From Ito-sensei on 12 Dec
Thank you for sharing your experience!
The image you described reminded of the science fiction cartoon produced by Japanese artist….
(Have you seen “Nautica” by Hayao Miyazaki?)
Your note will be put up on our Taimyo site!
From Patrick on 12 Dec part 2
<< The thought (rather, the suggestion) about the victims of Nankins and Pearl Harbour triggered a flow of images to be washed away by the flow of light, and I had vision of sand blasted temples in the desert, rusty shipwrecks on the ocean floor, and the forests of La Marne where I was born and grew, nature taking over and growing from the bomb holes and “tranchees” which are still there, like scars -no longer horrible. Nature and time are the big healers, if they have to have their way. This was where I was supposed to send the light. This is where I sent it – or rather: where it went on its own, from my heart. >>
Sorry this does not reflect what I felt. I felt that the light that was flowing from the “torch” of my two pressed hands was of the same kind, had the same healing power as time and nature: the same way time and nature erode the sharp angles of a devastated cities to integrate it back gradually into the surrounding landscape, the same way this light was eroding the sharpness of those images and sufferings from our history and integrate them back into our present. I just added my own little light to the overwhelming flow of this light.
Just merged in, really (there was no separate little light to add).
From Patrick on 12 Dec part 1
Hi Ito Sensei,
I did the Taimyo Kata on Wednesday Dec. 7th and Saturday the 10th.
I did it on Thursday too but had a bit of a hard time as I was outside in Zurich and felt my fingers freezing after Kongo-i : when I switched to Kenka-i, before I could think I had folded the top of my fingers into my hands to warm them: I forced myself to unfold them and resisted until the middle of Kenshin-i, but by then my concentration had dissolved as I could not put away the pain and fear from the cold. I finished the Kata nonetheless, but more to close it properly than anything else.
On Saturday I had my class, with three people registered. I had too many things on my mind and arrived 5 minutes late at the door of the gym, just to discover that I had taken the wrong key. We agreed to meet again 30 minutes later, the time for me to go back home and come back. On the way I thought about the mishappen, and realized that in fact I felt relieved: I had been under stress until then, and had had no time to prepare the Keiko. Now that the worst had happened, I could actually think about what I would do, much better than if I had started in that state! It came to me that owing to the shortened time the best would actually be to introduce them to Taimyo, and to do it altogether once. This is what we did (I actually started with stepping exercise as Lucian reported once, considering that I would not ask them to do the first part of Taimyo with the steps).
So this leaves Wednesday’s Taimyo. I had difficulties in the beginning, having been too involved lately trying to formalize a number of “philosophical” topics e.g. on Michael’s blog. On my way to the Keiko (same place outside as I would freeze the next day) I was observing myself and already preparing my report! In addition, I did not really know what kind of energy to build and exchange in relation with the events we were supposed to meditate upon. Last time I did not have to think about it, as I was so personally involved in the events. I decided, as I was (still) walking towards the park, to try and put myself in the position of those who had consciously decided to throw so much destruction upon the world (I left the compassion for the victims aside, assuming it would naturally come during Kongo-i).
The evening sky was low, clouds between rain and snow and I could hear airplanes passing by (Zurich airport is not far from this place) plus the muffled noise of the traffic. All in all, a quiet beginning-of-winter evening, the feeling of duty done (work), and the well-earned reward (home) ahead. I was taking in the surrounding landscape (the mountain hills around, the buildings encapsulating heat and sweet safety) and I thought that if I were a high-ranking Japanese officer in those days when war was raging all over Europe (like the muffled noise of the planes ahead) I could not help feeling simultaneously the beauty as well as precarity of my life style. I could not help feeling that there was both an opportunity and a necessity to do something now, when I still had a choice and so much confusion already going on in the world, rather than later when the confusion had spread and I had to adapt to events that were no longer under my control. Having gotten into this state of mind, I realized that my physical sensations were literally bound to the ‘horizontal’ plane, being pulled in all directions over the surface of the earth with no possibility to look up into the sky or down into myself unless I released these bounds – ie. release the bounds to “my” country, culture and traditions to focus on more transcendental, more universal values.
I, Patrick, happily released these bounds as I dived into Taimyo – but I still had too many things on my mind. I was trying to reach some predefined state of concentration as I had experienced the last time. I kept discarding thoughts, recent memories, etc. but there were so many I could not see the inn around the hosts. I carried on until Shosei-i, when suddenly I vividly remembered the peculiar shock I had just received this morning reading Michael’s last response to my question: “if we cut our finger what remains of the moon”. Michael had said “use the middle one”. This was so appropriate to the present circumstances that I really had to smile, and here I was wearning a big smile with arms wide spread, legs and top of the head supposedly reaching towards infinity! So absurd… Obviously by then I did not care any more about reaching the “right” state of mind, was just doing my job and enjoying it.
Then I plunged with Tensho-i across space and time towards the origin of the universe, like a spear aimed at piercing the source of light – at least that was my mental image associated so far with this position, and preparing for the next which was supposed to transform me into a prism that would diffract the light all around. But this time was different as, due to the smile probably, during Tensho-i I imagine the light coming straight into my heart. And then, while I gradually eased done towards Kongo-i, shaking from the duration of the stretch, I felt as if I was pulling a torch out of an electric arc, having lit it there and holding it as best as I could while it was violently burning (like one of these bengalese firecrackers). The thought (rather, the suggestion) about the victims of Nankins and Pearl Harbour triggered a flow of images to be washed away by the flow of light, and I had vision of sand blasted temples in the desert, rusty shipwrecks on the ocean floor, and the forests of La Marne where I was born and grew, nature taking over and growing from the bomb holes and “tranchees” which are still there, like scars -no longer horrible. Nature and time are the big healers, if they have to have their way. This was where I was supposed to send the light. This is where I sent it – or rather: where it went on its own, from my heart. After that, Kenka-i had never felt more appropriate, as I was presenting flowers to the graves – and Kenshin-i, and all the rest followed.
Lots of lessons learnt there. I hope you will find it worth your time, reading this report that I had finally stopped preparing, thanks to Michael’s recommendation.
I will no longer commit myself to doing reports beforehand – but I will keep writing whenever I can.
With my very best regards