Everyone has to start somewhere. I started a few years ago writing about things using a blog similar to this one. I will soon retire from my day job and thought I might try fiction.

I grew up with my nose between the pages of books. I remember fondly of owning a lockable attache where I would store my favorites for reading over and over again. My love of reading still shines brightly and I would love nothing more than to create my own for the pleasure of stories, writing and entertainment.

This blog is to be my training hall. I will study diligently and then attempt to create short stories of fiction for anyone who would dare to enter the darkest of rooms, my mind of imagination.

Venture forth my friends, enjoy and if you find it pleasing - return at your leisure for more.

Friday, September 5, 2014

Humble Beginnings

He was a spiritual man who had been practicing his are for over sixty years. I started with him around the age of thirteen. The Ole Man, as I called him and he took as a compliment, said the first day of your teen years is a good time to start studying the world, nature and in general the Universe. Much like other spiritually minded people he did meditation, both sitting and moving, that involved many esoteric things. I was intrigued even at that young age. I suspect it was because, deep down inside me, I was an introvert who suffered from simply being around folks.

The funny thing tho is I felt comfortable around the ole-man. I guess now I sensed something peaceful and harmonious about him back then and more so today almost forty years later. It wasn’t until I had trained under him for thirteen years did I come to realize what lay underneath that harmonious spirit. I will get back to that but this is my story, not the ole-man’s.

As I said, it took about thirteen years for reality of what I got into when I joined up with him and that has lead me to be the violent but humble man I am today and it was that which lead me to be the force of nature I became. You might say this is a bit egoistic me telling you this and far and away from being a humble person but it is a story and to get you the full and complete picture of said story you need to hear it all. At least all that I am willing to tell at this juncture in our journey together. It won’t take thirteen years for me to tell that part and you will get a sense as this part of the story continues. 

In those first thirteen years a lot went on and today I now understand why the ole-man made me take that journey when like most he could have skipped all that and took me directly to that end result. It would have been quicker but I know now that my flame would have burned a lot faster than it has and I would not be here today telling this story.

His meditations really allowed a young mind like mine to find a more peaceful state that remained in each moment as it would flirt and fly through my time and that would be of great importance later when something unique and real began to happen. In the beginning the ole-man wanted me to learn how to be still, both in body and mind, so that my spirit would connect to the Universe. Come on, stick around man because this esoteric Asian sage like statement isn’t really out there and it will come together as the story continues. It is also an example why the ole-man took me on and trained me the way he did. Oh, before I go on, the ole-man is still going strong and I am now sixty, funny ain’t it?

Some of my fundamental lessons were in a quiet place sitting in a meditation seated position where the method was as important as all the other stuff that followed those thirteen years. They would be the key to unlock all the other stuff that followed in those years after the first thirteen. If you are familiar with the Japanese tea ceremony you might understand that from the moment one enters the tea garden, through it, approaching the tea room, entering, sitting and the process of being served or serving the tea, after, leaving, moving in reverse to leave the garden and exiting. Every little detail of that alone took me many years to learn and correctly execute. 

Each day included how some minute change would change the dynamics of the entire process. Whether we sat seiza or kiza meant we created a different approach to the meditation and the mind-state both in the processes of and the after feelings and so on of that particular session. It was dynamic, chaotic yet full of rhythm, cadence and patterns that would lead to many different paths along this journey. 

Take sitting seiza vs. kiza, the difference is merely how one sits with the buttocks resting either on the heels with the feet stretched out vs. with the feet higher and the toes curled under. Just this difference changed the entire dynamics of mokuso, being a term for meditation. 

What the ole-man taught first seemed easy to follow since it set a pattern that once learned allowed you to continue without thought then he began to insert thoughts into the process. Those thoughts were about the movements when doing moving meditation. Oh, I didn’t tell you about moving mediation but if you are familiar with martial arts, as many are, you will recognize them as basics, kata and drills. It would be easy at this point in the story to say, it were bunkai, but actually it was that then more - it gets a skosh complicated but we will cover that in the future tellings as well.

Don’t you worry none cause this story is not going to be that long since all I need to get across to you is an outline of the process I gladly followed from the ole-man so I could reach that point where things go really boring and really interesting all in one very chaotic moment at the end of that thirteen year learning curve. The curve got a lot sharper and the path became confusing like trying to interpret an ancient Zen koan. 

Let me say to those who are familiar with martial arts or any combative discipline like them this process looks, feels, and sometime is a typical classical and traditional martial system but that ends quickly at the end of that first thirteen years. We’ll get there just like any drive to another place and time similar to taking that long awaited vacation during the summer to some seemingly exotic local like the cliffs off the San Francisco coastline where the East meets the West by the gently ebb and flow of the ocean tides of the Pacific. 

To be continued …..

No comments:

Post a Comment