The education of a young man

Each week I take my son on a field trip. We explore the gardens and fields and find new and old friends to play with.

This week, he wanted to play with the pigeons so we went through the process of hunting together.

He attempted to run at them and catch them at first with no success and when he asked we began the process.

We scouted for some crumbs and started scattering them for the birds. They came but never close enough to reach.

Then we squatted silently and the birds came closer but still out of reach.

We talked and I told my son to think like a rock. Be the rock and just breathe. Now the birds came at arms length.

Attempts to grab the birds were always fruitless. The birds seemed to know the grab was coming. When he asked, we moved deeper. “Don’t wait for the thought my son” I said “Act as the thought comes in your head.” I showed how to grab the birds gently so they are not alarmed and as he saw this, he became one with himself for a moment. From catching air, he went to touching and holding the birds who did not run away. This is a simple example of the Japanese mu-shin, the thought no thought. I interpret this principle as being one with yourself and having no gap between the parts of the whole.

After the bird hunt, we lit a fire floating on water using a knife, fire-steel, a few dry leaves and one green leaf floating in a basin of rock.

Keep the art in the Dojo and it is no art at all.

Games are the best teachers

Fun games to strengthen and bring more movement awareness to kids and adults with heart

1.       The broken cement truck – one person starts transitioning between being on all four limbs facing the ground and facing the skies as one or more use their feet and legs to try to keep him in one of those states.

2.       Ground glue – one person brings themselves as close to the ground as possible with all their parts and one or more use their hands to peel them off as they move to maintain contact with the ground.

3.       Wave surfing – One moves to pass through a line of people holding hands together as they move to bring him back from whence he came.

4. Medusa – one group or person is moving toward the watcher/medusa. Whenever the watcher hears something, they turn swiftly and if they catch the movement, they get to change places.


rope strong

Strength makes life easier. We choose paths and follow them. Choose one that makes you strong in all your faculties and take your friends and loved ones with you.

The cost of being weak is heavier…

1.       Tie the rope to a tree trunk. Climb the rope from laying down prone and see who can do it faster among your pals. Use only your arms.

2.       Lay the rope flat on the ground and tie a kerchief at the middle. Start two people at pulling themselves at each end and see who gets to the middle faster. Try not to get a concussion and use just your arms.

3.       Tie the rope between two trees at shoulder height. Walk on your hands or fists between the trees with your legs walking on the rope. Use the rope as little as you can.

4.       Loop the rope around the waist, while on your hands and feet, and give the two ends to a partner. Pull them forward and maintain the rope around your waist by turning and twisting your hips and thighs.

5.       Tie the rope to a tree above head height. Sit down and climb the rope to a standing position and back. Use the body to create the best angle and mind your elbow angles as well to the best outcome of use of force vs use of structure.

Dr Seuss rolling

The mundane is the godly with a bit or seasoning and creativity.

Rolling. A simple task that can extend us exponentially with the right frame of mind.

Will you do it with a friend?

Will you do it stick in hand?

Will you do it with no eyes?

Will you do it legs entwined?

Will you do it with no hands?

Will you do it with breath held?

Will you do it knife in hand

Keep doing the same but different and you will make a change.

First in yourself and then it will grow past you.

Teach your child to pay attention

Games and stories are the best way to teach the young and non walking dead.

Here are a few ways to bring your child more into the moment and show that paying attention pays.

VISUAL

  1. One more cat – Choose an animal like a cat or an object and see who calls it out faster and in greater amounts. You can have a cat counting contest or a broken pavement contest it matters only that we pay attention. Change what the object is from time to time as the seasons change (red leaf for example) and enjoy the extra awareness.
  2. What is missing – Take a scene that is well known to everyone and remove one part. See who finds out what it is first and how. For example – take away the favorite picture off the wall and see if it is noticed.
  3. Color blind – Things change color by season or man action. Note the changes the locals make in their yards and clothes, mark the changes in the leaves and trunk and mark the change in the skies and in the horizons.

AUDITORY

  1. Insects birds cats and dogs – Where you have insects making noises, you will not find birds, where you hear birds, you will not find cats and so on. Listen and predict what animals or people you will find about and learn a mighty lesson on rings of association.
  2. Echo lines – There is a distance beneath which no echo is heard by us. Guess and match who finds the line of the echo in different places and ranges. There is a lot to learn about the three dimensional nature of waves thus.
  3. The closing tap – A tune is made out of sound and silence. check who notices when the washing machine has ended its cycle, when do the birds finish their evening calls and gain the full range of the tune.

TACTILE

  1. The lost ant – Hide a small paper clip inside clothes and see when it is detected, Place a plastic bottle cap under the sheets and see who is the true princess or just place an acorn on the ground and see who chooses to step lightly 🙂 The appreciation to touch goes beyond the fingertips.
  2. The right key – Take objects that seem similar and close your eyes to pick the right one. It can be keys, clothes and anything that matches, your fingers and mind will connect past the oversight of the eyes and awaken even more.
  3. The tower – Take very light objects like disposable plastic cups or clean ear cleaning sticks and build towers with them.  aim to make them as gentle as possible to better understand the lightest touch.

For Gideon.

 

 

Wheelbarrow walks – old-school tech

Walking on your fists is great. Walking on your first with a friend is even better.

Enjoy both rolls in this movement and note how the body learns to move as one, once tension is healthily distributed throughout the body. Let the breath lead the motion and relax your arms on contacting the ground to avoid excess tension.

Please resist the urge to push your friend too fast 🙂

Place your fists on the ground and let a friend hold onto your ankles.

Walk forward and back on your fists for 40 breaths

Walk sideways left and right on your fists for 40 breaths

Walk forward and back on your forearms for 40 breaths

Walk sideways left and right on your forearms for 40 breaths

Walk toward your feet and back by moving on your fists and bending the hips for 40 breaths

Jump with both fists forward and back for 40 breaths and mind to let the breath distribute and continue the motion instead of holding onto the impact

Reverse rolls and enjoy the work and how funny we look when we work honestly.

 

Small bullies

 

I was usually victorious in the playground. I held my own against ones and twos and threes. I once faced six older bigger boys and they won. They won the first. They did not win the second.

Figure that as you will.

A side note: If you consider the tone harsh, you may not remember how children fight.

The subject of bullies usually goes towards the prevention of bullies. That will not happen as it is a part of the human condition to seek dominance and bullies represent a small type of that warfare.

Let us invest in accepting the human way of now and dealing with it. You do not cross the mountain by walking around it. You cross it by learning your innate ability to make the mountain your ally. fire is death and fire is life. Make the obstacle a ladder and climb it up. This may not seem kid friendly but kids are people and when you treat them as such they grow up instead of just growing old.

 

THE MIND GAME

We start at the mind because the affects stay there the longest. Bones mend but perceptions can scar a lifetime. The body makes its own micro choices but the mind is the leader.

Set up the inner playground:

  1. It is ok to lose. Just do better next time. Small steps are harder to stop.
  2. Some people say things because they want you to believe them. Not because they do.
  3. It is ok to make things up as you go. No one knows the entire picture.
  4. No one is perfect including dead heroes and the published word.
  5. Defense is answering a stupid question. Never answer, always choose.
  6. It is all right to say NO. It is a choice and it is yours.
  7. Always look at things from all sides of the transactions. Does everyone benefit ? Is it getting better or worse ? What is the direction ? Does it fit your needs as well as the needs of the others?
  8. Jokes and laughter take the sting and stink away from many things.
  9. No self improvement is ever finished. Enjoy the road and the wind in your hair if you have any.
  10. Sometimes you just lose. It can take a while to climb but seeing the landscape helps. There are small favors in each cruelty if you make it through and even if you don’t. Make the landscape wide in your head.
  11. Play the game of losing and winning in your head on a regular basis. Work it out so you know what you want to do when you win and when you lose. Win a few times (in different ways) for every time you lose in your head.

THE MOVEMENT GAME

I know about people who always win with grace. In books and comics.

  1. There is a great book – six ways in twelve ways out – find different ways to do the same thing. That goes for many things. Tying your shoe laces, the way to school, brushing your teeth and so on. Creating a mindset that you can find a way is more important than practicing common movement in a martial art class. Later on, there is a need to work this in a confrontational manner. bypass pushing hands and feet, find ways to keep moving when held and so on in small steps and with many laughs. Finding humor in the process of finding the way is key in continuing on that important facet of living.
  2. “From the top of the mountain you can only see the mountain” We all build walls around us to protect and shy away from the unknown and the dangerous in our mind. We can learn to use these inner walls and outer obstacles to climb up outside of the cave ( I know I am mixing theologies) without fearing it. For example, place a hand in the way out the kitchen (create a block in the predetermined path) and play with using the obstacles as help instead of avoiding them. Use this with words too. The mindset creates the landscape.
  3. Human touch is healing and we forget it over time. Play with the edges of touch by switching on cue from a hug to a tussle and have fun with moving on the scale. Allow yourself to accept both sides of the same coin and heal inside.
  4. Ties are knots in a rope ladder – Use your anchors as points of reference and find new anchors as you go along the sail. Physically you give yourself binds from not being able to use one arm to keeping both knees touching at all times and play a tussle and doing chores to find new ways to use the ropes and ladders.  Every time you play with binds, you find new keys. It is not the keys that matter. It is the process which gives you the next step you need in a real bind.

The framework presented here is exceptionally wide of breadth and vague. Life is like that too and planting the seeds of innovation and going through the breach in the wall as a daily practice and game is the key to finding your way when the unexpected comes.

PLAY WAR

Three year old children don’t need to learn about war ? I disagree. Children who are in a world that is always new and challenging,  a world where they are usually weak and lack in body and mind toward the competition they need to study war.

They just need a better approach than adults to it.

War games are the best for children and society is trying to kill those because it does not fit the illusion of childhood and the illusion of society itself.

Games need to be competitive. Games need to have stakes. Otherwise you are teaching a neutered version of reality and harming children. You will also not have the true fun and growth reality brings.

Games need to be as free from adult meddling as possible. There are games with adults and some of those are great but I am aiming at an adult controlled environment which kills the game and makes them into some play. Toothless, pointless, harmful to all.

Now to the fun part:

  1. Hide and seek – Self-explanatory. (camouflage and proper cover and concealment)
  2. Collecting/building contests – who finds the first ten trucks during a ride on the bus. Which team can pitch the tent or pillow fort first. (build your future sniper)
  3. Sneaking – See who can sneak and spook better and have a good laugh (learn to move quietly)
  4. Fighting a giant – A group tries to topple or push a bigger kid or adult (team work and good fun body work)
  5. Flags – Each team tries to protect their own flag and take the other teams flag (maneuver warfare)
  6. Obstacle courses – You don’t need a real obstacle course, Just a working imagination. Go over and under cars (parked ones unless you have some Kryptonian genes), balance over poles and handrails. Make stuff up. Lots of adults get paid for it J
  7. Watch tower – One kid stands apart from the group and the others are in a line. He turns away and counts aloud to three and turns to them. As he turns, they must freeze and if he catches one moving, than they have to switch roles. If you can reach the counter without being spotted moving then you are good. (good movement and field of sight awareness)
  8. Snake – take a jump rope or stick and move it in circles around you as the others try to touch you without being touched by the stick. (Please note that these games have no bravado. You win by not losing )
  9. One legged push fight – Two or more stand on one foot and fold their arms on their chests. Now you jump and push with the body to make the other side fall or push them outside a decided line.
  10. Tug of war – self-explanatory two sides hold onto a rope and you win by pulling better, faster, in jerks. You do what you can to not go over that line and you get to repeat that so you can become better. (This teaches everyone that it is not just power and linier that wins the field)
  11. Mirror – Two or more sides to this prism. You mimic the movements of the chosen one TM and it is a game of creating expectations and repetition to lull and induct movement without actually doing it.

Let them argue and find a solution sometimes.

Let them say no and follow through.

Let them create themselves as adults, step by step.

Take games seriously. Give your kid a heads up on life.

Six ways to make ourselves better

The world gives you many things. It gives you better things on average if you apply yourself.

  1. WRITE – reading is great. Writing forces you to create. It forces you to think and to articulate in style. Write.
  2. LISTEN – Most people just wait for the other person to stop talking so they can speak. Listen (This does not mean you let people talk over you) to what people say and you will learn and others will find you more interesting and refreshing.
  3. STOP – Stop from time to time to adjust, to make choices, to avoid being swayed by shiny colors and charisma. Stop so you can return to yourself.
  4. MAKE – Art is easy and art is hard. Start by simple crafts from learning new ties so you can make a hammock or a climbing apparatus. Make something out of clay or even crayons (Marines) but create something from yourself instead of relying on others. Learn to draw and draw, Learn to fix things yourself. Learn to make fire with your piss in the tundra. Yes, it is possible.
  5. SPEAK – Go past just talking to friends reaping the same words and ideas. Talk to people you don’t know (not in the bathroom) and learn to be persuasive and affective. Talk in front of crowds and find your own voice.
  6. PLAN – Throw away the “Living la Vida loca” cassette (yes, I am old) and make plans. See them come into life by your daily towing the line until you bring down the mountain of uncertainty for your progeny. There is no harder matter than flesh with purpose.

Don’t wear a mask that allows you to forget you are alive.

Give your children the edge

Give your children the edge of attention. We all have it to some degree. Give the young ones the way to hone their awareness to their own gifts and enjoy the process too 🙂

  1. The tickle game – Tell your kids that from now on. You will be coming to tickle them by surprise. They will grow more alert and attentive to human behaviour and learn to read ques and faints better. The second level of this is that they will initiate the tickle game so always pay attention. (Make sure you avoid doing it while driving or choosing MOS)
  2. The spotting game – This is a good car game. Tell your kids to locate the next green sign, the next flying bird or the next dog. This will hone the hunting brain and the kids will be able to find patterns easier. The second level of this is to find a combination. For example – a a dog with a little girl or a tall man with a square briefcase.
  3. The flashlight game – Get a few narrow beam flashlights. Play hide and seek in the darkness of night and teach your kids to grasp the frame iluminated faster and on the move and that when they are looking, they are also looked at. Play so you are able to turn the flashlight for one second at a time and only while in movement.

Do what is needed in the best way possible.