By Dan Raddock & Mark Bannon Last September (2019), Master Instructor Ito led, and Shintaido Quebec, hosted a Shintaido Kenjutsu Master-class followed by a weekend Shintaido open-hand workshop including examinations…Read more
I AM BEAUTIFUL. That was a sub theme of a gasshuku, which Bill Burtis reminded me was in California in 1990. I am a slow but steady learner. Why could I not say that to myself or feel it in anyway? This was beyond me; it took years of life and Shintaido practice to finally understand—even beyond understanding. I now feel the truth and realize the universal truth that comes with the realization that yes, I AM BEAUTIFUL. WE ALL ARE BEAUTIFUL. We are perfectly imperfect. And that is okay. This is part B of the story that helped me to a new awareness. Part A: The Joy of Love appeared in a previous Body Dialogue.
After my brain biopsy, I woke up in recovery. After lying in isolation with all the beeps and hospital noises filling my senses, praying and trying to just be and feel and experience whatever it was that I was supposed to experience, I was transported to a place that is so difficult to describe—perhaps a poet could describe it more clearly—but I will do my best to put into words something much larger and more beautiful and incredible. I was in a place of infinite space, there was a web that stretched out in all directions and in that web was a place that was mine. I was connected by the web to everything and everybody. When one part of the web vibrated, the whole web was affected. The stuff of the web was made up of Love. That is what connects us together. Nothing can happen to any part of the web without the entire web being affected. This was ALL SHOWN TO ME BY GOD (HIGHER POWER) THE UNIVERSAL ENERGY. For the purpose of this article I choose to refer to this presence as God. Anyway, God showed me this wonder of Heaven, the interconnectedness of everything and everybody.
I have to go back for a second here. Back in Worcester, before they sent me to Boston, I was privileged to have friends, both old, long-time ones and people and relatively new ones express to me their love and gratitude for my place in their lives. I heard things that most people only hear said of others at a funeral or gravesite. What a blessing.
So I am back with God in heaven. My life rolled in front of me and God asked what I thought. I considered and felt that I was content and pleased with my life so I told God that I could stay. I considered my life well spent. I could stay in that place of connection and love. God then showed me a vision: a V-plow with God in front of the V and me behind and in the opening of the V. God went on to explain that I was able to do okay with the little bit of His grace that managed to get over the V that was blocking me from His grace. What would could happen if I were able to open the closed end of the V and funnel the full grace into and through me? He had me then. I agreed to go back. He said that it would not be easy but I figured, what the heck, what is easy anyway. So I decided to return. Before I returned I asked: What is it that is holding the point of the V together? That is the bondage of SELF was the answer. It is all the lies you tell yourself about yourself. You are not enough. You are lacking here and there, you are giving away your power to a false self. Your true self, the God-given expression, that essence, is there inside of you waiting and wanting to BE, and God wants nothing more than for each and every one of us to live it. We just have to get out of the way.
Now when I open up to the heavens in Tenso, Ahh, my hands and fingers and heart/soul open and gratefully receive and funnel the Grace of God, nurturing my True self and truly connect with all that is. The Body is and can be the message of the Universe.
I do not mean to indicate that, in some way, I have arrived. I just have a newer awareness to help me move more (hopefully) gracefully through life. Through this whole process of restoration to health, I realize that, way back, I was guided to Shintaido to help me move and grow through all of my life’s situations. I did not realize what a reserve of energy, support and true feelings of connection I had being part of me. I was so blessed to have countless Tenshingosos, scores of Wakames, Hikaris, Eikos, and numerous, wonderful Kumites to tap into inside of myself. Thank you all for being part of my life. I AM BEAUTIFUL, YOU ARE BEAUTIFUL, WE ALL ARE BEAUTIFUL.