Friday, December 16, 2011


using sword in morning stretch routine.  the purpose of the sword in static (natural man for that matter) is to enable me to notice asymetries, torques, etc.  it demonstrates the axes.  when i move a part (head e.g.) the sword demonstrates that the rest of the body did or didn't move.  in walking it demonstrates my fore and back space otherwise it tends to bump into things.  exactly how close to my feet is "here"?

what is in front of me?  (after getting, after all this time, some approximate idea of what "in front" means, other than a screen, i mean)
what is to my left?
what is behind me (how do i know?)
what is to my right?
what is below me?
what is above me?
what is inside? (glub)
what is outside?

Sunday, December 4, 2011

double visual

yesterday i worked on appreciation of 2 visual fields.  the brain pretends there is one field corresponding with the unified "itness" of everything that's not "me" but that is a perceptual joke: there are 2 curved images as we know.  yesterday i was appreciating that.  the attempt was to get the two ocular directions as close as possible to parallel which means as close as possible to an infinity focus.  that meant that i would be theoretically looking beyond the farthest object in the field.  in that "position" i tried to play the attention exercise with the eyeballs still and the direction of the attention changing.  ok then, so there are 2 attention spots to pay attention to, 1 for each eye, so that while the leftward attention sees a far edge in the left eye the right eye attention notes the bridge of the nose.  then of course it is possible to move the 2 attention points separately so that 1 is for example all the way in some directiion while the other is still.  attention is "all mental" so that can be done.  slight tweeking of the concept of "unity of purpose" is required, so like most exercises it is about walking and chewing gum at the same time.

Sunday, November 27, 2011

still busy

had been feeling a squished feeling in chest, all bent over in the thoracic, oldish, what old people do, bent over, head forward, eyes toward ground.

what to do?  the morning routines, the aikido, the attention, still squished.

today i did the morning routine with the long stick, because i felt like it.  so,
1. for the attention directionals i held the stick at base of skull level behind the head.  continued through the head movements.  immediately some numbness in left upper arm, of course the shoulders get tired immediately.  keeping the stick in that position, relaxing the hands, keeping the stick not quite touching base of skull, arrange the rest of the back & pelvis, in all the stick helps to define the vertical & horizontal, the chest is lifted & spread by the needs of the shoulders, so the whole experiment with the stick is immediately rewarding (because a real experiment does not "succeed" or "fail" except if data is not obtained).

6-8 minutes of arms up at shoulder level gives some comfortable-with-discomfort practice.

2.contiuing into the torso movements the forced relationship of the 2 arms creates a different set of effects in the torso, increased burn in the side to side bendovers & some interesting where-do-i-put-my-head situations in the side leg stretches.

Planning to do again with the stick.  There is stuff there.

Saturday, November 26, 2011

too busy

been too busy to write.  too was going for the 5th kyu test & didn't want to jinx it by imagining that i know how to do anything.  and really too busy.

that hot spot in upper outer left foot = gone & it can move all over without that adhesiony burn.  now there is another one on mid outer right foot, trying to find the position to make it burn.

have been doing things in morning that are never done in aikido like hyperextending the knees.  today in side bendover went straight down the front of the knee in hyperextension, a great well of burn up the front of the left leg.

also the side leg stretch without tightening the quad of the out leg.  still working on it.

Sunday, October 2, 2011

relaxing quads in bendover

continuing with relaxing the quads in bendover.  i think the reason they do that is to guard the ligaments in the back of the knee.  that's great but we learn to fearfully overguard and it holds us back, largest muscles in the body bumping around, trying to be helpful.

in side-reach bendover i found there is a front leg and back leg, the front leg quad wanted to tighten as i bent over and fully extended the knee.  i spent the last year learning how to do the move without engaging the forward quad.  now i want to do other things without engaging the quad.  pivoting for example.

pivoting on the ball of the foot turned out to be no problem, quad stayed relaxed.  pivoting on the heel turned out to be difficult.  had to move the center of gravity around, had to try manual gentling, had to back off & try again.  i think though that i have established that the quads are not required to make that move.  can learn how to save energy.

this a continuation of what i did yesterday, when i researched unnecessary recruitment of the quad in side leg stretch: the application of gentling, etc.  the progression was: ordinary side leg stretch with foot flat on floor keep quad relaxed, at any point of the stretch (trunk moves away from that leg), rotate on heel, allow toes up in air. quad really wants to tighten up & guard.  multiple failed attempts.  gentling, etc.  fail and partial fail. 

toes, legs

today some minutes with heels off floor.  it is not standing on toes, it is balls of feet with toes stretched out relaxed for stability.  if the toes grab everything else wants to grab too.  if toes stay relaxed then a stable platform can be made on which the rest of the body can be draped.  after some small amount of time in bent-over-backwards the muscles of the anterior compartment of my left lower leg started to burn, so once again a tightness in that leg has been revealed, another one to work one.  in aikido we are always wanting to keep as much of the foot on the floor as possible, so is this toe stuff non-aiki?  don't think so.  any more than bendover in warmup is.  bendover is an exquisitely exposed position for the head based body: the butt becomes the most important mediator with the "rest of it" while the head & its sensors can't see what's going on.  bendover in aikido is a split second thing & rare.  all the more reason to do it in warmup.  it has endless things to tell about the hamstrings & low back.

fall.  i've returned to working in the downlow zone, exaggerated knee bends, walking around down there like groucho marx with a sword.  quads burn down near the knee.

legs have biggest muscles in boday but they are attached to the "nether regions" where the boday maintenance stuff is as the arms are connected to the "higher regions" where the desire functions are processed.  using the leg muscles inevitably reminds us of our bodily functions because every leg movement rubs stuff in the digestive/reproductive zone (while the arms just pull on the head).  so they thought let's immobilize the legs so they won't think about that stuff, more time for upstairs work.  thus we spend our days in chairs, the leg muscles are the biggest.

ways of throwing acorns at a tree:
1. left hand / right hand
2. throwing side foot forward / throwing side foot back
3. stepping forward with throwing side foot / stepping back with throwing side foot
4. stepping forward with other foot / stepping back with other foot
5. oh, and chucking it backward using a mirror, haha.

a lot to play with, starting with my left hand throw was always sucky, still is, but much better.

going back out again to do more balance on one leg stuff.

~2 years of almost daily morning workouts.

one leg stuff with a sword to keep the arms occupied.  lots of wobble.  long way to go.

Friday, September 9, 2011

things that can be done with surgical scars

surgical scars are tough, fibrous, poorly vascularized stuff with entrapped nerves that can cause pain.  the fibers are usually laid down kind of willynilly, whichever way they happen to grow.  this is reasonable because the wound has to be knit together and the tissues rejoined but it is also complicating.  the goal of post-surgical scar amelioration is to allow ordinary tissues to infiltrate into the scar zone to soften, disperse, shrink the scar.  infiltration happens naturally but the process can be helped with manual manipulation.  if the scar is big enough it will be impossible to get rid of it completely but improvements can always be made.

the center of the scar relatively hard but there are threads of the connective stuff projecting out into the healthy tissue.  they have to be there to anchor the scar.  they limit movement of course.  if we think of them as pathological we call them adhesions.  these are subjects of possible amelioration too.

the method:
1. while the stiches are in gently stroke the area around the scar in radial lines from about an inch or two from the stiches out, the general idea to "encourage" the excess fluid of the swelling away from the trauma zone.  as days go by a little more vigor perhaps, and maybe eventually some small circular motions with light finger pressure.  avoid pulling on the stitches. 
   pain: if there is pain try to find out exactly what it is at what intensity, don't do that.  as the amelioration continues try advancing into the pain zone, see if it can be rolled back.
2. after the stitches are out start working directly on the scar. 
a. the skin scar will be adhesed to under layers, eventually one wants to separate the layers.  take scar between thumb & finger, push it transversely back & forth, if there is pain explore it, avoid tearing things but allow stretching to occur.
b. also use fingers to dig under the scar.
c. to promote infiltration of normal tissue into the scar hold the scar itself by pressing directly down on it with a thumb or other finger, dig in lightly just lateral to that hold down finger, give it a little yank.  if pain expect it to diminish over time.

with new scars nice results can be obtained: they look and feel better.  as time goes on the scar shrinks & hardens and it becomes harder to get results, but still something can be done.

ask me questions.

Monday, September 5, 2011

drilling down

1. attention circles yield insight on different kinds of spacing out.
the circle is there in the "imagination."  "i" can "see" it in my "mind's eye."
spaceout types:
1. the lumpy bumpy distorted "circle" "drawn" by the "gross attention" trying to control itself in guise of doing it right.  the attentional equivalent of holding the pen too tightly in the fingers leading perhaps over time to carpal tunnel syndrome.
2. the true space out of simple aversion from the (boring) higher energy attentional task to a favored neutral task (daydream, conditioned prayer, desire for some habitual thing, etc.)
3. ongoing internal commentary: "hmm, lumpy today..."
i'm sure further categories of spacing out exist.  name some for me please.

2. still the tendency to space out the middle of an eye movement: to jump from start to end "skipping" the middle with the "intention."  the justification is "i know what's there, i can skip that part."  that's probably true, probably there's not a spear coming through that zone, but the exercize is to progress gracefully through the entire movement, bumpy & plodding better than skip the whole thing & pretend i really did clean the toilet.

3. varieties of head circles:
a. move internally stationary head-neck assembly around vertex at c6-7
b. hold neck internally stationary, move head only
c. attempts to lower the vertex down the next
very different neck crackles produced, some muscles apparently isolated for the first time.

4. an aura like others describe as migraine in right eye, drank usual 2 cups of coffee ~1h earlier.

5. continuing to prepare for sideways breakfall, a new position: overbalance to side in extension like i will do a sideways cartwheel, spasm in the outer lower down leg, burn in upper outer thigh & above hip, down leg.

Sunday, September 4, 2011


it is actually physical energy that is used in mental work.  mentally hard things take more energy, the active cells actually get depleted, mental fatigue occurs.  the only way around the physical limitations is to properly employ the passage of time so that the required repletions can occur.

the beacon for example.  it revealed itself to me a few days ago.  place the attention at a given physical spot, draw an imaginary line to the visual vertex (the 2 cones meet at that point back in the middle of the brain).  that line can sit there and can be noticed as the body position changes.  lots of  energy needed to keep that locator process going.  mind gets fatigued, slips back into the lazy state.

the beacon thing is continuing to be interesting.  i do not yet find it possible to maintain the line for more than a few seconds.  i draw the line to my visual vertex, admire it for a few seconds while standing still, start to move & quickly forget about it, always remembering later & having to reestablish it, gets pretty approximate if i'm far away, idle poky exercises of trying to figure out where it is while i'm running or driving, somewhere behind me at some angle when i'm heading out.

generally, the ability to establish points of reference so that one can attempt to refer to something as one continues to explore reality as it rushes at us.  maybe i don't know where i am, but i know where something is.  that spot over there.  so if i know it's there, i'm here, i have that relation, oh, good, i know something.  i can relax, try to figure out what's going on.

i started this morning facing the glass door, the big tree behind, saw it reflected in the door.  idea: second time i tried i hit the poplar tree with the acorn i tossed behind me over my right shoulder with my right arm.

the morning sessions are exercizes in selective discomfort, conditioning to be comfortable with said discomfort.  always good candidates: knees, thighs, low back, top of neck.  not natural man position.  exaggerated natural man.  knees too bent, pelvis tilted too front up, chin too tucked.  into the discomfort while doing the attention/eye/head movements.

attention/eye/head exercises designed to open possibilities of intentional looking.  i am surrounded constantly with things that want me to look at what they want me to look at.  what i might want to look at is irrelevant to the purposes of those things.  the untrained eye will look at what it what attracts its attention, to look at a specific spot regardless of what happens to occupy that space is different from seeking out the desired category of thing and focussing on that. 

aikido: because it demonstrates things that work and therefore demonstrates a method for finding other things that work.
1. what exactly is it that is wanted to be accomplished
2. what is the simplest way of getting it done?

daily exercise the thing turns the pauper to the king

the essential element of exercise is to willful desire to explore the discomfort zone to see if anything can be done about it. one goes around trying to notice particular uncomfortable things.  there is a choice to be made: to ignore something or to explore it, see if lemonade is possible.  a lifetime habit of declining to explore stuff will lead to a tendency to stasis, stasis in organisms leads to atrophy, atrophy has another set of discomforts, so the organism ends up with the discomfort anyway, so might as well embrace it.

that is why dogs barking, phones ringing, people walking in, talking with me, etc. are welcome aids to concentration, concentration being the gateway to meditation, the voluntary practice of holding the awareness open, allowing reality as it is (sentimentalist sectarians call that gods grace) "in."  not to ignore anything, only to try to always re-member.

this morning did the basic routine with a sword.  sword brings added precision, better angles, easier to align.  the stretches are deeper because the arms are locked.  it is automatically uncomfortable, not having been done in a while.  the general idea is to find position, when it arrives the joints sort of align with gravity & the body "settles," then to locate the guarding muscles that could just as well sit there & relax, & relax them, then on to the next little problem, whatever it happens to be.  like that sequence i've been doing of keeping the quads relaxed in to-the-side bendovers where the hands go toward the outside of one foot or the other & the stretch up the outside of the leg when the knee is fully extended goes from the little toe to the upper thigh.  in my left leg the burny feeling is intense, i say expletic superlatives in the inner monologue, things one typically says in the presence of intense superlativity.  level of intensity occasionally may attain energy levels that are uncomfortable merely by the intensity, flavor so intensely wonderful it makes us sick, even we crash, but we don't regret, even if we did it wrong & damaged something, more, want more, again.

take the uncomfortable thing, arrange the parts of the organism for maximum comfort, then relax the guarding muscles, attitudes, etc. & let the significance of the position gradually emerge, pain & fear emerging like volcanic islands out of the ocean of our willful ignorance.

sword edge not allowed to touch the floor.  offense.  must apologize to sword.  sword always forgives.

Saturday, August 27, 2011

paen to aikido, bend too far

1. aikido: the word made flesh.  all the other systems: do this, do that but they do not set up demonstrations that prove the principles.  take something relatively easier, like "balance" (harder might be "perspective" for example).  in aikido principles of balance in gravity are constantly demonstrated.  when the procedures are followed accurately success results.  partial accuracy yields partial results.  the demonstrative methods of aikido can be applied in other relational situations (which would include relations with inanimate object & forces as well as "ideas.")  if something works then there is some utility, if it doesn't that can be known.  you'll have to excuse me.  those are the kind of things i think about.

2. the instructional method is to demonstrate rather than to proclaim.  all education SHOULD be like that.

3. we are catching "outer bands" of hurricane irene, saturday am.  i stand under the soffit of the deck doorway, the deck wet, windy, big acorns falling, a branch from time to time.  i think about the big poplar i want to take down.  when i get to the back stretch & bendover part i find i have about a foot of back space so i have to do the back stretch differently, very tight, hands to just not touch the door, to increase my stretch i HAVE to go up on my toes.  interesting.
   bendover on the other hand, apparently so deep reactive spasms developed in lower back on both sides, made it hard to have the pelvic nod position exactly where i wanted it to be, right there it produced some-would-call-it-pain.  after a few minutes of working on it: move this way & that, i took ibuprofen, keep working it, got some really nice side stretches, went back in, wrote this, it is still kind of sore but getting better.  tree didn't fall on me.  lucky

Friday, August 26, 2011

paying attention to paying attention

this morning i start out unable to make a straight attention line.  even the vertical is not attained.  "i" can "see" it but my attempt to get the attention to follow the grid is unsuccessful, it bows.  several attempts before i get it right, the other movements of attention similarly shaky.  attention circles have a kick to the lower right.

later the eye movements bring confusion at the horizontal periphery, where exactly is "0" with the eyes pointed all the way to the side?  the attention wants to go all the way to the periphery, actually wants to go all the way to ignoring the input from part of the trailing eye which is looking at the wall of the nose.  the attention at 0 is somewhere back of the edge of the leading image, not quite 30 degrees maybe.

it comes together nicely in the head movements & ended with some nice deep leg stretches.

wife said last night: your legs are bigger.  yes, said i, i've been doing unusual things with them, this is the way they're supposed to me: the well used legs.  she: your knees are bigger too, how'd that happen?  Good question, bone remodeling i thought, went throught it with my ankles too i've been thinking.  this morning told son, he: maybe its all that knee walking you do in class.  well, not that much but some, and i notice that i've become quite comfortable getting down on the floor & moving around, knees, whatever, some basic methods & principles learned.  when i showed my brother the general idea of the possibility of this different approach to exercise he found himself unable to get himself back up without hands & slightly pulled a pectoral muscle during his 2 minutes on the floor.

aikido.  if everyone in the world learned aikido there would be no strife.

Thursday, August 25, 2011


this is some of what i went through yesterday: mini-knee analysis of a fellow aikido practicer in public with spectators. 

massage: therapeutic manipulation of the body.
palpation: using touch to get information from the body, includes diagnostic manipulation (like to find out how a joint is working by putting it through its motions)

first i did some meniscus stress tests - twisting the partially bent knee this way & that, sharp pain in specific spots = meniscus problem, meniscus part of the joint face.  no pain, so that was ok.  then i described the difference between ligaments, tendons, muscles, forgot to mention joint capsules.  then i poked here & there in a sketchy attempt to find some scar tissue (lumps mostly), bunched sore muscles, tender or twingy ligaments or tendons.  inconclusive little mini-exam hopefully gave some idea of how to think about trying to figure out what's wrong, maybe to start thinking about how to fix it.

the rant: everything gets filtered through culture, so here we are in a system that demands that we don't know how to use our bodies & allows only certain very limited physical contacts between um, cultural units, essentially in special situations.  massage as therapy could be a general habit as baboons groom each other but that does not happen.  automassage (selfmassage) could be a cherished trait handed down since pre-history but it is not.  why?  don't know.  you know: kindergarten class: all right children, today we are going to examine our hands.  that does not happen.  the wrist moves this way and this way but that way hurts (then they could go: so this is how you could move the rest of your body to make the wrist stop hurting when it is put in that position).

know what i mean?  why are we so persistently stupid?

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

maybe i'll call it anchor spot

that spot out there on the deck, 0,0,0 in a certain direction, that exact center of visual field with that exact landscape point at the center, the convergent point imagined back in the brain, the imaginary connecting line, so it takes energy to keep that orienting imagination going just like any concentrated effort, one is subject to fatigue, taking breaks.  even so the imagination plays in the background so that out there running the line is still there & i "know where i am."  relative to that spot i mean.

Monday, August 22, 2011

absolute relation

continuing from the observation yesterday that the attention could be left on a specific point, say, the 0,0,0 of that particular moment & that then the eyes or the head or the body section or the body in space can do whatever they do spatially & the attention can remain on that spot.  an imaginary line "appears" connecting the evolving visual with that spot.  as the body goes through its stuff that it does the angle & "length" of the line relative to the spot changes.  in bendover the line goes through the back of the head.  i can turn around, go inside, upstairs, out the front door, etc. the line relating to that arbitrary 0 spot remains.  i "know" where i'm "at" relative to that spot because i can "see" the imaginary line.  that is, sitting here in the office the line goes out the left back of my head through the house to the spot, and, i guess a little down.  theoretically i could take my line out in the car with me, or everywhere, maybe never get lost.  lot of mental energy perhaps.  or maybe it gets easier like every skill.  maybe this is what that anthropological nugget i heard on radio: tribe somewhere even the little kids never get lost, the language has absolute spatial reference built into it. 

do you know what i'm talking about?

Sunday, August 21, 2011

gentling hand

1. the keep-the quads relaxed leg stretch, use of gentling hand
   this is the sequence that goes from back extend to bendover, allow necessary time for those thick lower back muscles to relax so the hams can relax & stretch, making sure that the quads are relaxed with knees in a distal position & relaxed lump of vastus lateralis just above the knee joint on the outside, which i'm pretty good at now.  then to repeat to the side, then to extent one leg at a time & squat for the adductor stretch, etc.  the thing for last couple days has been to go over the top & down the side then into the squat without sympathetically tensing the quads ("raising" the kneecap).  with sufficient attention to detail can do complete on the right, on the left there is tendon shortness or something taking a while (years) to work through, i found that the gentle contact of the opposite hand on the quads during the sequence made it possible to do on the left.
   that much detail, boring?  not to me.  its mine.

2. knowing the 0 visual in sideways neck stretch, attending to the 0 while doing head movements
   also, the sideways neck stretch will produce the visual 0: when the whole scene rotates smoothly around a single spot that's the spot.  once it is found there it is.
   from there a new layer of exercise can be done.  head movements: eyes at 0 so they remain in the same relation to the head as the head turns so the scene is changing, now the attention can be left at the original 0, the 0 of the 0,0,0.  as if in imagination a line of attention crosses the field as the head turns, always relating back to the original 0.  interesting.

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

quad recruitment

in that leg adductor side stretch - what shall we call it?  squat stick out leg.  all the variations.  ssol?

in that ssol on the way down & up the quads want to sympathetically "support" the move even though they are not necessary & just get in the way.  so leaving them relaxed through the stages of the sequence is a technique to be learned.  the quads want to pull the knee toward the torso.  the effect will be to "guard" the joint.  i don't think the guarding is a reflex, i think i taught my self back when i was learning how to walk, same as i learned to push my arms out in front of me when i fell, nobody taught me different but there is indeed a better way.

so i'm watching the quads wanting to contract, as the process proceeds from all the way down in ssol, where relaxing them is easy (now), to all the way up where it is also easy, the effect is spotty in the midzone & the "intention" can be applied.  the stuff going on in the right leg is dramatically different from the left.  left is full of intense stretchy burny sensations, limits, difficulty.  right is pretty ok mostly except for the hip joint.  after several tries all the way up & down on both sides without contracting the quads, maybe 95%, so that when they started to contract i could catch them either internally or positionally & get them relaxed again.

Saturday, August 13, 2011


i am actually experiencing myself losing track of both straight ahead & horizontal & having to recalibrate & find it again all this without moving, just standing there.  this is not pathology, rather an interior experience of discovering that the nose is rotated off of 90 degrees to shoulder axis yet the cortical bureaucrat is stamping the form right on.

the eyes cling to some aspect of the visual as the head turns.  this time it is a dark green patch of short pine needles on that tree over there.  the interest clings to it as if a charismatic individual.  clinging to what it was looking at before.  clinging because our earliest ancestors clung to the mineral substrate from which they had emerged.  it is the first thing we did and do. 

we have become however free swimming spores of awareness, which we bring willy nilly where none has been before.  the opposite of clinging.  from clinging we have evolved to the opposite of clinging: exploration.

clinging modulated through the sensors of course like everything else.  all of the sensors cling.

nostalgia - the relative comfort of the immediate past moment gratefully survived, clinging to that image while the head turns & the scene changes with new problems & possibilities.  who, me?  asks the practitioner, momentarily attempting to deny that nostalgia happened, clinging to the memory as the new now rushes at the "me."

today was a further exploration of the blood-rushing-from-head-starts-toward-black-&-tingly sequence.   for anyone some amount of time in bendover will produce brfh upon arising.  the drill is to have the feet pointed properly, toes spread, soles flat, ankles (how to describe?), knees bent, pelvis tilted, etc. all the way up to chin tucked, eyes 0,0,0.  stable position.

a trick is to move, do something through the black-tingly, make it go away faster. 

but if like today the purpose is to go into the brfh then take the stable position & let it roll.  today's interesting thing was a more advanced sequence than normal that seemed almost to produce that kind of retreat from the senses, the "tunnel," as the "me" begins to dim & turn itself off or goes to sleep or whatever, i think they call it "loss of consciousness."  i can see why people can think this stuff is dangerous, but no.  there is no danger at the edge of the cliff unless one is inclined to do stupid things.

2. today also an exploration of the front outer thigh muscles, technically vastus lateralis i think.  for decades in bendover all of the quads would "involuntarily" contract in knee-locked bendover.  i watched it happen.  then i learned how to uncontract them.  what it is is in bendover with the hamstrings stretched the quads are naturally shortened-contracted but they want to "help" by energetically contracting further.  that is not necessary, wasteful interference in the business of maintaining the balance point.  the hams are supposed to stay relaxed in the stretch, the quads can just lie there quietly & relax.  eventually i learned how to do that & was able to get closer to hanging in the balance point.

there is that side leg stretch that starts with a wide 0,0,0 stance, procees to bend the knee of one leg while "i" keep my hand at the toe of the straight leg: the straight adductor stretches, the joints of the bent leg reveal their limitations.  i experienced the quads of the straight leg sympathetically contracted through all the phases of the stretch.  attempting to relax the quads yielded success with the right leg & maybe 90% on the left with more difficulty, that outer left hamstring is really tight in the tendon (months, years).

3. knealing on live toes - keeping the other toes spread so they don't fold over, ready be dislocated.  very gradually the ability to move the toes separately begins to emerge.  burning joints.

4. that burny spot on the upper outer left foot is going away.

Saturday, August 6, 2011

sweet spot

in each of my morning sessions there is an area that points itself out with stretchy-burny feelings as something that needs to be worked on.  base of neck, back of legs, that "adhesion" top outer distal left foot.  all of that leg-foot stuff seems to be ameliorating judged by less burn of lesser intensity.  been working those leg-feet aspects at least since february.

they had told me to "find my center" & in the first days had demonstrated for me that i did not have it.  "finding" it has been a kind of a swim in the dark, not knowing what there might be to bump into.  it is a platonic alignment of soles of feet, ankles, knees, pelvis, lumbar-thoracic spine, shoulders, neck, head in 3 dimensions.  the actual "center" does not correspond to any particular point inside the body, that point being the sum of the vectors of the various forces arrayed by the muscles around the joints.  if i flex/extend my knees there are the extremes of locked extension & the opposite where the flesh prevents further flexion, right in the middle of that range a narrower range "sweet spot" of maximum comfort, balance, least use of energy, same with all the other joints in the support structure. 

point being that when that sweet spot is noticed it can be returned to.  when returning from an extension i feel these days, if i'm slowed down enough, the joint goes into a sort of a settling "bump" when it hits the sweet spot.  i turn head to the side (leave shoulders still (-:) the neck bones slide up against each other as the turn proceeds, adding a teeny bit of height.  when the head goes back to 0,0,0 the neck loses that added height as each vertebra climbs off the high edge of the vertebra below it & descends into the pleasant valley of the "center."  like a plane landing, bump, like a ship come home to port.  sweet spot.

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

pushing through

and i figured out morotetori kokyuho omote and ura and i got a rush of happy and immediately decided to reward my "self" with a run. c u later.

there are a limited number of things in those aikido techniques. face this or that way, each hand & foot in a given conformation. start facing this way, do this, do that, end facing that way. can do it with a checklist while learning, then its just practice to get better faster.

next day.

if i line my vision up with a given landmark I can always stand in the same place. taking that place immediately i saw a flush of falling leaves from the fungus infected big poplar tree i want to take down. i wondered if i could know the number of leaves i was seeing fall, maybe 20-odd, maybe 50.

in doing the head movements: the vertical extension-flexion can be done to try to get every vertebra to move in sequence. extension starts at the base of the neck & proceeds headward, flexion starts with the head & proceeds down to the base of the neck.

in bendover was very stiff this morning & i had to just stand there doing eye circles & such while the thick stuff of the low back stretched, did not get my fingers on the floor the first time.

a week later i demonstrated to my self the leon russell paradigm by going through all of the morning stretch & move stuff to the various competences & relaxations without getting the happy. that was sufficient to bring the happy into the personal zone. like in a dark room but i know where the bed is. i couldn't see it, the happy, but i knew it was there, in the blind spot, winking at me but the brain is covering it with the bad mood that's all around (

Saturday, July 30, 2011

hamstrings & overhead

1. wife gets catalogs of women's "yogawear" & one of them has the female model on cover in a yoga pose & i look at the pose & decide to try it & i 100% can't do it. on one knee, down leg foot lifted, same side hand goes over tipped back head to touch lifted foot. instant hamstring spasm whichever side i try. a new level of inability to explore.

2. i've been wanting to work on upper body. the thing that's been missing has been arms over head work. i guess i'll be doing a lot of holding things above my head this year. keep shoulders down i'll tell myself.

3. i started moving around the house with eyes closed again. i'd discovered that a better way to do that is in martial mode with same side hand & foot go forward (or any direction) together rather than "civilian" mode which is crossed arm-leg. "scientific" cornering is found to be extremely convenient going around things with eyes closed. but i read a report in sci am about totally blind people avoiding obstacles without touching them so there is a whole other level of possibility.

4. morning outside workout in cold all with sword in hand, the stretches all with arms above & in front, then shomens against a brick wall, aim for a point. now arms are all tingly & warm, less used muscles woken up.

in bendover with sword i can't touch anything, it takes me maybe as much as a minute to get the knuckles on the ground, with sword a new point of tension outer lower front thighs becomes evident on both sides when knuckles ~1" from gtound, actually "wants" to not relax, lift torso 1/2" the tight front thighs go away

rubberized grips

i've been moving the sword around in the hands, turning blade this way or that according to the particular move like they show me how. when rotating the blade one hand holds tight & the other hand loosens to allow the blade to rotate. simple enough.

so today the job was to use a pump to put air in tires. pump stands on ground, i'm supposed to stand on flanges to keep pump steady, move plunger up & down. plunger has T-handle, the grips are rubberized for better grip. the problem that emerges in my hyper-critical state of attention is that if i utilize the rubberized quality my wrists get in wrong position through at least 50% of the movement of the plunger. the hand wants to slide in rotation around the grip, the rubber impedes/prevents that rotation, the wrists are at the wrong angle through part of the downward arc, the inbalance tries to correct up the arm, through the shoulders, torso a bit too far forward, low back catches the strain, the whole process becomes harder than it needs to be. one issue addressed another issue created.

Thursday, July 28, 2011

this is why there is the adult advisory

2 years later i am always reminded of sex every time i do bendover leg stretches. there is that anticipatory tension in the hamstrings of the coming stretch: it will burn, that is known, i still am not keeping those muscles completely relaxed through the stretch. the flinching tension & the wanting not to do it are overriden by the master, whoever that is, the one with the mask & whip, the "me." so there is the triumph of engagement. once through the "gate" the muscle goes with the flow and responds appropriately in accord with its instincts & training, driven through "pain" to pleasure.

other muscles, smaller, more in front, better known, they are easier, they just open up, "i" walk right in.

so i wanted to breath in on extension & out on flexion, so the moment of going past the barrier, where the indrawn gasp might occur if too abrupt an entry or too much anticipatory tension or too much rush of pleasure, is that an extension or a flexion? an awase moment, the two moving parts breathing together, expiring through the crisis of contact into the next thing. extasy.

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

accelerants, clarifiers

when there is adequate nutrition and the body is put through a non-damaging workout that produces sweat for a period of about 45 minutes or more every day happiness develops. it is helpful if the exercizer has decided to like the activity and to call the internal subjective experience of the various changes in physical state fun, but the physical result of that exercise will be sufficient after some number of weeks or months in producing the smiley satisfied feeling all by itself.

one perhaps would prefer to get there a little faster with various tricks of gear or chemicals or mental construct.

is it true that a normal response of groups of people is to run away from violence rather than mobbing it? That is the normal response to a shooter in a crowd. does it become difficult/impossible for humans to move towards the danger? we have the story of the plane over Pennsylvania where they went against the criminals. in the manhattan planes they went along. giving in is normal, right? letting it happen is normal.

people in motion are harder to hit right? 3 gunners, 5 gunners, different calculus. 1 gunner, many people, mob the gunner a few die, everybody runs gunner gets to pull a norway, calmly walking around shooting everyone. but mobbing is rare, giving up is common. is that human nature or is it training in passivity? have to think about it more but not tonight i guess.

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

visual eyes

attempts to put things into "body" memory are dependent on sensory inventories. which way is up, what is where, which way is what going. i've been working on visual stuff last 1.5 years. last night my advanced partner gave me strong motion & position experiences that had enough force that i noticed & remembered them & was able to return when it was my turn. these things can be done with amazingly little effort if the spatial relations are lined up PROPERLY.

Monday, July 25, 2011

making same mistake over & over

actually there is value in repeated mistakes. they are actually all different like bristles on a brush, there is a cumulative effect different than each one by itself.

running in the summer rain. fell on wet concrete just before aikido. now there is a standard turn method, i do it the same each time. long as i can run i got something to work with. who will forbid me to run?

big muscles

1. biggest thickest muscles, tendons, ligaments in butt & upper thighs. slowest to heal, hardest to change. in massage one finds deep hot spots, extensive limited areas, tight thicknesses and thick tightnesses that would require a Goliath sized masseut to address properly by hand, so that one imagines perhaps the careful use of a blunt tool.
experientially that makes the leg & hip stretch portion of the morning stretch sensationally intense some-would-call-it-pain. does my gleeful yearning for my morning stretch cross over into one of the desire sins? i don't think so. the anticipation feeling is the same for me as i look forward to my make-the-thighs-burn stretches as that before a potentially hot date. want want want.
2. in general this blog is going to pursue issues of awareness with plenty of physical reality, all suppositions stated hopefully as questions.
3. they are making me learn techniques for my 5-kyu test so i have to learn them with their japanese names so when sensei asks me i know what to do. every waza is a precious gem that has to be patiently cut and polished to achieve the greatest clarity of awareness. so i have to think about those kinds of things in addition to the ongoing work of learning to stand and sit straight, to open the hips, to stretch the thighs.
4. because whether i use accellerators or not i can physically dig my way out of my funk with my morning stretch-focus routine and i can sweat out the fatigue of work with my 35 minute run outside in the plain air. if i don't do that every day i just don't feel right.
5. letters i did not write to a neighbor whose dog is often barking on saturday mornings, i know because i'm out there on the deck stretching. met them on a political walk, hardscrabble Dems, cigarettes, dogs, cars getting worked on in the back:
a. you know there's an animal noise ordinance?
b. it is possible to teach a dog not to bark no matter how old they are
I thought other mean things involving violence but i am not writing them here, see other blog.
i notice most saturdays that the neighbors are doing nothing about this barking dog situation, its been going on for years. its like the dog will die some day, then there'll be another dog, that's just the way it is. getting along in this neighborhood is absolutely about leaving each other alone.
6. walking silently. at the beach i was the only one doing it. everyone else clump clump clump bumping along on their heels. i am putting my feet down at lowest possible angle, drifting along. clump clump. i am the only one who is noticing.
in the philly airport waiting for a schedule to sort itself out, getting late. a female clumps by in i guess 4" heels & a tightish dress. clump she's not comfortable clump in a hurry to the next discomfort station. i going on windowshopping the unappetizing food. on the way back to where i came from there she is again, she's got her shoes in her hands, still clumping along, frown furrowed on forehead raised by tightly pulled back hair. still not happy. but she thought the situation through to an amelioration. somebody notices, stares, she doesn't notice. hope if she did she wouldn't care. comfort first, that's what i say. let them mind their own business.

shards of me

as if the "me" in here is made up of pieces, the pieces making a lumpy and unstable pile of stuff i pretend is coherent, i call it "me." then to mistake the products & reactions of the pile for the pile itself, that became the "me": the things "i" feel, think, do. then to assign causes to those things. then to blame non-"me" aspects for those things. "you"/"it" makes "me" feel, think, do this or that. the "me" becomes a fortress, walls of fog, bricks of ideas. hard becomes impossible. "i" cannot change. "my" "faith" will not permit it.

Leon Russell spoke of learning how to write in the lack of inspiration. balance in the lack of balance. one step at a time through the ordinary. the joy a thin layer, not the ground glass stuff on top, somewhere in there, could miss it among all the other layers, the many kinds of irritating "normal."

and i know that when i do my stretches this morning its going to be intense in the hamstrings when i go into bendovers.

and it was.

layering - walking & chewing gum at same time

so today i tried doing the attention-eye-head movement exercises in coordination with a simple step forward with one foot or the other. losing it or beginning to in say the the first time i tried opposite circle eyes with that step. had to figure out how to do that without beginning to pull the trigger on the "i'm falling" panic thing.

earlier i was moving slow enough to not scare the birds away from the feeder ~8 feet away. someone will think: that happens to me all the time. any tips?

with the bird feeder as the temporary center of their universe i wide cast and found 5 birds in trees taking turns at the feeder. i can't track them with my focal center but when i keep the center wide data comes in from the edges and it becomes clear that there are 5 birds out there, and where they are. tips? i want to learn to read signs in the peripheral. i'm at those-2-blobs-i-know-they're-25. i can read upside down, can you read in the peripheral? tips?

i still think 24 hours after i thought it: hamstrings are the key to world peace. those whose hamstrings are relaxed are disinclined to make war.

Sunday, July 24, 2011


loosening the legs the ongoing theme. i look forward every morning session to the bendover to the left in which the outside of the left leg stretches and burns from little toe to upper thigh.

and i explored the darkness as the blood leaves the head in standup, find and take a stable position as the darkness flows from top to bottom. Then the eye motions, which today brought dizziness into view, the stable position taken, minor adjustments to stance, set of shoulders, set of gaze, attention here or there, to go through the dizziness and continue the exercise.

keeping the eyes still through torso rotation has been a project this summer. as always the edge is the hard stuff that i don't want to do. the constant promise is that as i get that thing under my belt something else will come up and some of it will be something i never even thought of.

like arcing the circle in tenkan. i had been doing tentan as a circular arc made by the back leg as it retreats relative to the partner. then a teacher said: basic stance toes point toward the apex of an acute triangle, very important. that relative foot position eventually allowed me to notice that i could replace that circumferential motion with a straight line movement, making the leg movement the string instead of the bow: shorter, less energy use. i did it "wrong" for 1.5 years before i was able to take in that level of detail.

those who do not want to find out those kinds of things about themselves, its just too bad.

Friday, July 22, 2011


in bendover, its hot, feel stretch move around as fingers reach across the midline toward this or that foot.

arise to
1. dark spots in the visual
2. followed by a wave feeling washing down my head just like a blush but not a blush
3. dizziness imagined as possible should my body continue to go down that path

so, find a more stable position while this stuff proceeds, the blood redistributes itself. completely reasonable to just stand there and wait for it to clear. age appropriate.

the most stable position of course would be on the ground.

i think i discovered the parts of the "me" by reflection on my colonoscopy experience, in which, they told me, i was most cooperative, but they had used a drug that had prevented memory formation so i have no memory. "i" was not there as far as i knew, but "i" was there for them. it was therefore demonstrated that "me" had parts that "i" was not aware of. having found one of them it was reasonable to assume there are more that i don't know i don't know about. what are those unknown parts about?

Thursday, July 21, 2011


explanations seem to be appropriate to level of training, so at some point maybe some detail is presented that essentially makes the whole thing that was done the old way "wrong." but not wrong, appropriate to the level. feet pointed this way or that way. even pictures are drawn of "proper" footwork that are appropriate for a newbie but are actually incorrect at a later level.

how did i not notice before?

a very interesting concept, eh wot?

balance point t12 & c4-5

the thoracic vertebrae do not have much give in them because they are tied together by the ribs. extension is typically limited to the excursion of the ribcage during inspiration but a bit more is possible. gravity can be brought into play by serious back bends of say 60 degrees or more. this because i got back from aikido class & she said: straighten up, you're all bent over with your chest collapsed. yes dear, thankyou. it was true. i was tired. i had dropped my ball. i had reverted.

2 people quit the class recently. they did not want to go through the multi-week process of finding out that that they could not indeed walk and chew gum at the same time, even just walk right. each new phyical thing demonstrated to be performed suboptimally, each finger, each joint angle, the senses not trained in any useful way.

so i felt like i found a balance point at t12-L1 that i could use to get a relaxed extended ribcage so i could carry my torso "proud" and stay relaxed. the habit is to not even try & just let that balance point collapse into flexion & i end up all bent over creeping along with my walker.

that reminded me of the other balance point, a certain feeling in the middle of the neck. the control of the head is at C1, if the back of the head is extended & the chin is tucked there is a point at which the "bow" of the cervical spine is neutrally cocked.

of course all of this specificity falls apart a soon as i depart from very slow.

Monday, July 18, 2011

why its better

it has become lately an exploration of balance with heels off the ground. this is all static balance, or rather short ranges of motion passed through slowly to end points, study of mechanical limits.

i distinctly remember thinking for a moment last fall that my legs were in pretty good shape, how about working upper body. immediately new leg elements came into the field of awareness. stuff on the outer back legs, accessible in bendover by moving torso laterally, finders reach for the little toe and that way beyond. nice burn of hitherto neglected tendons & fascia. an exquisitely intense burn at left upper outer foot just behind the 2 little toes. bend foot to um extreme supination it really screams. fascial adhesions i like to imagine them to be. so far i've been able to stretch-exercise-massage such spots away after some months. this time last year the same leg had a low level shin splint for a while.

meanwhile i saw a film of saito sensei doing a simple shomenuchi with a bokken. i really noticed the pelvic movement. not just the leg moved, the pelvis advanced in space by rotating, duh. so i put that thought into running and came up with i was perhaps putting unnecessary effort into arm movement, damped that down, voila: the pelvis rotation picks up and each step covers a bit more ground. after a couple of weeks of doing that a deep occasional achey thing develops in the right upper outer butt just above the hip joint. i think ive demonstrated to myself that it is a muscular thing.

Saturday, June 4, 2011

unbind mind no time

i went back to the original set of sensory exercises i used to sit and do:
start with visual (that's what "i" do):
what is in front of "me"
what is to "my" left
what is behind "me"
what is to "my" right
what is above me
what is below me
similarly with the other senses however defined

then proceed with the now pretty standard first thing now become second:
visual attention at infinity through the directions up-down, sideways, diagonals,
same with actual eye movement
same with actual head movement, eyes at the zero point
then on to the shoulders, etc.

most stretchy-burny for "me" are those first and second standing touch-toes. stiff hams & low back. all those years of sitting in chair. just a week ago or so i rearranged my office so i can stand & compute. voila, a new set of imbalanced muscles & joints starts to realign. new stuff in the body arrangement, not same old chronic aches & pains from always doing the same things the same way. no wonder people aren't happy. efficiency. bah. we have no idea.

it was onrushing events of life kept me away so long. rush has not abated. i continue to have a daily run & a daily stretch-meditate warmup session. the physical happiness thing is strong, lasts hours, amenable to freshening up (the happiness thing) with little 1 minute stretch-move-meditate sequences, always possible to do them differently for added interest. head circles with eyes moving oppositely left-right, etc. or just standing in natural position rocking slightly side to side (knees unlocked of course) observing the layers sliding past each other, trying to find the infinity focus.

tried the visual attention thing at the beach where the infinity focus is the show in town & was unable to find the radius at which the multiple images merged and became "flat." no layers to look at, a different zero point would need to be found, where, the vestibular sense.

which reminds me, the standing balance so habitually tied to the visual that standing on one foot with eyes closed is a different story then with eyes open. now i can practice that while i work, while i practice typing with my eyes closed.

Sunday, January 23, 2011


catty. our cat. got paw caught in a trap and we amputated it. first time she used the litter box she found she couldn't bury it right, she was pissed. growled. kept trying till she figured a new sequence that worked for her. frustration a pre-human sequence. humans have capacity to decide to do things differently. frustration replaced with deep breath, sarcastic smile, something relaxing & reconcilational. anyway, to get through it one way or another, perhaps to another point of balance & grace.

keeping back & head aligned in turns, no, actually in any movement. there is always the tendency to lean into the motion and that is always the wrong thing to do. the head SHOULD stay aligned. is that right?

frustration. pit of stomach. oh no not again.


i apply quiet eyes to computer screen. the visual field includes the fingers on the keyboard, the room surrounding the screen. it is the comfort of actually seeing my hands on keyboard, i can see the keys, fingers hitting the keys, at the edge i see the mouse, the results of the mouse, i cannot yet actually read in the corners. practice with checkbox in corner. like archery. out of the focal point is hard. as soon as i noticed being in the groove it shattered & got off track. moments of smooth function then it goes clunk again and its gone.

next day. application of peripheral awareness to reading the screen & writing, say, envelopes. working on writing on the line in quiet eyes, 000, the line seen in the peripheral. i can see the hand making the letters but i don't recognize the letters in peripheral yet. can i close this window in quiet, mouse arrow in peripheral?

several days later, this is indeed a skill that can be learned. wife with an incipient carpal tunnel pre-situation, she's a 2-finger typer, right hand mouse person. i describe how i switched from right to left for mouse work years ago to distribute the work, how it takes a couple of weeks of grrr teeth grinding frusted godamit i missed it again before the change gets normalized. when will i have a chance to do that she asked. when she decides she wants to.

at the dojo an ability has developed in the warmup in which i can mirror image the demonstrated action, then i'll lose it, the sides will switch. the teachers have begun to demonstrate in the side by side, some of us seem to have a harder time with mirror image imitation. for me now its coming in little chunks, i've got it, i notice, then its gone again.

Friday, January 14, 2011

head position #2

in which apparently a new chapter in "where's my head" has begun, same as last chapter. the eyes want to drop down from 0, the head wants to go forward and lean into the seemingly oncoming reality, when the fact of the matter is that the reality is all around including "inside." the "separation" entirely illusory, maintained by membranes, necessary so that plans can be made and dreams realized.

when i pulled my neck back and tucked the chin past the endzone of current comfort into an outlandish "something wrong with your neck?" position i feel it all the way down to the pubic insertion of the quad. leg bone connected to the neck bone. the upper butt muscles wanted to tighten up, the pelvis wanted to raise its chin so to speak. head position. nitpicky. makes a difference.

so i walk around all the time just like i have a stick up my ass because the balance point i want is just behind my comfort zone. will it always be just behind? no, probably a new configuration will emerge from the discomfort, lumpy shoulderblades hanging from happy slack muscles while the head is happily way back there in the safe zone as the blade goes whistling by immediately in front of my nose.

but that stiffness in my left lower back when i would lift my left leg to put my pants on in the morning, years of it, currently in the 95% not there zone. continued signs that something is happening. scary & kool.

Thursday, January 13, 2011

instalax nano relaxation routine

pulling the garbage can while maintaining a good imitation of "martial vision" i banged a wheel against a wall, god gave me that to demonstrate that i had been thinking about paying attention to the visual edges instead of actually doing it.

later: i'm wondering how i can begin to like read, notice, focus off the center, so i'm pulling inventory & i find that for arms length reading i'm at about 1 degree off of center that i can read. maybe two. and there's speed readers who can do a page with a glance. one of the areas that this kind of sensory stuff is going towards.

so, sitting in chair: what is above me, below me, to right to left, what do i feel on my head, face, nose, mouth, front of neck, back of neck, r shoulder, l shoulder, etc. (leave nothing out), what do i hear, what do i smell, breathe in, breathe out

ok, back to work.

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

head position

the way proper head position seems to be taught in aikido is to advise me that my head is (always) in front of where its supposed to me and then to hit it with a stick next time its in the wrong place. the tight spot is all the way on the bottom of the neck, that spot is accustomed to the submissive position we learn from our cultures, when i put it closer to where its supposed to be there is a deep achy discomfort there, if i hold it through several breaths the discomfort spreads laterally toward the shoulders, if i continue to hold perhaps numbness starts to spread down the arms all the way to the fingers, different on one side than the other. so if i raise my arms above my head does my neck contract and squash down like turtle trying to disappear into my chest or do i effortfully pull it up & back and out of the way, eyes level, never looking away from the everything, warrior mode?

difficults: to go into various iterations of downlow while maintaining the 0,0,0 head position, burn felt at the pubic insertion of the still weak quad, verticals still in seeking, not yet attained. long moments of static seeking for the sweet angles. the head motion sequence while holding the sword motionless. if i stick the tip into a wall corner so it can't move then i can prove to myself that the shoulders are still while the head is moving.

to not look at the ground, at the weapon in the hand, at the partner on the other side of the weapon. all raisins in the pudding. edges sliding past each other revealing other edges. ocean of edges passing in and out of continuity.

walking & the head always wants to be forward, the eyes always want to look down. if i pull the head back & put the eyes where they belong (0,0,0 or perhaps more accurately 0,0,infinity?) the shoulders want to hunch up & foward. balance simple & available evidently only while passing through, always relative to something, usually gravity i guess.

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

they call, we come

that addictive bread. i avoided it for about 5 days then i had a piece. it grabbed the base of my brain immediately & i could clearly see myself getting up & going back in the kitchen for another slice. in olden days there would have been a what-the-hell moment & i would have surrendered swooning to the need & i would have conducted the ritual of self-abasement as i gave in to my shameful abandonment to dangerous pleasure. i walked to the kitchen & got something else, head over heart that time. maybe it's the rosemary, maybe the olive oil is bad, may the kind of yeast. doesn't agree with me. waaant it.

like dog sniffing around until the perfectly aged turd or cascass found & then the swooning roll in the thing, i know my human doesn't like it but i don't care, can't help myself, got to do it.

desire separated from satisfaction of desire, now its gone, where'd it go, who cares, gone, one less thing to obsess over, so many other things available.

neck feeling half way better. ice everywhere. burning hams in bendover bring dangling strings of stuff into focus. how? i want to grab my legs and squeeze the burn, i want to cover my face with my hands, i want to moan & scream, echoes of surrender explicit in the position itself, can of worms squirming, trying to get away from the burn but there's nowhere to go.

out to the store to pick her up some wine.

Saturday, January 8, 2011


today's run started with "how's my hurt neck gonna be." i immediately discovered that the sore&stiff in the neck made me want to look in the right place (0,0,0) so it was actually easier to do that i'll call it the tunnel of love. & i was soon reminded by the lump on my head to scan the heavens in the peripheral so that i noticed the big ball of ivy up in that tree that i'm sure someone's living in. then it became evident that the shoulder muscles were pulling on the neck muscles and rocking the neck joints and that was all therapeutic. so it was all good. now i'm writing this, neck still sore but also still moving.

the, uh, details of how the foot is put down. cornering: step forward against the turn, pivot, step, eyes are supposed to stay straight ahead, head 0,0,0. i would typically look down in the turn like i used to always look all the time before aikido. today the hurt neck promoted that 0,0,0 head position so i actually got a few higher quality turns today.

before i cracked my head i remember in the morning routine how there was significant improvement in leg tone over last year, various things like quad extension were getting easier to do and less of that intense burny stuff some poor lost souls confuse with "pain." then a whole new layer of sore muscles appeared under the better muscles so there is another whole chapter of stuff the legs need to do and i thought maybe i'd concentrate on the upper body this year. nope. still the legs. kneeling with full posture stretching down quad at pelvic insertion, burns right there, refers you know where. ooo. locked knee bendover, now with extra added twist to the sides, newly found muscle bundles twitch and quiver at outer upper knees, new track of burn up outside of thigh to make ache in the pocket above the hip bone.

neck still hurts.

head bump

went down in basement to check furnace filter & bumped my head on door frame on way out. neck scrunched, bit of blood on scalp. took ibu & did a bunch of head movements but its all sore & tightened up anyway. this um "forcefully" reminds me that the peripheral vision & the questions that must be asked include "what is above me." dealing with this will be interesting. better i did it to myself i guess than that i get it from falling wrong at the dojo. immediately the plans change, now this is what i have to deal with.

always trying to
escape illusion that i
know what's happening

Sunday, January 2, 2011

falling down stairs

last night i had occasion to remind myself that my left thigh bone sure seems to be 1/2" shorter than my right. no wonder like everything's always a bit off kilter, built in skew designed to promote imbalance and tendency to collapse. not going to be some minor remodeling of joint surfaces (left ankle eg). where am i going to get that correction other than from self absorbed nitpickery? yer head is 2 degrees off plumb reis, 1 degree rotated left, 1 degree tilted right, come on, get with it.

last night i saw layers in the dark. i see layers all over the place. its like waking up to a snow fall, all magic visual goes straight inside and explodes with a smile. layers. am feeling getting better at keeping the eyes still and zeroed through any kind of movement. the attention, eh, pretty good i guess, no point in saying anything positive about any of that, would just set up for the next failure in near future. but you know how it is, soon as you grab the attention there you are watching yourself grab the attention, etc. but never mind, gotta work with what there is anyway, maybe some time you get lucky, figure something out.

this year i want to work on falling down stairs: correct ways to do that. im going to start rolling & falling on hard & uneven surfaces, cramped spaces.

want tos and have tos. a life without shoulds.

they've been giving me compliments at the dojo. scary. there is this enhanced intergratedness underneath the ignorance. i found a "formula" sort of for mirror imaging the teacher in warmup, feel that starting to come for the tech demonstrations. feel justified that i repressed cortical learning of the names, recipes, etc. like slide forward, hand such, pivot, step back, etc. & concentrated on sub-basics.

starting to do rolls on hard surfaces. my rolls still have lumps in them.