Tag Archives: #Chemotherapy Help

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

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

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

I Preach Kata-RX / I Practice Kata-RX

20 May

Donations are appreciated

If you enjoy the FREE posts, videos, or have tried my FREE Kata-RX course & have the ability to donate, please feel free to do so & help defray the costs of same. Thank-you & please try the FREE course.

$5.00

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.

Coronavirus Poll – Worst Case Scenario

14 Mar

Another day of Coronavirus news. Stress, anxiety, fear and yeah, panic are taking hold in mind-boggling numbers. All data relates to one thing – the expansion of the Coronavirus. But, is that the worst case scenario?

Yesterday I finished my nightly Kata-RX mediation and was quietly sitting in Zazen letting my mind wander. It wondered down a path inspired by Rod Serling’s Twilight Zone T.V. series.That path led to the following poll question:

Which scenario would cause the most fear and panic – You wake up tomorrow morning and learn that:

 

Think about it, meditate and take part in the poll. Then, share it with a friend so they can vote too. I’m very interested in the results.

Thanks, be safe and be healthy,

To learn my Kata-RX For Mindfulness for FREE, please click to my E-Dojo page https://senseijohn.me

 

Sensei John Szmitkowski

 

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