Wednesday, April 23, 2008

WWDD (What Would Dali Lama Do?)

Hello all~

Sorry it has been so long since I've written. My life has been a bit isolated as I have been wrapping up the final few weeks of my Western European History class. Next Monday is my last class! I have enjoyed it, but it has been kicking my booty!! I have two more papers to write and a test to study for, so it's not over quite yet!

I have really enjoyed going back to college. It has been about 14 years since I was in college last; needless to say I am the oldest one in class, but it is all good! I was considering going back to college, but I didn't know how I would like it and/or how I would do as far as cutting the mustard so to speak regarding grades. I figured there was no other way of finding out than doing it, so I did my due diligence and voila, a college student once again! I find class to be very engaging, the four hour night class cruises by. I am even excited to do the reading and writing assignments. I am currently getting a high "A" and I hope to finish the class with that too (hopefully!), but we will see.

A couple weeks ago I had an epiphany regarding freewill and choosing our experience. Each one of us as individuals and as a collective society create what we experience...let me say that again, WE REALLY DO CREATE WHAT WE EXPERIENCE! I have had this thought in the past many times , but for some reason it hit me in a certain way when I was researching yet another war Europe was in the middle of back in the 1800's. I believe it was when Prussia was trying to unify all of the German speaking people into a country we now call Germany. Through out the semester in class we studied how people would evolve and war would ensue over and over and over again... We covered the late feudal system in Europe; moving on to the Renaissance; the Reformation of the church, including the 30 years war; the split of the holy roman empire; I saw the boundaries of countries come and go; old countries crumble and new ones raise from the old; The royalty warring at a whim, a lust for power and prestige, their struggle for an Aire and for their family to stay in power; how the almost voiceless peasants rose to be the voice of nations; The raise of the middle class; enlightenment; scientific revolution, agricultural revolution; Revolution after revolution, including the French revolution; The fall of divine right, but the inability of most of the European countries to not keep going back to some type of monarchy (old habits die hard!); the evolution of the working class and all of the "isms"; mercantilism, humanism, industrialism, liberalism, nationalism, imperialism, fascism, socialism...etc. etc. We fight and kill and fight some more. Wow! Some days I would be overwhelmed in thought just noodling on how all of these people lived in those conditions. They all just wanted lives like you and I. They had families, friends, kids, lovers, jobs, hobbies...lives, real lives just like you and I. Sometimes even when you win you lose... Name of the game?? Do what you can. Keep going. Make the most of every moment. Live like you may die tomorrow, because you could! Live life the best you can from a bigger perspective, love more, laugh, more, be more open minded, practice forgiveness, compassion, tolerance; Slow down; change what you can and as for the rest... let it go... you can't always control what happens...sometimes when you lose you win... it is all in the perspective. WE CREATE THE WORLD WE LIVE IN BOTH AS INDIVIDUALS AND AS A SOCIETY!! We create the experience that we have here. The universe didn't change when we started or stopped killing each other, we did. When we change we experience something different on a personal and collective level. A quote came to mind: "Be the change you want to see in the world." -Gandhi
It was like a light came on...we REALLY do create our own experience. Holding that "Aha" moment is difficult!

Anyway, enough from me for now. More later!


Tuesday, April 8, 2008

Jack Hoban in Minnesota

This past weekend I traveled to St. Paul, Minnesota to train with Jack Hoban and others in Budo Tai Jitsu. It is always inspiring training with Jack. Not only is he a great practitioner, but he shares what I believe to be true warrior ideals; the art of living. He never fails to inspire me.

There we were about forty of us sweating like hogs in this little racquetball court. No air conditioning or matts and not much space to move...It was great! We covered mainly empty hand fighting, defense against the knife and protecting a third party from empty hand and knife attack. It was hot & sticky... all in all really good training! Jack told many good stories about his experiences with Robert Humphery, Hatsumi sensei, The Marines etc. I love hearing the history, philosophy and just cool stories!

I continue to explore their way of moving and approaching combat. The way that they control the space is somewhat different than how I currently control that space. It is kind of like the yin and yang. It is all good, just different. I utilize different tactics to achieve my goals in a combative manner. I saw some rays of light at the workshop. Somethings made more sense to me and I was beginning to capture the flow better. Keep going!

After training I had the opportunity to hang out with Jack a bit and talk. I always appreciate that. A number of us had a beer or two and dinner. We went to some Mongolian grill, the food was great, unfortunately I had to cut things a bit short because I had a 9 hour drive home :( but it was well worth it! I am looking forward to training with Jack again soon (probably next month).

Until then take care all.


Wednesday, April 2, 2008

I am I

Hello all! Being this is my first blog on this site...I never quite know what to write, but none the less I am very excited! I am going to Minnesota to train with Jack Hoban this weekend. It should be great! He is a true warrior and gentleman in every sense of the word. It is a bit of a hike 9 hours or so :( but that's better than the 12 1/2 hours out to New Jersey. All in all if I didn't think the training was worth it I wouldn't be going. I always enjoy training with Jack and his folks and I never walk away empty handed so to speak...he always has something to share that is valuable!

More when I get back.