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Sensei’s Journal: Entry # 20 – The Picture

18 Apr

I’ve had some, oh shall we say, unusual experiences as a result of my exploration of Katannabis (the entheogenic combination of my Kata-Rx and medical cannabis). Some I have shared. One I recently shared is “The Umbrella” story.  https://senseijohn.me/2021/03/01/senseis-journal-entry-6-i-find-an-umbrella/

Recently I had another experience. Unlike previous experiences that were unique in and of themselves, this one had a message. It hinted at the way forward for me to navigate an unbalanced situation. Since my brother’s untimely death in December 2020, I was estranged from my mother. It was a weight. It seemed there was no end in sight. Reconciliation goes both ways. We both needed first to be open to the idea then bold enough to see it through. When and how was a mystery that loomed large. 

That changed early one morning in February at a garbage transfer station in Fairview, New Jersey. 

It was a normal work day, except for the cold, grey, dreariness that is. The first order of business is to dump the prior days construction waste and “tear-down.” Now, the dump is my least favorite place to be. It starkly contains all the refuse of humanity. All the nasty-bits that we like to believe just mysteriously disappears by little waste management elves after we put it neatly curbside. 

I finished at the weigh station and turned the truck so that I could back into one of the five bays to dump. I began to back into position causing the ever present flock of seagulls to raise their voices in protest and begrudgingly scatter. The closer I got, the large piles of ripe, festering, oozing piles of garbage came into view. The crew and I exited the truck. They climbed onto the bed to begin throwing the debris of the truck. I carefully negotiated a path around the strewn debris and started to roll up the tie down straps. Something caught my eye. It was a small, maybe 6 x 8 picture frame. I finished lashing the last strap and went over to investigate. 

Why? I have no idea. But, it did strike me that here was this relatively new, undamaged picture frame laying face up, nice and neatly “displayed” on an open black bag of garbage. The bag itself lay a top a festering, stinking pile. It looked as if it was carefully placed on top of this mess. I picked it up and put on the reading glasses hanging around my neck. Looking at it, the little hairs on the back of my neck stood up. It wasn’t the bone chilling cold that did that, it was the image I saw. I decided I needed to take it home. It was prophetic. It provided a path forward. It was a guide. I made my way back to the cab and place it safely in my backpack. So what was in the frame?

Wow, talk about weird timing. On this cold day with wind chills in the teens, in the throes of wondering if my path could be balanced with my mother, I found this. Maybe not tea, but I sure could have used a hot cup of coffee and a time to think about what I just found – what were the odds? 

Was it coincidence? A sign “from Above?” Am answer to my prayers? A message? Dumb luck? I mean, “What the hell did I just stumble on?” “Was now the time to reconcile?”

Little did I know, this strange event was just the tip of the iceberg – – until recently – – – well, that is a profound and disturbing experience and frankly, I’m not ready to tell that tale (yet). At least I’m out of the hospital, oops I said too much.

Experience My Kata-Rx for FREE:

You can try my Kata-Rx for FREE, safely and conveniently in the comfort of your own home by enrolling for FREE in my online class: https://kata-rx.teachable.com/p/preview-kata-as-moving-meditation

I remain,

walking my path,

Sensei John Szmitkowski

Follow Sensei John on Instagram. Simply follow “1day1lifetime” for daily updates on all of Sensei’s projects:

Sensei’s Journal: Entry # 19 – Symbols Of The Shaman

21 Feb

There are no symbols of rank in either my Kata-Rx for Wellness program or my Katannabis (Kata-Rx entheogenically combined with medical cannabis). Karate was different. There were ten levels (called “Kyu” grades) from beginner to black belt. These levels being represented by various colored belts, starting with white, and/or stripes on the belt. At black belt there are also ten levels, called “Dan” grades. The lowest being first degree (San-dan) and the highest being tenth degree (Ju-dan). The various black belt degrees from fourth grade (Yon-dan) to tenth grade (Ju-dan) are somewhat exotic involving combinations of the colors black, red and white. For a description of the black belts in the Goshin-Do system please use this link https://senseijohn.me/2011/02/27/the-burden-of-rank/

In the photo below are the three black belts that have the most meaning to me. They best represent my development and views on kata throughout the years. They are, my first degree black belt (now a grayish-white with age), my fourth degree (Yon-dan) belt, (red and white stripes on one side and black on the other) and my seventh degree black belt (Nana-dan) (red and black sides). See endnote # 1

You will notice the Kanji on the one tip it reads, “Ichi-Nichi Issho” or “One day one lifetime.” I was so enamored of this philosophy that, beginning with my fourth degree belt, every belt thereafter had the embroidery. I also named my Kata-Rx for wellness hallmark kata for the philosophy.

My original black belt represents the period during which I became comfortable with developing and experimenting with the physical aspects of kata. I had also earned the title of “Sensei” (literally “Before-being”, but loosely “Teacher”). This period brought about a deep rooted imagination to discover so-called “hidden” self-defense techniques in the Kata. Thus began a period of introspection and discovery.

Decades later I was awarded my fourth degree black belt and the title “Karate-Do Renshi” (karate advanced teacher or coach). At this time I began to develop my concept of the “Three battles of Kata” to represent the idea that there was more to kata than just the physical. There was the spiritual which codified state-of-minds, emotions and psyche and the environmental which represented the interrelationship between Kata and the physical environment. These were the earliest stages of my Kata-Rx for wellness program and its humble beginnings with my “Sanchin Kata for everyone” campaign and book.

Even more decades later when I was awarded my Seventh Degree (nana-dan), I began to develop my Katannabis program – the entheogenic combination of my Kata-Rx and medical cannabis as a meditative, mind-expanding practice.

So there you have it, the evolution of my Kata-Rx and Katannabis programs symbolized by three belts. I look at them now not as symbols or ranks, but as my “Symbols of the Shaman.” But, that is for another day.

Until the next time, I remain, 

Sensei John Szmitkowski

And by-the-way:

You can try my Kata-Rx for FREE, safely and conveniently in the comfort of your own home by enrolling for FREE in my online class: https://kata-rx.teachable.com/p/preview-kata-as-moving-meditation

Endnotes:

 1. I had passed my fifth degree black belt (same coloring as the fourth degree except that the white stripe is black) onto my senior black belt. I buried my sixth degree black belt (one side alternating red and white panels with the other side black) with my father who would drive me to my earliest lessons when I was ten years old.

Follow Sensei John on Instagram. Simply follow “1day1lifetime” for daily updates on all of Sensei’s projects:

  • Kata-Rx for wellness & mindfullness;
  • Katannabis (the entheogenic combination of Kata-Rx & medical cannabis);
  • Kata-Rx & Koan daily meditations;

Enjoy your Instagram experience with Sensei John.

Sensei’s Journal: Entry # 18 – Katannabis, Snowstorms & Darts

7 Feb

Two days snowed in! 

No internet, no cable t.v., both knocked out by the high winds. What to do? Katannabis*meditation three times a day, write, and throw darts (which helps me write). Invent an entirely new, unheard of dart practice routine? Sure, why not.

It was the day after “Snowmaggedon.” Outside temps being in the single digits with below zero wind chills I didn’t mind staying in and having an extra day off work. I finished my noon time (second for the day) Katannabis. I took a break from writing.  I was practicing darts while watching “Bellies and Bullseyes” on YouTube when an idea for a new practice routine came to mind. I thought it through and then tried it and Damn it was fun!

Generally I find that after a good Katannabis meditation session my darts throwing is fluid and smooth. My mind is free of pressure and the idea of “achieving results” or improving. I simply throw for enjoyment and relaxation. True, I do want to hit the target, but thats a mere desire. I don’t add-on baggage and pressure. This allows my mind to wander (rather than concentrate on practice). 

As such, my darts practice is undisciplined. It but it generally contains a few simple routines:

1. throwing the cricket numbers counting the total number of hits;

2. twenty darts at 20 (100 darts at 20 once a week);

3. take out 121;

4. 20 darts at double 16, 8, 20, 10;

5. around the board counting the number of hits.

I have a few dart set ups in my collection, including one prized somewhat rare set from Accudart. I throw then all. (See endnote # 1) Choice of dart varies mostly depending on my mood, but sometimes my hand and joint discomfort will warrant one set over the others. At present I’m mostly throwing my newest set, the Shot Ronin Rei in 23 grams. 

I was feeling good from the Katannabis meditation session, comfortable with being “locked” inside and enjoying both the darts and the “Bellies and Bullseyes” when it hit me. How about playing a virtual game against once of these legendary pro players. As I threw more and more darts I let that idea germinate. Eventually I came up with this new, dare I say innovative, practice routine. I tried it and liked it. I wonder if anyone else has. Here’s what I came up with. Have you ever tried it? If not, give it a go and let me know what you think.

I put on a video of two players. In this instance as I was already watching Bellies and Bulleyes, I used one of the featured games. It was the championship match between Eric Bristow and Jocky Wilson (Episode Part 25 of Bellies and Bulleyes). Lets say I want to “play” a game versus Eric Bristow. I watch the video of him throwing. Then I throw when Jocky Wilson throws (you can pause the video if needed). I then continue in this manner until the game is done. If Bristow checked out and beat Wilson I look to see how my score faired against Wilson’s score. For instance Wilson my have been on 32 when I needed 132 to check out. If Bristow didn’t check out and Wilson won, then I see how my score faired against Bristow’s. I never checked out before the pro, but I can dream about it. Hmm, maybe a nine-darter!

Maybe it was the Katannabis, maybe I simply just had a really fun darts practice or simply enjoyed being home like a sixty year old school kid on a snow-day, but I had a helluva lot of fun with it. I hope you do to – – – 

And by-the-way you can try my Kata-Rx and Katannabis for FREE.

You can enroll my Kata-Rx for FREE, safely and conveniently in the comfort of your own home by enrolling for FREE in my online class: https://kata-rx.teachable.com/p/preview-kata-as-moving-meditation – if you desire, just add your own medical cannabis.

* Katannabis is the entheogenic combination of my Kata-Rx program and medical cannabis.

Until the next time, I remain, 

Sensei John Szmitkowski

Follow Sensei John on Instagram. Simply follow “1day1lifetime” for daily updates on all of Sensei’s projects:

  • Kata-Rx for wellness & mindfullness;
  • Katannabis (the entheogenic combination of Kata-Rx & medical cannabis);
  • Kata-Rx & Koan daily meditations;

Enjoy your Instagram experience with Sensei John.

Endnotes:

1. My current darts include the following (screen shot from my GoDarts profile page):

Sensei’s Journal: Entry # 17 – Katannabis Inspired Musings

31 Jan

Musings from this week’s Katannabis (the entheogenic combination of my Kata-Rx for wellness program and medical cannabis).

Katannabis often gives me insights into various matters. I record the more interesting ones in a journal. Sometimes they ripen into an article that I share here:  

 https://senseijohn.me/category/journal-senseis-kata-rx-exploration/ ; More often not, they remain my personal insights which I tend to hoard. This week I thought I’d share with you some of my journal entries – my rough musings from Katannabis. In the event that any of these musings ripen into a future article, I’ll attach a link here.

1. In order to make it seem like I know what I’m talking about, I want to start with insights into the practice of Katannabis itself.

Continuing to explore Seienchin Kata as it symbolizes Dante’s Portal in the inferno  https://senseijohn.me/2022/01/10/senseis-journal-entry-15-kata-rx-dante-seienchin/ I had the following insights:

  • First, the line “Before me nothing was created” is entangled with the title of “Sensei” which literally means “Before-being.”
  • Second, in the passage ” and when he placed his hand on mine, with a cheerful look from which I took comfort, he led me amongst the secret things.” I now understand that the “He” is Me (influenced by Katannabis in general and Seienchin in particular).

Exploration of and insights into the Suparunpei Kata as to the mandala-effect of performing two specific sections of the Kata with eyes closed and while being conscious of Dante’s Portal.

2. I had some truly noteworthy experiences performing Katannabis:

Wednesday morning while performing my pre-dawn Seipai Kata at the shop where the truck is parked, I was treated to a spectacularly bright view of the planet Venus.

Thursday night I performed Sanchin outside in the cold, clear night under the constellation Orion. It was enhanced by the melodic, haunting sound of a flute. One of my neighbors was either playing the instrument or listening to it.

3. Now for some of my general insights and musings during Katannabis:

I understand (and accept) that “Unwellness subsidizes wellness.” Damn, I really have to write more about that.

My average blood pressure of 153/81 mathematically results in a redigit,specifically 1.888888888888 to infinity

I came up with a new darts practice game. Generally, my dart game (after a good Katannabis session) is improving. I track my results on GoDart.Com

Its now Sunday and I’m starting to compose this article, aided by daily Katannabis sessions during the weekend. Rumor has it that the storm has caused a disruption in product deliveries. Maybe, just maybe we’ll be off Monday and I’ll have another day of intense Katannabis meditation sessions.

And by-the-way You can experience Katannabis for FREE:

Simply combine your medical cannabis and my Kata-Rx which you can try for FREE, safely and conveniently in the comfort of your own home by enrolling for FREE in my online class: https://kata-rx.teachable.com/p/preview-kata-as-moving-meditation

Until the next time, I remain, 

Sensei John Szmitkowski

Follow Sensei John on Instagram. Simply follow “1day1lifetime” for daily updates on all of Sensei’s projects:

  • Kata-Rx for wellness & mindfullness;
  • Katannabis (the entheogenic combination of Kata-Rx & medical cannabis);
  • Kata-Rx & Koan daily meditations;

Enjoy your Instagram experience with Sensei John.

Sensei’s Journal: Entry # 16 – Katannabis & Sherlock Holmes

24 Jan

Katannabis is the entheogenic combination of my Kata-Rx program for wellness and mindfulness combined with medical cannabis. It is a dynamic, moving meditative experience assisted by cannabis. It is my go-to form of meditation for wellness and mindfulness. Click here for my daily Katannabis session:  https://senseijohn.me/2021/05/03/my-daily-kata-rx-katannabis/

Not all of my Katannabis meditation sessions are geared towards my own state of Wellness and mindfulness. On those occasions when I am of sound body and good spirit, I am able to turn the session inwards onto itself. By that I mean that my mediation is geared towards furthering my understanding of the process of Katannabis. Recently I was able to do just that. Using Katannabis, and a Sherlock Holmes book, I was able to explore the function of medical cannabis as the entheogen for my Katannabis session.

This past Friday I had an morning appointment with my cardiologist. This meant that in addition to my normal two days off, I was able to enjoy a three day weekend. I was able to perform Katannabis not just nightly but also midday. Two sessions a day really fostered a superior physical and mental state. My Saturday midday session I delved deep into the role of medical cannabis. I felt great!

To enjoy my relaxed state even more, I picked up the latest book I’m reading. It is one of a sub-genre of Sherlock Holmes fiction wherein the sleuth is pitted against science fiction characters. It is The Shadwell Shadows, the first book in the Cthulhu Casebook trilogy by James Lovegrove. As fate would have it I came across a passage where an entheogen was used by Gong-Fen Shou to introduce Holmes to the alternative dimensions and its god-like inhabitants. Gong-Fen told Holmes, 

“Without the drug it would all be for naught. Nothing would happen. (The) dream-quest would not occur. I might as well just stand there twiddling my thumbs. If one wished to draw down lightening, one needed a lightening conductor, and such was the drug.”

Lovegrove, James, The Cthulhu Casebooks of Sherlock Holmes: The Shadwell Shadows (titan Books, 2016) E-Book chapter 10.


This made me think about the role of cannabis as an entheogen in Katannabis. Unlike Gong-Fen’s entheogen which was the sine quo non, or condition precedent for the experience. Meaning that without it the experience would not happen. The experience of wellness and mindfulness can be had in Kata-Rx without the entheogen.

So why then combine medical cannabis with Kata-Rx to produce Katannabis? The answer is that cannabis serves as an accelerant to the meditative state of mind that is achieved with Kata-Rx. Your state of mind at the start of Katannabis is already heightened by the cannabis. In my experience, it is akin to the state of mind achieved after a thirty minute Kata-Rx session in three or four minutes. So the cannabis is akin to performing a thirty minute Kata-Rx session and then immediately thereafter another thirty minute Kata-Rx session. 

And by the Way – You can try Katannabis for FREE:

You can try my Kata-Rx for FREE, safely and conveniently in the comfort of your own home by enrolling for FREE in my online class: https://kata-rx.teachable.com/p/preview-kata-as-moving-meditation  You provide your own medical cannabis.

Until the next time, I remain, 

Sensei John Szmitkowski

Follow Sensei John on Instagram. Simply follow “1day1lifetime” for daily updates on all of Sensei’s projects:

  • Kata-Rx for wellness & mindfullness;
  • Katannabis (the entheogenic combination of Kata-Rx & medical cannabis);
  • Kata-Rx & Koan daily meditations;

Enjoy your Instagram experience with Sensei John.

Sensei’s Journal: Entry # 15 – Kata-Rx, Dante & Seienchin

10 Jan

THINK * SWEAT * EXPERIMENT” with Kata. That’s the motto of my Kata Laboratory https://senseijohn.me/kata-lab/  It shows that Kata is an ongoing process. That process is both physical and mental. Recently I had a mental break through with a Kata called Seienchin (pronounced Say – en – chin). A video of Seienchin Kata can be viewed at the bottom of this page. Seienchin is found within both my Kata-Rx program for wellness and mindfulness (for non-martial artists) and my Katannabis Meditation. Again, Katannabis is my name for the entheogenic combination of my Kata-Rx and medical cannabis. 

The break through came in the interpretation of the name “Seienchin.” By way of background, every Kata has a name. That name hints at and represents the functionality of the Kata. Often this aspect of the Kata is simply accepted by traditional karate practitioners. By that I mean they will analyze the physical aspects of Kata but ignore the non-physical aspects. For decades I have maintained that there are three aspects of Kata, to wit: the Physical, the Spiritual, or non-physical (how Kata affects your mental psyche, emotions and state-of-mind) and the Environmental (how the Kata interacts with your surroundings and vice-versa.

The last few months have been a trying time. I find that during such challenging times, I delve deeper into my Kata-Rx and Katannabis as a means of enduring the challenges, both physical and mental. It was during a recent Katannabis session that I discovered a new view of Seienchin. This discovery has not only helped me in the short term deal with what was and is occurring in my life, but also given me a new long-term perspective both on the Kata and life in general. Remember, “Life is a Kata.” ™

The name “Seienchin” is written with the following Kanji:

Kanji for “Seienchin”, sumi-e ink on rice paper

It loosely means “Stellar Nebula Battle.” It describes a means of defense where, through the Kata, you compress your energy deep within you (in a point known as the “Hara”) and then expand it outward to maximize power and effect. Euphemistically, the name has been interpreted as “The calm in the storm / the storm in the calm” and “To walk far to quell and conquer.” 

During my Katannabis session, I mediated on a favorite passage from Dante’s Inferno and performed my Katannabis session. When I got to the performance of Seienchin Kata, I found that the Kata perfectly reflected the passage. I now use this realization in my Katannabis with great results. The passage is found in Canto III to the Inferno:

. . . Justice moved my high maker: The Divine Power made me, the Supreme Wisdom and the Primal love. Before me, nothing was created, if not eternal and eternal I endure . . .

Dante’s Inferno, Canto III

The performance of Seienchin Kata requires that you endure the physical demands of the Kata. This includes deep, low stances, regulated breath control, dynamic tensing and relaxing the muscles groups, slow, methodic movement contrasted with explosive powerful sequences, and the like. Such a performance led me down the path of understanding my present, challenging  situation. Now, through the Kata, I can deal with it.

The start of Seienchin Kata

Dante continued his passage with the poet Virgil asking:

I said: “Master, their meaning is hard for me.” and he to me as one who understands, “Here let all cowardice be dead….” and when he placed his hand on mine, with a cheerful look from which I took comfort, he led me amongst the secret things.

Id.

Unlike Dante, I’m not going to disclose the secret things my discovery has provided to me. Maybe, that will be the subject of a future article – maybe. You see the true import of both Kata-Rx and Katannabis is the discoveries the performer finds on his or her own. 

Remember, its EASY and FREE to get started!

You can try my Kata-Rx for FREE, safely and conveniently in the comfort of your own home by enrolling for FREE in my online class: https://kata-rx.teachable.com/p/preview-kata-as-moving-meditation

Until the next time, “Life is a Kata” ™

I remain,

Sensei John Szmitkowski

Video of Seienchin Kata

Follow Sensei John on Instagram. Simply follow “1day1lifetime” for daily updates on all of Sensei’s projects:

  • Kata-Rx for wellness & mindfullness;
  • Katannabis (the entheogenic combination of Kata-Rx & medical cannabis);
  • Kata-Rx & Koan daily meditations;

Enjoy your Instagram experience with Sensei John.

Sensei’s Journal: Entry # 14 – Labor Day

6 Sep

“When the body is tired, the mind will often create worries to focus on.” – yumg pueblo

Labor Day weekend. 

For bankers, stock brokers, and office workers the weekend celebrating “labor” is a three day mini-vacation. For actual “labor,” who regularly work a six day work week, it is a mere two days off from work. Two-days, what the aforesaid office worker weekly takes for granted.

At any rate, I was grateful for these two days. I needed a break mentally, emotionally and physically from a grueling summer work schedule. Six days of waking at 5:05 am and not returning home until 6:00 pm (“Thank God of an ‘early’ day”) or even 8:00 pm (“Oh, damn.”). This last week before Labor Day, I was shot. Wednesday promised and delivered a rain day. Normally a day off for outside construction work. But, guess what. We had a rare inside job. No need for a rain day off. I finally made it to Saturday. Work ended and I was home by 4:30 – “Wow an extra-early day.”

Now, Monday morning I actually got to sit down at my laptop with a coffee and bagel to tell you the thing that has me quasi-recuperated in body and especially mind is my routine of Kata-Rx For Wellness, Katannabis* and meditation. *Katannabis is the entheogenic combination of my Kata-Rx and medical cannabis. 

I had intended to go into specifics of my routine and meditation. Frankly this blog is full of articles, insights, methods and instruction. Simply search the categories to the right. I would recommend: Kata-Rx For Wellness, Katannabis, Sensei’s Journal and Sanchin.

As I now close the laptop to do a morning Kata and mediation session, I hope my demons will remain at bay at least for the majority of the coming week. Time will tell. I will emphatically say – what got me through last week and what will get me through the coming week is my methods and practices. Without them, I probably spend the day in bed folding and curling inwardly. Ah, the Willow Moon.

“Though our phantoms will never leave us, our demons are almost gone.” – Emilie Autumn

You can try my Kata-Rx for FREE, safely and conveniently in the comfort of your own home by enrolling for FREE in my online class: https://kata-rx.teachable.com/p/preview-kata-as-moving-meditation

Respectfully submitted,

Sensei John Szmitkowski

Follow Sensei John on Instagram. Simply follow “1day1lifetime” for daily updates on all of Sensei’s projects:

  • Kata-Rx for wellness & mindfullness;
  • Katannabis (the entheogenic combination of Kata-Rx & medical cannabis);
  • Kata-Rx & Koan daily meditations;

Enjoy your Instagram experience with Sensei John.

Sensei’s Journal: Entry # 13 – Katannabis & College Memories

26 Jul

A therapeutic benefit of Katannabis (the entheogenic combination of Kata-Rx and medical cannabis) meditation sessions is the ability to recall suppressed memories. Recently I recalled my college experience. This was unusual as my experience was not a fulfilling one. Definitely not one I would look back upon with fondness.

I attended Fairleigh Dickinson University (FDU) in Rutherford, New Jersey. I graduated in 1984 (Magna Cum Laude). I didn’t attend my graduation and simply choose to have my diploma mailed. The University was great. A wonderful institution in a remarkable setting. It was my ability to engage in it that was “off.”

With the exception of the first semester, I worked full time and attended class in the evening. So as to graduate in four years, I also took summer evening classes. There wasn’t a lot of free time to experience the so called “college experience.”

But, there was that first semester. I had saved what I thought was enough money for tuition. This allowed me to work part-time a few evenings a week and attended college full-time during the day. That was a great experience. Unfortunately it didn’t last. I needed more tuition than I anticipated. I changed to the evening sessions and got a full time job – again. My memories of college retained my experiences of the next seven semesters. That first semester was buried deep in my consciousness.

My Katannabis allowed me to recall many, many fond memories of the semester that I had long forgotten. I wrote a comparison of memories from that first semester and those of the subsequent seven semesters wherein I went at night. Lo and behold there were many more. Better still the memories were more rich and fond. 

My Journal Notes

I realized instead of allowing the seven evening semesters to define my college experience. I can choose to focus on the memories of that first semester. I felt better and Katannabis helped.

Try it yourself:

You can try my Kata-Rx for FREE, safely and conveniently in the comfort of your own home by enrolling for FREE in my online class: https://kata-rx.teachable.com/p/preview-kata-as-moving-meditation

Respectfully submitted,

Sensei John Szmitkowski

Follow Sensei John on Instagram. Simply follow “1day1lifetime” for daily updates on all of Sensei’s projects:

  • Kata-Rx for wellness & mindfullness;
  • Katannabis (the entheogenic combination of Kata-Rx & medical cannabis);
  • Kata-Rx & Koan daily meditations;

Enjoy your Instagram experience with Sensei John.

My Katannabis Kata Syllabus

14 Jun

This week I want to share with you the specific Kata that I perform during my Katannabis sessions. Again, Katannabis is the entheogenic combination of my Kata-Rx and medical cannabis. 

An important note:  For those readers that do not know a Kata. Don’t worry, you can learn a Kata that I specifically designed for you for FREE. Using  this “One Day / One Lifetime” Kata, you, too can experience the life enhancing benefits of Katannabis. A link to my FREE online course where you can learn at your own pace in the comfort of your home is contained in Endnote # 1.

Before I reveal my Katannabis Kata, I need to emphasize that you do not need to learn these specific Kata. Any style’s Kata syllabus can provide the necessary Kata. (To view Kata videos, please see Endnote # 2 )To assist you in creating your own Katannabis syllabus I have placed the kata into levels of functionality; what is to be desired from the kata performance. For purposes of this article I have used general descriptions as to the purpose of each level. Each level builds upon the next facilitating the transformation from a physical-based reality to a more spiritual-based experience. A deep discussion is beyond the ken of this article, his will be more greatly discussed in future articles.

Level 1:

Facilitates the physical: Kata are strong, swift and create a need for oxygen intake. One important characteristic is that the kata contain similar sequences and a similar pattern with one building on the other. (see Endnote # 3)

my Katannabis Kata:

Fuku

Gekisai

Level 2:

Similarly facilitates the physical experience but using one Kata. This Kata should be somewhat unique within the system containing, inter alia, a unique pattern and sequences.

my Katannabis Kata:

Kunchaba

Level 3:

Contains two Kata, one a physical Kata and another that introduces the enhanced breathing methodology of certain Goju-Ryu Kata (see Endnote # 4)

My Katannabis Kata:

Ananku

Seipai

(Now starts my Sacred Trinity of Kata)

Level 4:

One Kata should now achieve the same physical to spiritual (represented by the enhanced breathing). Whereas the previous level symbolized this with two Kata, this level reinforces the transition with one Kata.

My Katannabis Kata:

Seienchin

Level 5:

Fully encapsulates the Katannabis experience in one Kata.

My Katannabis Kata:

Suparunpei

Level 6:

Hard-wires the spiritual experience into your physical reality

My Katannabis Kata:

Sanchin

Zazen (using Sa, Ta Na Ma concepts)

Seems relatively simple. Trust me, the above summarizes a decades of my mental “Kata Laboratory.” For almost fifty years, I lived my motto of “Think * Sweat * Experiment” with Kata. It hasn’t always been easy. In the future, I’ll dissect each kata, the functionality of each level and the slight modifications of the kata. At this juncture I will note that the modification highlights and emphasizes a physical posture that is found within all the kata of Katannabis. That posture serves to connect one kata to the next, one level to the next. Thus, while performing individual kata, the entire Katannabis experience is unified. All is in fact, one.

Respectfully submitted, 

Sensei John Szmitkowski

ENDNOTES:

1. You can learn my Kata-Rx for FREE, safely and conveniently in the comfort of your own home by enrolling for FREE in my online class: https://kata-rx.teachable.com/p/preview-kata-as-moving-meditation

2. To view the Kata mentioned in this article, please use this link:  https://senseijohn.me/kata-syllabus/   and select the Kata you wish to view.

3. Examples include the Taikiyoku series of Kata, the Gekisai series of Kata, The Pinan series and the like.

4. At this point, the Katannabis performer may need to learn these kata. At a bare minimum, the kata Sanchin MUST be learned.

Social Media:

Follow Sensei John on Instagram. Simply follow “1day1lifetime” for daily updates on all of Sensei’s projects:

  • Kata-Rx for wellness & mindfullness;
  • Katannabis (the entheogenic combination of Kata-Rx & medical cannabis);
  • Kata-Rx & Koan daily meditations;

Enjoy your Instagram experience with Sensei John.

Sensei’s Journal Entry # 10: Wednesday’s Secret

10 May

Just let me fight my secret war.”

— inspired by a lyric from Concrete Blonde’s “Joey”

All wars cost. Death, maiming, destruction, mental anguish & despair. Internal wars are not excluded. Pain, aches, fatigue, uncertainty, survival. War is declared, “One country has invaded another,” “X-country has declared war on Y-country. Internal war is silent, it creeps on caterpillar feet.* No one knows, save for the person fighting it.

A laundry list of mental sludge oozes through the mind’s soul. Festering bubbles of memory pulsate and dare you to prick them with mind allowing their stink to vent. Toxic ooze bubble by to drown the mind-soul. Secret, silent War has been declared. Weapons deployed to fend off the attack. The first salvo of Katannabis fired. 

These were my thoughts, presented (without further clarification) after a particularly satisfying, rare, morning Katannabis session Wednesday May 5th, the first rain day cancellation of work in five weeks of six workdays a week. Five days off and thirty five days of work. Fatigue, fortitude, perseverance. A streak broken. The text message received at 6:11 that morning, announcing work was cancelled was the traditional:

“Game called today on account of rain, I will see you tomorrow at the usual time.”

A day off from physical aches and pains and mental fatigue. But the war still rages. Battles to encounter before I sleep. Rain, don’t think of enjoying the day, having fun. Think rather of what to do today to make surviving tomorrow easier.

To secret wars,

Sensei John Szmitkowski

* inspired by a poem by Dennis Rhodes,  “. . . the tide creeps in on caterpillar feet, silent and complete.”

** the poem is the photo is an abbreviated version for my Instagram, the full poem by Emil Cioran (which I found on the “Poetic Outlaws” Facebook page) is: “ I have always lived with the awareness of the impossibility of living. And what has made existence endurable to me is my curiosity as to how I would get from one minute, one day, one year to the next.”

FREE help in your secret war:

You can try my Kata-Rx for FREE, safely and conveniently in the comfort of your own home by enrolling for FREE in my online class: https://kata-rx.teachable.com/p/preview-kata-as-moving-meditation

Follow Sensei John on Instagram. Simply follow “1day1lifetime” for daily updates on all of Sensei’s projects:

  • Kata-Rx for wellness & mindfullness;
  • Katannabis (the entheogenic combination of Kata-Rx & medical cannabis);
  • Kata-Rx & Koan daily meditations;

Enjoy your Instagram experience with Sensei John.

My Daily Kata-Rx & Katannabis

3 May

There’s been interest in my specific daily Katannabis / Kata-Rx routine. So, let me share it with you. If there’s anything that keeps me going it is this very routine.

Each day I engage in two Kata-Rx meditative session. One in the evening and one in the morning.

For my own reasons I consider the evening session the first session and the morning session the second. I’ll explain the import of this in a future article. What lay between, six days a week, is work, thus it becomes part of the meditative ritual. The hardships of earning a living are softened by transforming it from a physical activity to a spiritual meditative pursuit.

Through the unique blending of sessions, work, sandwiched in the middle, effectively becomes part of the session. As arduous and physically challenging that work is, it becomes part of my meditation. Thus, the physical demands of work are transformed into a spiritual endeavor. But much more on that in a future article.

      The first session is my evening session. I usually perform this session around 6:30. If I’m not home from work in sufficient time, I may abbreviate the evening session. This session is my Katannabis session (the entheogenic combination of my Kata-Rx and medical cannabis). During this session, I utilize a micro-dose of cannabis followed by my Katannabis ritual. I start by performing the various kata that are included in the ritual. This is then followed by ten minutes of my personalized zazen, seated meditation. I personalize my zazen by incorporating “Sa – Ta – Na – Ma” chanting, proceeding to a seated Ghost Hands Kata (single hand version) with additional meditative movements. Please recall that in the single hand version, you visualize performing the double hand version. Here’s a link for more details on my Zazen https://senseijohn.me/2021/01/18/senseis-kata-rx-journal-entry-2-my-daily-zazen/

The result of the Katannabis session is a deep-rooted, primordial sense of alert-calmness, a state I describe as an awakened erotic euphoria.

      My morning Kata-Rx session is performed in three distinct stages. At no time is medical cannabis involved in the morning session, thus it is a Kata-Rx session not Katannabis. The first stage is at home as I prepare for my work day. It involves performing various Katannabis Kata (without the medical cannabis). These kata will vary; however, I always perform the Kata Suparunpei. Every Wednesday I perform the Kunchaba Kata in memory of my friend and comrade Shihan Wayne Norlander, R.I.P. Right before I leave for work, I go outside, start my motorcycle and perform Sanchin Kata as the bike warms. I then leave.

      After I arrive at the shop, I text my wife I’m safe. Hey, first things first. I then sit on my bike and repeat my zazen ritual. In this session I only visualize performing the single hand version of my Ghost Hand Kata. Thus, I engage in a double visualization – visualizing performing the single hand Ghost Hand which includes a visualization of performing the double hand Ghost Hand Kata. Zazen concluded, my work day officially started. I’ll use my Kata-Rx as needed throughout the day to make it until the work days end when I again return home.

So that’s my daily Katannabis ritual (evening) and Kata-Rx meditation (morning). You can learn Kata-Rx for FREE in my online school using this secure link: https://kata-rx.teachable.com/p/preview-kata-as-moving-meditation

Well that’s my Kata-Rx session and Katannabis ceremony. Until next time, I remain,

Sensei’s Journal Entry # 9: Kamawan

12 Apr

I’m going to use this week’s nightly Katannabis to more deeply explore the depths of meaning of this cryptic sign that was displayed outside “hard-core” dojo in antiquity.

As you can see, the sign has two elements. A Kama (sickle) and a Wan (rice bowl). Together they symbolize the word “Kamawan.” While there is no direct translation of Kamawan, the phrase is interpreted variously as “It doesn’t matter” and “I(we) don’t care.” Martial oral tradition has a more figurative interpretation. When hung and displayed outside “hard-core” Dojo, the phrase Kamawan was interpreted as:

“We don’t care if you enter or not, we don’t care if you challenge us or not.”(See endnote # 1)

I’ve often meditated on the implications and applications of Kamawan. Last month during a nightly Katannabis session, I began to see more, let’s say “spiritual” applications. Normally, I would include my thoughts in a journal entry and post it here. However, since I somewhat recenlty discovered Instagram, I’ll post my observations daily all this week on Instagram. Simply follow me at “1Day1Lifetime.

Great News! Kamawan for FREE!

You can try my Kata-Rx for FREE, safely and conveniently in the comfort of your own home by enrolling for FREE in my online class: https://kata-rx.teachable.com/p/preview-kata-as-moving-meditation

Until next time, Kamawan,

Sensei John Szmitkowski

Follow Sensei John on Instagram. Simply follow “1day1lifetime” for daily updates on all of Sensei’s projects:

  • Kata-Rx for wellness & mindfullness;
  • Katannabis (the entheogenic combination of Kata-Rx & medical cannabis);
  • Kata-Rx & Koan daily meditations;

Enjoy your Instagram experience with Sensei John.

ENDNOTES:

1. Kamawanu is an integral part of oral tradition of Goshin-Do Karate-Do. It is the companion to the tale of Dojo Yaburi, or those that would challenge a Dojo owner and keep his fees for one month’s teaching – if he was not up to the challenge. The following reference to Kamawanu may be both of interest and helpful: Furuya, Kensho, Kodo: Ancient Ways (O’Hara Publishing, Santa Clarita, CA, 1996) p. 40.

Sensei’s Journal – Entry # 8: Bees & Dragons

22 Mar

A favorite practice in both my Kata-Rx For Wellness and Katannabis meditation (the entheogenic combination of Kata-Rx and medical cannabis) is to contemplate a koan, idea, concept or poem. Here is one example from last night’s Katannabis. This one is martial in nature. It was born of war.


In last night’s Katannabis, I used it to consider its application to a peaceful, serene lifestyle. Much of martial ideology superficially speaks in terms of conflict. A deeper understanding of it leads one down a peaceful path of conflict resolution.

The koan abbreviates a lesson from the wars of antiquity. The original can be found in Opinions In Ninety-Nine Articles”, Takeda Nobushige (1525-1561). The full text is: “One’s soldiers should not yell abuse at the enemy. An old saying goes, “Arouse a bee and it will come back at you with the force of a dragon.”

          Try Kata-Rx yourself for FREE:
You can try my Kata-Rx for FREE, safely and conveniently in the comfort of your own home by enrolling for FREE in my online class: https://kata-rx.teachable.com/p/preview-kata-as-moving-meditation

Here’s another example of Kata-Rx and a Koan you may enjoy filmed in a gentle snowfall.



Respectfully submitted,


Sensei John Szmitkowski


Follow Sensei John on Instagram. Simply follow “1day1lifetime” for daily updates on all of Sensei’s projects:

   Kata-Rx for wellness & mindfullness;

    Katannabis (the entheogenic combination of Kata-Rx & medical cannabis);

    Kata-Rx & Koan daily meditations;

    Kata Laboratory where you can “Think – Sweat – Experiment” with your Kata & Sensei John’s innovative concepts.

Enjoy your Instagram experience with Sensei John.

Sensei’s Journal – Entry # 7: I Can Make God Smile

8 Mar

Monday, March 1st, 2021
A rare treat. A Monday morning Katannabis session (The entheogenic combination of Kata-Rx and medical cannabis). I woke and readied myself for work. At 6:15 am I found out work was cancelled due to heavy rain. By 7:30 I had started Katannabis. I had no idea that this impromptu session would, simply, blow-me-away.

 

Recently I added a recitation of the Christian “Act of Contrition” to my Katannabis sessions. (See Endnote) Why? I’m not sure. I guess as a means of atoning to That which is greater than me. I do this without religious connotations. The self-inventory, reflection and confession is a very cleansing experience. It enhances the overall effect of Katannabis.

That morning I intoned the traditional version but then just simply opened my heart. I talked to God plain, simple and frank, sometimes in course language. I then sat quietly in Zazen. I felt like I never felt before. My impromptu, unscripted confession and atonement was, pardon me, like a big spiritual bowel movement. The bowels of my soul unclogged, emptied, lightened. No longer bloated with accumulated spiritual waste, I can move forward.Whether or not my days of walking life’s path would continue is something outside of my control. Choosing to walk the Path in a righteous, ascendant manner is entirely within my control.To ascend as high as a flawed human being could go; to be God-like until the time comes when I am called to once again return to God.

It then occurred to me that this might make God happy. To see one of his creations reach up towards His lofty heights. Maybe God would even “smile.”

It is in my sole power, as a flawed human, to make God smile. That’s empowering. Stay on the Path. Be the fullest expression of who you can be. Maybe God will notice, maybe God would smile. I’m okay with that. Though, I do wonder, if I pleased God, will He call upon me sooner?



Until the next time, I remain,


Sensei John Szmitkowski

         Start your own Path:
You can try my Kata-Rx for FREE, safely and conveniently in the comfort of your own home by enrolling for FREE in my online class: https://kata-rx.teachable.com/p/preview-kata-as-moving-meditation

Follow Sensei John on Instagram. Simply follow “1day1lifetime” for daily updates on all of Sensei’s projects:

– Kata-Rx for wellness & mindfullness;

– Katannabis (the entheogenic combination of Kata-Rx & medical cannabis);

– Kata-Rx & Koan daily meditations;

Enjoy your Instagram experience with Sensei John.

ENDNOTES:

1. The traditional Act Of Contrition is:
“O my God, I am heartily sorry for having offended Thee, and I detest all my sins because of thy just punishments, but most of all because they offend Thee, my God, who art all good and deserving of all my love.
I firmly resolve with the help of Thy grace to sin no more and to avoid the near occasion of sin. Amen.

2. The poem in my “Days end” photo is an adaptation of the death poem of the Samurai Okabe Tadazumi (1144 – 1184) killed in battle (the poem found in his quiver) the original is: 

“Overtaken by darkness 

I will lodge under a tree 

Flowers alone host me.”

 

Sensei’s Journal Entry # 6: I Find An Umbrella

1 Mar

I’ve had some, oh shall we say, unusual experiences as a result of my exploration of Katannabis (the entheogenic combination of my Kata-Rx and medical cannabis). During last night’s Katannabis a strange but true story from eight years ago came to mind. There are very few people that know this unexplained tale. Now, you will join them

Eight years ago my father died. The day after his funeral I found an umbrella. Doesn’t sound strange? Doesn’t hint at the “other-worldly?” Ah, but wait.

The morning after Dad’s funeral I was at a park doing my Kata-Rx. After finishing, I took a short walk around the park. I walked towards a pavilion. Reaching the pavilion, I had a desire to do one more kata; Suparunpei Kata, a very spiritual kata. During the kata, something off in a distant corner caught my eye. I decided to check it out. It was an umbrella. Some one must have forgotten it from yesterday when it had rained. I decided to check it out. So I opened it and saw an insignia.

When I saw the insignia, an electric chill ran up from my fingers, upwards through my arm to fill my body. The insignia was the logo for St. Peter’s Prep, a school in Jersey City, New Jersey.

St. Peter’s Prep is not just any school. It was where my father, whom we buried yesterday, went to school.

This was on my mind when at the end of a rainy Sunday, the last day of February, 2021, I performed my daily Katannabis meditation.

        You can try my Kata-Rx for FREE, safely and conveniently in the comfort of your own home by enrolling for FREE in my online class: https://kata-rx.teachable.com/p/preview-kata-as-moving-meditation

Until the next time, I remain,


Sensei John Szmitkowsk

 

Follow Sensei John on Instagram. Simply follow “1day1lifetime” for daily updates on all of Sensei’s projects:

  • Kata-Rx for wellness & mindfullness;
  • Katannabis (the entheogenic combination of Kata-Rx & medical cannabis);
  • Kata-Rx & Koan daily meditations;
  • Kata Laboratory where you can “Think – Sweat – Experiment” with your Kata & Sensei John’s innovative concepts.

Enjoy your Instagram experience with Sensei John.

 

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