maanantai 12. heinäkuuta 2021

The End and The New Beginning


The End and The New Beginning

For all my life I've been a spiritual seeker and for all my adult life I've been a spiritual practitioner. I've meditated and done yogic practices about 30 000 hours and taught professionally since late 2008, for almost 13 years now. This project has been a priority and central focus of my life, always basically, and other things including relationships, financial security, other interests like hobbies and other career choices, and even my own family have come second to this. I knew I was making big sacrifices but I had to because I had no choice due to the constant existential pain that I was in. I was suffering of an illness of sorts. It was a struggle from day until night until day, over and over and over.

There is so much, a whole biography packed in the past 42 years. Those who know me closely, my students and close friends know how all this has been both a struggle and a journey of discovering practices and developing a method that has the power to actually smash the self-based confusion no matter how bad it gets. Oh gosh... Looking at it in retrospect, it was a hell of a struggle, loaded with relentless inner and outer obstacles and difficulties.

I feel the need to express how sorry I am for spreading my pain, frustration and anger on others, my students, ex-students, friends, ex-wives and girlfriends. I was in great pain and I could not prevent myself from spitting my poison on others. It was so hard to so many people that I've sworn to never to do what I've done again, in circumstances such as these. I could go on for the rest of the day just talking about the difficulties but that is not why I started writing this little update. Anyhow, I want to apologize.

So, all my life I've been a seeker and for the past 18 years I've been a full time teacher and practitioner. Then came a day when the whole project collapsed because the small self, in all of its expressions, ceased to be. Suffering, the sense of something being off, out of place or murky, stopped. It has been like this for 4 months to date, since my 42nd birthday. There is so much I have already written and talked about this over the years and of course there are the talks and commentaries from people of history so I'm not going to discuss this in depth here. I actually didn't even mean to write about this publically because I started to write about what I am going to say next but what I'm about to say next wouldn't make sense without saying this.

I've never sat in prison but perhaps I feel now like someone who after a long sentence is taking the first steps in freedom. It seems like a different, foreign and a whole new world, not in a woowoo kind of way but because the meaning of my life has entirely changed. I put my focus and energy into practice for such a long time and now when that is not necessary anymore, suddenly my attention and energy are no longer associated with the search. Therefore it's available for something else. With that comes a discovery of all these other things that life and the world has to offer, many of which I skipped or left without attention before. At 42 years and 4 months of age, it feels like my life has really just started. All the spiritual and existential stuff and meditation I don't need to worry, think or do at all anymore, and bloody hell, the absence of them is like a big empty canvas, suddenly waiting... simply available for something to be expessed.

I think I will continue to teach but I think that the way of it will change. I have established Pemako and taught tantric buddhism for many years but I think I won't teach (much) tantra anymore. I have trained and continue to train teachers who can continue teaching Pemako tantra.

Other than that,I don't know what I'll do... Suddenly my old love, martial arts, have come back into my life but I also feel like I might (finally) go to school and study something. Maybe I'll finally learn fine carpentry or study painting. Maybe I'll do something with animals. I don't know yet but all these options have been in the back of my mind for a long time. I'm just here, eyes and ears open, waiting for the most interesting fish to bite the hook.

I want to wish you all well, and I want to thank you for support and friendship over the years.

Kim, 12.7.2021

perjantai 9. heinäkuuta 2021

Insults from One's Teacher


Insults from One's Teacher

This is true but to be clear. Many teachers insult their students to point out their issues to them. I don't do this. If you do your practice, you can't avoid your bananas coming up. True, sometimes people don't realise that they have a dark night or that they are very angry but pointing this out to them is very different from insulting them to have the subconscious stuff come up. I am sure some teachers like this kind of "pointing out", by insulting them and it is good to ask why but I think that if one needs the practice, to solve one's existential problems, then you'll do the practice and persevere it, no matter how rough it gets. If the student is not ready, on the other hand, they'll quit and find some easier practice. That I would have to go into all this and start insulting my students on top of everything else, I don't think would be that helpful and would just be something extra for me, the teacher, to do. I have faith in the Four Noble Truths and our Pemako method.

Kim, 9.7.2021

sunnuntai 4. heinäkuuta 2021

Buddhanature in Inner Martial Arts


Buddhanature in Inner Martial Arts

Oskar: What are these qi gong exercises for? Any spesific yogic purpose I mean? (Comment to this video).

Kim: Hi Oskar⁠. I come from a tradition that combines dharma practice with martial and fine arts. But I realise it is very difficult for me to answer what would be the purpose of it. Well, there are common reasons, like learning to unify the body and to move with a unified body. This alone is a tremendously rewarding learning process and we can all understand what is the benefit of learning how to use and carry our bodies well aligned. You don't learn this from only doing sitting practices, nor you learn it from Western sports. From the purely physical perspective, Alexander technique is somewhat close to what is done in (specifically) Chinese "inner martial arts" but what is done inwardly in Chinese arts, that knowledge is entirely absent in modern sports and forms of exercise whatever they may be. The result of this can be seen how (fit) people carry their bodies, how people jog and so on. There is no inner structure, no inner composition or understanding how the body could be used in optimal fashion.

⁠Regarding the internal aspects of what I am doing on the video, I wriote this few days ago:

⁠What you are seeing on the video is atiyoga from one perspective of mind, while simultaneously using dynamic concentration (active mental pushing while doing the pushing movement). Here from the point of view of mind, the basic state and the action of dynamic concentration (in the form of physical and mental pushing) are of same taste, and not two separate things.

⁠Typically active mental pushing, called yi in Chinese, pronounced ee in English (the yi in yiquan, lit. intent), in inner martial arts is practiced just like mindfulness is cultivated by mindfulness practitioners. Mindfulness is always momentary and then you get distracted. Thosewith excellent concentration abilities can remain mindful for as long as they want but this doesn't mean that the basic state would be there as a sort of bedrock. So, to me, merely cultivating active mental pushing (yi) in yiquan momentarily, just like the practice of mindfulness, is incomplete. This is the reason why I spent years in dharma practice stabilising the basic state. Now when it is stabilised, I feel ready and very motivated to give my inner state an external expression, here through this movement. And as you can see there are no “gaps”.

⁠To me, all forms of practice have always been about reality and it's expression and this is also of course how Terayama Sensei taught. But even long before that,when I started judo at 7, I wasn't interested about belt colours or competing. It's been a life long haul and now finally, with unshakable confidence, I can focus on inner martial arts and bodywork.

⁠I don't know what I can accomplish through this but because I took a vow of trying to bring zen arts to Westerners and people of the world, that is what I will do. 


- Kim, 4.7.2021 

torstai 1. heinäkuuta 2021

Doing nothing. Just stand.


Doing Nothing. Just Stand.

Kim: The most difficult thing in (chi gong, zhan zhuang or yiquan) practice is to remain perfectly and yet effortlessly aware. To apply intent (yi), whether gentle or explosive, is momentary. Yi is started, it is kept and it is let go. This is yi.

We can compare this to any kind of concentration exercise and as anyone who has ever tried to keep one's focus (yi) on a single task for anything longer than few seconds, the various thoughts, ideas, memories and impressions make the mind distracted. This is also the case in yiquan. Although not all yiquan methods use this, typically an yiquan practitioner uses certain mental visualisations to learn about (1) the necessary correct alignment of the body, where the body is unified and joints are open and (2) to study the mechanics of well aligned body by applying gentle or forceful visualisations. This whole methodology is based on the principle of concentrated focus and being mindful of both the visualisations as well as sensations in the body.

For a long time in my own yiquan as well as meditation practice, I was interested to find the kind of ”basic mind” that is always present, always clear and never distracted. For a long time when I tried to stand zhan zhuang or sit in meditation without doing anything, without yi, I would sooner or later get distracted by different mental fluctuations. Then as my practice kept progressing, I started having longer and longer periods when this undistractable basic mind was there. This in turn made it possible to really ”just stand, doing nothing”. Little by little, I could just stand, without using yi, without getting distracted.

To me personally as I have been a ”spiritual seeker” as well as a martial artists since I was a child, it has been a great relief to finally, after decades of searching, lots of practice, study and experimentation, to be able to ”just stand” without getting distracted. I have met and studied with a number of yiquan, chi gong and tai chi teachers but it is very difficult to find a person who would be able to discuss this (which is why I began this thread here now, in case others have this issue too). Anyhow.

My inner martial art practice has been on and off as I realised pretty early on that if I wanted to find and establish this ”basic mind” in my practice, I would need to focus on meditation first, and then only after that take it into martial arts.

I don't actually feel like a ”martial artist” anymore, not for a long time because I don't have any interest in fighting or match skills, not really even push hands.

Kim, 1.7.2021