I taught Judo, Aikido and Kendo along with meditation for many years , I knew and felt that I would end my teaching days and went over to Tai Chi and Qi Gong. I felt to do this two years before it happened, and when I did leave I left without looking back or sadness as they say in Zen 'a worn out pair of shoes.'
Myself as a young Judo ka, then a brown belt
Andy Sampson my Judo friend and myself shortly before retiring with a 2nd. Dan Black belt. In those days a 2nd. Dan was worth today a 4th or 5th Dan. The Japanese took into account, teaching, spiritual aspect and of course there were no weight groups as in Olympics, the rules were changed.
In the last Blog Post 24 I mentioned the power of children's minds with the Dolphins. I used to teach children with problems and I had a class in a rough part of London at that time in Hoxton. The children were from single homes, criminal families and so on. They were disruptive to say the least, being a black belt did keep the discipline to a reasonable level. I never threatened or used my skill to frighten them. At the end of every session we had a sharing, many were stuttering and unable to put sentences together. However, I used to tell them stories of my teachers and the lessons I learned.
On this particular evening as I drove into the car park of the school, I found a stone, the car park was being resurfaced, this was scrap stone. I had an idea. I wore my Judo Gi (Judo Costume) under a track suit. The kids were there with a teacher or parent present for their and my safety. We assembled and I held the stone in my right hand, the kids said what's that and I replied a surprise at the end of the session.
We gathered at the end of the session for our sharing and they all were very curious about the object in my hand. I started off by saying 'you know I have travelled a lot and met many people with what seemed strange powers of healing, gifts for people and kindness.' They were all eager and enthusiastic, 'Well a special man gave me this and I opened my hand a they saw this stone, and it has a special gift of getting a need, something small but needed, but it has to be gentle and not violent'. So prepare a wish, close your eyes, something simple'. I gave the stone to a young lad on my left a bright blue eyed red haired fellow, he said 'its hot', well I held it tightly all evening, I clung to it even when teaching the movements, they passed the stone from hand to hand about 20 kids, shutting their eyes and not telling their wish. The stone eventually came to the little girl next to me on the right, she was like a fairy, golden hair blue eyes, and she was handing it back to me, I said to place it in the middle of the circle. We all went home and I took the stone with me.
The next week we all came back and the kids were so excited we had the end sharing first. They told me of small miracles, like parents being kind, some money problems eased in a small way, not being bullied, eating and sleeping better and so on. Then I told them ' Girls and boys I have something to tell you and you know I would not deliberately lie to you, but I found that stone in the car park' a big Oh Geoff''( I did not want them to call Mr or Sensei, respect is in manner not through title necessarily) 'the reason I did this is because I wanted to show you the power of your mind and to use for the better, not to be a victim of your troubles and circumstances'. They understood. Some months late a religious head teacher thought I shouldn't preach to the children and he thought Judo was heathen and barbaric, a craft class was opened in its place he persuaded the local authority to close down the group. The children and I were devastated. The parents and I campaigned but the local vicar and church upheld the verdict to close it down.
In my life I have been an apprentice pro footballer, a pro wrestler, a clown, a body builder, a boxer and an apprentice pro cricket player, this did not last owing to injury from football. I have a few pictures and will not bore you with more of them:
|The two above are past and lessons learnt. The gaps are deliberate.|
We all have our stories to tell and our dramas and although I remember them and can consult my journal, they are like a scenario and like with Judo and so many more I have been able to walk way, a worn out pair of shoes. Why so ? Like the above gaps between the photos, they were episodes in my life where I was hoping to find a part of me that was missing. I had tantalising glimpses of this 'whatever' and then I found disillusionment, despair and restless boredom in all the scenarios, the workshops, soccer, cricket, forensics, relationships and so on. From religions to cults to everything and anything. This is my spiritual path and it is the path of surrender and willingness to go for the ultimate and whatever that be. Existentialist
A path of seemingly negatively denying form as reality. In yoga I believe it is called the path of renunciation. When I rushed to my Sensei's house after the koan 'intuition' and he said 'sit down now all troubles begin, you will never see the world as others, it will be a strange place' he said other things like this which I cannot remember, I was shocked and dazed. and like the many blogged experiences they radically changed the road map. Adjusting to this can be a memory loss, hard to put words in the correct order, a kind of head pressure, bleary eyes, and vertigo, as if spinning to another 'reality', then it settles and one may find oneself 'a stranger in a strange land'. Yet more anxiety goes, fretting is less and there is a natural detachment from a number of previous 'hooks', yet the journey continues and Life throws up unexpected challenges and they can still produce a measure of trauma, however, the turn around is faster.
As you may have read in Post 22 that awesome , the smash on the ego was so profound. Over the last few months and years, this annihilation has occurred in many forms, felt like I was actually dying, maniacal laughter, hysterics, anger and so on, you name I had it. I then destroyed all my certificates and now my journals as I recount the major events in some of the scenarios in this life, eventually left with a bare home and mind. The more naked and exposed the more I feel this is where I should be, a starkness that is liberating and yet without harsh discipline or denial. I say where I should be, well who is this me and where is this place? There is not this tight knot or reference point of a centralised me. It is more a loose awareness of awareness.
Experiences which do not seem to relate to a particular central being. An awareness in space and time, which is this vehicles, that is the body's mode. On leaving the body an awareness in space, and even that is a convenient conjecture.
Have I found God, am I enlightened, I have no idea what these concepts mean? I cannot claim any spiritual empowerment, spiritual has no meaning for me. Life is the nearest I come to spiritual. Like the trees and nature are they aware of their spirituality? Is it spiritual for an animal to kill for its food as we do? Does it matter if one is rich or poor if you are screwed up? Life is temporary, transient, what's the use of clinging, being sad and depressed over this or that? It all ends with death, yet this is liberating, all the scenarios I have experienced died on me. When I walked away clean(some were sorrowful and mournful) the lesson was to find detachment, not by running away or denial, but by the realisation in depth all things pass. It is like mature philosophy. It leaves the mind bare, unattended, naked, pristine, primordial and even these are words.
It becomes clear to me that in the rain maker with Greg Braden's anecdote, the dolphin story, the stone with the kids at Hoxton, that passion, persistence, an unswerving faith, excitement, commitment, enthusiasm all foster energy and it is said energy follows thought. If emptiness is the womb, the crucible, the potters wheel or any other description, then manifestation is the compliment. The reoccurring theme of form and no form. The creative Intelligence, the dreamer of the Universe, God, source, or any other name to describe the Universal Cosmic Mind, the consciousness of creation has the same passion, energy, unswerving faith in Itself and all the other attributes, and so from this Comic visualisation, it blossomed into the current Universe. Evolution is God's next step in the dream.
We cannot see Intelligence or the consciousness of creativity, we can only be the witness of it. We create form in order to witness our creativity. The invisible becomes visible by creative action. How big then is a mind? As large as its creation. The emptier the mind, the more the capacity to create. The larger the empty container, the pot, the saucepan, the more that can be created in it.
HOWEVER, if one does not empty the pot, the contents can go stale, and if the same menu is cast into the pot, the energy becomes stagnant in time. A river needs to flow and if it doesn't then mud banks form, sometimes nature needs this, however a good blood flow is best for the body. Originality and inspiration comes from the empty bowl, allowing Universal Ideas to flow into the receptacle, this being the open empty mind, being still aware and alert, without thought, a dynamic, anticipation without intention, quietly watchful in order to 'catch' the cosmic thought and feel it as a 'sure knowing' a feeling and is sometimes called intuition.(Watch out for impulse which mimics intuition and is known as 'fools gold' the ego is a great impersonator, a chameleon ( cameleon) another Bre'r Rabbit.Sometimes the banks of the river give us moments to pause, to admire the beauty of Creation, islands of peace and serenity and then dive into the dynamic of stillness. In a way the potential of stillness is energy locked up, bolted behind the door, a runner in the blocks, an arrow tensed in the bow, the cat at the mouse hole. It is moving in its stillness. It is the Koan 'In movement there is stillness and in Stillness there is movement, what is It? This is the Koan Sensei gave me. No intellectual answer or explanation would suffice. Until I knew without words or thoughts. I sweated , rushed to his home and was bursting with knowing, he calmly replied, sit down have a cup of tea, now your troubles begin.
He was so right I never 'saw' the world again as previously, I was different, some people, friends thought weird, materialism meant an expendable necessary commodity for keeping alive the body, a modicum of effort. My ambitions were simple, to my family a loser, an idler, and the conflict between the 'set'standards of the world and myself caused 'no one understands me' and a rift, that rift I worked through as the stories and anecdotes told in previous blogs. I was never happy or content with jobs, work, workshops, I as a reluctant presenter, I knew I had to do it, but part of me rebelled and resented it, the same with relationships. The ego wanted the fame, the adulation, the applause, the attention, yet that part that knew and felt 'this is just a passing phase and illusion', a wisp of smoke in the grand order of things, easy to get addicted, hard to let go. This was the confrontation and 'battle' I endured, and the world is seeing this acting out now. Which side of ourselves do we surrender too?
I was given numerous opportunities to write a book, go into show business, marry into money, position and wealth, I left work four times on sabbaticals, going to remote places and long journey's . Seeking quietness and to contemplate, conjecture and meditate. IT is because of this reluctance that I never became the well known book writer, the world famous spiritual leader, it kept me on the path of 'straightness' it kept the ego in check, one could also say I missed opportunities and because of lack of self worth, which is true as far as ego is concerned, I am a failure in some peoples view of the world and what success and fame or power is held. However IT IS those very perceived failures that has led me to the understandings I have now. And in this to me I have done what is required in this life so far to be what is required. And what is that requirement? There is no answer to that. God alone knows!!!
Three minutes of wonder and beauty.
This heart breaking 5 mins shows the decline of the standards of living. I suppose as a poor pensioner I am relatively well off. (I do not see or feel poor) this is how I am classed by society. Maybe these dear lovely folks above could live or start communities and go off grid. Grow food and rehabilitate the world. Maybe this is how the world will change 'and the poor will inherit the Earth
What has salt to do with the above poverty well another quote 'you are the salt of the Earth, and if salt losses its saltiness, it is useless and thrown to the ground' this is like true salt being the true spirit within, being a natural human being, when we lose that we lose our saltiness.
Iain Duncan Smith, the work and pensions secretary, has dismissed a petition calling for him to try to live on £53 a week as a "complete stunt", insisting he knows what it is like to be on the breadline because he has twice been unemployed.
The petition, signed by almost 250,000 people so far and rising rapidly, was started after Duncan Smith said he could get by on that amount after being challenged by a market trader during a BBC Radio 4 Today programme item on the government's changes to the welfare system.
The online petition, hosted at www.change.org, says: "This petition calls on Iain Duncan Smith to live on this budget for at least one year. This would help realise the Conservative Party's current mantra that 'We are all in this together'.
"This would mean a 97% reduction in his current income, which is £1,581.02 a week or £225 a day after tax."
Duncan Smith, the MP for Chingford and Woodford Green, told his local newspaper that he had experienced two periods of unemployment and knew what it was like "to live on the breadline".
He told the Wanstead and Woodford Guardian: "This is a complete stunt which distracts attention from the welfare reforms which are much more important and which I have been working hard to get done.
"I have been unemployed twice in my life so I have already done this. I know what it is like to live on the breadline."
George Osborne, the chancellor, was also challenged about whether he could survive on the £53 weekly income Bennett claimed he was left with.
"I don't think it's sensible to reduce this debate to an argument about one individual's set of circumstances," Osborne said in response to questions following a speech in which he defended the welfare reforms. "We have a welfare system where there are lots of benefits to people on very low incomes."
The focus on the government's benefits shake-up came as 660,000 social housing tenants deemed to have a spare room began to lose an average £14 a week in what critics have dubbed a bedroom tax.
Wider welfare and tax changes coming into force this month will also see council tax benefit funding cut, and working-age benefits and tax credit rises pegged at 1% – well below inflation – for three years.
Disability living allowance is being replaced by the personal independence payment, while trials are due to begin in four London boroughs of a £500-a-week cap on household benefits, and of the new universal credit system.
Dome in the Snow. All tropicalised inside as above.
There are a series of Domes which grow all sorts of vegetation and plants and is open to visitors. There are a number of scientific dome experiments including several where the scientists live in for a year or so and experiment about survival. Are we not being told why? Very few comments or literature has been forthcoming.
Biosphere 2 is an Earth systems science research facility currently owned by the University of Arizonasince 2011. Its mission is to serve as a center for research, outreach, teaching and lifelong learning about Earth, its living systems, and its place in the universe. It is a 3.14-acre (12,700 m2) structure originally built to be an artificial, materially closed ecological system in Oracle, Arizona (US) by Space Biosphere Ventures, a joint venture whose principal officers were John P. Allen, inventor and Executive Director, and Margret Augustine, CEO. Constructed between 1987 and 1991, it was used to explore the complex web of interactions within life systems in a structure that included five areas based on biomes and an agricultural area and human living/working space to study the interactions between humans, farming and technology with the rest of nature. It also explored the possible use of closed biospheres in space colonization, and allowed the study and manipulation of a biosphere without harming Earth's. The name comes from Earth's biosphere, Biosphere 1. Earth's life system is the only biosphere currently known. Funding for the project came primarily from the joint venture's financial partner, Ed Bass' Decisions Investment, and cost $200 million from 1985 to 2007, including land, support research greenhouses, test module and staff facilities.
Hey folks that just about wraps this one up. Thanks for reading.
Be Well. Geoff
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