Be Still To See…

When we’re born, we still have our original face;We haven’t been given an identity;We don’t know that we’re separate from everything else. Our indoctrinators give us a name;And then set up our false identity;Over time we think that’s who we are;We develop humanity’s version of Stockholm Syndrome. Deep inside we know it’s a mask;Our original face weeps to be known;Without the tools it constantly eludes us;This causes untold suffering;It constantly disappears as we try to see;The harder we try, the worse it gets. Until we sit still….In stillness the clouds part;And finally we get to realise;Our original face is where … Continue reading Be Still To See…

Discovering Your Original Face

Daily martial arts practice can be like saying your prayers. A daily ritual that takes you deeper and deeper, beyond the individual, absorbing you into the wordless, unformed, immortal part of your ‘being’. The longer you practice, the faster and more permanent this process becomes. Those that never understand the ritual of practice will never get there. Most people train martial arts to consolidate the social indoctrination they’ve already had, to ‘lose weight’, ‘defend themselves’ and to engage in a social activity treating the ‘Dojo’ like a western gym. But for those that have a little dust in their eyes … Continue reading Discovering Your Original Face

The Kundalini

What is the ‘kundalini’ and why is it dangerous? The kundalini is your life force. If you animate your raw life force and don’t have the emotional intelligence to alchemise it into a healthy vigour it can do more harm than good. In Tai Chi the raw energy from the root chakra is the energy of life and death (sex and violence) and is very powerful. When this energy is raised, it’s essential to pass it through the chakras of our instinctive feelings, understanding and coping with anger and fear, learning patience, kindness and compassion, using these skills to affect … Continue reading The Kundalini

What’s Your Personality?

What is your personality? The word personality comes from the word ‘persona’ which in turn comes from the mask that actors wore on stage before the use of microphones to project their voices, thus ‘person sonar’. We use different personalities or ‘masks’ according to the situation, so most people have a mask for the public, one for their friends, one for their family and then there is their true self. Knowing who you are and what the masks are is an important skill in inhabiting a body or ‘being human’. The problem comes when we get so used to wearing … Continue reading What’s Your Personality?

Deeper Understanding & Insight

Maybe too much information has also been killing off the deeper understandings and insights to be gained in martial arts. There’s a lot to be said for mindful repetition of skilled movement and too much ‘thinking’ and information overload blocks these insights. Because of the structure of our society we confuse the more we know about something with actually knowing it. There’s a big difference between accumulating knowledge with the simplicity of doing it with a few basic principles that encompass the knowledge to be gained through repetitious practice rather than tripping over mental information that couldn’t possibly be accomplished … Continue reading Deeper Understanding & Insight

Learning To Look Inward

We never really know ourselves because we can’t look back down our own eyes. In hindsight I realise that I’ve never wanted to be alive so have never had the need to joyfully engage. I never got on with my family and couldn’t wait to leave home, hated school so didn’t bother to go or learn, failed all exams miserably. Social life was pubs and nightclubs because I couldn’t think of anything else so just ran with the gangs. Didn’t read a book until I started meditating in my 20’s and then couldn’t stop, because there was no internet and … Continue reading Learning To Look Inward

How Grief Occurs

I was watching a TV programme and someone asked a man whose son had been murdered how he was doing and he said “fine, for 10 seconds a day – then I remember that my son is dead.” This is an excellent description of grief or PTSD where you don’t just suffer it once, that sense of dread keeps recurring in waves again and again. Every day I wake up I feel fine for 10 seconds and then I move and the realisation, shock and horror of having my leg amputated occurs again and this still occurs many times a … Continue reading How Grief Occurs

Training For Life

When you finally find what’s absolutely right for you in your martial arts training and meditation and you internalise it you don’t need to rationalise why you do it. I practice every day religiously, like saying my prayers and have practiced in my hospital bed laying, sitting, in a wheelchair (my current location for training) in my garden, in parks in my Dojo and every other location you can think of. I train for me. Not to fight anymore, not for how it looks and not for what others might think of me or what I do. It’s deeply personal, … Continue reading Training For Life

Chants And Chakras

Teaching Mikey this morning he made the point that I should record some of the things that I would rarely get to teach and this morning we were discussing how I train using a chant to alchemise the chakras. The chant is traditionally used to raise the kundalini – the energy up the spine. To do this we have to release and then activate the areas of the spine that relate to the chakras. The chant is Ra Ma Da Sa – Sa Sei So Hung.Ra is the root chakra and raises the powerful life or death jing energy.Ma is … Continue reading Chants And Chakras

The Power Of Insight

It’s important to understand insight. We create a mindful state to allow insight to arise. It arises from the unconditioned, immortal, unborn, unformed part of our mind and by its very nature escapes definition. Insight creates wisdom, it allows our mind to see what is otherwise hidden. Therefore it is an important skill to develop. Good posture allows deeper breathing.Deeper breathing calms the body.As the body calms so does the emotions.As the emotions calm so does the mind.By focusing on our breathing this develops our sensitivity and focuses the mind.This opens a portal into the unconditioned, immortal, wordless mind.This allows … Continue reading The Power Of Insight