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When a novice starts learning martial arts, he wears a white belt, symbolic of innocence. After months of practice, the white belt gets dirty and turns brown, symbolic of the first degree of attainment. After more practice, the belt gets soiled and eventually turns black, symbolic of full attainment.

If the practitioner does not stop learning even after full attainment, the black belt starts getting frayed, turning almost white, symbolic of return to innocence. The frayed white belt represents technical competence of an experienced martial artist, combined with the innocence and receptivity of a beginner. It signifies going beyond technique and embracing no-technique—coming full circle.

story source: white belt

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The original martial arts used only one belt as described above. But now-a-days the different colored belts are used to describe the practitioners growth.

At inner spirit martial arts, the white belt was symbolic of the crane. Where speed was developed and patience acquired. A crane can only survive a tiger’s attack with evasive maneuvers.

Through much practice, exercise and persistence one attained an orange belt. The symbol for the Tiger, strength.

Then comes the green belt. Where the student learns holds and throws. Agility, vitality, perseverance.

here is where many schools differ, some will have blue belts (water), purple belts (air)  and other colors before the brown belt. Many will go from brown to black as is many customary practices. At Inner Spirit Martial Arts the brown belt symbolized: Earth, well grounded, growth, deeply rooted and solid.

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as shone here…

Red belt symbolized… the dragon, full of fire, energy and the stage where one readies them self for black belt testing.

To attain the black belt one must demonstrate their abilities in their style of martial arts. One of the key elements is teaching, for a black belts primary task will be to teach others… coming full circle.

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I thought about this when I went to work the other day and I was asked to mentor a new officer. To teach them the ways of our profession. I realized I had come full circle in my employment. No matter what you do in life, when you have reached a certain point in your life, you will end up teaching others. Rather it be a profession or a grandparent. So, teach them well…

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may you pass your wisdom on to another this day

(~_~)

The Historic 36th chamber and 18 wooden warriors of Lohan Hall in a southern province, Shaolin Temple, is shrouded in some mystery, for they were destroyed in the early 1700’s. In the movie, Kung Fu, with David Carradine the last part of this test was depicted with the 500 pound urn filled with red hot coals that burn the mark of the Dragon and the Tiger into the fore-arms as the urn is moved in order to pass and graduate.

It is said that many students did not survive the hall of wooden warriors and this in turn caused a lot of students to run away. But those that did pass the test, bore the symbol on the fore-arm and became teachers themself. Below is a description of each of the 18 wooden warriors and what you had to do to pass each one.

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The Fukien or southern Siu Lam (Shaolin) temple was built on Gau Lin Shan in Fukien province near the border of Gwan Dung Province. Built in 1399 a.d. during the Ming dynasty, the temple became known as “South Siu Lam/ Shaolin” before being utterly destroyed during the Qing (1644-1911 a.d.) dynasty.

The abbot Jee Sim Sim See (Sim See means Zen master) put Hung Yan Sim See in charge of thirty six chambers. Here, Siu Lam’s (Shaolin) warrior monks and unshaven disciples learned the Siu Lam (Shaolin) martial arts in a step by step manner, not advancing until each skill had been mastered. An “unshaven disciple” was a person who stayed at the temple primarily to study the martial arts and did not take Buddhist vows and become a monk. Jee Sim is also credited with devising the “wooden dummy hall”. (Lohan Hall)

The wooden dummy hall was erected in the Lohan Tung or Buddha hall. The eighteen wooden dummies purpose was to test the kung fu skill of potential graduates. The dummies names and movements were as follows:

01 – Lohan Or Ga Yit:
When the student entered, this dummy was in a seated position holding a monk’s ornamental staff. As the student approached, the dummy swung the weapon toward the middle of the student’s body. If the student retreated, the dummy would close, swinging the weapon faster and faster until the rear wall was reached. The student in this case would have to either duck or jump over the weapon which would shatter the student’s bones if it connected. If the student avoided the blow, he was expected to kick the dummy over, defeating it. All of these dummies were activated by the pressure of the students weight on the floor. Also, defeating all the dummies was achieved similarly by knocking them over.

02 – Lohan Or Lan Tor:
The dummy is seated with its hands together as if in prayer. The student is alternately punched and kicked by this dummy. The blows must not be directly blocked because contact with the dummy would result in broken bones. The student must avoid the blows and knock the dummy over.

03 – Lohan Mook Jit Lin:
One foot of the dummy is on top of a lion with the other standing on the floor. This dummy tries to use a low sweeping kick to hit the student. Once it starts, the move is repeated, faster and faster while rushing toward the student. The correct response is to use a jumping kick to floor the dummy while avoiding the sweep at the same time.

04 – Lohan Seh Lei Fut
This dummy stands holding a staff in the right hand and holding its left hand at the breast. It uses the staff to block the student ‘s path and attacks with the free hand. The student must lock the arm and sweep the dummy to down it.

05 – Lohan Ah Lah Luet:
This dummy stands holding a begging bowl. It tires to slam the bowl on the student’s head. If the bowl land precisely, the student will be unable to easily removie it. Avoiding the initial attack is the most essential element in defeating the dummy.

06 – Lohan Seui Pou Tai:
This dummy stands holding prayer beads. When approached, the dummy tries to hit the student in the abdomen. Suddenly, the beads are swung towards the student’s head. The second blow was designed to catch the student unaware as he was trying to stop the first blow.

07 – Lohan Fu Lao La:
The dummy stands with a wine cup in its left hand. The dummy strikes with one hand using drunken style and then throws the cup at the student. The student must avoid these movements and immediately counter.

08 – Lohan Ga Jim Ting:
As it is approached, the dummy stands erect. If the student comes close, the dummy uses a low kick against the student. The dummy must be kicked down before it can continue its attack which becomes faster & faster.

09 – Lohan Fuk Law Lei:
The dummy stands in a bow and arrow stance facing the student. When the student comes into range, the dummy attacks with repeated thrust punches to the body. The student must sidestep to kick the dummy over.

10 – Lohan Dat Mo:
The dummy is seated sideways holding a book. If the student tries to pass, the dummy throws a sidekick as the student goes by. If he can avoid the kick, the student must fell the dummy from behind.

11 – Lohan Chung Haw:
The dummy stands holding a head sized temple bell. As the student approaches, the bell is thrown. The student must avoid the bell.

12 – Lohan Jang Chan
The dummy sits facing the student holding a book next to a pile of stones. The student is shot with projectiles that shoot out of the head of the dummy. The difficulty is in trying to close in on the dummy while it shoots these projectiles.

13 – Lohan Dou Shuen:
The dummy is holding a staff, but is making awkward, stupid looking movements. This is an attempt to lure the student into thinking that the dummy is not functioning properly. The student is attacked as soon as he attempts to go by. The student is expected to be able to avoid such surprise attacks.

14 – Lohan Yan Lang:
The dummy stands looking at the ground. When the student stands on the proper part of the floor, the dummy will thrust its fingers towards the student’s eyes. Students failing this test did not graduate for obvious reasons.

15 – Lohan Hung Lung Sau:
This dummy holds a shiny begging bowl. Suddenly, the student has a blinding light in his face. As soon as this happens, the dummy throws a barrage of blows. The key point is not to get blinded by the light reflected from the bowl. If the student is not blinded, the dummy may be kicked over relatively easily.

16 – Fuk Fu Lohan:
The dummy stands on one foot on the back of a tiger. In one of it’s hands is a large ring. The dummy tries to put the ring over the student’s head while kicking him from below. The student must avoid the ring in order to not get kicked in the groin.

17 – Lohan La Gum Luet:
The dummy stands holding a monk’s spade. The dummy charges while spinning the spade in a figure eight pattern. The student who had stopped was considered eligible for graduation.

18 – The final step
The door to the hallway leading out of the Lohan La Gum Luet was blocked by a one hundred fifty pound urn containing hot coals with the mark of the tiger head/dragon body on the handles. The student had to hug the urn with their forearms. This branded him with the mark of a Sui Lam master. The highest experts had marks only on one arm, having used one arm to lift the urn.

Many great teachers were trained at this temple. After the end of the Ming dynasty, the Ming loyalists used this temple as the headquarters in Southern China. Eventually, the Qing Emperor Hong Hei (1662-1723 a.d.) found this out and ordered two generals Chan Man Yiu and Jeung Gim chao to take three thousand soldiers and rout the temple. General Chan Man Yiu knew well the reputation of the Siu Lam people had earned for their martial arts.

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The Temple was burned to the ground, every monk; except five were killed. These five survivors seperated and each kept the Art alive. They were Wu Dak Dai, Choy Dak Jung, Lei Sik Hoi, Fong Dai Hung, and Ma Chiu Hing.

Many movies have been made where the wooden warriors theme was dipicted, such as “The 36th Chamber,” “Kung Fu,”  and lots more in the Asian film industry.

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source:  Kung Fu Fever, Shaolin 18 wooden men                                             Header Picture: Gaiaonline.com                                                                               Lower Pic; Shaolin Warriors                                                                                           Two wooden warriors with Shaolin monk; KingFilms.TV  

  Tiger and Dragon picture        Shaolin with sword                                              Monk meditates on one leg                                                                           

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~Life is a training ground for the tests that will come~

(~_~)

Introducing, …Kung Chew, a creation from my mind, a drawing that turned into a full blown character as the kids helped me to create his adventures. In 2007 he was all over our living room in different comic strips and in 2010 he came alive in a blender / computer graphics movie we all took delight in using our voices for the characters. The movie,…”Kung Chew and the Zen Gum ball

 

(click to enlarge)

Kung Chew and Master Bubble make a pilgrimage to obtain a Zen Gumball. On the trail they are attacked by the ABC gang (already been chewed) and get out of this by blowing a huge bubble and as it pops they disappear, with-out hurting anyone!

When they arrive in town, Kung Chew meets up with his girl friend, Chic as Master Bubble goes on to obtain the Zen Gumball. The Gumball machine is in POP’s candy store. Master Bubble places the quarter in, turns the knob and out comes a Gumball with words of wisdom stamped on it. (like a fortune cookie) Master Bubble saves the gumballs for emergencies and to spread the wise words for others to chew on mentally.

The opening has always been the same in the cartoon and the movie…However his adventures are still only begining.

 

(click to enlarge)

 

Deep in the forest of rubber trees and chic. (Chic is the tree for which Gum is made.

Kung Chew works hard, mastering his Art, wriggling through excercises.

He imagines himself dueling an army, defeating them single handedly, one by one, blow by blow.

When out of no-where a bee lands on his arm. Kung Chew became riddled with fear and ran as fast as he could …away!

Master Bubble was meditating nearby, watching with one eye open as Kung Chew and the Bee went flying by. He had a bewildered look on his face.

    

The Bee came and landed on Master Bubble’s leg…………..Kung Chew crept up with a big stick then swung to hit the Bee.

“Smack,” Master Bubble reached up and stopped Kung Chew from hitting the bee.

“You train to defend yourself against multiple attackers, yet you run like a rabbit from a one inch insect?”

“Perhaps the Bee was attracted to your sweetness and wanted to bite you rather than sting you.”

Kung Chew stood silent for a moment, with a bubble-dumb look upon his face, pondering Master Bubble’s words.

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I think the unique thing about this is that it grew from the family, ideas from my wife, the kids. The Movie has alot to it…I think it ended up being a little longer than 15 minutes, with music like… “I want candy!” and of course in the end they all play instruments and sing this song with dance and a great guitar scene.

Now when I say great remember, I am not a computer graphic guru, it was my first attempt and I learned alot about doing such a project. It took a year to make, with dubbing out voices and getting the mouths to match sound. In one scene, when Master Bubble turns around fast, he comes all apart and goes back together in the flash of an eye, the physics was to much for him, I tell the kids, but the wife knows, the physics was to much for me. (giggle)

Blender was not that easy to learn. (It is a free game making software that allows creation of graphics and has a movie mode) I spun off after kung chew and tried to make a movie called, “Thirteen Dragons,” (about the thirteen Shaolin fighting monks.) But that is when it got frustrating and I gave up on being a computer graphic designer since it takes so long for one person. When I watch a CP movie like pixel or ‘Kung Fu Panda’ I notice they have about 50 plus people to create a movie and that wouldn’t make it easier but probably a lot faster than a 15 minute clip taking an year to make.

I have now decided to try and make a childrens book with this charactor. Every one who comes to the house gets to see the movie and say’s it is a grand idea, do something with it. So, I am still churning out paper after paper with this little guy and his adventures, entangled with wisdom quotes, humor and traditional martial arts ethics and a message in every tale. I have placed Kung Chew into the Zendictive story of “Carrying your Burdens” and “House of a thousand mirrors.” Now, that I am down this week,  and can’t do much out of bed, I have picked up the pen again. When the body is down the mind still ticks. “You can’t keep a good man down!”…………so, what do you think???

As soon as I can figure out how, I will place clips of the movie on the blog, (remember, I’m still learning how to work with all this media stuff!) In fact I still can’t figure out how to burn it on a CD or DVD to get it off this computer!

(~_~)

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enjoy your day

(~_~)

Ekalavya was a little boy, born in a poor family, many many years ago. His people lived a little away from Hastinapura, the capital of the Kuru kings. They used to clean other people’s dirt for a profession.

And for this reason they were shunned by society. Ekalavya and other kids of his group knew they too had to follow their parents’ professions. Their parents often told them, “You are not meant to go to school. What use is school for carrying garbage which is your only job?”

“Don’t go near those people; they are high born, we are low born.” Ekalavya didn’t understand.

“Why, but why?” he asked his mother. She replied “God set these limits.”

“God! Why would God want nice things for them and dirty things for us? Hasn’t God made all of us?” Ekalavya asked.

She sighed, “Darling I don’t know, but there are bounds we cannot cross, this is God’s rule.”

Ekalavya became quiet. From that day the only important thing for him was to understand the meaning of “limit”. You know, kids (and grown ups) are sometimes cruel. One day Ekalavya and his friends trapped a little ant and were watching it try to escape. The ant tried and tried till it found a little opening at the edge of the trap and escaped. Other children moved to trap it again but Ekalavya stopped them shouting, “The brave ant has broken the bounds. Limits are meant to be broken. I am free, free”.

One day, Ekalavya saw beautiful chariots come into the forest near his village. He saw boys of his age get out of the chariot one by one. What lovely clothes they wore! Last, an old man with snowy white hair and spotless white clothes came out looking stern and calm. The boys seemed a little scared of the old man but with one dusky handsome boy, the old man’s behaviour was different, he smiled and patted this boy on the head.

Ekalavya heard his father’s voice, “Come away boy, there is work to do. Those are the Kuru princes, with their teacher Drona. The boy he just patted is his favourite, Arjuna. They have come to practice ‘archery’. Don’t go near them.”

“Father, all I want is a pat from the grand old man.” so saying, Eklavya ran towards the old man Drona.

By then the boys had started shooting with bows and arrows. What amazing things Arjuna did! He could shoot at a target with his eyes shut. He could shoot with his left hand as well as the right. And the teacher Drona? His arrows made fire, chased things in circles, brought rain and lightning. It was magical. Arjuna’s eyes never left his teacher. It was like he wanted to absorb every bit of Drona. And you could see that Drona too was very proud of Arjuna.

The practice ended. Ekalavya went up to Drona and with folded hands said, “Great sir, please teach me”.

“I don’t teach the low-born,” was the cold reply as Drona turned away.

“Master, your arrows don’t seem to mind any limits, they bring rain and fire, they bring night and day. How then can you be bound by stupid thoughts of high and low birth?” With this Ekalavya walked away from the glaring Drona.

The next day, Ekalavya carved a statue of Drona on a tree trunk with a knife. He made himself a bow and arrows. Each day he would bow before the statue, practice shooting and imagine a pat on his back from Drona.

Some months passed. The grand princes and their master came to the forest again. As Arjuna reached to take aim of a particularly difficult target, an arrow reached Arjuna’s target before he could even aim. Shocked the boys and their teacher looked around. They saw Ekalavya, who went up to touch Drona’s feet.

“Who is your teacher?” Drona asked. Ekalavya quietly led him to the statue. Drona looked at it for some time and said, “If I am your Guru, give me my fee, my guru dakshina“.

“Ask, sir”, bowed Ekalavya.

“I want your right thumb,” replied the stone hearted Drona. Without the right thumb to support it, how can any archer ever hold a bow?As Arjuna and the other princes watched in shock, Ekalavya wordlessly cut off his right thumb and laid it at Drona’s feet.

Many years passed. A great war was going on in Kurukshetra between the Kauravas and the Pandavas, cousins who were related. Arjuna was on the side of the Pandavas. His teacher Drona, and many of his cousins, who had been Drona’s students with him, were on the other side.

After the day’s battle, a sad Drona was sitting in his camp. Suddenly, like a respectful prayer, arrows fell near his feet one after another. He looked up and who do you think he saw?

Why, Ekalavya ! The young Ekalavya said, “Master I have learned to shoot without my right thumb. I have learned to shoot with my left hand, and with my feet. I have taught others and raised an army. Today I’m known as a great archer.”

Drona was speechless.

“Master, I set your greatness free from the limits of your own mind. I made it my teacher in the form of your statue.

Your great love for Arjuna crossed the bounds of fairness when you asked for my thumb. You thought that it would finish me as an archer. But great masters always end up teaching something. By asking for my thumb, you made me learn to shoot with both hands and feet. And for this lesson, I offer my services to you in this war.”

Drona’s eyes filled with tears. He answered, “Yes, it is true, bounds and limits are in the mind. Real courage is fighting against wrong limits and respecting the correct ones. Ekalavya, you have taught me this….  limits of the mind.”

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‘aim’ … to target the limits of the mind

(~_~)

 

 

The key to tranquility  is acceptance

the key to acceptance is awareness

the key to awareness is balance

the key to balance is harmony

the key to harmony is tranquility

The “Key” to living a better life.

 First off note: the “Key” is a device that unlocks the door to an opening. Meaning you still have to step into the room and participate. Like a map, it points the direction but you still have to take the initiative to move, act and apply the principles. Sadly there is no spoon full of an elixir that we can drink and life suddenly becomes repaired and wonderful and perfect. (if there is leave me the formula in the comment section).

Tranquility:

Tranquility is the most essential key to living a better life. If you are tranquil then the body and mind is at peace with its surroundings and self. The key to obtaining tranquility is acceptance. The ability to accept what is. “It is what it is.” Zen is defined as : state of being, one with their surroundings. Surround yourself in being who you are and embrace the fact, you are unique.

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Acceptance:

“Accept the things you can not change and change that which you can,” … It is what it is. You can not change the spots on a leopard. Understanding is the first step toward acceptance and only with acceptance can there be harmony. “The key to tranquility is acceptance.” If you have a penny, you can not make a penny into a dime, accept the facts, you need 9 more pennies.

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 Self awareness:

My Mother always said: “We all get up in the morning, just some forget to wake up!” Take for example a couch potato, A person who sits on the couch and watches T.V. all day, may in fact give the mind satisfaction of some stimulation but self awareness includes the three parts of a person, the mind, the body and the soul. Each of these need exercise of some kind. We will call it attention. Give the mind a spoon full of the discovery channel. Take out the trash and do the dishes, then read an inspiring story from your favorite blog, like… well lets just say, zendictive (grin).

The key here is to give every part of the body what it needs. Remember the saying, a body in motion stays in motion and a determined mind can not be tamed. Be self aware and you will live a fuller life.

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Balance:

If we did not have balance then we would spend the majority of our lives on the ground. Like a worm, wobbling around and probably bury ourselves for fear of not being able to get around very well. Balance is taken for granite, it takes a baby awhile to learn balance. Each of us went through this process but it was so long ago we forgot the struggles and challenges it took to obtain balance.

 We go through trials and learn to walk and rarely give a thought to those toddler years that it took to learn this art. There are those with better balance than others, like the athletes that do one handed hand stands, but a basic balance will be suffice.

Now, the other type of balance is the art of juggling the everyday activities and interactions. Like relationships, work, home, family, friends, self and more. There has to be a balance between all avenues in your life or you’ll end up juggling just one ball, yourself. Practice balancing on one leg or balancing a book on your head and see how important balance is. I love the phrase, juggling elephants… a wonderful read if you ever get the chance to read this literature that lays out a way to juggle your home life, work and self time as a three ring circus.

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 Happiness:

The key to Happiness is tranquility. If your not at ease with your self and your surroundings then there will be a disruption in the mind and soul, and the body will not function properly. There will be tension, disruption, confusion and inner turmoil. In order to obtain happiness one must not attempt to grasp this emotion but allow it to grow like that of a rose and relish in its presence rather than try and pull it out of the ground. Laughter is the door-way to happiness. If something makes you happy, submerge your self in it and bathe in its existence, for example writing (grin) for why else would we blog?

 

 

may the keys to life be nestled in your pocket!

since it is the year of the Dragon

If ever there was a wise man, it was the master of himself, the icon for Martial Arts and an inspiration of wisdom and enlightenment…

Bruce Lee … the Dragon!

Bruce Lee 1940–1973

This inspiring story is about Bruce Lee, a legendary martial art master.

“Bruce had me up to three miles a day, really at a good pace. We’d run the three miles in twenty-one or twenty-two minutes. Just under eight minutes a mile [Note: when running on his own in 1968, Lee would get his time down to six-and-a half minutes per mile].

So this morning he said to me “We’re going to go five.”

I said, “Bruce, I can’t go five. I’m a helluva lot older than you are, and I can’t do five.”

He said, “When we get to three, we’ll shift gears and it’s only two more and you’ll do it.”

 I said “Okay, hell, I’ll go for it.” So we get to three, we go into the fourth mile and I’m okay for three or four minutes, and then I really begin to give out. I’m tired, my heart’s pounding, I can’t go any more and so I say to him, “Bruce if I run any more,” –and we’re still running-” if I run any more I’m liable to have a heart attack and die.”

He said, “Then die.” It made me so mad that I went the full five miles.

Afterward I went to the shower and then I wanted to talk to him about it. I said, you know, “Why did you say that?”

He said, “Because you might as well be dead. Seriously, if you always put limits on what you can do, physical or anything else, it’ll spread over into the rest of your life. It’ll spread into your work, into your morality, into your entire being. There are no limits. There are plateaus, but you must not stay there, you must go beyond them. If it kills you, it kills you. A man must constantly exceed his level.”

this story found here … Bruce Lee

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Born in the year of the Dragon on the hour of the Dragon destined Bruce Lee’s name “Little Dragon”

also called, “Small Phoenix” when he was very young.

Bruce Lee, born Lee Jun Fan, changed his name in order to be more like an American when he moved to the States.

nearly fourty years after his death and is still considered the number one martial artist of all times.

Don’t think, Feel, it is like a finger pointing out to the moon, don’t concentrate on the finger or you will miss all that heavenly glory.

If you make an ass out of yourself, there will always be someone to ride you

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There will be calmness, tranquility, when one is free from external objects and is not perturbed.

When there is freedom from mechanical conditioning, there is simplicity. The classical man is just a bundle of routine, ideas and tradition. If you follow the classical pattern, you are understanding the routine, the tradition, the shadow – you are not understanding yourself.

If you don’t want to slip up tomorrow, speak the truth today.

Forget about winning and losing, forget about pride and pain

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The void is that which stands right in the middle of ‘this’ and ‘that’. The void is all-inclusive, having no opposite – there is nothing which it excludes or opposses. It is living void, because all forms come out of it and whosoever realizes the void is filled with life and power and the love of all things.

If you want to learn to swim jump into the water. On dry land no frame of mind is ever going to help you

Empty your mind, be formless, shapeless – like water. Now you put water into a cup, it becomes the cup, you put water into a bottle, it becomes the bottle, you put it in a teapot, it becomes the teapot. Now water can flow or it can crash. Be water, my friend.

exit, the Dragon

“Out of every one hundred men, ten shouldn’t even be there, eighty are just targets, nine are the real fighters, and we are lucky to have them, for they make the battle. Ah, but the one, one is a warrior, and he will bring the others back.” ~Heraclitus

 

nominated

the one in one hundred warrior award

…by Miro Warrior Poet Wisdom, an icon for being a peaceful warrior

(please click the link above and read Miro’s post of what a warrior is … for I have never heard it said any better, For Miro is truly a one in one hundred warrior)

Bows (~_~) Humble

~I am truly honored~

excerpt from Miro~ …Courage. Honesty. Fearlessness. Grace. Peace. Service to others. No complaints. Nothing thought of as a blessing or a curse; everything simply accepted as another challenge to be conquered.

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Miro~ You have no idea how moved I am. I have had a very trying week. I have had to pull together some of my own advice in order to endure physical and mental challenges this week. I came home this week (one night) with one arm covered in orange (COP) and the other covered in blood. My wife freaked out till I told her, “It was not my blood!”

My work has its challenges to say the least. The next day at work, I had celebrity status, every one making comments of how I was a hero, Bruce Lee, or Jackie Chan, I simply couldn’t take credit and stated, “It was nothing… really!” Which is the truth. The truth is you hone your self for years so that when the one day comes you can put your training into effect. A warrior may stand a post for weeks and wait… till the one day when action is called for and you place your life on the line because it is the right thing to do. The truth is you re-act rather than act. thank you Miro~ this came at a time when I truly felt like a warrior and continued to contemplate that peace was what was needed and stepped in to obtain that peace by saving another.

Way of the peaceful warrior.

bows (~_~) humble

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Once an author is given the award, they may continue nominating one new blog author once a week, month, year… or whatever seems appropriate. It’s like a knight’s ability to bestow knighthood onto another whenever they choose. But only one at a time. The patience of a warrior is required.

Guidelines for the 1-in-100 Warrior Award: Warriors are not motivated by awards or fame. They see awards not as an opportunity for the ego to rejoice, but rather an opportunity to honor other warrior brothers and sisters. To acknowledge and honor the rarity of the warrior, it is recommended that the recipient passes this award on to only *one* other blogger that they feel goes above and beyond to serve and inspire others, and who maintains their grace and positivity even in the face of difficult challenges, such as health issues, tragedy, injustice or loss.

My nomination for the One in One Hundred award is…

Sensei White

of…Rocky Mountain Shito-Ryu Karate-Do

Sensei White teaches others how to defend them self. Teaching Karate is a part of his life but being a part of the community and country is where his heart is. If you were to read his blog that offers insightful information on self-defense and what to watch for in order to keep yourself safe. I encourage readers to take some time and read this man’s words. His blog is heart-felt and enlightening to what a great instructor of Karate is and should be. I had a Karate studio for years… (Inner Spirit Martial Arts… Jefferson, Texas) and I know what dedication it takes to take on such an endeavor. He opens his heart and studio to others because he cares, not for profit. But because it is what true martial arts is all about.

Bows (~_~) Humble to Sensei White,

a one in one hundred warrior.

With Great Strength A Kind Heart Is Forged.

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Zendictive, was awarded the Liebster Blog award

by Sensei White

(excerpt)  ….   My nominees in no particular order:

1. zendictive https://zendictive.wordpress.com/ Very much wisdom and entertaining reads because Zen IS addictive.

bows (~_~) humble

thank you!

The guidelines for the Liebster Blog Award:

1. Show your thanks to the blogger who gave you the award by linking back to them.
2. Reveal your top 5 picks for the award and let them know by leaving a comment on their blog.
3. Post the award on your blog.
4. Bask in the love from the most supportive people on the blogsphere – other bloggers.
5. And, best of all – have fun and spread the karma.

nominating five bloggers

1) Cat Foresly (wisdom commons)

2) glutenvygirl

3) artjen1971

4) annedearle

5) ntexas99

I encourage readers to check out these blogs and absorb the wonders of their words and whole hearted blogs.

have a zen filled day

Once the great Anthony of the Desert was relaxing with his disciples outside his hut when a hunter came by. The hunter was surprised to see Anthony relaxing, and rebuffed him for taking it easy. It was not his idea of what a holy monk should be doing.

Anthony replied, “Bend your bow and shoot an arrow.” And the hunter did so. “Bend it again and shoot another arrow,” said Anthony. The hunter did so, again and again.

The hunter finally said, “Abba Anthony, if I keep my bow always stretched, it will break.”

So it is with the monk,” replid Anthony. “if we push ourselves beyond measure, we will break. It is right from time to time to relax our efforts.”

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moral: Balance, as with the ying and the yang; up, down, light, dark, hot and cold, there is exertion and relaxation, a necessity for muscles to operate properly. Life is the same, stress caused by enduring to much can only be resolved by a resolution and/or relaxation. Relax, take your shoes off! For the farther a man’s/woman’s feet are from the earth, the farther one is from them-self.

have a relaxing day

 

Skill and the Mind

After winning several archery contests, the young and rather boastful champion challenged a Zen master who was renowned for his skill as an archer. The young man demonstrated remarkable technical proficiency when he hit a distant bull’s eye on his first try, and then split that arrow with his second shot.

‘There,’ he said to the old man, ‘see if you can match that!’

Undisturbed, the master did not draw his bow, but rather motioned for the young archer to follow him up the mountain. Curious about the old fellow’s intentions, the champion followed him high into the mountain until they reached a deep chasm spanned by a rather flimsy and shaky log.

Calmly stepping out onto the middle of the unsteady and certainly perilous bridge, the old master picked a far away tree as a target, drew his bow, and fired a clean, direct hit. ‘Now it is your turn,’ he said as he gracefully stepped back onto the safe ground.

Staring with terror into the seemingly bottomless and beckoning abyss, the young man could not force himself to step out onto the log, no less shoot at a target. ‘You have much skill with your bow,’ the master said, sensing his challenger’s predicament, ‘but you have little skill with the mind that lets loose the shot.’

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I usually ponder on a topic for awhile before posting it here. I will save an idea in drafts and research the topic as I find time. Lately it has been crazy trying to find which posts are complete, do NaNoWriMo, read all the blogs I have subscribed to (this is a great way to find inspiration) and work. Like when I found a post by ‘The Tale of My Heart’ and ‘DeeShrek‘ that made great Etegamis. (The wise man vs the fool and the cow on ice skates) and now, I was inspired to finish this post; Bulls Eye, when I read Cat’s blog/post; ‘Missing the Mark’. Let me add that Catlas just received the…

………………………..Versatile Blogger award.

Catlas Crosses the Internet

excerpt from; Missing the Mark

“Success is not final, failure is not fatal: it is the courage to continue that counts.”
Winston Churchill

Catlas is a witty word wizard and if you haven’t read her blog, I recommend that you do so. If you like enlightenment served on a humorous and witty platter, you’ll love her writes. I believe she has hit the Mark… (o_o)…with; Missing the Mark!

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The Bulls Eye

In a bar, in a land far away (or just around the corner) a man stood poised. He had a dart in his hand as he readied himself to throw. He sized up his target and balanced his stance as his hand rocked back and forth till he finally released the dart. It flew through the air hitting the dart board. All eyes turned toward the dart-board to see rather he had made a bulls eye or not.

How many throws does it take to perfect a throw? Do you have to spend your entire life practicing the art of throwing darts to hit the bulls eye. Do we have to commit ourselves to a daily regiment of training to be good at what we want in life? Of course. How often do we hit the bulls eye in life? Not near as many as we throw.

I know that when I went through the Academy, I tried with every ounce of breath to win the Beto award. An award given to the Officer that finished the academy with the highest marks/ grades. I made an average of 97.5 on every test. I just missed the 100 mark by one nearly every single time. I did make a few 100’s but the one 95 and the 97.5’s hit me in the gut like a sledge hammer. I just did not hit the bulls eye every time.

Why was I so bent on making a perfect score? Perhaps I am a perfectionist. My classmates were glad to get 85 (passing) I am the kind that doesn’t settle for anything less than perfection. But I did not make a bulls eye every time and it was hard to swallow. I did not get the award, I missed it by an inch that might as well have been a mile.

What standards do we set for ourselves? I work out in the yard, Kata’s, forms for martial arts. We have neighbors that don’t come up to stay on the river but maybe three or four times a year. One day I go out and exercise when this woman came out of her house and was all eyes. I suppose she had never seen some one kicking trees 6-7 feet high. I apologized if I had awaken her, for I am an early riser. (most of my posts are 4 am before I go to work and 6 am on my days off) So, this woman asked me, “How high can you kick?”

I said, “I don’t know 6’4 maybe.” I saw a lower limb on the tree (perhaps close to 7ft) and decided I would kick it. I made my jumping attempt and missed. I was embarrassed.

She said, “Miss it or not that is impressive.” I thought about that. I didn’t feel so bad any more. ‘If you get close, your in the ball park’ is the new saying I learned from this.

We were talking at work about the Super Bowl game. There was some one dogging the losing team. I pointed out that both teams are winners for making it that far. The losing team might not of won the super bowl but they earned the respect of being a great contender just by making it that far.

So. this man in the bar… looked at his dart that he had thrown and he could tell by the moans from the crowd that he did not hit the bulls eye. He walks up to the dart board and takes the dart out and walks back to the line and throws again, and again, and again till he finally makes a bulls eye. Seems that we should learn to accept the misses that generally out number the amount of hits we get in the bulls eye. All of life is trial and error, we can’t be expected to hit the target every single time. I think the defeat would be to never try at all or to say, “I can’t hit that,” and never do it. Life is all about learning and we learn from our mistakes… and our misses.

If at first you don’t succeed, try, try again.

by Art~

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(foot-note; darts fly erratic, like arrows, I shoot a bow and arrow and can hit the target ten out of ten times. Just like shooting a rifle, I can hit the target every time. Darts are a game of chance most of the time with standard darts that do not fly true in the air. Professional dart throwers use their own darts that are more balanced and fly true. I suppose this applies in life as far as quality goes. You buy a cheap car your gonna have problems sooner than if you buy quality. Isn’t our lives worth quality moments even if we can not afford expensive things, we can give our souls quality time.)

 may your day hit the bulls eye

 

Zatoichi Monogatari
(A tribute to the Blind Swordsman)

by Art~

“You are like a candle,
as you melt,
you illuminate the world.”

Lost his sight when he was two years old,
when his minds eye thinks of his mother,
She is always young, even now that she is gone.

“A falling leaf does not hate the wind.”

Fumbling blind fingers reach
for a beautiful sound
an egg is found,
as a bird, away flutters.

“Mother bird come back,
you forgot you young.”

Ichi san kept it warm till the hatching was done.
In a little hatch basket it lived,
surrogate mother Ichi provided.

“Perhaps a falling leaf does hate the wind?”

In 6 seconds, six men will fall,
if their swords are drawn on Zatoichi san.

“A Samurai and his sword are the same.”

A humble blind mans walking cane,
cloaks a Dragons talon.

“A small fish caught up in the current.”

Bathed in blood so many times,
He wishes to know red.
How do you describe such a color?
To a man who has never seen the setting sun
Or a red maple leaf?

Drip drip drip drip

Ichi san smiles,
listening to the waters song.

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(The infamous blind Samurai wandered the countryside of Japan in the early 1800s. The immortal ‘Star’ died in 1992. Zatoichis’ natural charm, wit and quick sword won the hearts of many in a series of 26 Japanese movies, in the 1960s.)

He was as mild mannered as Mr. Miagi of the Karate Kid and the swordsmanship of any Samurai. Traveling the country side spreading his charm with-out even trying. The film was such a great hit they made 26 movies using this character, directed by Kenji Misumi, is the first film of a classic Japanese samurai drama saga starring Shintaro Katsu as Zatoichi.

Shintarō Katsu

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This Etegami inspired by; The Tale of My Heart

His blog/post…“Wise Man vs The Fool”

(click on picture to enlarge)

have a zen-filled day

 

Art~

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Art~

Emma (Sunshine),

wedding day

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