Zen Storm

The name?  It's like symbols above it: There is meaning within each of the symbols as well as in the arrangement. It is also true that the name, like the symbols and the arrangement, was a gift that resonated with deeper aspects of who I am...

But if that's too tedious, you can just call me "Joe" like most everyone else.

And what's this site about?  What you can learn though self-reflection in your everyday life, mostly.

I've spent a lot of time examining my own life as a non-stop sequence of new events encountering what I already know. I've tinkered with the "mind, body, spirit bridge" (aikido words, for those in the know) in myself, and I've watched the effects, particularly upon how I make sense of what is happening and upon how I respond. I've watched my mind trying to restore order and make sense of the improbable, the impossible, and even the nonsensical, creating reason--however absurd--out of circumstance, especially when I absolutely knew there had to be a reason.  I've even seen my own mind lie to me, offering new excuses and new beliefs that would give me rationalized permission to pursue desires.  I've seen my entire past and plans for the future reevaluated and reinterpreted in an instant at the suggestion of contradicting evidence.  Finally, I found a deeper appreciation for the power of choice.

And all of that was from just one model of the world as I understood it. What model would you choose if you believed you had the choice?

For you, the upside to all of that may be that I wrote it down.  I've been writing about my experiences, experiments, and insights here for years. It's an open book, but I'll admit there's a lot scribbled in the margins and written between the lines. I'll tell you that I found applications to all of this that apply to Aikido and other martial arts, to Zen, to learning, to interactions at the office, to family and community life, and to so much more.  If those are the types of things that you are looking for, I don't doubt that you will find them...

... but if you found yourself in a dream or nightmare like mine, would you recognize it? Could you wake yourself up from it?  Could you save yourself from falling back into another?

What if, in the middle of a conversation with a stranger, you suddenly sensed that you were actually having an encounter with a fellow like this?

Fudō-myō

Would you be able help another recognize it for themselves?

My reflections lead me like a wild hermit up into the mountains in the clouds or deep into dark woods at times, but I'm happy to polish up and join you at a moment's notice to share conversation, some aikido or music practice, a cup of coffee, a meal, a bottle of wine, ...

... or you can join me here.

I'm looking forward to meeting you.

~Joe
ZenStorm@SwordMountain.org