Okay, so the changes that have come in 2011 have been real, but they’ve been completely different from the changes I was expecting.
For one thing, this year I’ve become much more involved in music. I’d been writing songs and playing guitars around the house for years, and back in the day I played with a few bands in South Carolina, Alaska and California, but none of that was anything serious, and all of it was a long, long time ago. In April I decided to buy some cheap used gear and get busy looking for a band who needed a bass player (bass is my weapon of choice, although I also play rhythm guitar and a little lead). Long story short, I hooked up with Outlaw Lynn and Who’s Drivin¿, and have been playing out with them. For more on the band, see my blog "Long Colt" http://tenguhouse.typepad.com/long_colt/ or our website at http://www.whosdrivinonline.com/.
Additional time in the dojo has not been forthcoming, with the exception of a few garage sessions, mostly in judo. I’ve done almost no aikido since leaving Shudokan last year. I did, however, get into the Shotokan karate class I mentioned below, and I attended a few classes with them, which I loved. But with the new emphasis on the band, time and other resources have been strained and maintaining a consistent class schedule has proved difficult. Right now the idea is to re-establish a presence at the karate dojo (probably once a week) and possibly train a little with Chris at a judo dojo he;s checking out this week. As with all things, we shall see.
I’ve continued my Buddhist practice, but training has gone the way of my martial arts training. Will probably resume that as time permits, but right now it’s just meditation and every now and then some reading or whatever. I’ve cut back my visits to the Shambhala Meditation Center too, but I might sit with them this Thursday though, if time permits. I'm much less interested in training with them toward a monastic bent than I was before I did their level 1 training in February. That was good training, fun, with a strong emphasis on meditation basics, but I think I was looking for something more of an introduction to the Shambhala organization as a whole. Not really a complaint, mind you - I've enjoyed sitting with them and all that. But I'm still undecided about training with them further.
In all it’s been a hectic year so far, but I actually enjoyed the first half of 2011. Now it’s time to see what kind of trouble we can get into for the second half.