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 Post subject: my old friend
PostPosted: Fri Jan 10, 2014 3:41 am 
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We've been through so much, this kata and I. It has been with me through so many changes in my life and it has patiently abided all the different ways I have approached it. It has seen the different emotions and experiences, never letting me forget that it knows me better than I know myself. It has never given up, no matter how many times I have, and waits only for my request: "teach me just one more time".

When I feel lost, this kata tells me "I am always here, and you have the power to create me anew". When we were first introduced, it was a struggle to learn it and try to tame it. I wanted to do it justice; now I know better. This kata gives me freedom to stop thinking about what I am doing, and whether I am doing it the right way. With my old friend and teacher, I am free to move without thought and pay attention to the substance of movement. The thing that happens when matter and energy become two opposing yet complimentary forces.


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 Post subject: Re: my old friend
PostPosted: Fri Jan 10, 2014 5:05 am 
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I relate

martial arts is my metaphor , its that thing that I learnt myself doing

some find it in art , or yoga , or music , some athletic endeavour or sport

But I go back to the forms and chip away , and learn more and more


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 Post subject: Re: my old friend
PostPosted: Fri Jan 10, 2014 5:19 am 
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Yes. It is what it is.


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 Post subject: Re: my old friend
PostPosted: Fri Jan 10, 2014 5:23 am 
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It's funny how we all have to use words to share the experience we all are going through, when there is something beyond words howling silently the whole time. :lol: :lol: :lol:


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 Post subject: Re: my old friend
PostPosted: Fri Jan 10, 2014 10:10 pm 
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Location: Richmond, VA --- Louisville, KY
fivedragons wrote:
I am free to move without thought and pay attention to the substance of movement.

You do realize that these two concepts are mutually exclusive, right?

I implore my students to spend equal time doing mindful and mindless kata. The former instructs, and the latter prepares. Both are important, and one (the yin) can feed the other (the yang). We do mindful practice when we "pay attention to" what we are doing. That's important. It keeps entropy from creeping into our movement (a natural tendency to progress to disorder) and gives us opportunities to investigate what we are doing. We do mindless practice when we let mushin take over. That is a good thing to the extent that "perfect practice" can evolve to "automatic perfect execution."

The states of mind with each involve extremely different brainwave activity. I could write a chapter on that alone.

- Bill


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 Post subject: Re: my old friend
PostPosted: Sun Jan 12, 2014 12:37 am 
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Bill, my understanding of mushin isn't "mindless", but rather true mindfulness. I have seen it translated as "mind of no-mind", but never as "no-mind of no-mind." We could be talking about two different interpretations of a word/concept, or we might be talking about the same thing, using different words.

It's not important to debate the meaning of a word that probably everyone has their own interpretation of, but I could find different ways to express what I intended in the quote.

When I wrote "without thought", I did not mean to imply without any form of consciousness, but rather observation without labeling. Awareness without internal dialogue. There is often quoted an idea about having the mind of a child, and emptying your cup. Before a child has learned language, it sees a tree without the ability to say "you are a tree". Instead it just experiences it and goes "Whoa, wow, hey!"

As far as paying attention goes, often we use that phrase to demand that someone think about what we are saying, and/or get something right. However, if one decides to let their attention rest on something such as the way it feels to move, or the way it feels to breathe, etc., one gives the monkey permission to stop jumping around and screeching inside of one's skull.

If we return to music, we could look at practicing and learning things, as opposed to what happens when the player is experiencing the music of all the musicians as a whole, and expressing something beyond language instinctively with feeling and relying on the practice and learning to do its thing.

To my understanding, one mode of operating is OODA, which is what we do when we analyze and correct our practice. Another state could be (O/A), which we should spend time getting familiar with, in case we don't have the ability to orient and decide.

That is what I was talking about in my flawed, stream of consciousness, mushin missive.


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 Post subject: Re: my old friend
PostPosted: Mon Jan 13, 2014 5:08 am 
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[quoteWhen I wrote "without thought", I did not mean to imply without any form of consciousness, but rather observation without labeling. Awareness without internal dialogue. There is often quoted an idea about having the mind of a child, and emptying your cup. Before a child has learned language, it sees a tree without the ability to say "you are a tree". Instead it just experiences it and goes "Whoa, wow, hey!"][/quote]

true consciousness work .... actually engaging with the experience and not your construct of the experience , call it the zone , call it mushin , call it mindfulness , it is turning on your perception .

Like meditation , where you let the noise run away and be in the moment , where so many see it as relaxing falling asleep its actually falling awake.


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 Post subject: Re: my old friend
PostPosted: Mon Jan 13, 2014 5:23 am 
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Stryke: "its actually falling awake"

Thank you! 8)


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 Post subject: Re: my old friend
PostPosted: Mon Jan 13, 2014 6:38 am 
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"Glare in the eyes with fast hands"

Well, what does it mean? What is the glare in the eyes? And why are the hands fast?

What are we?

Maybe we're just monkeys in a zoo, with nothing better to do than bite each other on the tail.

Or maybe we are sentient beings with hearts minds and souls, who have been blessed with the ability to respect, honor and love our world and all who share it with us.


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 Post subject: Re: my old friend
PostPosted: Mon Jan 13, 2014 7:34 am 
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fivedragons wrote:
Bill, my understanding of mushin isn't "mindless", but rather true mindfulness. I have seen it translated as "mind of no-mind", but never as "no-mind of no-mind." We could be talking about two different interpretations of a word/concept, or we might be talking about the same thing, using different words.

I meant what I said.

There is a time for mindful practice, and there is a time for mushin. They are two *VERY* different states of mind.

When teaching nuances of a kata in class, I am being mindful and I am asking my students to be mindful. When they ask me to check their kata, ultimately I am asking them to be mindful of specific aspects of their form that I think need attention.

When doing repletion in class, we are working to mindless repetition. As Raffi says about his Filipino circular drills, you want to do them with a partner until you get to the point that you're thinking about whether your laundry is done and boy isn't that young woman over there hot looking.

The point of mindful practice is to improve our understanding and/or our technique. The point of mindless practice is to work towards making things so ingrained that we do them without thought, thus freeing the mind to important things like paying attention to *all* our surroundings.

By DNA (long story) and by training, I have "the gift of gab." I can talk to almost anyone, even a stranger store clerk at a 7-Eleven. I can get in front of a crowd and give an hour-long talk about a complex subject with no problem. In doing so, I am sometimes aware that I can almost experience an "out of body" feeling where my mouth just goes on about its business while I get a chance to be aware of the people I'm talking to, how much time I have left, and whether things are going well. *That* is mushin for a speaker. Some can do it, and some cannot. I have the genetics, and - through various activities - I've put in my magic 10,000 hours. Now it's fun for me.

Meanwhile... this past week I was asked to write an abstract for an upcoming article that should soon be in the peer-reviewed literature. While I put it out faster than most, I really had to work at that. I had to brain dump, and then review, and then get feedback, and then mull over it while doing something else, and then brain dump again, and then review my work many times, and then finally hand it in. That was *mindful* communication. Every word mattered, and the way it was said mattered. And it has to make it through peer review. That's quite different from walking up to a stranger and winning a bet that I can make them laugh in less than 60 seconds.

I hope that helps.

- Bill


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 Post subject: Re: my old friend
PostPosted: Mon Jan 13, 2014 7:47 am 
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I try to never do mindless practice

I do thoughtful technical work

And I do mindful experiential practice to heighten my awareness and work my perception

I don't get to train enough to waste it being mindless.

Not having to form language , is not the same as being mindless , not having to
Construct a story to follow is not being mindless, if it is you are missing your potential to heighten your perception
Of what its really happening.

Bring in the zone its not shutting anything down but to the contrary having everything attuned to the moment at hand, not some thought our judgment that belongs in the past or the future.

Bring mindful is being now


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 Post subject: Re: my old friend
PostPosted: Mon Jan 13, 2014 7:56 am 
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I do believe were saying similar things, however I think language is important in getting there

Quote:
Whatever its relation to the physical body it is generally agreed that mind is that which enables a being to have subjective awareness and intentionality towards their environment, to perceive and respond to stimuli with some kind of agency, and to have consciousness, including thinking and feeling.[3][7]


while thinking can be an agent of the mind , it is not the mind , by equating it too thought you miss the other elements .

subjective awareness and intentionality ..... to perceive and respond to stimuli with some kind of agency .... and to have consciousness ...... thinking and feeling

thought is just a part that's needed.


But to each there own


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 Post subject: Re: my old friend
PostPosted: Mon Jan 13, 2014 8:20 am 
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Bill: "I meant what I said". Thank you, so did I.

Bill: "I hope that helps." Thank you for taking the time to converse with me.


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 Post subject: Re: my old friend
PostPosted: Mon Jan 13, 2014 8:35 am 
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Bill: "The point of mindful practice is to improve our understanding and/or our technique. The point of mindless practice is to work towards making things so ingrained that we do them without thought, thus freeing the mind to important things like paying attention to *all* our surroundings."

Okay, I get it now. We are both doing the same things. We are both thinking about what we are doing, and also practicing them to the point that they become automatic reflexes. Hundreds and thousands and millions of lines and circles.


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 Post subject: Re: my old friend
PostPosted: Mon Jan 13, 2014 9:05 am 
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Bill, I get what you're saying. There is a reason for repetition. I know from experience that reflexes can be modified and honed, just like any skill that is learned. 8)


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