Sunday 9 December 2007

Gift from a sensei

I thought I'd share this with you. On Friday Miki Sensei, whom I teach with once a week, gave me this beautiful Japanese calligraphy as a gift. She has a high dan in Shodo.

The kanji roughly means "Look at the mountain. Listen to the water." As I'm a great lover of nature, Miki Sensei felt this was appropriate for me (especially in regards to my regular outdoor karate training).

Sadly now, as the Japanese winter really kicks in, nearly all of my extra training has shifted into the dojo.

Awareness of ones environment is directly attached to 'living in the moment'. An aspect of karate, which sometimes I feel I have nearly mastered, yet other times I am a complete beginner. Perhaps the very best training method, away from practice itself, is ones awareness of their environment in their daily lives? Simply sitting back, looking around and taking everything in. I sincerely believe this is true. Is this not zanshin?

I hope your training is going well as 2008 rapidly approaches us (along with those New Years resolutions)! OSU, Andre

© André Bertel, Japan 2007

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