Tag Archives: #KataRX

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.

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.

(Wish’in I was) “On The Road (again) With Kata”

21 Nov

Ah, the call of the open road.

For as long as I can remember, I ride my motorcycle every day regardless of weather. Not; however when the roads are covered in snow or black ice. But give me clear asphalt and I’m on two wheels logging the miles. Even if its “just” my daily commute, the trip is always something new.

Dojo (Winter) – circa 2001

Still, I find myself missing a nice long road trip. A few days on the road, nights in a cheap motel meeting people along the way, changing scenery. When I lived in Arizona, I logged at least two road trips a year to New Jersey to work or see family. Since I’ve moved back to my home state, that “need” is gone.

Yup, I’ve got the itch to burn the miles. Unfortunately, its the busy season at work and a few days off is impossible. So, what to do?

The answer – Kata!

My last road trip was the return trip back to New Jersey after the Arizona house sold. I made that trip alone as my wife flew out ahead of me and my road companion Chloe had passed.

Chloe on the road – circa 2006

I started the trip the Monday of Thanksgiving week 2014 and arrived in New Jersey Thanksgiving Day. Too late for either Thanksgiving dinner or pumpkin pie. But it was another safe road trip in the books.

Naturally I used kata along the way to enhance the pleasure of being on the road and to refresh myself physically and mentally during the four day, 2,600 mile trip. As I knew it would be my last long trip for a while, I videoed my kata and journey. Looking at my videos, I realized I can again enjoy the memory of the journey through my kata. So, Monday of this week, I began to perform my “On The Road Kata.” As for this writing, I’ve completed the first two days (Monday and Tuesday) kata and am working on day three (Wednesday) as this is posting. Tomorrow, I’ll symbolically end my journey.

Come along, try a kata or two (some I recreated based upon my needs during the trip) and watch the videos. Here’s the journey:

Day 1: Monday – San Tan Valley, Arizona to Shamrock, Texas ( 789 miles)

1. Takiyouku Shodan modified to use Sanchin Kata method on the blocks – last kata performed in my house

2. Wansu Kata – Route 66 Casino/Truckstop west Albuquerque, New Mexico

3. Seipai Kata – slow to stretch my muscles Flying C Ranch Truck-stop, west of Santa Rosa, New Mexico

4. Sanchin Kata Hybrid – Best Western Motel, Shamrock Texas

Day 2: Tuesday – Shamrock, TX to West Memphis, Tennessee (1,169 miles traveled)

1. Hybrid Kata – using Seienchin, Suparunpei and Sanchin Kata to get the “blood flowing” (5:30 a.m. illuminated by truck headlights)

2. Ananku Kata – Truckstop Shawnee, Oklahoma

3. Fuku Kata – Rest Area, Altus, Arkansas

Day 3: Wednesday – West Memphis, TN to Salem, Virginia

1. Hybrid Kata 5:30 a.m. using Suparunpei and Hakutsuru Kata)

2. Kunchaba Kata – my weekly Wednesday Kata tribute to Shihan Wayne Norlander filmed at Loretta Lynn’s Country Kitchen, Hurricane Mills, Tennessee. (See Endnote # 1 for a video which includes a touching soundtrack by Warren Zevon).

3. Gekisai Kata (Deconstructed) – Comfort Inn Motel, Salem, VA. Kata on the road like this led to my “Kata Laboratory.”

Day 4: Thursday, Thanksgiving Day (2014) Salem, VA to Bergen County, New Jersey

1. Sanchin Kata (Shobu version) at a gas station on highway I-78 in Pennsylvania.

Thanks for reading and watching. Have a really Happy Thanksgiving, 2017.

Sensei John Szmitkowski

     For information on my “no-risk”, kata seminars, please visit the seminar page using this convenient link https://senseijohn.me/seminar-kata/
My seminars are the ONLY seminars that allow you to pay at the conclusion, thus insuring your complete satisfaction!

ENDNOTES:

1. My video tribute from the road to Shihan Wayne Norlander featuring the song, “Keep Me In Your Heart” by Warren Zevon. I miss the Karate-Do training we shared and motorcycle rides we took.

 For a refreshing and innovative discourse on kata and bunkai, please feel free to visit Sensei John’s Kata Laboratory and “THINK * SWEAT * EXPERIMENT” using this convenient link: https://senseijohn.me/category/kata-laboratory/

© Copyright 2017 Issho Productions & John Szmitkowski, all rights reserved.

You may wish to view my other blogs –
   my fishing blog which includes my fishing journals and the interrelationship between martial arts protocol & ideology to fishing http://flyfishingdojo.com
and
 the Goshin-Do Karate blog at http://defeliceryu.com

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.

Sensei’s Journal: Entry # 12- The Panther

19 Jul

Seasonal work demands have dictated a change in the frequency of my Katannabis* meditation session. What was once my daily routine ( https://wordpress.com/post/senseijohn.me/3731 ) has become a weekly session on Sunday nights. Sunday being my only day off. 

To describe the effect of this change, I offer the poem The Panther, by Rainer Maria Wilke. Katannabis is now like the image that rushes into the Panther’s eye.

The Panther:

His vision, from the constantly passing bars,

Has grown so weary that it cannot hold anything else.

It seems to him there are a thousand bars; 

And behind the bars, no world.

As he paces in cramped circles, over and over, 

The movement of his powerful soft strides 

Is like a ritual dance around a center

In which a mighty will stands paralyzed.

Only at times, the curtain of the pupil lifts, quietly –

An image rushes in,

Rushes down through the tensed, arrested muscles, 

Plunges into the heart and is gone.

To be sure I still perform short meditations throughout the day. If I did not, I could get through the demands of the day. It helps be cope whereas daily Katannabis expanded me as a person.

The key is to maintain myself until the seasonal demands end and I again have the capability to return to my daily Katannabis.

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

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

Katannabis Kata Syllabus – Origins

12 Jul

This week I would like to compare the Kata I used to develop my Katannabis syllabus and the original kata of the Goshin-Do Karate system. The Kata are presented in the order taught. Kata in bolds italics were incorporated into my Katannabis syllabus.  (For more on the syllabus, please click here: 

Goshin-Do Karate Kata * (for videos of these Kata please visit):

Taikiyoku

Sanchin

Ten-Ni-No

Fuku

Gekisai

Kunchaba (removed)

Kanto

Seienchin

Wansu

Ananku

Chi-Ni-No

Seisan

Gojushiho

Seipai

Chinto

Suparunpei

Regularly I will also perform the Goshin-Do Kata that were not formally placed into the Katannabis syllabus within the Katannabis ceremony. This allows me to more fully explore the Katannabis meditation experience.

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

* The Goshin-Do Kata span the student ranks from white belt to San-Dan, Third Degree Black Belt.

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 John’s Journal: Entry # 11 – Physicality & Spirituality

5 Jul

July 4th, 2021. (Sunday)

The three day holiday weekend gave me ample opportunity to treat myself to in-depth Kata-Rx and Katannabis (the entheogenic combination of Kata-Rx & medical cannabis) sessions. This allowed me to delve deeply into the interrelationship between Physicality and Spirituality. In the coming weeks I’ll post some of my observations and conclusions.  For now, some introductory comments.

Physicality and spirituality concepts and methods are for most polar opposites. Physicality is found in the gym, or now, in a “cyber-gym.” Spirituality is found in the various Houses Of Worship. Both are desired, but sought through separate pursuits. In fact, the two are as intertwined as the classic “Yin / Yang” symbol. They are also directly proportionate. The more arduous the physical, the more profound effect on the spiritual. And, vice-versa. This is because the more arduous the physical the greater the draw to the “dark side” of states-of-mind. Thus the greater the need for the light of the spiritual. On Father’s Day my youngest daughter sent me a gift. A book,  inward by yung pueblo. I found the following:

reminder:

when the body is tired

the mind will often create

worries to focus on. *

This observation is is one that was revealed during my Katannabis exploration. Now, the question becomes how to mitigate the dilatory effects of arduous physicality? The answer is Kata. The methodology is to be found in either Kata-Rx or Katannabis.

In the coming weeks I’ll post my observations of the relationship between physicality and spirituality. This will start with the concept that Kata is the bridge between physicality and spirituality. 

Until then, I remain,

Sensei John Szmitkowski

ENDNOTES:

  • inward, yung pueblo (Andrews McMeel Publishing, Kansas City, Mo, 2018) p. 18. 

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

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.

Cannabis As An Entheogen In Katannabis Meditation

31 May

I wholeheartedly advocate the wellness and mindfulness aspect of Kata. I fell in love with kata at age ten; fifty years ago. I embrace the idea that anyone can and should learn and perform kata. Thus, Kata need not be taught solely as part of a karate program. I called this belief “Kata-RX.” 

I not only advocate Kata-Rx, I practice it daily. Twenty years ago, I started feeling that something was missing. Kata sustained and nourished me. But I felt more was possible. Through contemplation and experimentation I realized that a more fulfilling experience and a greater ascendancy was possible. Cannabis was the key. Cannabis accelerated the process. What do I mean?

Experience showed me that a certain level of mindfulness was achieved after performing Kata-Rx for about thirty minutes followed by ten minutes of Zazen meditation. Experimentation showed me that a micro-dose of cannabis prior to the start of Kata-RX accelerated the mindfulness process. The micro dose prior to Kata-RX took me to that heightened state at the very start. The Kata-RX experience then took me further. The result was stunning. 

This is illustrated by the chart below. Starting at the bottom, you can see the levels of ascendancy that are possible through Kata-Rx. All the tools of ascendancy are within you and Katannabis which is the entheogenic combination of Kata-Rx and medical cannabis.

A word about cannabis dosage. I want to stress that it is important that you use a micro-dose of cannabis. You are not looking to get “stoned.” 

You must be able to perform the Kata with technical proficiency. Sloppy, stoned Kata will NOT invoke the physical and mental benefits of Katannabis. If stoned you will not achieve the fullest Katannabis experience.

The casual observer should not notice a difference in your Kata performance during the Katannabis ceremony. I emphasize casual observer because to the enlightened observer (one that has expanded consciousness through Katannabis) a difference can be seen in your eyes during the Kata. The eyes reflect your your inner consciousness. Thus, they will disclose an enhanced Kata experience to those with similar vision.

So a little goes a long way. Consideration should also be given to the manner in which you interact with and utilize the cannabis. Simply put, treat the cannabis with respect. Just like your kata, the more respect you pay to cannabis the more embracing your experience and relationship with the herb.

Until 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;
  • 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 # 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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