Archive for Shakespeare

How To Greet The Day

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , on November 14, 2010 by His Dark Side

“Be not afraid of greatness: some are born great, some achieve greatness, and some have greatness thrust upon ’em.” Malvolio in Twelfth Night

When I rise up in the morning welcoming a new day I feel as if that day should present me with opportunities to become unified with the people  I meet.

I enjoy the feeling of stretching to the ceiling and watching the day open up revealing new opportunities and hidden depths.

I want to attack the day.

I want to become one with the day rising deep into it and seizing it in my hands; carpe diem.

Rather than gently caressing the new day, I feel myself thrust into the morning, pursuing my dreams and aspirations with aggression.

Goals, Thinking, Boredom and Ticking

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , on November 3, 2010 by His Dark Side

“Life’s but a walking shadow, a poor player, that struts and frets his hour upon the stage, and then is heard no more; it is a tale told by an idiot, full of sound and fury signifying nothing”. (Shakespeare)

This post is about being bored;

Today, I attended a seminar on time management by a self help Guru from California. It was nonsense. Unfortunately, it lasted the entire day and it appeared that attendance was being monitored by a short-lady-Hitler figure, planted like a sentry at the exit. To prevent myself drifting off to sleep, I watched some of the other participants in order to read some basic body language ‘tells’ (I focused on the pretty females).  It was obvious that we business professionals were bound by a common thread; that of complete and utter boredom. Our boredom unified us, making us one.

My brain ticks at a million miles per hour. Even at the times when I yearn for sleep, it is there, the incessant sound of ticking… tick… tick… tick. When I am withered and tired the cogs, pulleys and chains continue to screech along, despite my willing them to stop. But move, they do. I am a thinker. I think constantly. Sometimes I scrutinise patterns in my environment, other times I scrutinize the patterns of my thoughts.

I get bored really easily. But what I discovered watching the pretty girls in the conference was that most people get bored out of their minds just as easily as I, however they, unlike me, find it easier to hide the overt signs that go along with boredom. When I am bored in a seated position, my legs twitch nervously, thrusting up and down. When I am bored and standing, I tend to fidget. I feel the need for constant excitement in my life 24/7.

Shakespeare knew that we didn’t have much time. Life is transient, as is beauty; we will all one day wither into dust. Perhaps this is why I need the constant ticking in my head, because somewhere between the marching cogs, I am signalled to find something to pique my amusement for a few seconds.

The conference Guru asked us to make a list of goals that we wanted to achieve. Irrespective of it being a seminar for business professionals, I decided to focus on my health. The goals I wrote down were;

1) Get back into martial arts

2) Get healthy (healthier)

3) Make the gym a regular part of my routine (which it kind of is anyway).

To be totally honest, my goals were pretty lousy. P’rhaps I should call it a REMINDER list rather than a set of goals, seeing as I won’t find it overwhelming to return to something that has been the greater part of my life since 1993.

My colleagues, being uber-materialistic, (yes, I keep fickle company) were far more specific with their goals; “buying a Ferrari… making more money… investment portfolios… blah blah blah”.

As we discussed goal setting, my mind meandered off, searching for something interesting to focus its’ attention on; a desert oasis, sunbathing on a beach, climbing a mountain. No matter what my daydream or distraction, my mind habitually always returns to one place. This place is not imagined, but happened to be a real part of my life for more than ten years; training Gung Fu in a garden in Tottenham, London, England under the critical gaze of my instructor; Leung, Kwok-Keung. Whenever my mind returns here momentarily, the ticking stops.


Halloween History

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , on October 31, 2010 by ctkwingchun

Halloween is a holiday celebrated on the night of October 31. Traditional activities include trick-or-treating, bonfires, costume parties, visiting “haunted houses” and carving jack-o-lanterns. Irish and Scottish immigrants carried versions of the tradition to North America in the nineteenth century.

The festival of Samhain is a celebration of the end of the harvest season in Gaelic culture. Samhain was a time used by the ancient pagans to take stock of supplies and prepare for winter. The ancient Gaels believed that on October 31, the boundaries between the worlds of the living and the dead overlapped and the deceased would come back to life and cause havoc such as sickness or damaged crops.

The festival would frequently involve bonfires. It is believed that the fires attracted insects to the area which attracted bats to the area. These are additional attributes of the history of Halloween.

Masks and consumes were worn in an attempt to mimic the evil spirits or appease them.

Trick-or-treating, is an activity for children on or around Halloween in which they proceed from house to house in costumes, asking for treats such as confectionery with the question, “Trick or treat?” The “trick” part of “trick or treat” is a threat to play a trick on the homeowner or his property if no treat is given.

Part of the history of Halloween  is Halloween costumes. The practice of dressing up in costumes and begging door to door for treats on holidays goes back to the Middle Ages, and includes Christmas wassailing. Trick-or-treating resembles the late medieval practice of “souling,” when poor folk would go door to door on Hallowmas (November 1), receiving food in return for prayers for the dead on All Souls Day (November 2). It originated in Ireland and Britain, although similar practices for the souls of the dead were found as far south as Italy. Shakespeare mentions the practice in his comedy The Two Gentlemen of Verona (1593), when Speed accuses his master of “puling [whimpering, whining], like a beggar at Hallowmas.”

From http://halloweenhistory.org

Peace, CTK

Player

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , on October 25, 2010 by His Dark Side

Shakespeare wrote that ” All the World’s a stage, and all the men and women merely players…” His words remind us of the impermanence of it all and that ours is but a fleeting appearance on the earth, akin to an actor whose adventures are limited to an hour and a half of celluloid.

If I were an actor, I would not choose the arbitrary approach of improvising and blundering my way through a scene. Instead, I would become a method actor, rehearsing vigilantly to ensure that the performance I give is the best that I am capable of. The same parallels are applied to anything I do, be it Martial Arts, magic or meditation. I recognise from the outset that my involvement in the activity requires immense discipline, practise and rehearsal, so that my performance is one that gives me some sense of gratification.

P’rhaps Shakespeare intended to convey a meaning such as this; that we are not observers of our interaction within the world and towards other people, but we have the chance to add our own artistic flair, breathing life into those interactions. That whilst most people are content to be complacent ‘extras’ standing helplessly on the periphery of a film set, the ones that make a real impact, the ones who have any importance attached to them are those who give themselves a great deal of self-worth, work hard both persistently and tirelessly.

You Are What You Think

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , on June 8, 2009 by His Dark Side

Willliam Shakespeare bade Hamlet speak: “For there is nothing either good or bad, but thinking makes it so.”

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