Tag Archives: awareness

escape, atemi and awareness

escape, atemi and awareness

We live in a world that delivers increasing violence against women and children, and others who are vulnerable.  Consider the concepts of “self-defense, escape, atemi and awareness for children, women and elders”.  Each of the links below, especially the first three, offer valuable information, tips, advice, insights, books, videos and DVDs. 

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http://www.functionalselfdefense.org/awareness-prevention 

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http://attackproof.com/10-best-self-defense-tips.html 

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http://thinklikeablackbelt.com/blog/self-defense-for-kids-made-easier-with-a-game/ 

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http://www.ncdsv.org/images/SelfDefenseinfo_LACAAW.pdf 

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http://www.azplayitsafedefense.com/women-teens/ 

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http://femaleawareness.com/ 

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http://www.crimesurvivors.org/page/programs/self-defense-and-safety-classes/ 

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http://www.safeinsight.net/uploads/4/9/3/3/49337147/s132004858298100905_p83_i9_w579.jpeg

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Use the phrase “self-defense, escape, atemi and awareness for children, women and elders” to search YouTube for videos and your local ccommunityfor classes. 

I recommend simple class attendance with some practice component over self-teaching and watching videos. This is apart from any formal enrollment in a martial arts class of any genre, and apart from owning a firearm. 

The first component in preparedness is to hone your own skills in self-awareness, mindfulness and situation awareness. 

I consider mastery of these mandatory before the acquisition and use of a firearm.

Beyond that, make sure you have an outstanding flashlight (my family is outfitted with rechargeable BlazeRay LED), a loud whistle, and other small, legal and portable items kept on or near your person.

Atemi is a Japanese word that, in Japanese martial arts including aikido, uses techniques including percussive body strikes, often simply soft blows, that are often used “to briefly break an opponent’s balance (see kuzushi) or resolve”; with such a “blow to an area such as the eyes, face, or some vulnerable part of the abdomen…  the opponent can be distracted, and may instinctively contort their body (e.g., jerking their head back from a face strike) in such a way that they lose their balance”, allowing the individual under attack that prolonged but brief moment in which to regain their own footing, balance, and wherewithal to escape and call for help. 

If you or your child can be brought to a visceral understanding of learning how to remain calm in the face of a sudden storm of terror… 

photon eyes

photon eyes

Why Losing a Dog Can Be Harder Than Losing a Relative or Friend | Alternet

Posted by Michele Kearney at 2:01 PM 

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You Are Not Your Brain 

By Jeffrey M. Schwartz and Rebecca Gladding

Overactive brain circuits can often lead to bad habits, compulsive actions, and anxieties. In this illuminating read, two neuroscience experts deliver a simple four-step method to overcome these destructive impulses and live a more fulfilling, well-balanced life.

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/9902541-you-are-not-your-brain 

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Hymns to the Silence 

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“… if you take the 14th verse out of each of John’s 21 chapters and string them together, you end up with a very interesting overview of the entire gospel–an overview that sort of rushes by you like a swift-running brook…..”

https://richardedmondson.net/2017/03/12/living-water-the-14sof-john/ 

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AFTER LAST WEEK’S VAULT 7 RELEASE

THIS MAY BE A BIT LATE

A hand-picked list of must-watch cybersecurity videos to help you learn the fundamentals of encryption, how hackers penetrate systems, and strong cyber-defense tactics for business.

http://www.techrepublic.com/article/learn-cybersecurity-basics-with-these-essential-youtube-videos 

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This seems to be a particular popular post and so …

http://boydownthelane.com/2016/05/19/authentic-conversation/ 

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A recent writing prompt exercise built on the word “boat”

My legs are not sea legs. Looking back over seven decades from within the experience of hip arthritis, muscular issues that are related to a motor stroke and a weak heart that cause me to walk slowly and awkwardly, I think that sometimes it’s all because of an internal balance mechanism that was damaged by an inner ear infection as a child, or perhaps that time when I was six that I fell face first onto the edge of a concrete step, but my first realization that I was not going to be a boatsman was at camp when I flipped the canoe.  Flipped the canoe and the counselor too.

Luckily it was shallow, summertime, and he had long legs and some experience; I moved on to archery and capture-the-flag.

http://ir0.mobify.com/900/http://catchboynton.com/images/Boynton%20Harbor%20Marina/e6b24df417ad7ceb7a489b8a35382a8c_XL%20Medium.jpg

My second encounter with a boat was in Florida at the age of nine or so after my step-mother, brother and sister and I drove down to see some rich old distant relative about some family business and we got the treat of a sport fishing trip out of Boynton Beach, Florida. We were going to catch a boat load of swordfish and whatnot.

The rig we were on was bigger and heavier than a canoe and much more stable, and under the command of a bonafied cap’n with one name and some other fellow who handled the rods and the bait.  As the youngest, I waited and did what I was told, sat in the seat, buckled the belt, and watched the fellow put something on the hook.  He stuck the rod into a metal pipe that I straddled in my seat and out of the harbor we chugged on a cool sunny morning through the briny breezes out into the Gulf Stream. Big brother and sister were ready too, and Mom, and before you knew it, we were way out beyond the ability to see land, looking for fish.

As a nine-year-old, I had no clue about how to look for fish.  I could barely see over the side of the boat, the stern’s gunwale, and anyway the fish were in the water.

But someone could see the fish and knew where and how to find them and find them we did. Lots of them. Pointy sleek little buggers, not much to them… Not at all like those big spear-tipped things whose pictures you could see back at the dock with the lucky person who caught it, big smiles on both the man and the fish, though I couldn’t understand what the fish had to smile about.

http://www.onthewater.com/assets/Capt-Lou-and-Capt-Jack-Swordie-on-Scale-1.jpg

We were catching buckets of bonito.

At least they were.  I had one bite but not much more.

The one-named cap’n and his mate were cheering us on, telling the rest of my family that catching bonito was okay, that they could be sold for money at the dock, and that where there were bonito, there was gonna be a swordfish, or mackerel, or maybe barracuda.

They were capn’s and such, and they knew about these things, so I kept reeling and bobbing and getting a fierce sunburn.  We had four or five white buckets filled with bonito and some were flopping around on the decks wet with seawater and bait.

http://www.hooked-in.com/system/catch/photo/5827/days_catch.jpg?1348287743

Then we found ourselves in some waves. I don’t know what or where, but the cap’n was in charge and we drove on, up and down. Soon enough as the boat went up and down, so did my stomach, and breakfast came up when the boat went down, and whatever I had for legs turned into jell-o, and soon enough I was curled into a ball of seasickness and tucked back into a dark corner under an old blanket, to ride with the future catfood back into the harbor.  I was a complete wreck and had to be helped back to the car; they lay me down on the back seat and I woke up somewhere in North Carolina.

http://woodyboater.wpengine.netdna-cdn.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/04/Rochester-Chuckle.jpg

The next encounter with a boat was way up north.  We’d driven forever on some highways until, finally, we crested the hill and you could see — way down at the bottom of the hill — a river and a town. Soon enough, we were on the docks and getting on a polished mahogany “heavy cruiser”.  I was the guest of a classmate and his older sister, given the opportunity to spend a few days on an island in the middle of about a thousand other islands, some big, some small, some with glorious houses, this one a sizeable estate of a very wealthy family.

https://s-media-cache-ak0.pinimg.com/564x/4e/e5/1a/4ee51afef495722867ce3d4de848c778.jpg

We played stickball on the clay tennis courts in our bare feet and I ripped the toenail off my big toe trying to get to second base.  In the afternoon, we paired off in St. Lawrence skiffs. Everyone in the islands had one, or two, or three of these little boats, and afternoons up there in the summer were devoted to sailing and playing a game of shipboard tag.

http://farm2.static.flickr.com/1088/1133004983_706d9e316d.jpg

The skipper of the boat sat in the back and handled the rudder and the sail; the cap’n’s mate had three and a half tasks.  Being the landlubber with no experience, my responsibility was to pull the centerboard up or down according to the cap’n’s commands, to get out of the way of the boom by ducking under it, and to keep my weight (the ballast) tucked down into the well somewhere close to or ahead of the mast. Moving around to either side on the the cap’n’s commands was a secondary method by which he steered. He steered with several purposes. The first was not to get run over by the big freighters.

http://en.es-static.us/upl/2013/06/ship-st-lawrence-seaway-e1371685675461.jpg

Generally this was not a problem. They stayed in their lanes, and we stayed out of them.  But they couldn’t turn easily or stop suddenly, and they were a lot bigger.  In our little wooden boats, we theoretically could turn easily and, if the wind was right and the cap’n knew what he or she was doing, we could scoot to safety.

The second reason to steer was to avoid getting hit by the tennis balls.  All those old tennis balls from tennis and stickball went to use.

Each boat was given two of them, and a pole with a net. At the beginning of the inter-islands pre-teen pick-up regatta, called to order perhaps with a couple of blasts on an air horn by some grown-up in a motor boat at precisely (or approximately) 2 PM, one of the boats was designated “it”.

In this game, unlike tag on land, you want to be “it”, because when you were “it”, either the skipper or the mate inn other boats could stand up and throw one of their tennis balls at your sail. If they succeeded in hitting the sail, they were “it” and everyone would now aim for them.

But throwing a tennis ball with any kind of accuracy while you are standing and trying to maintain balance in a narrow boat is not an easy task.  You missed a lot. And you ran out of balls quickly.

No problem.  All those misses were bobbing in the water in their bright yellowness against the background of blue with white foam, just waiting for you (or perhaps the better, faster boat) to sail over there and scoop it out of the water with the net.

Sometimes if you were very lucky, you could stand up, avoid falling in, and use your net like a lacrosse goalie to fend off approaching yellow bomblets.

Remember, though, I had a balance problem, so I stayed pretty much safely tucked in under the boom, clutching the mast.  The waters were not choppy so there were no problems with nausea and vomiting; I just didn’t want to fall in.

Oh, I could swim, and we all had life-jackets anyway. But the skipper’s job of skipping is much more difficult when the ballast is floating overboard and he has to maneuver around so it can be recovered, losing precious time not spent throwing or retriving bobbing wet yellow rubbery furballs.

Now the object of the game, which was over when the air horn blasted again at precisely (or approximately) 4 PM, was to have collected the most tennis balls. The bottom of the winner’s boat was awash with bright yellowness. And everyone got a good suntan, and a lot of experience handling a sailing boat.  After dinner, everyone crowded into a motor boat and went over to another island to roast marshmallows and watch the Northern Lights.

http://www.visit1000islands.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/03/Camping-1.jpg

The last encounter with a boat started back down in Florida. We’d won one of those quick out-and-back cruises because we said we’d sit still long enough to hear the sales pitch for a time-share. Weakly we finally succumbed and bought a week in October on the inner eastern edge of the Everglades; it took us close to two decades to finally dump the sucker, never once having been visited, traded, shared or even given away. It was like detaching a blood-sucking leech, but I digress.

We parked the car and grabbed the bags and smiled at the photographer on the gangplank.  We found the room with a small porthole, dropped the gear, and did the mandatory “abandon ship” drills.  Then we explored the boat.

As you probably know, cruises are mostly about eating, and so we ate and drank our way out to the Bahamas, never getting off or even seeing them in the dark, and then turning back in to the south.

In the morning, we awoke to a half-day onshore in Key West.  I spent a lot of time on deck.  Very stable, and slow… Pulling into port and docking was a trip.  We saw a bunch of islands owned by big-named celebrity types, did the tourist-y thing downtown, and passed the first test of not misssing the boat when it departed, again in a slow and stately fashion.  Then the cap’n picked up the pace and we waved at the Dry Tortugas on the right, Cuba way off to the left, and settled in as we drove deep into the Gulf (pre-Halliburton blowout and Corexit spray).  We had a day on Cozumel which we spent taking the bus down to Tulum and getting the full tour.

http://reviewscancun.com/wp-content/gallery/tulumruins/tulumruins.jpg

We experienced hot, several iguana, and a good dose of Mayan pride. The bus ride to and from was at least 90 minutes. The trip back to the dock in Cozumel to the mainland was aboard a fast catamaran that, despite its double-hulled stability, was a litle choppy. We got an evening to stroll around the tourist shops in Cozumel. The trip back on the cruise ship was a day of sunny delight.  After dinner, we turned in knowing that we’d be docking again in Fort Lauderdale in the morning. The big ship had massive hull stabilizers but we hit that same spot offshore where the bonito swam, and there was a spot of queasiness made worse if I peered out the little porthole.

http://www.hgifllairport.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/12/bigstock-Cruise-ships-at-port-of-Miami-68539387_reduced.jpg

But we landed without incident, debarked, got our luggage loaded, and headed north in a nice stable wide-stance Pontiac TransAm. I got my backside into a bucket seat with a steering wheel in my hands and all was well. There was no motion sickness at 75 in the passing lane back then.

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http://writershelpingwriters.net/ 

offers up the opportunity to purchase

a unique set of articles, tools and more for writers.

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https://i0.wp.com/www.brainpickings.org/wp-content/uploads/2017/02/friendorfoe3.jpg?resize=768%2C409&ssl=1

Friend of Foe?: A Lovely Illustrated Fable About Making Sense of Otherness

A playful illustrated inquiry into whether mutual attentiveness is enough to dissolve enmity into friendship.

https://www.brainpickings.org/2017/02/28/friend-of-foe? 

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Also from 

brainpickings.org 

“… Beloved Prophet is a gorgeous read in its totality. Complement this particular portion with Virginia Woolf on the epiphany in which she understood what it means to be an artist, then revisit Gibran on the seeming self vs. the authentic self and the difficult balance of intimacy and independence in love…..”

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The Awakening

Quantum Mechanics of the Human Brain & Consciousness

49:30

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=x2baCg8SHGM&t=6s 

Flash Quiz Tomorrow!

goulash

goulash

Want to make a sandwich?  Sure, of course you know how. You run to the fridge and pantry and you’ll be eating something within short order. (Pardon the pun.)

music: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=k4FPe7bUP64 

http://kirbiecravings.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/09/grilled-macaroni-cheese-sandwich-18-620×706.jpg

But let’s say you want to entertain, or you need to make several sandwiches for several people, or your bridge club is due for lunch in an hour. Maybe you want to get creative; five of your closest and dearest friends are going to spend the afternoon on the patio.

There are five major steps or considerations for your endeavor. There’s bread, spread, meat, cheese and add-ons.

Choose the type of bread; choose the size or structure of the bread, and think about how you are going to prep the bread. Is this with crust or without?  A sub roll?  Flat bread of some sort? Are you going to toast it, or grill it?

Choose a meat; ham, turkey, chicken, pork, roast beef, or delicatessen variants. Bacon could be included, but I think of bacon as a topping. Tha’s not true in a BLT, of course.

Consider how you are going to prepare the bread with a spread. Choose a mayo, aioli, spreads, condiments. Make your own with things like avocado, aparagus, garlic, or some form of pepper. Then think about veggies (tomatoes, lettuce (which type?), bacon, peppers, etc.

Now go back and build your dream sandwich.

At a restaurant last year, I had the surprise of my life: a firm cup of bibb lettuce that fit in your hand, filled with a mix of chooped grilled chicken and salmon and a slaw made of snow peas.

https://shk-images.s3.amazonaws.com/wp-content/uploads/uploads/files/9156/large/201208Cucumbers-and-cheese-sandwiches.jpg

 

“Brain Pickings” continues to impress; Have you subscribed too? 

 

Make up your own dish of noodles or potatoes topped with a goulash of skillet-sauteed lamb, or pork, cooked, chilled, sliced, seasoned with paprika and pepper, mixed with chives, onions, scallions, cream, mayo, cheese, sour cream, and roasted peppers. Obviously you’re going to leave out one or two of those ingredients. You’re on your own.

In the other kitchen, you can borrow from others. Geoffrey Zakarian (self-described as a libertarian and at odds with The Donald), who grew up in a town not associated with the often-unpronounceable Worcestershire sauce, had an appearance recently on a morning show (Today) and spoke of preparing a dinner the nature of which had me immediately scambling for a memo pad and pen.

I’m a sucker for food, cooking shows, and learning how to prepare a simply great meal simply.

You don’t need a recipe or a degree from some culinary institute to succeed in this realm in your own kitchen.

He spoke briefly of a ribeye steak, which had been rubbed in spices and kept chilled overnight, and was brought to room temperatue over at least an hour and then seared on all four sides before grilling it. Aim for 3 to 5 ounces per serving depending on your guests. Meanwhile, onions, small potatoes and mushrooms were skewered, radishes and watercress prepped, and a vinaigrette made with anchovy paste, shallots, mustard, tarragon and red wine. If you need more of Geoffrey, go to http://www.geoffreyzakarian.com.

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http://www.russianschool.com/sites/default/files/board2.jpg

Easy Peazy Lemon Squeezy

A couple of days ago, I was talking to a father in a joint custody case in which the terms of the court specify that the mother retains sole right to make decisions regarding the child’s education while the father retains the obligation to make child care payments every month.  She is the daughter of a retired wealthy Chinese pathologist and dates a billionaire and lives in a tony neighborhood just outside Greater Boston where star athletes live.  She has a master’s degree; he didn’t quite finish his bachelor’s degree but holds down a corporate leadership job paying him six figures. 

Both parents attended the event where the first grader was tested for admission to an after-school program.  The father described the testing as simply the admissions test administrator pulling math problems out of a binder arranged for chronological cognitive development and asking the child to solve them.  

The seven-year-old child solved the first batch readily so the tester skipped up a section, then again the child performed exceptionally. After several minutes of this, the tester dove into the middle of the book and randomly pulled several problems for the kid to solve.  His father said they were algebraic in nature and both his Mom and his Dad had difficulties in seeing the solution readily.   When the nature of the problems were explained to me, I said that they sounded like stepping stones to computer languages; Dad called them advanced pattern recognition problems, and  “Russian math”.  

I never got much past introductory trigonometry.

So a little digging on the Internet showed that these after-school programs, increasingly available in certain communities, have a focus on logic and critical thinking.

 

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Russian_School_of_Mathematics 

A Russian solution to US problem

Emigres’ formula for math success pays off in Newton

By Scott S. Greenberger, Globe Staff, 5/7/2001

By Scott S. Greenberger, Globe Staff, 5/7/2001 

http://russian-math.com/about-us/ 

includes sample lessons

http://russian-math.com/grade-4/ 

The Development of Algebraic Thinking

A Vygotskian Perspective

http://www.russianschool.com/sites/default/files/pdf/zdm051a3.pdf 

 

Dad said the child passed the admissions test with flying colors. 

“Easy Peazy Lemon Squeezy” said the kid.

 

http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-psN0iD7I0ZQ/UipLW8YS0GI/AAAAAAAABSs/5j4ll2uOfNs/s1600/OSensei-Correct-Mind.jpg

Longtime readers know of my attraction to and infatuation with the art and science of aikido. Since my hemiplegic motor stroke of 8 years ago, I’ve had to give up (or at least modify or postpone until the next reincarnation) my intent to practice seriously on the tatami. I’ve found myself becoming more and more a student of how aikido works in real life as a means to interpersonal interaction and for me, in my modified ambulatory style, to move back toward a sense of movement with grace.  In so doing, I’ve re-discovered a lot of things (or maybe I am just discovering them for the first time).

Among the many books on my bookshelf are two by Robert Dobson: Aikido in Everyday Life and It’s a Lot Like Dancing.

It is a lot like dancing.  You’ll see how and why in these video shorts:

Aikido Dancing

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=H6GAQ3-X3Ro

aisabaki – aikido – dance

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=H56n-DS8Ikg

Kaiten (dance – aikido) rehearsal

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1hnAqDlqceY

Principles of Circles & Spirals

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QdIg5lPeY1w
And in this series of videos, Robert Nadeau provides some lessons that improve functioning in everyday life, or “the aikido that cannot be seen with the human eye”. Consult that Wikipedia link for more information.

Some videos are by one of his students, Richard Moon the founder of http://extraordinarylistening.com (worthy of a side trip for the videos, the DVD’s, the seminars and the blog!)

See also https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Richard_Strozzi-Heckler and http://tworockaikido.com/about/.

Aikido Shihan Robert Nadeau: The Field Dances Us

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WObuWJqy9Ag

Moonsensei: Aikido and the Art of Awareness

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7Tz29eBIgPs

Moonsensei: Aikido, Turning Fear into Power

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EsZhjRd5k8Y

O Sensei said, ” I feel what you feel that you call fear, but I call it a call to action.” My teacher Robet Nadeau studied with O Sensei. He paraphrased it, “Fear is the harbinger of power.”

moonsensei in maastricht: Aiki – Energy State

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MedDDBQHt6Y Energy State

Aiki Lab: Three Principles To Create an Aiki Resolution

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WKto4Xc9fV8

Aiki Taiso Conditioning Exercises

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9Q2Bmh35xEA

Aikido as Extraordinary Listening: Moonsensei

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8VZRuRWjzcU

Aikido Shihan Robert Nadeau: Opening or Learning

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sG7xBmMc42w

Aikido Shihan Robert Nadeau: Space

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jIY6AiDeiJs

Aikido Shihan Robert Nadeau: Frame and Flow

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PI5A8J4aEsI

Aikido Shihan Nadeau: Presence / Under Pressure

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Lu0fmipoLRo

Aikido Shihan Robert Nadeau: Different Centers

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZiIEZwoVkj4

Aikido Shihan Nadeau: Balance as a Doorway

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GqhtqqmGrsw

Aikido Shihan Robert Nadeau: Base & Center The Next Level

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0pirHByLum0

Aikido Shihan Robert Nadeau: Exploring O Sensei’s Cosmology (28 min.)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ya94jkaDTIk

Harald Ross, Aikikan: Aikido vs. Tango

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rG_tnefyOcc

Taiko, Aikido & Modern Dance

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1Qc6zCRkI8o

Energy Flow Demonstration

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8J5EMD6N-cA

Aikido: The Art of Peace?

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UrEoYFgbQ08

complex challenge

Chapter 14 of the e-book is about leadership, building winning teams, moving people, and all of the factors and skills in doing those things. It draws on athletics, on business, and on the military. The art of leadership is embodied in the person. Leadership requires exceptional skills in conducting a changing or dynamic activity in a dynamic process that involves people who themselves are at various levels of skill, learning, and mastery. Leadership involves taking action. It requires presence. It involves communication.

Tab N (Leadership)

Chapter 15 of the e-book is about strategy, situational awareness, finding out what you need to know, decision-making in a dynamic setting and/or under stress, and more. It introduces the reader to some ancient and basic precepts in military strategy through time-tested and accepted sources: Sun Tzu’s The Art of War; Sir B. H. Liddell-Hart’s theory of the indirect approach, and John Boyd OODA loop theory. It provides some limited examples of how these are applied to athletic scenarios, and focuses on the psychological aspects that come into play with perception, comprehension, speed/tempo, and space/time.

Tab O (Psychology of Strategy)

Chapter 16 of the e-book is about possibility. It is based on sources from within the world of learning, and the world of business. It is focused, in the end, on getting people aligned toward producing a desired outcome. It is focused on accountability, on making a difference, on collaboration, and on honesty.  It’s about choices that leaders make.

Tab P (The Art of Possibility)

To make effective sense of a complex challenge, we must have a grasp of the whole of the situation, including its variables, unknowns, and mysterious forces. We must examine more than just the surface. This requires skills beyond everyday analysis.

Moving Toward Magic

Wow, talk about mindlessness in action.

I’m approaching the age of 70 (as slowly as I can) and I forgot my alphabet.

I gave you K before I gave you J.

And I forgot I.

Oh, well…. ready, fire, aim.

See?

It’s a constant challenge to keep the blade honed.

Or maybe early dementia.

 

 

The ninth chapter ranges across the topics of creating reality, clutch performance, ritual, performance plateaus, slumps, streaks, mistakes, flaws, errors, enjoyment, pleasure, the autotelic experience, flow, sound, mantras, humility, and awareness.  Much of it is based on the work of Mihalyi Csikszentmihalyi.  Large chunks of the material come from  the 19th Annual Conference on Counseling Athletes (“Winning in Sport and Life”), Springfield College, June 21-23, 2002  and the people I met (and who presented) there.  On the first page,it gives you the same technique I used to do a successful intervention when I witnessed an NCAA record-holding pitcher who already held an Olympic medal completely lose the ability to make a routine play she’d been making for years. There are also critical elements discussing self-assessment and post-performance reflection. And don’t miss the section on trigger words.

 

Tab I (Moving Toward Magic)

 

You will be Moving Toward Magic when you have discovered how to get beyond your “habitual behavior system”.

The featured image above comes from

Do Cosmic Rays Evolve Consciousness And Transform DNA ? 31/01/2015 

http://www.abzu2.com/category/new-science/page/2/ 

The author of that article has an e-book which can be found here:

http://cdn2.collective-evolution.com/assets/uploads/2014/01/How-To-Change-The-World.pdf 

 

 

Tab J to follow…

What can we do?

 

What can we do?

 

Music audio:

Dhafer Youssef & Hüsnü Şenlendirici 

‘dance of the invisible dervishes’ 

19.07.2012 Istanbul

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=U8n24hAhmEM 

(36:50)

“What can we do?” is an attempt to answer the question for myself and perhaps for others “what we can doin the face of rampant, nearly-unstoppable psychopathological evil taking form in genocide, endless war, total surveillance, advancing militarization, and near-complete totalitarianism.

I apologize for the length of this entry (100 pages). Brevity has never been my strong suit.  But I am learning and trying. (Mrs. Blogger brought home from the book store two more books: “Born to Blog” and “Twitter for Dummies”. Mastery of the latter requires brevity and it will also help the former.)

I have broken the piece down into three chunks, and I will provide a summary/abstract follows and is repeated at the conclusion. See the tag cloud above.

The whole thing contains 78 links, seven pdf’s, five videos totaling 19 minutes, and nine pieces of music totaling 93 minutes.

It is an opinion, a POV, a synthesis that contains some thoughts about self-awareness, the use of the metaphor of aikido in communications and relationships, the story about Gurdjieff’s teachers by LeFort, the book “Born to be Good” by Keltner (about the facial muscles and communications, and more), a book by Standage about social media as practiced for two millennia, some thoughts about physicians entailed “Further Prescriptions”, and a book by a physician entitled “Why Us?”.

Indeed, why us?

It is broken into three parts.

Part One, including this summary or abstract, runs about 20 pages and includes the introductory thoughts, a four-page pdf intro to Dacher Keltner’s “Born to Be Good: The Science of a Meaningful Life”,  a 4-page pdf sidebar on verbal aikido and the use of aikido concepts in situations of conflict (and there are other books by Dobson, Heckler, et al), some thoughts on awareness, an intro to LeFanu’s book “Why Us?” and a 15-page pdf of excerpts, some thoughts on conflict, and catharsis, a link to a major article on planetary consciousness, another on native American perspectives, and a short look at my own orientation to mountains.

Part Two focuses on empathy, the concept of wu wei, creativity, contains a 14-page look at my orientation to physicians, has a further focus on children, relationships, society, alignment, leadership, the failure of science in a specific case as noted by a highly-recognized-and-honored scientist, more on face-to-face communication, and a short précis on organizational learning.

Part Three looks at happiness, self-awareness, Heaven, truth, conflict, some further personal expressions on what we can do, a look at Rafael LeFort’s story about his search for the teachers of Gurdjieff (as well as links to articles that have an opposing POV) and an academic paper on the influence of Gurdjieff on noted jazz pianist Keith Jarrett).

What we can do is to keep learning.  This comes from LeFort’s story about Gurdjieff and elsewhere. 

We can learn about consciousness (see Zimmerman, Burrowes, Le Fanu et al, and consult your own mind). 

We can gravitate toward truth, at least our truth

We can practice alignment

We can engage in harmony during conflict (see Ueshiba). 

We can become better at and practice more frequently the arts and sciences of interaction, encounter, and face-to-face communications (see Keltner). 

We can master social media (see the books mentioned above, and others, and Standage). 

We can create community (see Corbett). 

We can become leaders of our communities, if only through the above steps. 

We can teach our truth (see “Architect for Learning”). 

We can engage with the dominant mainstream media more effectively, and we can create new media

We can create. 

We can touch people. 

We can move people.

We can love. 

 

Comments are welcome through the contact page.  I will assemble the best and most articulate, and post them.

 

 

What can we do? (Part One)

I awoke one Saturday morning a couple of weeks ago with a lot on my mind.  

Perhaps it was remnants of a dream, or more likely the mental dust from having browsed a few books lying around on my bed and bedside table.

Right now, my reading has been somewhat discombobulated; I’m jumping around.

I jump from book to book, and personal problem or encounterto another of a different type, and then back to a book after extended reading on the world wide web.

Sometimes synthesis emerges from this.

I decided I’ll give it a try here.

My biases, I noted to myself, are that I come from

  • an autodidactic study of positive/performance psychology with a minor sub-branch in cognitive science that seeks to empower individuals,
  • from a lifetime of focus on emergency service, and
  • from the combination of those two in teamwork and leadership.

Pressing on the corpus callosum of synthesis: the recent expressions of frustration and despair I’ve seen on the net which join my own.

I speak of Kenny and Noor, specifically, though they are only representative of a much larger group.

“In my travels this week it has been both discouraging and disappointing to find that although there are many willing to talk about what’s going on in Iraq and the Middle East, there are few who understand what is really happening. That’s not to say I have it all correct but most regurgitate the mainstream slop as reality and it means the propaganda is working. A calm mention of false flags and hired deviant Wahhabi terrorists or wars for empire and Israel are met with odd looks. Americans are so slow to catch on and admit they have been deceived. Awareness is a first line defense. Unfortunately it is in short supply.”

Posted by kenny at 12:02 PM

We all ask what is it that we can do….

“Your contribution can be as simple as making changes in your personal life and aligning yourself with right principles and truth. It may be as big as speaking out on important issues and spreading ideas for change.…”

http://www.washingtonsblog.com/2014/05/rogue-government-prepares-heated-conflict-historical-cycles-point-coming-clash.html

A number of pictures serve as the backdrop; all of them feature children. The best of us think of the children we know and how we can care for them, guide them, nurture them. (How can you not cry when you read of Namous?)

 

http://news.bbcimg.co.uk/media/images/75588000/jpg/_75588871_022736352-1.jpg  

[Shirley Horn sings in the background …. “Why Didn’t I See?”

Earlier, she asked  “Where Do You Start?” ]

(Music informs our personal and interpersonal synthesis.)

 

http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-aA7CSWXN7cE/U6Q_og6xOCI/AAAAAAAAEr0/M3lDi9IYbDY/s1600/gaza+city.jpg 

Israeli airstrike creates a pond in Gaza City

 

 

I read about the world and the current turns of events; all I want to do is weep.

Iraq again? I am speechless at what these demons do to work their evil on Russia and China via Iran via Iraq. Iraq was Balkanized for the creation of just such regional wars as we see today ~ all goes according to plan.

I read about the nuclear depopulation programme in place and feel so helpless ~ there is so much to Iraq and DU and Fukushima and Chernobyl ~ it is overwhelming. But, I digress, back to Iraq.

What plan? Any plan. They have created so many stewpots of division and hatred around the globe that there is no shortage of plans to fall back on. Anywhere.

That hatred we work so hard to keep under wraps is giving me a tough time. Hatred is such an easy fix but giving in to hatred means one has given up all hope. It concedes defeat. It is a weakness to be exploited since hatred seems to warp all focus. So I cry a lot it seems. Listen to a lot of music, stare out the window and think. That light at the end of the tunnel seems to get further and further away.

Our losses seem to keep mounting up, like the Canadian Federal Government approving the Enron pipeline this week.   Yet they have the nerve to brag about Canada’s environmental record! No one wants this development although it is already far more along than most people are aware. Construction preparation is well underway. It makes me truly want to vomit.

Posted by Noor al Haqiqa at 11:54 PM

 

All this has, of course, intensified as a result of the events in the Ukraine and the continued and escalated genocidal attacks on the people — especially the children — inside the open-air concentration camp known as Gaza. These are modern-day technological advances on the occupation of Native American lands and the actions at Wounded Knee et al.

The books include Dacher Kelter’s “Born to Be Good: The Science of a Meaningful Life” [see http://greatergood.berkeley.edu/author/Dacher_Keltner], started in seriousness, with highlighter as bookmark, before I got distracted with having to pack everything and hump it all down a flight of stairs. In my case, a lot of the heavy lifting got done by family. I hit a rut when he got to the part about coding facial displays and understanding the emotional controls through the vagus nerve. I stopped at the the facial muscular vocabulary and the choreography of “smile”, and have yet to tackle the parallel material dealing with “laughter”, “tease”, “touch”, “love”, “compassion”, “awe” and “reverence”.

Because I tend to jump around, I did highlight a small piece on page 226 which read as follows:

Flight/fight tendencies of self-preservation are continually at odds with tendencies to care in the electro-chemical flow of our nervous systems. The content of the mind shifts between the press of self-interest and the push of compassion. The ebb and flow of marriages, families, friends, and workplaces track a dynamic tension between these two great forces — raw self-interest and a devotion of the welfare of the other. The study of emotion is experiencing its own “sympathy breakthrough” thanks to recent studies of compassion, which are revealing this care taking emotion to be built into our nervous systems. The study of this emotion holds new clues about the health of marriages, families, and communities.

 

I’ve picked Born To Be Good back up now and you can follow along: see the sidebar in pdf format here.     Dacher Keltner Jen

Is this a suggestion for the value of face-to-face interaction in a world heavily given to faceless social media? Yes.

How do we encounter people halfway across the globe and who speak a different language?

Is the emerging technology of online collaboration viable?

Online_Collabloration_Paper

 

I’ve all-but-finished Tom Standage’s “Writing on the Wall” [ writing-on-the-wall ], a chronology of media since the days of the Roman Empire; I’m the 20th century and moving toward the 21st. I’m at the part where he describes the development of “webs” of communication among the telegraph operators (foreshadowing “Mr. Tom” and his friends who used listserv mechanisms among computer operators before the Internet was formalized.) [Today you can build a private discussion board for invited guests only or fashion a Twitter network.] There are some good thoughts about the press and the social media which make me, a blogger by choice, reflect. I’ll have to finish his section on radio and its use as a means of propaganda dissemination; today we have podcasting. And I haven’t yet delved into his discussion of television, “the drug of the nation”. But then I already have a degree in communications studies and I have blogged about these for years.

I’ve watched/listened to James Corbett’s podcast/video which promises and delivers free and critical thinking; as a blogger, I’m certainly an alternative and have left the MSM/TV world except as momentary entertainment or glimpse into the world to which I am opposed. [They’re watching us so intensively that we need to keep an eye on them to know what they’re doing, capable of, and planning.]

 

http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-dJz4fO4BnGs/U6Ui5TduEvI/AAAAAAAB9Ag/Lpn_kJc8Rsw/s1600/Calvin-Louv.jpg

I’m working on and thinking a lot about verbal aikido, or the application of the lessons of the Shintoism-oriented shaman I know as O Sensei, that little man who took the violence that he found and transformed it into an effective tool of defense and simultaneously a tool of teaching, enlightenment and love.

He reminds me of Derrick Jensen in his transmutation of hate and violence into teaching and activism [see “A Language Older Than Words” et alia].

I write a lot about aikido, not because I progressed far in the discipline but because it fascinates me and I’ve read a lot about it.  [I did progress far enough to peer through the rip in the curtain.]  Again, see the sidebar on aikido below.

 

 

aikido and relationships 

I mentioned my fascination with what aikido has to teach us about relationships and the fact that it might inform someone close to me about whom I care deeply (both parties in the conflict) in a short e-mail to a new contact; he’s a fellow who has had significant contact with the world of military intelligence but left it and explored the world of Native Americans.

He sent me

Being Nature’s Mind: Indigenous Ways of Knowing and Planetary Consciousness [ delvingdeeper.org/being.pdf ]as well as a link to his own work:

Napi in the new age (on quantum mechanics and the Native American).

What jump-started this thought process was having leafed through some sections of James Le Fanu’s “Why Us?: How Science Rediscovered The Mystery of Ourselves”:

http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/why-us-james-le-fanu/1112946548?ean=9780307378071.

Le Fanu is an open critic of materialism and Darwinism.[4] He is the author of the controversial book Why Us?: How Science Rediscovered the Mystery of Ourselves, in which he claims that Darwin’s theory of evolution is a materialistic theory that fails to explain consciousness and the experience of the human being.[4] He states that it is not enough to conjure the wonder of the human experience from the study of bones, genes and brains alone.[7] According to a review of his book by the New Scientist, Le Fanu argues for the existence of an immaterial “life force”.[8] Le Fanu is not a creationist and does not argue for God, instead he argues for a non-physical cosmic force which he claims could explain where consciousness originates from; he also claims it may explain many of the other mysteries unexplained by material science.[9][10] 

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/James_Le_Fanu

.http://www.worldmag.com/media/images/content/348_348_/lefanu.jpg

For more on this book and author, see the sidebar below entitled “Why Should We Be Different?”

Why Should We Be So Different?

 

I’ve spoken of the need to find or form an association of bloggers — perhaps this feeds into Corbett’s thoughts on alternative media — and Ron said he wanted to know what I’d found, or join in.  [He’s already done so with his contributions here.]

James speaks of empaths [I hope I am one] and psychopaths [I’ve met more than a few and hope that I am not one of their peers.].

James says “It is a fundamental mistake to battle your opponent using their weapon of choice”, an interesting variation of the aikido lessons about disarming an opponent.

But how do you disarm an opponent that is armed to the teeth?

http://www.examiner.com/images/blog/EXID24575/images/Kobudo2.JPG 

http://www.examiner.com/article/weapons-as-part-of-your-training 

The picture is reminiscent of the staves carried by the residents of Worcester County as described in Ray Raphael’s “First American Revolution”.

Taking the weapon away from the opponent:

You must take a position in which you are facing the same direction or “seeing things” the way your opponent does… you must get close to him in order to control him and his weapon. 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tVaC2UY1vRA (2:32)

 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yrJ5Y6tuNj8 (1:56)

Compare this to the infiltrative techniques practiced and taught by neoconservative Jewish intellectualism and the theories espoused by Edward Luttwak in his book Coup d’État: A Practical Handbook

What is the effective counter-move? 

If the truest, most honorable warriors were willing to risk their lives to count coup on an opponent without intention of harming that opponent, we can only marvel at the nonviolent psychology and wonder where it might have gone.

http://hastingsnonviolence.blogspot.com/2010/10/counting-coup-and-evolution-of-conflict.html

Brad J. Bushman published “Does Venting Anger Feed or Extinguish the Flame?” (PSPB, Vol. 28 No. 6, June 2002 724-731) which demonstrates that “catharsis” is not effective in reducing anger or aggressiveness. While expressing emotion is healthy, it does not extinguish the source of the emotion. Learning to kick, punch, or be “powerful” doesn’t deal with the issue causing negative emotion and this study demonstrates that individuals who depend on cathartic behaviors tend to be more reactive in future moments of stress, anxiety, and conflict.

http://www.searchofpeace.com/blog/2014/07/09/letting-off-steam-is-not-the-ki/

Zimmerman’s treatise on indigenous and Native American spirituality, sent on by Ron, talks about unbridgeable chasms between culture, methods by which we can “finally begin to see into another way of being and other ways of knowing”, and introduces the topic of child-rearing. The hand that rocks the cradle, and the involvement of the village, and other theories not withstanding, Zimmerman, George Lakoff, and Ron approach the issue from the perspective of “dialogue at the meta-level”.

Mary Jane Zimmerman’s goal “is to help readers from any culture begin to become aware of how deeply embedded our cultural modes of perceiving are and how different they may be from those of other cultures. This type of self-reflexive awareness is necessary for true dialogue and can also be facilitated by dialogue.”

“It is now crucial for members of the dominant Western culture to begin to see how current global environmental, social, and political problems have sprung from the Western tendency to think in terms of discrete units and how we have largely lost the ability to see connected, interwoven patterns of motion.”

I’m not going to try to characterize Ron’s perspective. I’ve just begun to get to know and read this fellow and I am struck by the depth of his experience and perception. We share some common experiences and interests, but probably in the way that an apple and a banana both share a peel. I urge you to begin to read his blog. I have much to learn. I also urge you to read Mary Jane Zimmerman’s work on planetary consciousness

“… everything in the cosmos is connected and that all physical bodies and all minds are expressions of a deeper spiritual essence “(Begay and Maryboy 277)….

“The human is closely related to the mountain because both exist at the center between Mother Earth and Father Sky.”

The Native American and the Taoist — connected through a land bridge— both understand this.  The Shintoist Morihei Ueshiba understands this and brings it to the art and discipline of aikido. There’s an understanding of quantum physics buried in all of this too. It is spoken of as “a participatory understanding of reality. If we see the world as a place of gift, where the earth and the beings on the earth are fond of humans and want to help them, we will experience its abundance; we will be able to ‘participate in the conversation of the Gift’.”

http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/3/35/Mount_Greylock_Massive.JPG/569px-Mount_Greylock_Massive.JPG

My own relationship with mountains includes Greylock and Cadillac. I have chunks of granite and marble from each as desktop talismans. I’ve seen the sunrises and sunsets off both, have camped on or near them, but these are not uncommon experiences. Nor, I hope, are the ones I’ve had throughout New England in moments of deep meditation.

Greylock is one of the rare and southern-most taigaboreal forests in New England.  I spent a decade living in the lower mouth of the glacial cirque at its Western base; that location is hidden, at virtual dead center in the photo. The Taconic range stands behind to the west.  The estate belonging to a Rockefeller and her husband and devoted to the genetic betterment of farm livestock sprawled across one of its ridges. [How is is that we are interested in breeding better cows and chickens at the same time we bomb wheat fields?]

The origin of the present name of Greylock and its association with the mountain is unclear. It first appeared in print about 1819, and came into popular use by the 1830s. It may be in reference to its appearance, as it often has a gray cloud, or lock of gray mist upon his head, or in tribute to a legendary Native American chief, Gray Lock.[18] Gray Lock (c. 1670-1750) was a Western Abenaki Missisquoi chief of Woronoco-Pocomtuc ancestry, born near Westfield, Massachusetts. Gray Lock distinguished himself by conducting guerrilla raids into Vermont and western Massachusetts.[19]

Derrick Jensen’s works speak of forging an orientation to and awareness of the indigenous people who once occupied the land you occupy.

The Mahican people were closely associated with this region, and it was easy for a child weaned on “Light in the Forest” to imagine himself a Mahican as he walked, ran and sat in contemplation.

One day when I was about 12, I set on my haunches on the edge of a brook, lost in the thoughts facilitated by the continuous burble of the run-off from the rain forest.

A bobcat came down the to the edge of the stream to drink its fill.

http://www.nhptv.org/natureworks/graphics/lynx5.jpg

I wasn’t afraid. It looked up at me suddenly when it discovered that I was there too, but I instantly and silently telegraphed a message that I meant it no harm. It turned back to its satiation, and then disappeared as suddenly and quietly as it came.

Years later, I sat with my back against the warm granite shelving of Pemaquid Point and listened to the waves as I basked in the sun. I think the expression “lost in reverie” is appropriate; I was on the way home from a three-day honeymoon trip up the coast of Maine to Acadia and back. I’d shown the future mother/grandmother the loveliness of Mount Desert Island.  I still kick myself when I think about the fact that we couldn’t find the way to buy that 10-acre plot of land at the northern-most tip of Somes Sound. But coastal Maine has lots of magic to be found in it, and that afternoon it sent me a message. I’ve written about that moment several times. It was an epiphany.

The message I got in an instant, downloaded at quantum speed, was that I was part of it all, and I was it, and that it was me, and that I was “here” for it, and that it was “here” for me.

http://www.apertureofmysoul.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/03/Pemaquidlongviewrockssmall.jpg

“Rupert Ross, a Canadian lawyer who has worked most of his life on the northern reserves in Ontario, also writes about the sensitivity and open attitude required to learn what he calls “pattern-thought,” the ability to take in vast amounts of information from the natural world (70).”

Derrick Jensen has written an entire book on this called “Listening to the Land”, “conversations with environmentalists, theologians, Native Americans, psychologists, and feminists, engaging some of our best minds in an exploration of more peaceful ways to live on Earth.”

Michael Murphy and others have delved deeply into the ways in which the human mind can connect with the cosmos; I think in particular of “In The Zone” and The Future of the Body, “a massive historical and cross-cultural collection of documentation of various occurrences of extraordinary human functioning such as healing, hypnosis, martial arts, yogic techniques, telepathy, clairvoyance, and feats of superhuman strength. Rather than presenting such documentation as scientific proof, he presents it as a body of evidence to motivate further investigation.”  [ http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Michael_Murphy_(author) ]

Ron sent me something on remote viewing, too.