Tag Archives: #1Day1Lifetime

Sensei’s Kata-Rx Journal Entry # 2: My Daily Zazen

18 Jan

Zazen, seated meditation, is an integral part of my daily Katannabis / Kata-Rx practice. I use two different forms of zazen each day.

The first is part of my evening Katannabis (the entheogenic combination of Kata-Rx and medical cannabis, for more please use this link: https://senseijohn.me/2020/10/26/kata-rx-medical-cannabis-katannabis-2/ ).

During my evening zazen, I sit quietly in my darkened bedroom. I perform a “Sa-Ta-Na-Ma” chant (I’ll have an article on this in the near future). Then I perform a single hand Ghost Hand Kata while seated. This is followed by a series of movements from the Suparunpei Kata (I’ll video on this soon). I then close with a final “Sa-Ta-Na-Ma” chant.

The second zazen session I perform sitting on my motorcycle after I have arrived at work.



I do this session with eyes closed until the final chanting. I start with a “Sa-Ta-Na-Ma” chanting session. I then again, “perform” the ghost hand except that I do not physically do so. I sit still and perform the Ghost Hand Kata completely in my mind. I also perform the movements of Suparunpei Kata entirely in my mind. I then close with a “Sa-Ta-Na-Ma” chanting session.

So there’s my daily zazen which is an integral part of my daily Katannabis (evening) and Kata-Rx (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

See you in class,

Sensei John Szmitkowski

          Wow!
Course # 1 in my Kata-RX For Wellness & Mindfulness is now FREE!
Use this link to join for FREE – https://kata-rx.teachable.com/p/preview-kata-as-moving-meditation

Sensei’s Kata-Rx Journal Entry # 1: A Sensei Inspires . . .

11 Jan

“Goshin-Do Karate Black Belts can’t be killed. We only die when we are ready to die and not before.” Shihan Thomas DeFelice, January 3rd, 2021
———-oooooOOOooooo———-

2020 was a tough year. I don’t think anyone reading this would disagree. By New Years eve I couldn’t wait for it to end. The final straw that broke my mental state was the loss of my younger brother Rob on the day after Christmas. Bruised and battered, I had enough. I bordered on beaten.

Circa 1975, my brother Rob a purple belt standing next to me on the far right.

I had e-mailed my Sensei, Tom DeFelice, to let him know of Rob’s passing. He replied and asked how things were going. My response was that things were rough. I referenced an ethos within Sensei’s dojo – Anyone that earned the rank of black belt in our style would be physically, mentally and emotionally men of iron. This standard is reflected in the numbers. Sensei DeFelice taught thousands during four decades of operating his Dojo. Yet, only twenty-four persons ever earned black belt rank. The standards were that high. https://defeliceryu.com/yudansha-roster/

Iron can rust and crack. So too can men (of iron). I was rusted but not quite cracked.

Sensei replied to my e-mail. In addition to expressing his condolences, Sensei included the above quote. Now, obviously, Sensei was talking from a philosophical, psychological standpoint, not a physical fact. That quote was exactly what I needed to hear. It struck a cord to the point that I dedicated my daily Kata-Rx meditations to it. I meditated deeply attempting to discover each level of thought contained in that seemingly simple statement. To be sure, I continue my exploration of its riches.


It is said in the martial arts, “When a student is ready the teacher will appear.” What is not said is how a good, pure teacher knows not only when, but also how to reappear. Sensei’s profound words were exactly what I needed to hear. Thanks Sensei – With those words one of your Goshin-Do Karate black belt takes yet another step up the rocky mountain.


Submitted with gratitude,


Sensei John Szmitkowski

To learn my Kata-Rx For Wellness & Mindfulness for FREE please use this safe, convenient link – https://kata-rx.teachable.com/p/preview-kata-as-moving-meditation

Welcome To My Kata-Rx Journal

4 Jan

The cartography of the inner soul is nothing to be afraid of.” – Casey Hardison

I wonder often, “How to spread the word about both my Kata-Rx and Katannabis without seeming like a cheesy ad-man?” Unable to come to a decision, I held off promoting my online school on social media platforms and the like. Now, after a deep reflective Kata-Rx / Katannabis session, I’ve found an answer.

Its time to pull back the curtain. The only way I can tell you about the benefits of my programs to to bring you right into my world. I practice both Kata-Rx and Katannabis daily. I do this because, well, life isn’t easy. Without my daily ritual I would say its unbearable at times. So to this end I’ll be launching a journal of my trials, tribulations and how Kata-Rx and Katannabis get me through. It may, at times, be dark, but it will be real.

   You can learn Kata-Rx For Wellness & Mindfulness for FREE! Use this safe, convenient link to my online school https://kata-rx.teachable.com/p/preview-kata-as-moving-meditation . Learn at your convenience, at your own pace in your home.

   For more on Katannabis (the entheogenic combination of Kata-Rx and medical cannabis, for more please use this link: https://senseijohn.me/2020/10/26/kata-rx-medical-cannabis-katannabis-2/

Here’s a preview of my Kata-Rx filmed in Provincetown, MA 

My best,

Sensei John Szmitkowski

2021 – The Mind Of The White Belt

28 Dec

Its been one helluva 2020. That’s soon to be the past. 2021, what will it bring? I’m not sure but I know that I’ll approach 2021 with the mind of a white belt. 

The concept of the mind of a white belt is derived from a Goshin-Do Karate percept, “Observe with the mind of a white belt.” The while belt, worn by novice students, is said to symbolize purity and innocence in terms of preconceptions as to Karate. When a Karate-Ka (student of Karate) first enters the Dojo, the neophyte observes without preconceived thought or emotion. Thus, one observes every detail, even the most minute, with the pure eyes of a child. In doing so, one is able to capture the inner most aspect of a Karate-Do technique and incorporate it into one’s personal repertoire.

Prior to the advent of modern colored belts, a Karate-Ka would wear the same belt (a white belt) during his entire training. Although the Karate uniform would be laundered  regularly, as a sign of respect, the Karate-Ka would not wash his belt. Over time, the white belt would become soiled. The belt would even be used to wipe the sweat from one’s brow after training. Thus, the belt would become discolored, eventually turning black from use, wear and tear. This is the humble birth of the all too coveted black belt.

To cast off 2020 and welcome the unknown of 2021, we need to shed our internal black belt. Our preconceptions, emotions and perhaps even thoughts have become “soiled” over time. In the first millisecond of 2021, we should commit to don the belt of a novice and view the minutest details of the unfolding year with a pure and innocent heart and spirit. Let’s all become the exalted white belt.

   To help you achieve the mind of a white belt, you can join for FREE online Kata-Rx For Wellness course. Again, its FREE, safe convenient, learn to your own pace in the privacy of your own home using this link: https://kata-rx.teachable.com/p/preview-kata-as-moving-meditation

You can read the many articles in my Kata-Rx For Wellness Blog here:  https://senseijohn.me/category/kata-rx-for-wellness-mindfulness/

See you in class,

Sensei John Szmitkowski

Perfect Christmas Gift – Kata-RX Online Classes For FREE!

14 Dec
sphynix kata

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Kata-RX For Wellness makes the perfect Christmas Gift! ANYone, ANYwhere, ANYtime can use Kata-RX for physical wellness and mental well-being and mindfulness. Since the first course is free, why not also treat yourself?

First, Wow, Course # 1 in my Kata-RX For Wellness & Mindfulness is now FREE! Use this link to join for FREE – https://kata-rx.teachable.com/p/preview-kata-as-moving-meditation

Second, you can enhance your Kata-RX For Wellness & Mindfulness with the next, more advanced course. This course is only $ 55 (or a two payment option of $ 30. each). Either way, there’s a full refund in thirty days if not completely satisfied!

Third, there is nothing else to but! I designed Kata-RX for wellness and mindfulness not as a “brand”, “marketing scheme” or “merchandising opportunity.” All you need is within you twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week.

Fourth, its EASY. You need not be athletic. You can even perform Kata-RX while sitting or in bed!

Fifth, it takes very little of your precious time!

Literally, there is NO EXCUSE to not try Kata-RX for wellness and mindfulness this Holiday Season!

Checkout the video below and see for yourself. CAUTION – once you see the video you will realize you have NO EXCUSE to not try Kata-RX for wellness and mindfulness.

See you in class, start for FREE
Use this link to join for FREE – https://kata-rx.teachable.com/p/preview-kata-as-moving-meditation

Sensei John Szmitkowski

Ghost OF Christmas Future – A Katannabis Koan

30 Nov

     I supplement my daily Katannabis (the combination of Kata-Rx and medical cannabis) with the use of a koan. A koan, in general is a thought provoking Zen riddle. The classic, “What is the sound of one hand clapping,” is an example. In my practice I include philosophical concepts, quotes and other such mind-benders. Though many are derived from the numerous books I read (38 this year as of today according to my Goodreads account) they can come from many sources, some unexpected.

    Tradition dictates that the Saturday after Thanksgiving my wife and I put up our Christmas tree. This year, we were blessed to have our young grandson join us. As background noise, we were watching a recording of the Dr. Who “A Christmas Carol” episode (S6 E 0, air date 12/25/10). No plot spoilers here except to say that there was an interesting plot liberality when The Doctor acted as the Ghost Of Christmas Future. Instead of showing the Scrooge-character named Kazran, played by Michael Gambon, his future, The Doctor showed Kazran as a child what his future was, in effect, what he would become. For some reason, that whole concept hit me hard. “What would it be like if my 19 year old self could see my 59 year old self?”

Sensei Nick, myself, Shihan Don Nagle, Circa: 1975

Nineteen was a pivotal age for me. It was therefore a good age upon which to base my reflection. That night during Katannabis I meditated on the idea. It was so profound that I continued for several nights and plan on doing so until Christmas. I am keeping a journal of my thoughts. Page after page I recorded memories long buried. Some good, others not so. I’m curious to see what else will be revealed in the coming days. The process is profound. Not easy to be sure, but painfully honest, cleansing like a spiritual colon-cleaning. The memories, comfortable and uncomfortable produce and foster an acceptance, for lack of a better word.

My results were and continue to be so deep, I would encourage you to embark on your own Katannabis journey and meditate on what a younger version of yourself would think if it met you today.

    You can learn My Kata-Rx to use in your Katannabis ceremony using this safe, convenient link to my online school enrollment is FREE!   https://kata-rx.teachable.com/p/preview-kata-as-moving-meditation 

      For more on Katannabis, the entheogenic combination of my Kata-Rx and medical cannabis, please use this link: https://senseijohn.me/2020/10/26/kata-rx-medical-cannabis-katannabis-2/

For more on the use of Koans with either your Kata-Rx For Wellness or Katannabis, please use this link: https://senseijohn.me/2019/09/25/kata-koan-preview-sea-monsters-in-your-ocean/         Here’s a video of one of my Katannabis/Koan sessions in the “Depth Of Winter”


Enjoy your Kata-Rx and Katannabis,

Sensei John Szmitkowski

Holiday Stress? Try Kata-RX For FREE!

23 Nov

   It seems but the blink of an eye. Or perhaps, more appropriately the jingle of a bell. Once again the Christmas Season is upon us. That means one thing – extra Holiday stress. To compound that, “Christmas comes early this year” seems to be on everyone’s lips. It seems somehow, Thanksgiving conspired to add to the stress by “Coming late” and thus, there’s less time to shop for Christmas.

   Is there no relief? “Yes!” Treat yourself to the wellness and mindfulness benefits of Kata-RX for FREE!. Take a moment to give back to yourself. Take a deep breath and clear your mind. You have nothing to loose, its FREE!

Kata-RX For Wellness makes the perfect Christmas Gift! ANYone, ANYwhere, ANYtime can use Kata-RX for physical wellness and mental well-being and mindfulness. Since the first course is free, why not also treat yourself?

   Wow, Course # 1 in my Kata-RX For Wellness & Mindfulness is now FREE! Use this link to join for FREEhttps://kata-rx.teachable.com/p/preview-kata-as-moving-meditation

See you in class!

Sensei John Szmitkowski

Kata-Rx & Cannabis – Legal and FREE

9 Nov

       Here in New Jersey the people have spoken in the recent election New Jersey has extended its medical marijuana program to include recreational use. Now, you have an opportunity to explore the entheogenic meditative experience of combining My Kata-Rx for wellness program with cannabis. A ceremonial practice I call “Katannabis.”

     You can prepare now for the effective date by learning Kata-Rx for FREE in the privacy of your own home at your convenience. by enrolling for FREE in my online school – https://kata-rx.teachable.com/p/preview-kata-as-moving-meditation

You can also follow my weekly insights into both Kata-Rx For Wellness amd Katannabis (Kata-Rx and your cannabis) by viewing my blog:

     Katannabis specific articles may be found here: https://senseijohn.me/category/katannabis/

      Kata-Rx articles can be found here: https://senseijohn.me/category/kata-rx-for-wellness-mindfulness/

Here’s a sneak peak at Kata-Rx For Wellness:

 

Here’s one of my guidelines for Katannabis:

Enjoy, yours in Katannabis,


Sensei John Szmitkowski

Coronavirus FREE Resources

2 Nov

With the current increase in Coronavirus cases and the current cold and flu season, I thought I would provide a quick reference to my FREE Coronavirus resources. I particularly recommend entry number 3 as a means of maintaining good lung capacity.

All resources are FREE, please take what you need.
Entry # 1 – How the #Coronapause journal started – https://senseijohn.me/2020/03/22/coronapause-day-1-it-starts/
Entry # 2 – Boketto (gazing absentmindedly) – https://senseijohn.me/2020/03/23/coronapause-entry-2-boketto-gazing-absentmindedly/
Entry # 3 – Introduction to Sanchin (efficient breathing) – https://senseijohn.me/2020/03/25/coronapause-entry-3-breathing-efficiently-sip-of-sanchin-overview/
Entry # 4 – Zanshin (the “Remaining Mind”) – https://senseijohn.me/2020/03/29/coronapause-entry-4-zanshin-the-remaining-mind/
Entry # 5 – Calm In The Storm Technique – https://senseijohn.me/2020/03/31/coronapause-entry-5-calm-in-the-storm/
Entry # 6 – A Caregiver Is A Samurai – https://senseijohn.me/2020/04/07/coronapause-entry-6-a-caregiver-is-a-samurai/
Entry # 7 – Go Inside (Yourself) – https://senseijohn.me/2020/04/18/coronapause-entry-7-go-inside-yourself/
Stay well, healthy and happy,

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Kata-RX & Medical Cannabis – Katannabis

26 Oct

    Wow!
Course # 1 in my Kata-RX For Wellness & Mindfulness is now FREE!
Use this link to join for FREEhttps://kata-rx.teachable.com/p/preview-kata-as-moving-meditation

================

Now, for this week’s installment which kicks off a series of articles about my marriage of Kata-RX and medical marijuana.

Kata-RX is a sacrament-like component of an entheogenic ceremonial medical cannabis ritual. To anyone, martial artist or not who has difficulty wrapping their minds around the idea of combining the sacredness of kata with medical marijuana – “Get over it.” First, until you experience first hand or through the eyes of someone struggling with the great physical, mental or emotional pain, do not judge the use of medical cannabis. Second, cannabis and other medical, sacred plants have been used in entheogenic ceremonial rituals for centuries. Kata-RX is the perfect ritual for a devout exploration of the entheogenic use of medical cannabis.

Society has finally began to understand and acknowledge the beneficial medical use of cannabis. We are only now touching upon the medical benefits, both in the treatment of physical illness and dilatory mental illness and emotional difficulties. But, is this enough? The answer is “Yes” and “No.”

While it is true that a great exploration of the medical use of cannabis is underway, it unfortunately falls short. Such a use is exponentially enhanced when cannabis is utilized as part of a ceremonial ritual. The ritual of Kata-RX is an indispensable sacrament to the entheogenic use of cannabis. Kata-RX is rich in the mind/body techniques of breathing, relaxation, dynamic tension, visualization and perception. These factors when combined with medical cannabis produce a profound, almost other worldly physical and mental realization of “self.” Kata-Rx and medical cannabis is a baptism to the higher self we are all capable of achieving.

But, I have a problem with my concept of ritualizing Kata-RX plus medical cannabis into an entheogenic ceremony. How to educate others who can benefit from the experience?

Everything nowadays needs a brand, a hashtag, a catch-phrase. So despite my concern that labeling the profound ceremonial ritual of Kata-RX and medical cannabis will bastardize its solemnity, I must yield to such convention. I call the sacramental integration of my Kata-RX and cannabis, “Katannabis.” ™

Kata + Cannabis = Katannabis

Katannabis is a handy reference to the sacramental practice of combining the ritual of Kata-RX and cannabis as a solemn ceremony exploring the wellness and mindfulness of the enhanced human experience. I will organize future articles and videos into a new category, Katannabis” for handy reference.

Sneak-peak: Katannabis works extremely well with Kata-Koan practice as shown in the video – much more on that later.

See you in class – its FREE! Simply use this link, you have nothing to lose!
https://kata-rx.teachable.com/p/preview-kata-as-moving-meditation

Sensei John Szmitkowski

I Preach Kata-RX / I Practice Kata-RX

20 May

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I frequently get the same form of question, “So, this Kata-RX For Wellness thing, you preach it, but do you walk the walk?” Short answer, “Yes.” But more often than not I relate a story from the life of Mahatma Gandhi. Interested in Kata-RX? Try it absolutely for FREE using this convenient link: https://kata-rx.teachable.com/p/core-kata-course

 

A woman once brought her small daughter to Gandhi with a simple request, “Tell my daughter not to eat candy. It is bad for her teeth. She respects you and will obey you.” But Gandhi refused. “Come back in three weeks,” Gandhi told her. “I will see what I can do.”

When the woman returned in three weeks with her daughter, Gandhi took the little girl on his knee and gently instructed her, “Don’t eat candy. It is bad for your teeth.”
The girl shyly nodded her assent. Then she and her mother left for their home. When they were gone, some of Gandhi’s associates were upset and confronted him.

“Bapu, did you know that the woman and her child had to walk hours to see you, and you made them walk that great distance twice in three weeks? Why didn’t you give that simple advice to the girl when they first came?”

Gandhi laughed. “Three weeks ago I did not know if I could stop eating candy. How could I advocate a value unless I myself practice it?” (See Endnote # 1)

Now, that’s a little more memorable than simply answering “Yes” to the question. The fact remains, each and every day I practice my Kata-RX. I have woven it into the fabric of my daily routine. It takes a little as three to five minutes. Again, that’s three to five minutes. Seriously, if you can’t find three to five minutes at least once a day, well, that’s something that need fixing.



The two or three sessions I do during the day keep me focused, well and able to get through the day. My reward, later in the early evening, is a more comprehensive Kata-RX session that I expand to thirty or forty-five minutes and often add-in zazen (seated meditation) at the end.

So, it must be understood that I preach Kata-RX ONLY because I know how it helps me during my day. If it didn’t have that effect on me, rest assured I would not preach it. Certainly, I would not offer it for FREE, I would want a buck for my “snake-oil” product.
Unsure, try it absolutely for FREE using this convenient link: https://kata-rx.teachable.com/p/core-kata-course

Yours in Kata-RX for Wellness

Sensei John Szmitkowski

Endnote:
1. Goswami, Amit, The Self-Aware Universe, (G.P. Putnam & Sons, New York, NY, 1993) p. 264-265.

Coronapause Entry # 7 – Go Inside (Yourself)

18 Apr

So, there’s a new target date in my #Coronapause; May 15th. Governor Murphy has extended the New Jersey stay-at-home order until that date.

The situation here gets more and more real, or surreal as the case may be. My grandson’s paternal grandfather tested positive for COVID-19 three days ago. Three of my brother’s in-laws are sick, but do not meet the criteria for testing. Eight business clients have passed away due to Covid-19 or complications of having the virus. So lately it takes quite an effort to stay balanced.

I’d like to share with you a simple technique I use when I need to reset myself. I’ve been doing it more often lately. It provides sustenance through introspection that gets me through each day of my #Coronapause.

I combine my Kata-RX with a thought-provoking reading; a form of meditative koan, if you will. I find the combination of Kata and koan (or thought provoking concept) produces a far-reaching physical and mental experience. Now, you can too.

You can easily do this too by using the breathing and movement exercise I gave you in my Entry # 3: Sanchin (efficient breathing) https://senseijohn.me/2020/03/25/coronapause-entry-3-breathing-efficiently-sip-of-sanchin-overview/
Simply select, a poem, a quote, or other thought you would like to contemplate and read through, then think about it as you perform the technique. After that you may wish to sit in quiet, seated meditation, called “Zazen” and deeply meditate on it. The result is not only refreshing, but also sustaining and nurturing.

Here’s one example using a quote from The Hagakure by Yamamoto Tsunetomo.

It is a good viewpoint to see the world as a dream:
When you have a nightmare,
you will wake up & tell yourself that
“It was only a dream.

I hope you enjoyed the within. Stay well, safe and healthy.


Sensei John Szmitkowski


Want more of my #Coronapause, Sanchin Kata or the other topics in this series? My entire first Kata-RX course, which includes all the topics in my #Coronapause series is available for FREE. You may enroll for FREE using this link to enroll in the E-Dojo, then select the first “Core Kata Course” for FREE! or access the online school here: https://kata-rx.teachable.com

Coronapause Entry # 6: A Caregiver Is A Samurai

7 Apr

So, this week started with dire warnings that this week would be alarming.
I hope the deep breathing exercise I gave you in entry # 3 is helping. Here’s the video and link again, in case you missed it https://senseijohn.me/2020/03/25/coronapause-entry-3-breathing-efficiently-sip-of-sanchin-overview/


With the dire foreboding, it gets more and more likely that if not one of us become infected, that one of our loved ones will. This transforms us into the role of the caregiver. Five years ago, when my wife was battling cancer, I wrote a post comparing the role of a caregiver to that of a Samurai. It applies even more today. So I submit this sixth entry in my #Coronapause journal: “Caregiver As Samurai.”

You are a caregiver. YOU are a Samurai!

You have been entrusted with one of the most essential and defining characteristics of being human – caring for the physical, emotional and psychological well-being of another. Your own physical, emotional and psychological well-being directly affects your ability to care for the well-being of the afflicted person. Therefore, it is essential that you maintain positive physical, emotional and psychological health.
You will face physical challenges of exhaustion, fatigue and maybe even aches and pains.
Emotionally you may have periods of sadness, anxiety, frustration and the like.
Psychologically, you may doubt that you are up to the task of giving care, or fear the road ahead and similar thoughts.

You must have a means of modifying these states; an outlet for your physical and emotional challenges. The entries in this Coronapause series are submitted to help you achieve that outlet.
First, know your status as caregiver has warrior roots – – –  the Samurai.

The word invokes thoughts of loyal, fearless warriors, or “Bushi,” for whom honor, courage and discipline were self-evident. Loosely translated, the kanji, or calligraphy, for “Samurai” translates as “To serve.” The kanji has also been figuratively translated as “those who serve in close attendance to the nobility.”

As you can see by definition, you as a caregiver are a Samurai!

You should think and act at all times as a descendent of these honorable, courageous and loyal Bushi.
The Covid-19 relative or friend who has been entrusted in your care is akin to the nobility. As they are physically and possibly emotionally debilitated from their illness, they are noble in their quest to overcome their debilitation. As such, their needs are tantamount to your needs as caregiver.
In times of physical, emotional or psychological difficulty, you must reach within your inner being and psyche. Use these #Coronapause entries to help you remove these difficulties.

In closing, I wish you courage and fortitude during these strange times. And, remember, You are a – – Samurai.


Sensei John Szmitkowski

Want more of my #Coronapause, Sanchin Kata or the other topics in this series? My entire first Kata-RX course, which includes all the topics in my #Coronapause series is available for FREE. You may enroll for FREE using this link to enroll in the E-Dojo, then select the first “Core Kata Course” for FREE! or access the online school here: https://kata-rx.teachable.com

Coronapause Entry # 5: Calm In The Storm

31 Mar

Once again, things are ramping up here in the Tri-State area. #Coronapause and social distancing is of the utmost importance to mitigate the strain on the hospital system. March 30th, the USNS Comfort arrived in New Your City to help with their overflow. New Jersey isn’t far behind.
Today, I’ll show you how to use that technique to help modify your emotions and cope with anxiety, fear, worry and the like during these strange times and also when things normalize.

We will use the breathing concepts and hand movements from my #Coronapause Entry # 3 “Sip Of Sanchin” https://senseijohn.me/2020/03/25/coronapause-entry-3-breathing-efficiently-sip-of-sanchin-overview/

I would suggest you watch the video first.
Note that the video uses the Sanchin Introductory exercise from my FREE course – but – the concept is exactly the same for the stationary ten movements and breathing I gave you in the “Sip Of Sanchin” above.


I developed the above from a karate kata called “Seienchin.” Seienchin translates, inter alia, as “Calm in the storm / Storm in the calm.” Seienchin acknowledges that, at any time, there are conflicting forces in the universe. So called “harmony” is achieved as a result of the opposing forces being in balance.

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

Similarly at any moment we experience conflicting emotions. Each battling to rise to the surface to control our overall state-of-mind. The following, which is a distillation of Seienchin principles, I believe, will help you too.

Sensei John Szmitkowski

Want more of my #Coronapause, Sanchin Kata or the other topics in this series? My entire first Kata-RX course, which includes all the topics in my #Coronapause series is available for FREE. You may enroll for FREE using this link to enroll in the E-Dojo, then select the first “Core Kata Course” for FREE! or access the online school here: https://kata-rx.teachable.com

If you would like to see a video of the Seienchin Kata (filmed in Arizona where I spent 10 years and with a herb of wild horses, you can see that here — the kata starts at 01:20 before that is commentary on how I happened upon the herd.

Coronapause Entry # 4: Zanshin – The Remaining Mind

29 Mar

If the techniques I’m showing you only benefit you when you are actually doing them, the experience, while satisfying, will not be nurturing and fulfilling. To do so, I need to tell you about a state-of-mind called “Zanshin,” the “Remaining Mind.”

In the martial arts, Zanshin, the “Remaining Mind” means that your mind “remains in the battle after the battle is finished.” Zanshin is present in the ritual forms, called “Kata” of karate. After performing a kata (with the appropriate state-of-mind ascribed to the kata) the performer stands poised, but relaxed and He revisualizes the battle of the kata so as to retain its effects and remain vigilant and alert. 

Kanji – Zanshin

In your #Coronapause, you not only perform a specific technique to attain physical and mental well-being, you also retain those benefits after your performance. To date, I’ve given you two techniques, one mental, Boketto
https://senseijohn.me/2020/03/23/coronapause-entry-2-boketto-gazing-absentmindedly/ and one physical, Breathing as in Sanchin Kata https://senseijohn.me/2020/03/25/coronapause-entry-3-breathing-efficiently-sip-of-sanchin-overview/ . Naturally you cannot go about your day doing nothing but Boketto or Sanchin. To bridge the gap, you use your Zanshin.

Unfortunately, my own #Coronapause has prohibited me from providing you with a written description of Zanshin. However, I saved my class video of Zanshin from my Kata-RX online course. I hope you enjoy the concept of Zanshin and find it useful during your own #Coronapause.

Keep in my, Zanshin applies to not only Boketto and the Sanchin breathing exercise. Use Zanshin to extended the benefits of any mind cleansing activity. Walking, meditating, painting, cooking, any activity that brings you emotional comfort can be extended with Zanshin.

Well here in New Jersey and the entire Tri-State area, things are ramping up pretty quick. As it does, I hope you and yours remain well, stay vigilant and stay home during this #Coronapause. 

March 30th, 2020: USNS Comfort arrives in New York City:

 

Sensei John Szmitkowski

Can’t wait for more? My entire first Kata-RX course, which includes all the topics in my #Coronapause series is available for FREE. You may enroll for FREE using this link to enroll in the E-Dojo, then select the first “Core Kata Course” for FREE!
https://kata-rx.teachable.com
Here’s another look at Sanchin Kata which you can start learning now in my FREE course above – this one while riding my H-D Electra-Glide in Arizona where I lived for a time period.

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