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PostPosted: Mon Sep 21, 2009 8:22 pm 
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This morning I got up at o-dark thirty and had a chance to do my practice outside as the sun rose. The dew showed on the spiderwebs in the grass. The birds were waking up, and dogs were barking in the distance. The air had a crisp sharp tang to it. By the time I finished a slight steam was rising off my arms. It was a moment of sublime beauty and being "in the moment". It made the chill and the early hour meaningless.

I seem to remember Robb mentioning a similar experience involving a light rain and a New Orleans courtyard (I'll let him reiterate if he chooses).

How many of you have had that fleeting sublime moment in practice or otherwise? Would you care to share that with us?

If so, thanking you in advance.

(edit: added some details to set the mood)

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PostPosted: Tue Sep 22, 2009 12:43 am 
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It was my 36th birthday. I hiked the trail up the mountain to the midway staton of the ski area. All around me wild mountain flowers bloomed and the large clouds floated by the mountaintop. I looked down to avoid the bees all around, this perhaps heightened my senses. A shadow in the woods made me pause, I realized I was in a wild place, far from ears that might come to assist me. No cell phones yet filled my pocket. Was it a bear? Was it a catamount which I had read of the night before. They are believed to be extinct, but still sighted by people while wandering around the woods, such as I was doing at that moment. I picked up a painted bamboo ski pole, not that it would help, but it still gave me comfort. I sang loudly, to announce my presence to any beasts lurking nearby. I arrived at the large sun lit deck of the ski area. I didn't need to lower my head entering as I last did with 3-4 feet of snow now melted.
I put on my Gi and decided to practice Sanseiryu. What better day to work on kata 36 than on the day you turn 36. I did several warmup ones and then did the best one I ever felt I did, to this day I've never had a better one. It was then that I noticed the change in the weather. The dark storm clouds raced over the top of the mountain, as they often did, gaining energy over Lake Champlain. Lightening struck all around me as I headed quickly back down the mountain. It was a long way down and I no longer feared the beasts in the woods, now I feared mother nature as she showed me the meaning of true power.
I still have the pole to remind me of that day, that time, that place. And a kata I may never surpass, but must always try to.

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PostPosted: Tue Sep 22, 2009 11:16 am 
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Thank you for sharing an amazing day with us. You honor us with the sharing.

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PostPosted: Tue Sep 22, 2009 7:50 pm 
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I have so many I can think of it's crazy.
Being tested by Shinjo sensei.
Watching Maemiya sensei breaking a bat at a close distance.
Walking through the covered bridge in 1990 to a field of Uechika in white gi's at Okikukai's first camp.
Doing Sanchin on a sacrificial platform on an Aztec temple.
Meeting Sensei Mattson for the first time.

Perhaps I'm just lucky to realize them as special moments.
Plenty of bad ones too, like realizing my groin was being targeted in my second class sparring while my instructor chain smoked in his office. :lol:

f.

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PostPosted: Wed Oct 07, 2009 4:34 pm 
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ok,, sanchin on the Aztec temple sublime or not thats just cool!!

steve


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PostPosted: Wed Oct 07, 2009 6:47 pm 
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:lol: I have to agree...and cool is close enough to sublime for this thread

Sublime is when everything flows and clicks and you simply are in THE moment...


but cool...heh....That'll work!

come on, I know there are more sublime/cool/check it out moments out there to share!

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PostPosted: Thu Oct 22, 2009 8:29 pm 
The most difficult thing that I have come across in martial arts is understanding " Soft"..even the definitions are vague and unsatisfactory.............the language also.......... I could say for example that " it is very difficult to be soft"...or it is very " hard to be soft" :lol: ......an oxymoron......how does one express this?.........and what exactly does soft mean :? ...why is hard bad?
Well Hard is not bad .it is different and easier to train than soft.and it can defeat soft more often than not...however, when you meet somebody who actually knows what "soft" is.well then it';s a different world.a world where strength or speed is not valued over structure, where many of the old saying attributed to old Chinese masters have real meaning...why did a kata need 3years to be understood?...well if you know soft .then you'll know that a paradigm shift takes a while to act.3 years is not that long............I don't know what soft is , but to quote Chen Man Ching I have "invested in loss" on several occasions..ignoring strength,and speed and aggresion and not using strength but relying on structure and relying on "soft"..more often than not I had my head handed to me on a plate ................but on the occasions that didn't happen.when I actually won.it just happened..a clear flight, effortless :)...and with it a sort of awakening.not the realisation that ~I could do this on a regular basis, or that I was particularly blessed.but just the know ing that this level of skill was possible.and I've met masters who have attained this level..and it is scary stuff.not MMA .....but something else entirely :wink:


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PostPosted: Thu Oct 22, 2009 9:35 pm 
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hey Ray..long time no hear..been busy here myself....I think that was part of what I was speaking of as well..and it's good for a novice like myself as well as those with more experience..glimpses of what is possible when you simply DO and ARE.

At this point in time "soft" means several things to me..but one is to be relaxed..to be like water..relentless and very hard to break or stop...it IS hard to put into words!...the experience in the OP was one of relaxed flow and "being" and like 5red's experience was one of my best kata (sanchinin my case) to date..strong, smooth, powerful...felt stable and...well..good

is this some of what you are getting at?

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PostPosted: Fri Oct 23, 2009 6:24 pm 
Hi Shana.
We can have profound experiences doing stuff like kata in a forest, by a running sttream etc, very personal moments which we feel define us, make us happy...contented etc........but for me Softness was a paradign shift away from what I have done before.even though I have studied soft styles like Tai Chi and aikido.I honestly never understood the entire concept or took it at it's literal best.which is how it should be taken........I have quoted Master Kuroda on your forum before.he really opened my eyes...but I never thought that I would understand what he meant....now I think that i have a glimmer of what he spoke about .and it is something to aim for 8) ..........some arts are only hard, others have elements of both hard and soft and others are only soft............Master Kuroda did his art as a hard art.but having remembered his grandfathers words and advice discovered softness and his art changed..........I am no master on this subject..............but I don't like to use the word ~"relax" when one speaks of softness, because you are not relaxed.it's not like letting your hand rest like a dead weight....which would be very relaxed ..but more like touching a butterflies wing.......delicate, gentle...soft :wink:


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