The Tao of Solo Training

22 03 2013

Solo training – Mexico

We have been here for awhile now. I am getting into my groove I guess one could say. One of the things on my list to do when retired was work on my Arts and development them. So far I have gotten my discipline started with morning practice. It sounds easy enough one would think having been at this so long. However not working, not teaching, puts a different light on getting up and getting out daily. It is a different type of discipline needed, to set the habit. I belive that doing my morning meditation consistantly has helped with being able to getup and get out. Having done so many years of Kung Fu helps my discipline of doing my meditation everyday. They support each other, as they are part of the same thing.
I have been doing the first Zazen once I get up and I am pretty much awake. Sometimes I get right to it, other times I log on to FB to fed my on-line habit, then meditate. Generally it is 20 min, I am finding that goes by surpringly soon these days. I can recall when 10 min was a struggle. I have sat for as long as an hour in retreats without too much trouble…”too much” being the key word. It is work, but doable. I should add another 5 min to the morning but, that is really only part A , so I feel it is ok at 20 min for now.  I have been doing a second Zazen after motion Chan, (kung fu taichi), outside next to the bay here.
 This one I have no idea how long, it maybe 10-20 min. I do not keep a timer for that. This second one is not to get my quota in, it is just for the pleasure of sitting. I find the energy is different and more filling outside next to the water, hearing the birds, feeling the air, the chi of the world, than even sitting on the boat, which is contained. Maybe it is all on my mind just because the motivation is different for this session. 
I have changed from my orginal practice spot. A developed area were if I do not get there early tends to get a lot of foot traffic.
Now to a quiet place over in a corner of a kids playground. It is out of the main flow of foot traffic and eyes. As long as I get there fairly early I am in a quiet spot, alone. Under a shade tree, with hard sandy ground under foot.  It does not have the ambiance of the other spot but it is secluded, yet I can see everything the same including the bay, with the addition of the park. The vice is good that is important! Again early is the key for a undisturbed motion Chan practice.
So far the rouine has been Ba Lum Gum ( 8 silken movements) Chi Gung, Chen 36 ( relearning not having practiced enough), Yang 24 or Tai Chi palm ( Tai Chi Mantis Tai Chi), varying with the day. Finshing up until this week with Hsing Yi. I have started ths week adding a bowless 2 kyudo shots to the end of the session. Standing form, really trying to be mindful of the internal aspects of the draw, the form , the breath. The next expansion of the training session will be adding a jhin (sword) form and a Mantis set. I need to reconstruct my memory banks on my favorite advance set, Lan Jie. I am so glad I got to tape my Shixong doing some things. Although Lanjie is done so fast it is hard to follow. Anyway it gives me good reference for now and later once in Japan.
Usally the rest of my day is spent on the boat doing misc chores to make ready for the next leg or computer stuff, research, or reading one of the many books I need to consume. Equipment manuals, Japanese, Kyudohon, on occation I even get a chance to play some of my instruments, 
and remember I am still a musician. All parts of solo training my arts. Sometimes I get so wrapped in the other stuff I have to force myself to be still and play. That is part of my nature to be focus , intense on what I am doing. Lost in the moment could be another way of looking at it.

I just finished reading a book by Victor Wooten, call the “Music Lesson, Spiritual search for Growth through music” an amazing book. I have new respect for him, besides his musical talent. It was like Carlos Castenada on music instead of Peyote. 

I think the biggest training and hardest is my mind and spirit. Which all of the other things encompass, hmmm that should be encompasses all the other things. Staying in the moment, trusting the Tao and not getting lost in the thoughts of, this is nice, but we have so little money. That is really the hardest part of all of this solo training. The spirtual training pracitce of trusting the Tao. My Chan sister was so correct in saying this is more than a sailing journey, it is a Spiritual Journey as well. Part of that spiritual solo training is trust in the Tao to provide. 

So it begins…Yatta!

15 02 2009

So the ordeal with the Apt is resolved…

The I-Ching said when I asked in the beginning of this Headache. #34 to #4  with a couple of moving lines. So for those who do not understand what the heck I am talking about : When you have a changing hexigram reading. It means, the first Hexagram has to do with now, the energies that are currently surrounding the situation lets say. Mine was power. Now when you have changing lines, or moving lines as they are called they speak of something important, directly pertaining to your situation. Mine had two lines, which tells of a strong future possibility of what to expect. Mine was another form of power basically success with some conditions.  The full reading came out saying I was in a good place , but I could expect things to work out well after some misc frustrations. As it turn out, I had to jump through many many hoops to please the owners of the building. I was beyond frustrated, I was disgusted and weary. This went on for two weeks. The new to be owner is pressuring me to let him know, are we staying or going. I reached a point of needing to recompose myself. Then finally…ta da, we were approved!! woohoo!! OMG the timing could not have been better for all the pieces to come together! God is with us.

The day before Valentine’s day, Yatta! it is settled. Good God that was almost as bad as trying to get a loan for the Condo. Now the packing begins. Today is Valentine’s Day…LZ made pancakes for breakfast


and later in the day we went for a walk around the lake across the street from us. It had been awhile since we had done that. I thought it would be good to get out today and be thankful and share perhaps our last stroll here.


We, well, LZ started packing today, I started weeks ago, packing, ebaying unused stuff. Now it is real to her and she said how grateful she felt to have lived in our condo for the time we did. It does seem a bit  surreal that we are really moving from here now.  It has been a blessing to have this place. In some ways, the fall of the economy has been helpful. We really when thinking about it have not lost much if anything in buying our condo.  We put min. money down, made money, Refi’d, paid off some bills, purchased a few things, had all of our family and friends over, good  tax refunds, I had a place to teach class. Now no worries about what to do with it once we move to Japan, or a huge ballon payment in 30 yrs. My guardian angel has been on the job for us and now we get to move to a very cool new place. Also the sense of freedom is nice, we can move when and where we need to and no huge debt over our heads and still kept the boat. It was a good to try to do the right thing and get a lawyer to help with the Condo  and mortgage problem rather than the perhaps bad Karma of just walking away. For sure it would have been a nightmare trying to rent anyplace  that was worthwhile, it was difficult wnough as it was.  Yokatta! The only down side I can see so far is not having an empty club house to teach my Kung Fu class. There are however several large parks in the area and I feel something will work . The Tao will provide as always. Do good, attract good. Even if it does not seem like it at the time. Keeping the faith is the hard part. It is easy to get lost in the negative when the storms of life are blowing around you. It is our daily challange/ zen practice to stay balanced and grateful.

Great Power…

7 02 2009

Great Power. There is an advantage in correct persistence..#34…I-ching


I’m tired, my mind is weary. It is good  I have some positive outlets and inputs, Meditation, Kung Fu, the occasional sail, this blog and it’s 4 or 5 readers, I could lose it otherwise. Doubtful, but it could happen.  All the downers in the news and in the air. Sigh. I would really like to play with a good band and make some ceramics.   That would be great, no that would be wonderful! Today is Friday as I start this, we put in the application for the new Apt a week ago. Finally after waiting 3 days past when I was told I would be contacted, I hear I need to wait longer. Then, perhaps next Tues., perhaps. I was ready today to hear, no sorry, because I had a feeling something was off and mentally worked out letting it go. Then when I heard there was some concern about our current situation with the short sale, which is listed as a foreclose on the all mighty credit report. I knew it would be a problem. I had hoped in my heart to get the rejection, so at least it was done. It was not in God’s plan, not in the flow of the Tao. I could let it go and we could move on to another plan, being still. No, not so simple. Since our credit report is excellent other than this mark which I explained it was not a foreclose, which meant eviction in the eyes of management of the Apt, It had to be placed in the hands of their attorney for advise. Sigh…this meant still more waiting. Not a big deal if not for the new to be owner wanting to know if we are moving are not. Ok, More stillness practice. Pushing the endurance limits, like sitting for an hour instead of the 30 min, you have gotten comfortable with. Or doing stance training with an elder and they decide to go past the standard 3 or 4 min stance to 10 min to push you but not tell you in advance …surprise. Oh well it just more training. On the good side of this is they do not just rent to anyone. We have had some questionable people renting units in our condo building. So there is that two sided sword, Yin/Yang, Joy within Saddness , Perspective thing the Universe has going on.

LZ says they do not have this in Japan. Everything is mostly cash, so there is no real credit report following you around per se, it is about the cash in your bank and your job. In Japan if you miss a payment, they do not charge you some out landish fine, they just loan the money to your account. Of course they have their own problems with other things. Their economy is also in the tank right now. No where is perfect on this earth, and right now everywhere is in the crapper. Anyway , LZ says in Japan there is a saying good news comes later. Japanese like Chinese have old saying about many things. Not surprising since a large part of thier culture was developed from China.

Funny thing is this kind of reminds me of when trying to buy our condo, all the hoops, checks and papers…waiting. Now we’re just trying to rent a place and are back to jumping through hoops, and checks and papers. Sigh…om ommm ommmm 🙂

So yes the title of this post. I did a I-Ching reading last week, I’m always testing. The question was, concerning this Apt, should we pursure it?  I got a moving Hexagram… #34 to #1

With some inner text meaning, to me, after some difficulty …Success.


Creative Power brings exceptional progress. There is an advantage in correct persistence…  #1- I-ching


It’ll be interesting to see how this works out. In the mean time…meditation2

Ommmmmmmmmmm   🙂

we do not really say Ommm in Chan, just lighting things up.