachment.
I was pretty pleased with myself for making it through. That is until I saw someone older than myself, who look like it was a challenge to even sit and stand made it through in the same position. I was impressed with him, I was a wimp! I also saw this same elder person hold Shiza during the opening ceremony . Much respect Oto-san  _/|\_

One if the more interesting parts of this seminar was the spread of ages. There were a lot of cute young things and those of advanced age bending with the weight of life and age. All here for the same purpose, all finding peace, challenge, fellowship on the same path. Different yet equal.

I was feeling fairly good about my shooting when Satake Sensei only had a couple of small easy to fix adjustments on my shooting form. That made me feel more confidant about the upcoming test on Friday. I did not know that each of the visiting masters would be evaluating our form personally over the next few days, during a rotation of Dojo’s. My ego would be taken down several steps!

That evening there was a scheduled, Tai Kai. I had considered entering it to get some practice time in. However weeks before I had heard there were 75 people after the 60 spots in the Tai Hai, so I blew it off. I find out that day that there was a waiting list and everyone on the list was taken. Oh well I missed out of that. Not really a big deal I was not out to win anything, I just wanted to shoot. I did not go to the event that night I opted for staying in, doing some reading, resting and Kyohon study. I think it was a good choice. I ended up taking a nap once I got back to my room, for a peaceful evening.

Shugyo Renshu 修行 – Minnisota Kyudo – beginnings

8 08 2011

Shugyo (修行) may be defined literally as “conducting oneself in a way that inspires mastery”. While the meaning of the kanji used in “shu” was originally translated as ‘using a brush to strike away the dust that obscures the viewing of a persons original elegance’, the combined kanji of “shu” and “gyo” (carrying out, walking along) is now generally translated as simply “severe or austere training”. The kanji rendered for this version of “shugyo” is most commonly associated with Buddhist asceticism, and most notably, the “shugenja” (修験者, ascetic mountain-dwelling monks).

I’ve been here before. Even though in someways Japan was more Shugyo, MN is/will be perhaps more so, because it is not Japan.

The first seminar I went to ever was in Berkeley to learn Kyudo. It was not hard training at all. Mostly form and function with a little Zen dropped in.  A relaxed formality was the guide. The next was at Sonoma mtn Zen center. That was hard training, yet not with Kyudo, with being there. Up at 4:00 for meditation @ 5:00 am, then a meal then some work chore around the property. Then finally some Kyudo in temps over  100 degrees all the while walking up up and down the side of a mountain to get anywhere. The Kyudo part was easy. No tai hai, no kiza, no siza, no Ole Sckool Japanese instructors watching your every detail from entering to exit.
It should be taken into account that this was really more about the Zen training as part of Kyudo. Than Kyudo training as part of Zen.

In Japan, strict observance to detail, COLD and rainy temps. This training was about basic Kyudo. No work details, no meditation, this was about Kyudo form and function. I am expecting MN to be like this except with high temps and without the beauty of Japan or the mountains of Sonoma. Even so, every place has it’s own beauty, (even Texas…somewhere) so I’m open to seeing it.

There are two things happening in MN and also that was in Japan. That is there is the seminar and there is a test. There are no tests with the Chikurin-ha group. That adds another level of mental stress to everything, yet in a sense another point for training to deal with it. With the levels of stress coming along on the shoot for the ride, some meditation would be a good thing in this seminar. IMHO

Just like I thought the Chikurin-ha function would have been better balanced to include some physical warm ups , stretches, I think the Renmei gatherings could also be better balanced with some stretches and meditation. This I feel would give a broader view of the need for balance in  standing, drawing, shooting, walking. The full kihontai,  the tai hai , warmups, meditation taken in as  San mai ittai. The phrase, “shooting is living” ( sha souk Jinseu)  or sha wa ritsu-zen ( shooting is standing Zen) would have a fuller meaning. This is why even in my Tai Chi class we do stretching, mediation, and the movement form. The balance, the oneness, the inter-dependability of the form and formless in training, in life is shown.

However that is just me and so enough on my musings. Now after over a year of waiting the MN adventure begins…yosh!

4:00a.m. Monday morning, on the surface it seems like any other Monday. However it is not today I am not making my way to a totally boring job but instead I am off to Northfield MN. The location of the great bank robbery of Jesse James. Here in Northfield is also Carlton College where the 2011 international Kyudo seminar and exams will be held over the next four days. After a year of waiting it is time.

We land seconds before a big storm.

As the plane’s wheels touched the ground so did the rain. This was shortly followed by thunder and lighting. We ended up sitting at the entry gate for the next 30 min as the airport for the most part shut down while the storm rolled through. This was my first taste of MN.
I’m writing this on the plane sitting on the runway waiting until the weather clears up.
I have now missed the shuttle bus @2:30 to the campus and will need to hang out at the airport for 3.5 hr until 5:45 which is the next pickup. This was just announced,    The crying infant in a near by seat likes status even less than I do. Welcome to Minnesota. 🙂

I come across other attendees also waiting at the airport some from the same flight. We merge and wait for our ride to the college. The wait is not too long we locate our ride and load up.

It is a smooth ride put to the very nice college grounds. I enjoy the scenery the trees the lakes, the flowers. It is like being in Virginia but with less trees .

It is however hot and humid just like there. However I do not mind it is not uncomfortable to me.

We arrive and grab our stuff from the bus and head to the registration location for our room assignments.

The campus dorms are all located in the same general area. It is a little tricky to figure out the number but after a bit I locate my dorm.

I am in a small town house with three small bedrooms. The house is very nice and I have my own room! Yokatta!

The only bad thing is the house is freezing . The air conditioner is blasting! I locate the thermostat but it is unresponsive to my efforts to turn it down. I keep a long sleeve shirt on and wish I had brought warm sleeping wear. Oh well.

Next up I head out for a walk into town to buy some dinner, water, fruit . It is not a long walk and I come across my Sensei and a couple of other during the transit. We chat for a while before I head off to the local Super Market.

After collecting my Yumi and greeting a few others I had met only on Facebook I head back to my room.   I also see there at my dorm acquaintances from Argentina I met last year in Japan, it was a nice mini reunion.

I settle in the the evening only slightly bummed out that my laptop is not working. I am happy to have brought along my iPod touch. I do wish at the time I had brought along my old Macbook. I can access the “net”  on the iTouch but no uploading pictures. Oh well, not a biggie, that will have to wait. I could however still make some posts to FB and access so, things to keep me from being bored, beside the book I brought along and the Kyohon reading I need to do. I had plenty of things to do, even without my flute that I brought along for some quiet moment.

I make myself ready for bed and open the window to let some heat in and cold out. It will be an early start of the day tomorrow and the beginning of training. This being my second seminar, so I sort if know what to expect. I am ready… Bring it!