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Mastery

Hold Your Breath

Focus, Intention, and the Value in the Pause.

“Breathe in,” Sensei said as he raised his sword to the sky, aligning it with his midline as if it were a lightning rod. “Imagine drawing energy down this line, to concentrate it here,” the sword sunk into a ready position, held at the hara, the physical center of the body.

“Hold your breath.”

I did as directed, closing my throat to prevent the air escaping. The breath did not want to be held. It strained against my upper chest, begging for release. Internally I squirmed, waiting for Sensei to move, to give the signal to release the energy I was struggling to hold in my lungs and in my sword. 

 

suburi with bokkenBreath is Energy

Kokyu the Japanese word for breath, is used synonymously with energy, power, and spirit.Learn More

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Clearing Cobwebs

Seedling Blowing In the Breeze

More than any other chore, I enjoy dusting and sweeping. It’s simple, relaxing, powered only by my body and a simple hand tool. No spraying or scrubbing, no loud noises.

That doesn’t mean I do it more often. Dusting never seems as urgent as dishes, or laundry, so I tend to neglect it.

Seedling Blowing In the Breeze

This week I traveled to Virginia to be an uchideshi, a student living in the dojo to work and to train. For my personal responsibility, I chose to maintain spaces that required more dusting and sweeping than the other spaces. I believed the meditative quality of the work would be good for me after intensive training. I then discovered the dilemma of clearing cobwebs.

As I cleared the cobwebs from the sunroom on the first day, I felt a growing satisfaction.

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