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. 




back n forth, this n that

5 02 2010

I’ve been traveling this week. Three times out to Mum’s some 1.5 hours away. The family is there packing the house and getting her ready to move to Va. I went out to add my input, and rational to the mix. I’m tired now. They thought she was just going to let them pack up and take her away to Virginia. I knew better. Today they found out different, I told them so on Tues. I can understand her logic and need to carry out her “giri”, I also understand theirs.

I also recalled why I stay away as much as I do. I sat to talk with about her plans. After my saying ok, I understand I just wanted to know what plans you had. I get set on. Oh you have an earring. Yes, I do for some 20 years now. Oh why is that? Girls wear earrings, oh you have just one… Do you go to church? what church? What denomination? how many members? what do you do there anything? Is this a bible church? Is there a Minister? sigh… I side stepped and changed the subject.  Yes, she is just doing her Mother thing, but her style rubs me wrong. Needless to say I was relieved  she did not want to come stay with LZ and I although I suggested it to her.

The moving sale went slow, there were some people who came by. Some purchased things, many just looked. The large pieces are what really needs to go. Sofas, book cases, desk, china cabs, lamps, TV, tables. If not they will need to be donated. They are too big and costly to move to a house where they will not fit. Her and her husband have a lot of stuff. I can relate on some level. I use to have  alot of stuff as well ( according to LZ I still do), but I also had a business which most of my stuff was from.

Anyway, my part there for now is done…for now.

After being depressed from that adventure with Mum, I come home to find I need to deal with a couple of complaints from my Ebay sales. one was reasonable and justified, the other was not! Regardless, it is reducing my travel funds by $400.00 because I have this thing about being honorable. Depressingly I feel it is a one way street at times.

…and now back to our regular programing.