ZEN and martial arts

book cover of Zen Body-BeingWhat do ZEN and martial arts have in common? Do you need to be a professional in martial arts to build a ZEN garden? Maybe not but it might help. Peter Ralston started his studies in judo, aikido and tai-chi at the age of nine. In the year 1978 he won as first non-asian the full contact world championship in Taiwan. For him, this was the completion of one chapter, just to be able to start the next one: Zen Body-Being
His research in various techniques and his own profound life experience made him unveil his own method. In a nutshell, its about re-connecting your-self with your body, find the center and also physical/ geometrical middle of your body. Starting from that point a new body consciousness evolves and changes the way you move – yourself and things. He easily shows how to use the inner tension of your body to interact with objects and subjects. If you thought in the past, you push the not-working-car, with Peter Ralston method you rather just transfer the weight of the car into the ground and let the earth push the car using your natural body tension. Yes, it might sound weird at the start but try it. It might also improve your cooking, office work, home work, fitness, hockey and building your ZEN garden.

Amazon.com Peter Ralston – Zen Body-Being: An Enlightened Approach to Physical Skill, Grace, and Power

UPDATE: I wrote Peter Ralston an email about this blog post and asked him to optimize the content if needed. Here’s his friendly reply:

Thanks for that. The picture on the book was done by German publisher and doesn’t represent me or my work at all. I wouldn’t use the word “tension” as you do, we are all about relaxing and so tension is contrary to that; it is the “intrinsic” strength or the inherent binding force of the relaxed body that I am referring to and so tension gives a wrong impression. My German students say the translation of ZBB isn’t very accurate, but the translation of the Principles of Effortless Power (a different book) is much closer. So perhaps you could look at that book to get a better idea of some of the concepts mentioned in ZBB.

I did change the book cover picture to the original of the English version, the German cover Peter is talking about can still be found here. Furthermore I just ordered the Principles of Effortless Power book and will write about it here in the future. Thanks for the tip, Peter!

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ZEN-MEN for ommwriterOmmwriter is. ZEN is. Together a unique timeless tool which helps you to import your creative nuclear fusions of thoughts. Lightnings become writings. Typing with Ommwriter transforms time into space, induces wideness into your maze. The mind settles down, light and profound.
Ommwriter is currently in beta v2 and available free for the Mac OSX/ SL platform.

ZEN-MEN did create a special theme for Ommwriter consisting out of a new background, antique typing sounds and an 8 minute version of the special ZEN-MEN “AlphawaveZ” music track. A short “manual – how to” is in the free downloadable ZIP file. Enjoy!

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traveling without moving

perfect sunset (again) ... a ZEN moment

How’s the weather where you are? May I invite you and your brain to a refreshing 300 seconds journey? Let your eyes be the guide and take a 5 seconds rest on each of those 60 stations. From the bar to the beach back to the lounge, please wash your feet. Our view glides over to ocean and we hear the rolling waves. Nemo is more than a fish, Shiva knows this – make a wish. Holy lake,  nature, the painter, the architect of life, modeled monkeys, 007, turtles and temples. Shining colors, birds in the trees, hunt for the sunset or Horniman’s teas. Delicious perfumes, joy at the beach, a cosy place, everybody needs. Happy Divali! to all at the pool or under the Buddha tree, in nature’s lounge lights and stars twinkle for free. Sail with me at full speed, bananas and beer, what else do we need? A last look at the gentleman with the hat, we did land again, Roger that – check!

to the set of all 60 pictures I took at Mauritius/ Maurice

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How often did you print out an unexpected email or even a SMS you got from a friend? I recently stood in front of the fridge and looked upon all those pinned postcards. These ancient transmitters of feelings and information still have a high value for me. Time stands still and you travel with all your senses to Rapa Nui, a long voyage (if you don’t live there directly), even the card itself lets you know, it was en route quite some time with all its scratches and bumped corners and edges… Especially in our fast time with emails, waves, IMs, blips and tweets – a postcard can become a ZEN ticket. I got one with “ZEN center -here-” on it. Thanks Valerie!
Being a fan of the Golden Middle Way, I happily use all the new, sterile and superfast tools ‘but’ I also appreciate an oldskool postcard, which I easily can pin to the fridge.
Write more postcards – if you don’t know whom –  I still have some free space on the fridge! 😉

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mono no aware

JAPAN Die Harmonie der StilleSandrine Bailly created a wonderful book “Japan: Season by Season”. The combination and composition of visual and lyrical arts offers a fine and ethereal path for the readers eyes and spirit. You can even hear the sounds of dancing brushes share their liquid color with the waiting paper. Traveling through the seasons of the book is like a journey into life and time. The physical weight and format of this book helps you to center and come back to earth (again).
Mono no aware.
Amazon.com Japan: Season by Season

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perfect tea time

teaWhen you have some great friends, it can happen, that suddenly some perfect tea walks into your door, now add a few free hours and some fine hot water. Wonderful ingredients for a lovely time.
“jade oolong” you could name a tea of the golden middle way, somewhere between green tea and black tea. While enjoying the tea, for me, it was like walking into a transparent buddha made of jade and being totally surrounded by vapor. Inhaling this tranquillity did center my being and slowly brought me back into another reality where I hold a cup of tea in my right hand. Very ZEN.
“whole rose buds”, well, if you ever heard somebody singing “I wanna lay you down in a bed of roses…”, this tea is the next generation. The smell of those lovely buds is simply fantastic. You might fall instantly in love with this “tea”, well I did. It took my a looong moment to realize that this amazing gift is meant to be tea. While brewing I felt like a perfume designer and alchemist. Drinking this essence was like diving into an ocean of roses. In a poetical way: liquid love.

In case you have not yet informed your friends what to bring with them to your next perfect tea talk, have a look at www.wearetea.com
Thank you, for making such great teas!

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waiting for a better offer

waiting for a better offer:
“You can always wait” is a quote of a friend of mine, another friend is most times waiting for a better offer. I recently started to ask myself if waiting can be relaxing. In the case of wait around for a better offer, mate, situation, life – you have to constantly compare new incoming data with an old fixed data you declared as the fixed/ starting point to yourself. These ongoing data-stream builds up tension in your system(brain) which might generate what we in short call stress.
Why do we act like this? (most of us, including me sometimes)
Many times these illusionary calculations are missing some important points. Sure, the TV, Camera, Computer, Gadget will be less expensive in a few months but how much weight do we give the missed joy, experiences, life quality? Can we rewind our lifetime after waiting for Mrs or Mr Right for ages?
Wait less, become stressless…

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1000 paths to ZEN

1000 paths to ZEN

“A Thousand Paths to Zen” by Robert Allen is a squared, small but thick book, or you could also name it a compressed source of inspiration and relaxation.

An old lady with huge insight in ZEN was asked about the sound of the single clapping hand. She said: “Instead of burden yourself with it, clap with both hands and carry on.”

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interview 200904

In April 2009 a friend of mine asked me for an interview about ZEN and my-self for a magazine in a virtual world called Secondlife. Since then I was repeatedly asked, if I could publish it “outworld” to share it easier, so here we go(in English only).

Interview for the Secondlife Icon magazine, 20090410

Hi .ZEN, we seem to be missing each other online. So I thought I’d just compile the questions and you can just send the note card back with your answers. My rough draft is due tomorrow.

1) how did you get interested in ZEN? am i calling it correctly?
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chop wood

“Before enlightenment; chop wood, carry water. After enlightenment; chop wood, carry water.”

“Vor der Erleuchtung; Holz hacken, Wasser tragen. Nach der Erleuchtung; Holz hacken, Wasser tragen.”

Old ZEN saying