Our 40th Anniversary camp has ended, but the journey on the martial way, as artists of life continues…

Building on the momentum of the camp, whether you attended or not, can help us all with our growth and mutual support.

I strongly recommend identifying a account-a-buddy that can help keep you on track and you can help each other stay the course particularly around your “me-search” intervention to live your best life now!

Peek at the elements on the project page and if you are inclined to lead or facilitate a particular topic or area please lead the way.

Camp Shirt and Theme:

My Choice for the Camp Song: Jason Mraz – My Kind (Live from The Mranch) – YouTube

Thanks for the shirt design Sensei Ron!

Pre-work or Post-work:

Take the PERMAH Survey:

The PERMAH Wellbeing Survey | Wellbeing | Michelle McQuaid

Schedule a follow up conversation about our greatest strength, our area of opportunity, and how to apply a growth mindset to making the most of the survey results going forward rather than a conventional gap analysis.

Bringing Camp Themes to Life in 2023:

Collectively, we aligned the camp themes with the levels of the menkyo system, (good one Sensei Sean) and identified a representative kata for each theme:

Resilience – Gyo – Kata = Aoinagi

Growth – Shugyo – Kata = Matsukaze

Service – Sensei – Kata = Pinan Sandan

Community – Sozosha – Kata = Rohai Nidan

Transformation – Shihan – Kata = You must decide what will work best for you!

Can we keep exploring these themes both independently and interdependently? What do they mean to you? How do we invest our best selves in practicing them in the next year?

Connection, Individual Development, Community Engagement and Integration:

  • Thursday was all about fostering a deeper sense of connection after 2 years apart
  • Friday was focused on our individual reboot and self-care with a me-search directed intervention, followed by our 40th Banquet
  • Saturday we about community engagement and was followed by a righteous roast for Sensei Glenn
  • Sunday was about integration tying all the elements and themes together as we focus on the path forward

Conscious Leadership- Purpose, Process, People:

A useful framework to assess where you fit and where we as a group tend to flock

Would be fun to self-identify as well as compare our findings much like we did with StrengthFinders to self-assess our group proclivities. Any takers?


Speaking of flocking, in the spirit of effective leadership and connected culture, this is the lesson we explored about culture from nature.

Flight of the Starlings: Watch This Eerie but Beautiful Phenomenon | Short Film Showcase – YouTube (2 minutes)

<insert Murmurations Deck here pls>

What can we apply from these findings to our dojo culture both individually and for the whole system.

What questions should we be asking to enrich our culture and make it more inclusive and make sure everyone has a sense of belonging?

Rituals and Traditions, Games and Drills, Quotes and Sayings:

We started compiling these at camp and we will continue to build out this list that in many ways defines and informs our culture and tradition. You can do this on the website here.

Anyone want to own this section?

Strength to Strength: Finding Success, Happiness and Deep Purpose in the Second Half of Life:

Some of us read the book.

You can get the gist here:

This is a Great reset as we embark on the next leg of our ad venture and we intend to have a zoom discussion about it as a follow up step post camp

Deep Purpose & Going Deep!

Whether in private or in the company of others the desire for “going deeper” is often expressed?  What exactly does this mean and what are some basic ways to pursue such an objective?  In addressing this question, it is useful to distinguish or differentiate between going deeper as a psychological act from that which can be generally categorized as spiritual exploration.  

This distinction is important in our current environment considering the manner in which contemporary Western culture has adopted psychological frame works to help give meaning and understanding to the universal challenge to being human.  The ramifications of living in a “psychologized” culture is that areas pertaining to human flourishing are all perceived through the lens of a healthy ego.  This of course is fundamental to living a relatively happy and contented life.  It however is simply the point of departure for “deep” spiritual growth. The psyche or soul when “going deeper” is in need of healing; the spirit or true self on the other hand, is drawn to a state beyond itself:  non-dual consciousness.

 The work of the psyche is one of embracing vulnerability rather than guarding against it; it involves deepening one’s level of trust, personally and socially; it is a process of getting to know the range of one’s emotions and radically accepting them as the underlying royal road for self-acceptance.  Practical skills involve learning how to discern long held patterns of reactivity; this can lead to loosening their grip on personal functioning to the point of being in the world as a person who responds to life rather than being a victim of it.   Fundamental activities in this area involve discovering the dynamics of projection, touching upon deeply held traumas and gaining insight into shame-based influencers; traditionally this all comes together under the healing tent of shadow work.  

So, what does it mean to go deeper in the spirit?  This of course is where we get the word spirituality, and if we are not careful, we can pursue much of what was discussed above believing we are going deeper spiritually.  Many such adherents have spent the majority of their lives doing just that, only to find themselves in a never-ending struggle of “shadow boxing” without ever getting closer to the Light; the shadows it turns out are mere reflections and in some cases distractions from what is more immanent and transcendent. 

To go deeper spiritually is to transcend the ego rather than identify with it; like all true integral movements, this means to include and go beyond.  The atom joins with other atoms and in so doing becomes a molecule while continuing to be an atom; the molecule by becoming a cell continues to be a molecule within the life of the cell; the cell becomes one with other cells forming an organ in the body without needing to destroy itself in the process, and on it goes…  Spiritual work is not an annihilation or glorification of the ego but rather an allowing – letting go – as the ego is drawn by that which is its Source to go beyond itself.  Here is the invitation for humans to discover a freedom beyond the personality.  It is the state of awareness where words fall short but something new arises.  A relatively healthy ego brings us to the place where a new dimension of what it means to be can be explored.  Spiritual deepening takes it from there.

Are we open to going deeper spiritually in our practice?

Anyone want to lead this effort?

Thanks to Sensei Ron and Sensei Rex for creating a New Website:

  • Add your bios and pictures- Member profiles so we can tout as many of our students and instructors as possible
  • Got Pics? A historical photo gallery that people can contribute to (we’d receive the photos and selectively post to the gallery)
  • Building Community: We would like to use this place for more interaction and park all important content here
  • Spotlight You! We would also like to feature one community member every week or so. Anyone want to take point on this?

Finally, in the spirit of metamorphosis and the power of nature enjoy this short video:

The beauty of pollination – YouTube (

We are already giving thought to our 41st camp for next year and planning on an evaluation/appreciative inquiry to grow into our next ranks and into our best selves.

Anyone want to start framing the camp, locking in dates, etc.?

Love All,


‘We need a metamorphosis – from the cocoon a butterfly should emerge. Improvement does not give us a butterfly only a faster caterpillar.’