On Wellness

In the last 50 years people have become increasingly disillusioned with orthodoxy. The large monotheistic religions, the hierarchical state, even traditional martial arts have seen a steady crumbling of faith and blind adherence. While I think that overall this is a very positive development it has left many spiritual people feeling a bit adrift. The first step forward should be developing a daily routine to ground ourselves and get in touch with a sense of the universe. I call this a Personal Unifying Practice and it provides the foundation for much of what I teach.

A PUP should be eclectic, diverse, and ever evolving. It needs to start with some quiet time or meditation and then include anything that increases awareness, center, compassion or Joy. Bits of Tai Chi, dance, yoga, Chi Gong, and martial exercises will all work. Later it can expand to include traditional exercise, self defense, playing music, drawing, or any other creative pursuit. I hope that the wellness community moves toward helping people design their own unique practice that draws from multiple traditions. If everyone spent 30-40 minutes a day in their own ever evolving art we would all be a lot more joyful.

Sometimes I wonder how many teachers in what’s become known as the wellness or human potential movement notice that the people who most need their skills are frequently those who are least able to access them. Temple of the Circus Monkey and Desert Monkey Dojo are my very small attempt to answer that concern. I am pleased that my classes are extremely inexpensive and that the bulk of my teaching is done in random spaces. I teach martial arts to people who would never enter a dojo and meditation to those who might be unwelcome in a temple. If your practice is dependent on a quiet beautiful space your practice is way too limited.

All practices should include a strong theme of ego deprivation and this had better start with the teacher. Alas this is not always the case. Tradition glorification, greed, and teachers drinking their own bath water don’t lead to wellness, they lead to new orthodoxy and more disillusioned practitioners.

Saor Alba, Vaya Con Dios, and Viva la Revolucion!

To Do Today…

Every practice is built on a foundation of basic skills and practices. If you’re really serious about getting better you should try to spend a few minutes every day working on them. Below I’ve listed my basic 8. In truth it’s pretty impossible to do them every day but I do try. As your practice expands the list of basic daily exercises will likely expand to include other meditations, stretches, and movements. Eventually the daily practice will be unique to you. But start here:

1) Sitting quietly-
2) Hip isolation-
3) Standing meditation-
4) Balance-
5) Weight Shifting–
6) Rowing-
7) Stance changes-
8) 2 Steps-

I’m not going to elaborate on these right now, I’ll just give you the list. Over the next few weeks I’ll explain each one more thoroughly. Or you could come to a class or book a seminar. You can’t really learn this shit here in the virtual world.

Saor Alba, Vaya Con Dios, and Viva la Revolucion!

Full Speedo Ahead

So here’s a quick question; When exactly did naked male flesh get to be yucky or bad?  Why are grown-ass adults reduced to giggly school children when a guy wears shorts above his fucking knee?  When I was a kid way back in the dark ages men used to wear shorts to play sports.  We even wore bathing suits and (gasp) speedos.  We showed our thighs.  Are those days gone forever?

As long as I’m on the subject why is a speedo synonymous with gay?  Why don’t women think seeing the outline of a penis is hot?  Has sexual repression really advanced that far?  How about we grow the fuck up about sexuality.  You know, like we used to be.

Humans should find human flesh to be attractive.  Sexual repression and the demonization of heterosexual urges by both the left and right disgusts me. Sexual mutilation, fat shaming, rape and whole host of other abominations start with body shaming.  Mortification of the flesh is an age old practice that should be rejected by modern sensibilities.

When the revolution comes I’ll be wearing a kilt.  Duh.  But at the post  revolution pool party I’ll be rocking a shiny speedo.  Saor Alba, Vaya Con Dios, and Viva la Revolucion!