Only when the mind is settled can it become quiet and only when the mind is quiet can it become still; it’s only when the mind is still can it see and when the mind can see then it can reach deep into the mysteries.
These are the steps taken in all of budo to really centre the self to focus and be mindful of the task at hand. It is important to remember especially for those going back to school that the point of training is to enhance one’s skills of mind, memory and mobility; to assist one in dealing with anything that comes at you in life.
I think everyone would like to be able to make work and school easier which is exactly what martial arts will do for anyone. So I suggest to all parents to do what I do in the class…at home or when bringing your child to class, remind them that by training harder school will become easier because their mind and brain power is stronger; this is an equation they understand and even like. Karate is not just another thing to do, it’s a way to assist one to do all things one does better!
Budo is not a game, it is a Way to enhance one’s life for real self-defence or otherwise.
Dear Fellow Budoka,
In late 2015 when I received a diagnosis of metastasized cancer, my wife Victoria and I came out of the doctor’s office stunned and devastated. That night was one of the longest in our lives as we struggled to understand the implications.
The second day, after some research, we went to check out the local offices of a cancer support organization, Wellspring.
It turned out to be a visit that turned despair into hope.
When I first walked in I didn’t expect much – perhaps a lot of form filling and the offer of a consultation within a week or so. Instead, we were instantly welcomed and led into a comfortable room. As Wellspring’s resources were explained to us we realized we had stumbled onto just what we most desperately needed – active compassion, expressed through practical advice and support from people who had made this journey before us.
Within half an hour Victoria and I were talking with a volunteer peer support worker, a cancer survivor herself, part of a counselling team that keeps regular hours at Wellspring for both Wellspring members and for walk-ins like ourselves.
By the time we had left Wellspring’s centre in downtown Toronto, I had signed up for a weekly workshop called Healing Journey, as well as a twice-weekly exercise workout session with certified trainers, had made an appointment with a financial advisor, was told I could avail myself of three reiki sessions, and had made a series of appointments with a professional counsellor, another former cancer patient. We discovered that Wellspring also has programs for the families of cancer patients. When we left, Victoria had signed up for a support group for partners and caregivers.
Later, when I was undergoing chemo, the Wellspring people knew just what I was going through and gave me support and encouragement.
And all of this was, and is, provided free.
Well, not really, because in order that Victoria and I could walk in that day and benefit from this amazing,
supportive community, Wellspring needs money, and since Wellspring receives no government funding at all, it’s 40 different programs and 10 regional support centres are entirely dependent on donations and fundraising.
So when I had the opportunity to help with one of this year’s major fund-raising efforts – centred on an 8-day, 24hr/day bicycle peloton relay ride from Toronto to Miami – I jumped at the chance.
This year’s ride runs from the 9-16th September and will be done by five teams of cyclists, backed up by another team of support drivers, who collectively will be on the road for the entire eight days and nights needed to complete the ride to Miami. Last year’s riders and drivers netted well over $300,000.
Each team is in turn supported by a cancer survivor – a “Wellspring Warrior”. As one of these, my personal goal is to raise another $2,000 in addition to the amounts raised by the teams. I will be very grateful if you can help me reach that.
Here are some links for more information and if you wish to make a donation.
The Wellspring 2017 Peloton Challenge page: http://www.kintera.org/faf/home/ccp.asp?ievent=1166922&lis=1&kntae1166922=656586BC581C4164AF0823736AC60BA0&ccp=675572
For more information, Wellspring’s home page: https://wellspring.ca/downtown-toronto/
And even if you feel unable to contribute, it’s likely you will encounter others who are facing cancer: please let them know about Wellspring.
Onwards, Onwards, ever onwards,
To Register for this event, you will need to create an account on Meetup and RSVP to the event. Look for the Join and RSVP button at the upper right.
(Workshop) **Price includes exta (Zazen) class. Also includes sharing tea circle at the end of class. We supply use of meditation chairs, mats and blankets. Also very special Tea at the beginning and end of class (please arrive 15 minutes early).
Join Hae Kwang Sunim for The Full Bad Stress Out “‘Inner Peace” Qigong – Don’t Miss It! **THIS IS NOT LIKE ANY OTHER QI-GONG YOU EVER EXPERIENCED** TORONTO Class also Includes full lying down guided Inner Peace Qigong.
People that attend this class also receive an extra class FREE called “Zazen: Learn and become skilled in the art of MEDITATION at a later date (See Bottom of this page for Link and full details on FREE Bonus Class).
Workshop / Investment: Only $20.00
**Benefits of attending this class**
***Soft ‘Inner Peace’ Qigong leads to the deep release of dis–ease / stress and the restoring of ones energy channels and the infusion of fresh Qi and Peace through the body (reconnection to the Universal Qi field).
Workshop **Please Register on this Meetup as early as possible **Register Today** Conveniently located just steps from St.Clair Subway station.
**Includes sharing tea circle at the end of class. We supply use of meditation chairs, and blankets. Also very special Tea at the beginning and end of class. Please arrive 15 minutes early / at 12:15 p.m. (class starts promptly at 12:30 p.m.).
Zanshin is a term frequently used in CMAC for its importance related to spiritual health and
efficiency. It refers to a state of awareness – of relaxed alertness. A literal translation of zanshin is “remaining mind.”
Before an encounter, it can be described as the calm before the storm – clear resolve or, as Maestro Urban refers to it as super attentiveness.
In karate-do, zanshin is the state of total awareness. It means being aware of one’s surroundings and enemies, while being prepared to react. During the encounter, it is more accurately defined as “seme” or the pressure that is brought to bear by “ki ken tai no itchi” or “zen ken ishoa”: “Intrinsic energy, mind & body as one.”
In kyūdō (ancient Japanese martial art of archery), zanshin means the body posture after the loosing of an arrow; the posture is intended to reflect the higher meaning of zanshin, which is a mental and spiritual aspect maintained before, during, and after an action.
Zanshin is the continued state of spirit/mental alertness and physical readiness to meet the situation (such as an opposing attack) that must be maintained when one returns to Kamae, or ready posture/fighting stance, after attacking. It is one of the essential elements that define a good defence or attack. There must be both a strong sense of focus and awareness.
Zanshin is practiced as general awareness of one’s surroundings, of which your Ukete is just a small part, and students are trained to maintain a continued state of mental awareness and physical readiness beyond the dojo walls and into daily life. After an encounter, it can also be described as “the light that is left after the sun has set,”
or as Maestro Urban put it, “it ain’t over ‘till it’s over!”
In Jiyu Ippon Kumite or a self-defence situation for example, it is important to stay in a state of zanshin. When two students face each other, both in kamae, they should not concentrate or focus on the other’s eyes or any other part of their partner’s body. If they focus on their opponent’s legs they will probably be hit by their opponent’s hands. The opposite is also true; if they focus on their opponent’s upper body then they will probably be hit with a kick. You should see all. Your eyes should feel as though they are looking at an object in the distance behind the opponent. To this end, the Samurai utilized “enan no metsuke,” or “the far away mountain gaze.”