Category Archives: Mysticism

Christianity for Doubters 6: A World Transformed Part 1

UPDATE: I messed up the edit — the video is being redone.  It will be ready about 8 pm EDT 3/15/20.  Sorry!

The sixth video of my series Christianity for Doubters is now live.  Only four more videos to come in this series –there’s still time to catch up for the big finish!

Antiviral: Martial Arts Training Involution #200

Last week I warned you not to get distracted by “viral” training methods, tools, and techniques promising easy results.  This week I’m encouraging you not to freak out over another “viral” phenomenon — coronavirus a.k.a. COVID-19.

Something’s always “going viral.” Most of it is either snake oil (like the Thighmaster or the Versaflex) or  drama (gossip or train wrecks).   Both are wastes of time, money and attention.

So — what about the real virus that’s “going viral” right now — COVID-19?  Is this all just manufactured drama?  No sir.

This is not a drill.  COVID-19 is for real.

Which reminds me of a clever atheist quip I heard recently (as a member of the clergy, I spend a lot of time witnessing to atheists): “If God really wanted to save us, why didn’t he give us a good book about the germ theory of disease instead of the good book as in the Bible?  He would’ve saved way more people.”

For an answer I turn to 1,500 year-old words of  St. Augustine of Hippo.

“What grace is meant to do is to help good people, not to escape their sufferings, but to bear them with a stout heart, with a fortitude that finds its strength in faith.”  ~ St. Augustine of Hippo

God didn’t “give us a book.”  Hebrews and Christians wrote a bunch of books about what they learned from God, and they were brought together into a library of books called the Holy Bible.  And God doesn’t solve our problems for us.  God helped us a fish a couple of times, but His real goal was to teach us how to fish.

“Give a man a fish and you feed him for a day; teach a man to fish and you feed him for a lifetime.”

God helps those who help themselves.  So follow the advice of the CDC — especially in the hand-washing department.   Say your prayers, have faith, and be strong in God.

Antiviral: Martial Arts Training Involution #200

Gyms are a great place to expose yourself to diseases of all kinds.  Good news is, you can exercise just find at home with this zero-equipment, solo training session.

  • Warm-up thoroughly for at at least 8 minutes. I generally do 8 minutes of MBF or either 2-3 minutes each of (a) jumping rope (b) light calisthenics and (c) shadowboxing, forms, or light heavy bag work.
  • Complete this month’s constitutional.   Intermediate and advanced folks should be able to get this done in under 15 minutes:  Lunges(50), Push-ups(50), Get-ups(25), Crunches 3-Way (25), Prisoner Squats (50), Wall Touches (100), and Sprints (25).
  • 250 kicks as fast as you can.  Set a timer and complete 250 kicks vs. air.  Don’t to them in static isolation — do them in combos while you move around realistically.  Intermediate and advanced should be able to get these done in under 10 minutes.
  • “Antiviral” contemplation.  Cool down for about 3 minutes, then set a timer for 10 minutes.  Have a seat in your posture of choice and regulate your breathing.  Leave your eyes open, and do not fidget, wiggle or scratch.  Now think about exactly nothing.  Clear your mind as completely as you can and allow yourself to stop thinking in words while maintaining total awareness of your surroundings. 

If you enjoyed his training involution you’d probably enjoy my books and other products.  Why not check them out?

 

Christianity for Doubters 5: The Wisdom of the Hebrews

My Sunday video is now live (a day late). Here’s a quote: “The monotheism of the Hebrews was a polemic against the paganism of their neighbors in the ancient Near East.”

This video features snippets of two courses that are available for free online.  The first is Dr. Christine Hayes’ Yale course and other is Rabbi Dr. Shaye J. D. Cohen’s Harvard course.

Enjoy!

Drag Strip: Martial Arts Training Involution #199

You don’t need a fancy sled to do drag work. This 95 lb tire feels like 200 lbs when being dragged across concrete.

 

 

“There’s no sense getting serious about my training until…”

Stop delaying.  Stop surfing YouTube for the perfect training tricks, drills, tools and secrets. Stop combing magazines and books and websites searching for the perfect program or tool.

Strip away the bullshit. The training you do right now is 100% better than the training you put off until next week.

Shut your laptop, turn off your tablet or phone, and complete the training session below.  Tired,  weak, sore?  Old?  Rehabbing from an injury?  I was all of those things when I did this training session.  Modify the exercises to suit your limitations.  Lower the weights, reps or intensity as needed.  Anything you do is better than nothing.

Strip it down.

Drag Strip: Martial Arts Training Involution #199

*  Warm-up thoroughly for at at least 8 minutes. I generally do 8 minutes of MBF or either 2-3 minutes each of (a) jumping rope (b) light calisthenics and (c) shadowboxing, forms, or light heavy bag work.

*  16 minutes of survival martial arts.  Set a timer and complete 2 minutes each of Drags, Strikes, Shoulder Rolls, Strikes, IMT Sprints, Strikes, Drags and Strikes.  Take as few 12-second rest breaks as you need to finish.  For the the striking rounds, you can shadowbox, work a heavy bag, or do whatever you want.  I did tomahawk swings, braces, toe and eye strikes and cocking drills. Here’s how the rest work.

  • Drags: Go out to the shed or garage and find something to drag.  Here’s a rig I made with a trashcan lid.  Cargo straps make perfect harnesses. 
  • Shoulder Rolls: If you’re a martial artist and you don’t know how to do a shoulder roll, that’s a problem.  Watch this.
  • IMT Sprints.  IMT stands for Individual Movement Technique, and it means running, dropping to avoid being targeted, and popping up to run some more. Read more here.

*  “Stripping it down” meditation.  Cool down for about 3 minutes, then set a timer for 10 minutes.  Have a seat in your meditative posture of choice and regulate your breathing.  Leave your eyes open, and do not fidget, wiggle or scratch.  Now think about what makes you special.  What makes you unique?  Your favorite foods, colors, movies, books?  Your behaviors, your little quirks?  No, that’s just the bullshit that make you just like everybody else.  Meditate past your mask and seek the “true I.”


If you enjoyed his training involution you’d probably enjoy my books and other products.  Why not check them out?

 

RUINS a Poem

RUINS

I was there once, a secret place known to few
Where sound was muffled by vines
The dew ever-settling, glistening in perpetual twilight ~
It might have been evening when I knelt
In the half light of that temple
A place more ancient than philosophy
Older than Babel

I say, I proclaim
(as if to prove)
Seek attention as evidence of existence
(it can’t be proved)
Repeating myself, making pointless noise
(there is no proof)
I am like a tourist in a foreign land
who speaks louder to be understood
Talking loudly to myself but I don’t understand
that even speaking rarely is far too often
(If invisible I’d be free)
There is a way back
(a mile beneath the tomb of Ozymandias)
But the road requires sacrifice
Each step a drop of blood apace
Until, foot upon the jamb of the primordial palace,
drained and coronated
I slip the crown and take the nameless throne.


“Hey Mitch, what’s this poetry thing all about?” I want to collaborate with Blue Öyster Cult and I’m hoping the Öyster Boys will think this would make a good lyric.

Did you know I wrote a paranormal/mystery/romance book inspired by Blue Öyster Cult’s lyrical themes?  Click here to download it here for free!

The cover to my book “Chatters on the Tide” inspired by the music of Blue Öyster Cult

Christianity for Doubters 4: The Existence of God

Episode 4 of my Christianity for Doubters series is now live!

Did you enjoy this video lesson?  Do you support what I’m doing?  Consider supporting my mission on Patreon!

Talking and Clinching

As most of you already know, I’m an author, a martial artist, a seminarian, and a deacon in the Old Catholic tradition.  As a general rule, I release religious videos on Sundays and  martial arts videos on Wednesdays.  Sometimes I make an extra one or get held up or delayed for some cause unforeseen.  Stuff happens.

I’m not always good at blogging about new videos when they get released.  I apologize.  I’ll try to get better.  Today I have two to tell you about.

The first one is a conversation I had with an anonymous atheist who goes by the name FLR (“Facts Logic and Reason”) that happened a few weeks ago.  Had a hard time fitting it into my video release schedule, but here it is (finally ):

The second one is a little heavy bag clinching drill that will make you suck wind like nobody’s business — and help you get fit to fight!