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Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Wrist Pain and Capoeira

The all-too-common wrist pain/injury in capoeira is often misunderstood and although some issues may be involved within the wrist itself, the shoulder girdle complex is very often more the case.
There's no wrist brace in existence that can replace one's understanding of the body. Pain and injury are opportunities to learn more about ourselves.

Saturday, December 19, 2009

The Ginga

This is one of many more instructional/demonstration-type of videos that I'll be posting in the new year since it appears many are more interested in this stuff more than the lectures.

If there is any specific exercise or movement you have a question about, just shoot me an email.

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

It Itself Becomes Sign

The one to whom's unveiled the mystery of love
Exists no longer, but is annihilated in love.
Place before the sun a burning candle,
See how its shining disappears before those lights:
The candle exists no longer, is transfigured into Light.
There are no more signs of it; it itself becomes a Sign.

Odes
RUMI

Timelessness

There is a world without time and space and it is little known that it co-exists with the world of time and space that we know as our physical reality. There is no separation between timelessness and time. This is important because many of us have learned to become slaves to time where we think we never have enough so we live our lives attempting to do as much as we can in the little time we have available. The dark side to this multi-tasking is that we become disconnected from timelessness because we have built our own prison of time. And it is this wall that we have built which is the illusion that there is a separation between the two worlds.

I can share two vivid memories I have that are examples of pure timelessness. Timelessness is another way of saying living in the present. Time is a concept the ego uses to create boundaries and it is this separation that it uses to help identify it self in relation to others and its surroundings. The first example was when I was dating my wife and I had picked her up after work and we went dancing at the old Copacabana on West 57 th St. in NYC. I remember it as if it were yesterday and we were in the middle of the dance floor listening to the rhythms of salsa with the song "Lluvia" being performed live by Eddie Santiago and his band just a few feet away from us. The moment was as if no one else was in the room and Mimi and I were spinning around and I recall swirls of energy dancing with us and it literally felt like we stepped outside of time and what appeared like seconds was actually hours on the dance floor. The other example of timelessness was when our son was born. I remember standing there with the camcorder and when our son "popped out" everything stopped. I can still remember the smell of the room, the TV playing in the background, and my son's first outside cry. Words due no justice in completely describing the moment but one can get an idea if they imagine it being their first being born. In these two moments, I was not the me who I thought I was around those times. My petty neuroses, worries, fears, ambitions, and concerns were all put aside so that the moment was untainted.

Imagine being able to tap into timelessness at any given moment along side the world of time. When you thought your life could get no worse and at that instance stepping outside of time - what do you think it would be like? Please don't try to answer this right now. Just imagine it and see what happens.

Monday, December 7, 2009

Meet the Natives

I just recently watched a show on the Travel Channel called "Meet the Natives" where five indigenous tribesman from the little island of Tanna in the South Pacific visit cities in the United States. In this episode, they were in middle America, Illinois, where they stayed with a family during the Thanksgiving and Christmas holidays. The beauty of this show is that it reveals the primitive innocence that these tribesman have as a result of living lives of simplicity on an island where modern civilization appears to be far away. They exhibit behavior of children in the sense that everything in modern society is new to them and in that respect display acts of presence, or "being in the moment" and "living in the Now". Now this is not my recommendation to give away all your material possessions and move to the island of Tanna so that you can live a life of Presence (unless that's what you intuit is right for you). But there are plenty of things we can learn from them:
- in one scene, a "native" was helping the wife prepare some Thanksgiving food by opening a can of yams and the chief of the group commented to the other tribesman "Doesn't she know that that food is lifeless?" And further accepted it as the way these people eat and left it at that without any judgment or condemnation.
- in another scene with the same family, the wife was preparing the turkey by cooking it in a plastic bag; the chief expressed his hesitation and concern about eating the turkey because he thought it might be poisonous from the toxins leached from the bag and with humility said he would eat it because he trusted the family's traditions.
- in another episode when they visited New York City and couldn't believe that there were homeless people living on the streets when there were so many "great" buildings around.
- also while in New York a gay couple asked the chief if same sex marriages existed in their culture and the chief explained that because their population is so small, marriages were of the opposite sex so as to produce babies as a matter of tribal survival and he acknowledged and understood that in modern society all the basic needs for survival are met and as long as two individuals have love for each other he didn't see anything "odd" or "wrong" with same sex relationships.

The show is full of these types of examples which remind us of how easily we can become distracted by our busy, modern lives. We are distracted from what it is to be Human and to be connected with this planet and with others. And rather than looking within ourselves first when we experience suffering or struggles or conflict, we seek everything from the outside in the forms of quick-fixes, results, answers, gurus, addictions, obessions, etc where we always chase after what feels good and run away from all that we are afraid of and cling to the past and worry about the future. One doesn't have to join a small tribe in the South Pacific or become a monk and live in a monastery to be Present and understand that we are all Co-Creators of this world and yes, you, reading this blog, can make a difference, as an individual. It all starts with awareness. Awareness of the body leads to awareness of the mind, which leads to awareness of the soul. Body, mind, and soul - watch "Meeting the Natives" and you'll see living examples of individuals who are living in alignment with these three aspects of our Human nature.

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Self Realization and Shitting Yourself

This week starts the season of Advent where Christians all over are preparing for the coming of Christ with anticipation and vigilance which culminates with Christ’s birth on Christmas. This anticipation and vigilance does not end with Christmas. Advent is a reminder of the forgotten aspect of our higher nature. In the Christian-religious sense, it’s about being ready for the coming of Christ; and commonly it’s referred to as the second coming of Christ as well. Christians are taught to be at their best behavior because when the day of Judgment arrives (which can be at any moment) those who are prepared may enter the kingdom of heaven and those who are not, may have extra work to do. The anticipation and vigilance is not an expectant attitude but more so the emphasis is on allowing evolution to flow unheeded. Imagine right now where you are the full power of God being exposed to you and all that you believed to be real was wiped away. Do you think you’d be able to handle that? Do you think you’d be able to let go (completely) of your attachments to this world? Most likely you’d shit yourself several times over.

Now let’s walk away from the religious perspective and pretend you have no experience with religions and are without any past conditioning and beliefs and dogma. As you learn to acknowledge the non-physical aspects of you, the soul and spirit natures, you’ll come to the realization that this is a whole new ballgame. This can be viewed as the “second coming of Christ” which is the self-realization of mankind. Man transcends the physical world and no longer is split between the physical and non-physical but is of them both in unity. Anticipation and vigilance is a practice of astute awareness of one’s mind, body, and higher natures. In my practice of health consulting, I learned through trial and error that if you give a client too much too soon, your well intentioned help may backfire on you resulting in a very confused client. Some people need steps depending on where they are in life before “waking up” and having clarity and knowledge of the “higher worlds”. If ten feet of snow fell on a town all at once there wouldn’t be much of a town left and the same is true for self-realization.

The first step is to simply practice awareness and be the watcher or stalker of the mind. Without judgment and condemnation, acknowledge your thoughts for what they are: reactions to memory as knowledge and experience; all of which are based upon the past and assist one to speculate about the future. The mind that wants it all right now is merely escaping from the opportunity to unite the body, mind, and soul. Rather than escape, try hanging around for a bit and see what happens. Hang around outside your self-built comfort zone and be accepting of whatever comes your way. This is the Soul at work. Imagine how many times we’ve pushed the soul away only to satisfy our limited ego needs.

For this holiday season try being the vigilante of your thoughts so as to clear the path for the Soul.