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The Sword of Zen

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The Sword of Zen

Post by Sifu on Tue Dec 26, 2017 9:38 pm

Entering the Force

As I rode the wake of a multitude of people rushing to and fro in a last-minute holiday frenzy I took it as an opportunity. Finding silence, I closed my eyes, relaxed, and ceased all internal thought, entering into the state of Zen. I expanded my awareness out beyond my body to feel the rush of humanity around me. To my senses they became as interconnected points of thought, emotion, and energy. I expanded out further and gazed upon the pattern they formed in this intricate web of life throughout the whole building. Returning to myself I continued my own last-minute holiday frenzy a little less frantic.

Entering the Force to me is about silencing the inner dialogue and reaching a higher state of consciousness, opening myself up to experience life in a way beyond my mundane physicality. With this skill anything that I do in my daily life is enhanced, from physical and mental tasks, to metaphysical pursuits. Entering the Force and Expanding is where a deeper aspect of reality is revealed to me.

Luminous beings we are indeed.
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Re: The Sword of Zen

Post by Sifu on Tue Dec 26, 2017 10:19 pm

Meditation has the two common meanings of contemplation and silencing the inner dialogue. Both are important to me, for it is through silencing the inner dialogue that I can fully focus the resources of my mind on one topic of contemplation without the distraction of many irrelevant thoughts arising.

I practice meditation in the formal way, as well as in daily life. When I have to make a speech to my students, cook a meal, drive in heavy traffic, practice kung fu, read a novel, grade an essay, write this post.... I will Relax, Silence my Mind, and Enter the Force. From this state of mind anything I need to do will be enhanced because the full resources of my being are dedicated to that single task.

Mental Clarity is an important benefit of the Arts that I practice.
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Re: The Sword of Zen

Post by Micheal on Wed Dec 27, 2017 8:43 am

How do you utilize it when multiple tasks demand your perception simultaneously?


What other uses of meditation have you developed?  As I am currently working in this dimension for this site, I look forward to your insights.

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Re: The Sword of Zen

Post by Sifu on Tue Jan 02, 2018 11:07 pm

I find intentional multi-tasking to be rarely required in my life, for important tasks I put my focus on one thing at a time until it is done then I move on to the next thing, When I have to have my attention split on two things at once I can see a perceptible loss of efficiency in both things I am trying to do. I think texting and driving(or simply walking) is a pretty good analogy of humanity trying to do two mentally and physically demanding tasks simultaneously and failing at both.  

"Focus to One, Expand to Zero"

On the other hand though multi-tasking exists in just about every daily task we encounter I suppose, there are a lot of variables going into even simple things. In martial arts if I am sparring my opponent and I have my attention focused only on his hands then I will probably get hit. Instead of focusing to one point such as in single pointed meditation I expand to zero, I will be able to perceive the opponents entire form, and our surroundings. 

Expand to Zero in meditation would be moving beyond conscious thought and entering Zen. In martial arts application it would be looking at the opponents center mass and not focusing on any specific point so the entirety of the opponent comes into the field of perception.
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Re: The Sword of Zen

Post by Sifu on Tue Jan 02, 2018 11:40 pm

Today I was considering how one puts their practice into daily life. One strategy that I use for productivity is born from my meditation and martial practice. 

Form - Flow - Force
Form - Force - Flow

These are the two main methodologies that I know for learning how to develop power. My favorite is the flow method to first perfect the form of a technique or sequence, then I'll do it flowingly without beginning or end, and finally the force is exploded in Fa Jing and the power of the technique is manifested. 

The force method is opposite, first one gets the form down, then one does the technique with force, then you string it together flowingly. They lead to the same end and can blur into each other.

These methods can be applied to daily life, while the force method is the orthodox starting point for most martial art students I have met, the flow method can give the greater benefit.

Overcoming procrastination was simple with the flow method, a task arises and I do it immediately, another task arises and I flow into that. I go to work and flow through my tasks often getting much more done than I had planned which makes the rest of my week that much easier.
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Re: The Sword of Zen

Post by Micheal on Wed Jan 03, 2018 9:57 am

Sorry I had not responded... for some reason this forum does not give me new messages when you post... so will watch closer.

One of my reasons for asking about multi-tasking is because my focus of training has been to break away from the normal form and create flow which has multiple tasks being engaged in at one time.

We learn, block, then punch, then whatever follows.  I am teaching my body to block and strike simultaneously, allowing for more at one time.

I like that you bring Zen into the picture, for Karate, we utilize the term Muchin or 'No mind' which has the same affect, removing the brain out of the way allowing the body to do what it has been taught to do.  It is a state I am very comfortable with.

Finally, your discussion of flow speaks to me, recently I have been learning Suparinpei and the method I am following blends well with your Form - Flow - Force methodology.

For me personally, I prefer to engrain the form so that in flows properly, then apply force.  I think within myself, this is just the method which works for me.  And with Suparinpei, their are a few instances where force belies the technique.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GlM_JbBa4zA

/BOWS

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Re: The Sword of Zen

Post by Sifu on Wed Jan 03, 2018 11:47 am

No worries, I barely touched the internet over Christmas and New year.
 
This Suparinpei performance is cool. I don’t have much experience in Karate, but looks like she works her ass off. It also seems like a very complete form containing strikes, kicks, throws, and holds.
 
Wing Chun kung fu, a system I studied briefly, is very good for simultaneous attack and defense, even intercepting, striking, and kicking all at once.  I think the main secret is that it relies on sensitivity to flow with the opponent’s movements, so incoming pressures and forces cause the defense and attack shapes to occur spontaneously. This is trained through lots and lots of Chi Sau. I also understood it as the body using multiple movements but really it’s just one movement using the basic body mechanics still, like a yin and yang rotation.
 
At 30 Seconds in on the video you posted this is expressed. As she strikes out she does so with waist rotation. The Strike is the forward Yang rotation, and the other side of her body does a reverse Yin rotation. If the opponent is putting pressure on the Yin arm that will just make the forward yang rotation stronger for a more powerful punch.
 
I noticed that this form has my favorite technique in it, Butterfly Palms, the high and low palm strikes. In the system I learned there are three stages to most techniques: defend then attack, simultaneous attack and defense, and no defense direct counter. Butterfly palms can work on all three, but my favorite is the third level. The arms can deflect an incoming strike and drive in the palms either high or low or both.

In this video our grandmaster is teaching my friend and I some applications during a seminar. http://shaolin.org/video-clips-13/cosmos-palm/day04.html

/Bows back
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