Monday, July 23, 2007

On the UBBT's Eco-Adventure

(Each year I take the members of the Ultimate Black Belt Test on a 3 or 4 day Eco-Adventure on the Pacific Crest Trail outside of Lake Tahoe, CA)

We are going into the Sierra’s for a number of reasons…and I promote this event purposely and with intent (not because it’s easy or convenient or because “we have to do something”).

I truly believe that being close to nature, connecting, turning off the virtual world, and being close to the earth, to trees, and sleeping under the stars is something we need to stay sane. If you could “get” the value of these things, you would, I believe, be that much better of a teacher, leader, and inspiration to others.
The chance to do these things and create the time to talk with you, to give you the opportunity to mix and connect –and to do it all without the wiz and hum of cell-phones, air conditioners, i-pods, car stereos, servants, TV’s, bars, convention center lighting, gift shops, slot machines, and on and on –it’s perfect.

If I somehow motivated you to take your students, periodically, into the outdoors…that you would somehow tie in a “martial arts education” to connecting, at least occasionally, with nature…well, then what a feather in my cap! What a gift that would be.
That’s part of what I’m doing. I’m showing you what I think is important ---and I’m hoping you say to yourself, “yeah, this is good” ---and then implement it as a part of the education you provide for all of those people who so look up to you.

Simplicity is a common theme in my writing and work ---but how to practice it? How do we get in touch with it? How do we let go, even just for a day or two, with all of the crud we have encumbered ourselves with?
This trip does some of that –and a bonus is that we’re not trekking across Death Valley…this area we go to is beautiful ---and still looks like America looked when your father’s great-great grandfather was working on his methods for making a living on the planet.
We have, some of us, forgotten the power of nature to clear the slate and clean the soul.

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