Category Archives: Philosophy

File Bankruptcy on your Past

I was talking to student last night who asked “Do you ever think about about the past, and think if only I had done this and that?” To which I replied “I did, but I try not to now”. This is something I have worked hard perfect over the last 10 years. In the last 2 years things came to a head and I received insight from several places. Both my Sifu (teacher/father) and my Sigong (teacher/grand father) have talked extensively about “controlling your inner triad” and I have also gained a lot of insight from many of the dharma practitioners that have written books and discuss this sort of thing online. Somewhere this all combined with my own crazy dharma to come to this. Filing bankruptcy on your past.

First we have to understand something. There is no time, but the present. The future may never come, and you can’t prove that the past ever existed. I have read that when you look at someones brain in an MRI machine dreaming and remembering trigger the same parts of the brain. So essentially you are making up your past. I often ask people to prove to me that the past happened. I usually pick something really easy to argue, like World War II. Ok prove it. People will often say that it is in a history book, and I reply that Harry Potter is also a book. So we have stories of the past, not really a past.

So now that we have established that the past is mental construct we can now file bankruptcy on it. All bankruptcy allows you to do is not pay old bills. So let’s stop paying our old emotional bills. This doesn’t make everything go away. Just like in a financial bankruptcy it doesn’t fix your credit, it just gets out for under your crushing debt.

In this method, Karma is your credit. Just because you file bankruptcy on your past it does not mean that you are now exempt from the consequences of your past. But now all you have to do is clean up your karmic credit. Focus on things like:

Benevolence / kindness
Righteousness / honesty
Loyalty
Wisdom
Courage
Discipline
Trust / Trustworthiness
Protocol / Principles

Do you find this helpful, would you like to discuss this? Comment below!!

Namaste!

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5 Activities of Martial Arts and the Elimination of Illusion

There are a lot of ways to participate in Martial Arts. All of these boil down to 5 Categories.

  1. Health and Fitness
  2. Art and Entertainment
  3. Sport and Competition
  4. Combat and Self Defense
  5. Self Improvement and Enlightenment

I would like to talk about these from the bottom up. This list in no particular order and no part is more important that the others.

Self Improvement and Enlightenment

This method is obtainable through any of the other methods or a combination of methods listed above. When done correctly all of the methods should be done as a meditation. Meditation means nothing more than focused practice.

Combat and Self Defense

Self defense means “protecting oneself with reasonable force in order to escape”. This is a legal construct, if you hit anyone for any reason you will have to talk to the police at some point.

Combat means “destroying ones ability to attack” this often ends in maiming or killing your opponent.

This is what our general program is based around at Meng’s of Richmond. We teach the curriculum based on combat so that you can “scale back” to defend yourself instead of leaving you out to dry if you need to escalate up the use of force continuum.

The use of force continuum goes like this

  1. avoidance
  2. interception
  3. redirection
  4. injure
  5. maim
  6. kill

I will discuss this in another post.

Sport and Competition

Sport and Competition includes everything from the UFC to your local open martial arts tournament. This is why you will find me describing people as [insert martial sport activity] players. If you are in a Jiu Jitsu Competition you are a Jiu Jitsu Player. If you are in the Olympics competing in Tae Kwon Do or Judo you are a Tae Kwon Do or Judo player, if you are in a cage to win the UFC Women’s Bantumweight Title (good luck Ronda is a BEAST) you are a Mixed Martial Arts player. A person is only a fighter when they are in a fight. Even if you are training for a fight you still don’t want to train as a fighter. I may get into this in another post.

Art and Entertainment

Forms (or Kata for my Japanese MA brothers and sisters) as performance art (not being judged) and choreography for movies fit in this realm. The Shaw Brothers, Bruce Lee, Jakie Chan, Jet Li, and so on have made this aspect of martial arts once of the most lucrative aspects. They are just as much martial artists as anyone else.

Health and Fitness

Qigong, Tai Chi, Tae bo, Cardio Kickboxing, Insanity, P90x, Focus T25 all fit in this aspect. Martial Arts movements are starting to show up in more and more workout systems because they are some of the best ways to access certain muscles, but remember this is not fighting and you do not want to bet your life on it. The movements in these systems are exaggerated so that you get a better workout. Low heel kicks with your toes pointing strait up, almost any kick with a locked leg, Huge sweeping round kicks, and elbow out “chicken wing” punches are all tools to get you fit not to save your life.

I sound like I am putting these systems down, but I absolutely am not. The last part of this title was and eliminating illusion. I just want to make sure that everyone is training properly for their intentions. Wow this post has opened up so many other possible discussions.

Comment if you are interested in seeing where there discussions go.

Namaste!

Thinking about Death

You can’t make any decisions about how to live without deciding how you want to die. Some people will find this to be a bit morbid, but it really isn’t once you understand. This is a foundational issue in Shaolin philosophy and martial arts. This principal we are talking about here is Karma.

good-quotes-sayings-revenge-about-karma
A childish misunderstanding of Karma

Most people misunderstand Karma. They believe that Karma is a mystical force that screws people over for being jerks, and this is not true. Childish and not true. Karma is neither positive or negative. Karma is the consequence for action. All actions have Karma. If you push a child on a swing they will come back to you. This is Karma.

So what does this have to do with death? Glad you asked! I am going to assume that everyone reading this wants to die the same way, old, healthy, and without trauma. We all want to just fade out softly, right? So what do we have to do to make that our Karma?

Think Well – A negative attitude, or bad finding will kill you earlier than you’d expect
Eat Well – If you fill your body with poison you will die
Drink Well – Clean water (no flavorings or other additives) and tea
Sleep Well – 7-8 hours of sleep a night no exceptions
Move/Breathe Well – Exercise and a daily Qigong/Yoga practice will extend your life

Here is to long life!

Namaste!

The Platinum Rule

We all know the “Golden Rule”

The Golden Rule or ethic of reciprocity is a maxim,[1] ethical code or morality[2] that essentially states either of the following:

  • One should treat others as one would like others to treat oneself (directive form).[1]

  • One should not treat others in ways that one would not like to be treated (cautionary form, also known as the Silver Rule).[1]  -Wikipedia

This is a great and old maxim the Ancients in Babylon, China, Egypt,Greece, Rome, and India all had a “Golden Rule” and it shows up in a large number of religions and philosophies including Global ethic, Bahá’í, Buddhism, Christianity, Confucianism, Existentialism, Hinduism, Humanism, Islam, Jainism, Judaism, Mohism, Platonism, Scientology, Sikhism, Taoism, The Way to Happiness, and Wicca

This is all well and good but I like the comically named Platinum Rule that Aubrey Marcus, founder of Onnit, talked about on the Joe Rogan Experience Podcast.

platinum_rule

I prefer this verbiage for the reasons given in that episode. You can watch it below, but be warned there is some NSFW language.