Sunday, July 31, 2011

Daily Saying for July 31st, 2011

When that food you hate comes around, try it again.  Never let hate beat you in anything.  When that food you love comes around again, share it with someone.  Never let your consumption consume you in any way.  When the food comes around again, taste it.  Never forget to taste it.  Never.
     ~至道

Saturday, July 30, 2011

Daily Saying for July 30th, 2011

You will never know who will have a chance to save a life which is precious to you.  Thank everyone in advance for their kindness.
     ~至道

Friday, July 29, 2011

Step by step instructions for how to let it go and grow

I was recently asked:

How does one forgive themselves? Or someone close to them, for a most painful disappointment?

This was my response:

Step by step instructions for how to let it go and grow:

  1. Take a deep breath every time you think of something you need to let go or forgive.
  2. Put it in perspective.  Ask yourself, "How important will this be in a year?  How important will it be in ten years?  How important is it to people on the other side of the world?  How important is it to the universe?"  Remember then, that it is not.  The importance is only immediate and only to you.  Ultimately none of reality hinges on this one thing.  Let that be a weight off of your shoulders.
  3. Remember that you are the one in control of your perspective.  You can choose to open or close your eyes, you can choose to hear words with a certain understanding of meaning, there is nothing about you which you can not change.
  4. See the situation from more than your own perspective. Try thinking of how it would seem to your friends, your enemies, your teachers, your children and people you've never met.  Your view is not all of reality.  How comforting!
  5. Tell yourself you've already let it go.  If you keep telling yourself you're not done with it, you'll hold on to it as firmly as you intend to throw it away.
  6. Repeat steps 1-5 three times.  Reassuring yourself of these things three times will confirm the truth for your world.
  7. Eat or drink something that is healthy and do so slowly with appreciation.  Take that time to slow down and re-focus your mind.  Don't miss that kind of little thing.  It's a miracle and miracles are all around you.  
  8. Say a prayer of thanks.  Just be thankful for all of the tiniest things in your life and just tell them to the universe/god/a friend/your dog.  Talk about things from the present.  No need for even thinking about the immediate past, but if there are some good things, go ahead and throw them in too.
  9. One more deep breath. 
  10. Continue your life as a freer being.  Remember this anytime there's something difficult going on.  It might not be your difficult thing, but someone else might go through something too.  Help them through it with these steps and you'll both feel a lot better.
Hope that helped.
    ~至道

Daily Saying for July 29th, 2011

The length of a hundred steps depends entirely on the legs of the one walking them.  However, everyone gets farther when they leap.
     ~至道

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Daily Saying for July 28th, 2011

There is more nothing inside of us than thing...how can we still think we are real?
     ~至道

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Daily Saying for July 27th, 2011

Someone whose only reason for being in education is business has no business in education.
     ~至道

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Daily Saying for July 26th, 2011

The most beautiful thing about understanding and life is that they grow together, are shared with others and one day they disappear into the night but their touch remains on the universe until the morning.
      ~至道

Monday, July 25, 2011

Daily Saying for July 25th, 2011

Instead of holding your enemy in a grip of power, try holding them in an embrace of sympathy and understanding.  It will defeat the enemy and leave only a person.
        ~至道

Sunday, July 24, 2011

Daily Saying for July 24th, 2011

Do not treat a dying person differently.  After all, you're dying too.
     ~至道

Saturday, July 23, 2011

Daily Saying for July 23, 2011

The decision to act is no different from the decision not to act.   Both change you entirely.
      ~至道

Friday, July 22, 2011

Daily Saying for July 22nd, 2011

Capturing beauty with words is like catching a fish with a spear.  You can only catch its corpse.
         ~至道

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Daily Saying for July 21st, 2011

Listen to music every single day.  If you can't hear it right now, you're not listening right.
      ~至道

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Daily Saying for July 20th, 2011

A good teacher can teach any student.  A good student learns from billions of teachers.
     ~至道

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Sunday, July 17, 2011

Daily Saying for July 17th, 2011

Were you listening just now when the universe shared its secrets? No? Then pay attention, you'll never know when it will repeat it.
             ~至道

Saturday, July 16, 2011

Daily Saying for July 16th, 2011

A little pain never hurt anyone.  Remember this the next time you want to get stronger.
                 ~至道

Ps. Sorry for the lateness!

Friday, July 15, 2011

Daily Saying for July 15th, 2011

A long time ago, I ended conflicts with my shouting.  Then I ended conflicts with my hands curled into tight stones.  Then I ended conflicts with calm words.  Now, with understanding, the conflicts end on their own.  
     ~至道

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

5 Most Important Things for Teachers to Do.

I was recently asked:

What are the 5 most important things for teachers to do?


This was my response:

  1. Have compassion for the students.  We seem to forget, sometimes, that we were once in their place.  The understandings have gotten easier for us, but they are still new and difficult for those who have not explored the subject matter for so long.
  2. Practice looking at the subject matter from other perspectives.  This means not just teaching material in one manner.  Many students learn in different ways.  This is not the student's responsibility, but the teachers.  Be aware that not everyone will understand immediately or with the same methods, vary your teaching style.
  3. Focus on the understanding, not the knowledge.  We think of knowledge and understanding as being the same thing but they are extremely different.  For example, the knowledge of when the United States of America was founded is known by most Americans as 1776.  However, this does not mean that all Americans understand how this is important.  The actual year is ultimately irrelevant. The important thing is understanding that America is still a young nation and has a lot of work to do in various aspects before it becomes as wise as some other countries that have had millennia of mistakes from which to learn.  1776, 1773, 1779...the number is unnecessary (knowledge) but the idea of the youth (understanding) is important. 
  4. Teach creativity.  Without teaching the creativity, there is actually no real learning going on.  I might be able to play 100 classical pieces on the piano flawlessly.  However, I am simply reviewing the motions until they are polished.  However, someone who can play jazz and is able to freely manipulate the keys with beauty, even with less technical skill, is far better at piano than I am.  They have freedom with their understanding and they are able to actually create.  This can be applied to any subject.
  5. Have patience.  It may take years to teach one simple skill, but if they are able to do that one skill in the long run, it truly was all worth it.  I had a student years ago who could not throw a punch at all when he began.  We spent hours and hours on it.  Every time it was practiced to perfection but his mind refused to associate the clean motion with the word "punch."  Eventually, after about a month of practice, he finally threw 2 correct punches in a row.  Now, after a few years, he can learn a full meditative form of 50 moves in an afternoon.  Yes, it took a long time, but as long as he was willing to put forth even the slightest effort, I had to be there to support him entirely.  
 I hope this translates into love peace and more understanding for the teachers who read this and the students who will one day be teachers.

Osu!

Daily Saying for July 12th, 2011

Hate is nothing more than the presence of a job to do.  A job of peace.
                  ~至道

Monday, July 11, 2011

Daily Saying for July 11th, 2011

Most are not disturbed by little changes.  Yet, the size of change can only be measured by perspective. So change your perspective a little.
     ~至道

Sunday, July 10, 2011

Daily Saying for July 10th, 2011

A broken heart is the world's way of showing us just how overwhelming beauty is.
    ~至道

Saturday, July 9, 2011

Daily Saying for July 9th, 2011

When you finally meet the greatest opponent you will ever have, look them right in the eye and break the mirror. 

~至道

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Daily Saying for July 7th, 2011

Every obstacle must be approached with sweat and a warm heart.
           ~至道

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Daily Saying for July 5th, 2011

Weak people want only rest.  Normal people want some rest.  Strong people want little rest.  But the strongest people are at rest in every situation.
       ~至道

Monday, July 4, 2011

What is violence?

I was recently asked:

What is violence?

This was my response:

What a good question to ask someone who does martial arts!  When I was in high school, I tried writing a paper on this and found it of little success because at that time, I was under the mistaken impression that it could be written from one single perspective.  Violence as a topic is something beyond a single perspective.  In fact, it is when something has only one perspective that makes it violence at all.

We describe violence as being something in war, conflict and the media.  However, violence is different for each being.  To the average American, it involves one person hitting another.  To a war general, it's casualties on his own side.  To a director, it's something that conflicts with his vision.  To a martial artist, it is inappropriate intent.  To an ant, it's rain.  To a flower, it's drought, To God or the universe, it's irrelevant. 

The best answer to this that this one can give is that violence is a mix of fear and disgust.  These two things are only determined by the one feeling them.  To another it might not be actually violent at all.  There are no limits as to what one can determine as violent and non-violent but their own experiences.

For example, one time a good friend came to visit me during my training.  I invited him to watch a sparring match.  I was hit with a solid kick to the jaw and my gums bled.  The match continued and I was fine with the tiny amount of pain and taste of iron.  After the match, the friend asked me, "Are you okay?  That was pretty violent!"  I shook my head in mild confusion.  "What was violent?" I asked.  "The whole thing!  You got kicked in the face and you bled!"  I had gone from confusion to laughter, which I realize now scared him more.  "It wasn't violent and the kick wasn't hard enough for me to have any problems.  The violence you see is your lack of understanding how hard I need to be hit for it to hurt me as well as the fear of yourself getting injured."  I went on to explain that in time, if he trained, that he would not only do that kind of thing, but he would then see that the actions there were utterly peaceful.  The person I was sparring was only trying to teach me where I was vulnerable and at the same time learn what they were capable of doing.  At the same time I was trying to teach them their vulnerabilities and learning what I could do in such a situation.  The exchange was positive, beautiful and we both were doing our best to help each other.  One who doesn't have that kind of experience and understanding will only see fighting as violent.  To us, it was the most calm and clear moment of our lives.  No thoughts of other things, no worries, no fear, no desire, just emptiness and serenity.

This violence that we think we know as violence is all just manifestations of the way things are in our world.  The experiences have need to be experienced and we must learn to let go of our fears and disgusts.  After all, our presence is nothing but violence in the face of nothing. 

Osu,
   ~至道

Daily Saying for July 4th, 2011

Resolve is not formed from nothing.  It is deciding that no thing can stop you.  That's nothing!
     ~至道

Sunday, July 3, 2011

Daily Saying for July 3rd, 2011

The only people worth being jealous of are dead.  But only be jealous of what they do not have.  You.
    ~至道

Saturday, July 2, 2011

Daily Saying for July 2nd, 2011

We grow the most when we are far from our comfort zones so start running!
       ~至道

Friday, July 1, 2011

Daily Saying for July 1st, 2011

One who focuses more on rank and rule than skill and understanding lacks experience and control.
     ~至道