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admin | starting exercise program | 01.02.2015
To all newcomers - We look forward to meeting as many of you as possible at our next Sunday evening sitting! If you are new to the group we would appreciate if you take this short poll after attending your first event.
Our address is: Harmony House 726 East Boulevard Charlotte, NC 28203 (Corner of Lennox Ave. Learning any new skill challenges us to set aside what we think we know about the world and offers us the opportunity to become vulnerable, to trust ourselves in a new set of circumstances.
It’s in our nature to become tense and stiffen up when we know we are going to fall, are approached with uncomfortable circumstances or taken off guard. When you join Aikido of Charlotte not only do you get the benefit of being taught by superior instructors, you are actually joining a community of practitioners who’s relationships extend beyond the edge of the mat.
Beginning in September we'll be offering a personal journey into the power of yoga starting from the ground up and building a practice new yoga students can feel comfortable with. The Charlotte Zen Meditation Society, in existence since about 1990, is a group of Soto Zen lay practitioners who gather weekly for sitting and walking meditation, readings, and discussion of the practice of Zen as originally brought from China to Japan, developed, and taught by Eihei Dogen Zenji in the Thirteenth Century C.E. When I was working on the tall ship HMS Rose, I was asked by the captain to go aloft and bring down a pennant that had gotten caught in the mast stays.
You become friends, co-workers, almost like a family…participating in each others lives outside the dojo.

Also, newcomers are encouraged to have a look at the following video: Introduction to Zen Meditation, The Still Point on You Tube for lots of good information about Soto Zen. A storm was rolling in and what felt like a slight rocking on the deck became the crazy swing of the free end of the pendulum when I was 120′ in the air. I allowed myself to fully trust my nage and relaxed through the entire move, and when I fell I barely felt it.
This is a great time to join the group as we have just begun reading from a new Dharma book,A  "You Have to Say Something," Manifesting Zen Insight by Dainin Katagiri Roshi. It was incredibly uncomfortable and relaxing enough to let go with one hand to grab the pennant was downright frightening. My muscle memory of proper falling technique, watching where I was going to fall and allowing myself to relax resulted in excellent uke execution.
The intention is to send peace, love and kindness across the planet as well as amplify it for ourselves. Munnich received formal training at Hokyoji (Catching the Moon Zen Mountain Center) in Minnesota, at Tassajara Zen Mountain Center in California, and at Hosshinji in Obama, Japan. I left class feeling great both physically (I didn’t ache or feel stiff) and spiritually (a lesson had come to life). As a result of our on-going meditation withTwin Hearts, we have personally experienced deeper peace, better sleep and clearer thinking.

Dainin Katagiri Roshi (1928 - 1990) studied at Komazawa University and trained atA Eiheiji Monastery. You are welcome to join us every Sunday night for sitting (Zazen) and walking (Kinhin) meditation practice followed by a Dharma reading and group discussion.. Teijo lives near Asheville, visits us occasionally and is typically not able to be present at our Sunday night sittings due to considerations of time and distance.
Relaxing is the key to being fluid in Aikido, and maybe more importantly, keeping yourself and your partner safe during practice. After moving to the United States in the 1960's he eventually became the first abbot of the Minnesota Zen CenterA in 1972 where among others he trained andA  ordained the Rev. It is my personal goal and challenge to focus on relaxing so I can live in the moment of a technique and become both a better uke and nage. Teijo Munnich.A  The inspiration of his practice and his death in 1990 played an instrumental role in the founding of theA Charlotte Zen Meditation Society in 1990.
There is lots of good information at these pages regarding the practice of Soto Zen and our particular style of meditation.

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