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Kaze Arashi Ryu

Mountain View Aiki Joint training in India 2014

Mountain View Aiki Joint training in India 2014 Location - Bangalore, India
Dates - Last week of June 2014
Dojos represented - Bangalore, Mumbai, California and Texas

It was amazing to work pretty much in the same dojo floor where many of us got our initial grades and remember old time stories. We (Ramesh and Mahipal) still constantly say "Damo Arigato Sastri Sensei" for the gift of laying that strong that spirit two branches of Kaze Arashi Ryu - Wind Storm Aiki Jujutsu (Kaze Arashi Ryu) - Bangalore, Indiaand Mountain View Aikijujutsu got together for a few sessions of both private classes and group classes in Bangalore recently. Two branches of the same tree - a foundation laid byClaire Sastri / Srinivasan Sastri Sensei, Menkyo Kaiden, head of the Indian League and Sr. Advisor to the Kita Yama Dojo.

Sensei Ramesh Rao flew down from Mumbai to spend time with the MVAK students ( Jeevan C. Gowda and Allan Johnson) and Mahipal Lunia Sensei. Ramesh and Mahipal Senseis spent time alone working on Kaiden level forms and worked in group settings with others.

In group settings advanced Oku Iri forms were shown by Ramesh Sensei to the visiting students, while Mahipal Sensei worked with the Bangalore students on Yawara Holds and Self Defense principles. Later Mahipal Sensei also shared knife work and advanced Taisabaki with the MVAK students privately.

Lastly some older students visited with us privately, and were shown some kokyu ho methods.

Thanks Wind Storm India for hosting us and allowing us to share some of our methods too.

MVAK/Mahipal Lunia Sensei

Beauty, Elegance & Grace As Guideposts (GPS for Your Soul)

Beauty, Elegance & Grace As Guideposts (GPS for Your Soul)

This is a piece of stream of consciousness writing on one of the key values/guiding principles of Mt. View Aiki Kai: holding an aesthetic perspective. This personal essay will explore the following ideas:

  1. Beauty is what marks the pollen path/golden path: the path where one finds oneself in the lap of infinity
  2. Fear is the result of chaos/chapel perilous, and the way out is a return to and through beauty (elegance/symmetry)
  3. Beauty heals, transforms, and enchants the world
  4. Beauty emerges from you and your unique creations when your Personal Impulses are followed completely
  5. The God of Beauty, the masks of eternity
  6. Stalking Beauty to find oneself, making Beauty the GPS for your soul


What follows in the next 3,000-odd words is my understanding of this elusive perspective, at this point in time.

I have anonymized the names of my students out of respect for their privacy.


The world seemed to have become disenchanted and had transformed into a very scary place. My neighbor’s footsteps on the second floor would make my heart race and I would break out in a cold sweat. I had curled up in the bathroom tub, the bathroom door shut: the fear had found home in my body-soul. My world was shrinking, and even though I was locked away in the bathroom for well over 12 hours on this one Saturday in 2008, I did not feel safe. For over the past few months, I had started to cut myself away from the world, friends, and family. It was at this point—with the help of numerous therapy sessions (to deal with my deep trauma, my personal demons)—that I realized I did not want to live like this—in a world filled with fear, immobile to deal with life. Yet, I still had not found a way out of the paranoia and chaos my life had become.

beauty 4

Time was at a standstill, my heart went into palpitations. The tears rolled down, and even though—after a while—the tears dried, my head still pounded with pain and the body remained frozen there in the tub. I wanted a way out. I did not want the fear to grip me to the point of immobility. My mind and heart screamed for relief, and it was in those periods of intense pain that I started writing once again, especially my Urdu poetry. It was here that I truly understood this shaayari which I had recited countless times, but had never really understood until then:

Dil Ki Kharracho ko log shayaari Kahate hai to dark nahi hota/ It does not bother me When people call the wailings of my heart poetry,

Dard to taab hota hai, jab log wah wah kahate hai/ However it hurts deeply  me when people praise those lines with wows’ and claps


During one of these sessions, pouring my heart out in writing, I remembered this was not the first time I had frozen with fear—and in the past I had found my way through it. I wanted to replicate that, and find my way back. I wanted to model my own way like how NLP had exquisitely taught me to do:

Modeling is the art and science of replicating excellence. It’s built on the premise that success leaves clues, and to replicate any success in a human endeavor, you have to replicate what the model does exquisitely well. From my perspective it is very mathematically precise and creates astounding results. However, in layman’s terms, you want to be able to track and replicate the physiology (the way the body is held, thus directly impacting what part of brain is used), the belief systems (which dictate what is true and what is possible), the language the model uses (in communicating with the Self and with the other) and, I would add, one’s personal teleology (directionality of his being). When these are tracked and modeled, they can then be “installed” in others—much like loading a computer program. The Radical Change Group will shortly be producing a series on this, if the field of modeling is of interest to you. I would also heartily recommend the works of Robert Dilts, especially the Strategies of Genius. Now, back to the story.

My mind raced back to my time as a young teenager studying Shotokan Karate. One evening, my sport karate coach pitted me against the current National Champion for Kumite (sparring) practice. The champ’s reputation for a fantastic mawashi geri (roundhouse kick) preceded him and stuck fear in the hearts of most of his opponents. As I sparred with him, he continued to easily plaster me over and over again, while I stood there, frozen with fear, like his own personal makiwara (wooden dummy used for striking practice in martial arts). To add insult to injury, he would tell me how he was going to score the next point, and then proceeded to do so. The fear of facing him made those Thursday evening sparring sessions dreadful encounters, and I especially hated the smile on his face every time his roundhouse kick connected to rearrange my face.

This went on for at least a few months. But then, one fateful Thursday evening, things shifted. I sat, watching him spar, and saw the beauty and efficiency of his technique. I was overjoyed by the possibilities of the human body. I was now sitting there, enjoying the elegance of his mastery. The fear and dread vanished, and was replaced with a fascination calling me forth to participate. Now, I could not wait to get into the ring with him and, as I did, something miraculous happened: I started to flow with him as though in a dance. I evaded his famed roundhouse kicks and, for the first time, connected my roundhouse kick to his face. Not once, but thrice in that one evening. I could not believe it, and I was ecstatic. My coach was shocked, and so was the champion. From then on, my sparring would change completely—I continued to win against other national champions over the years, and the roundhouse kick that had caused me so much anguish became my weapon of choice. This was the beginning of my being known for my mawashigeri (roundhouse kick, as seen in the picture above)

No one around me had realized what had happened, yet something in the very core of me had shifted that evening, and a complete metamorphosis transpired. And this pattern repeated itself many times across different contexts. For example, high altitudes used to scare me due to my asthma. But my dad encouraged me to go high into the Himalayas, and to just face it and open myself up to whole new worlds. So, in the summer of my 15th or 16th birthday, I headed into the Himalayas to climb Sar Pass, often referred to as “the gateway to heaven.” It was a 15-day adventure, and I had never done anything like it before. I was quite scared. Walking through the forests sent shivers down my spine, and in some places I froze with fear—especially when the night would settle in. I could not even see my own hand in this darkness, and the sounds of the forest animals magnified my fear by many folds. But one night, I noticed something—a startling discovery. Because I had lost touch with my body, my mind would race and create the worst-case scenarios. The release would only come in the morning when, overjoyed with beauty, I merged with the environment. There was nowhere to go and nothing to do but just bask in the radiance of everything. What released the fear—and also the psychosomatic triggers of my asthma—was beauty, and losing myself in it.

Frank Herbert’s epic novel Dune holds a great scene where Lady Jessica teaches her son Paul Atreidies the litany against fear. The book captures in great detail the dread and its ability to freeze people, especially during the kind of tests Paul has to take from Mohaim. (This freezing is what causes deep trauma. If you wish to study the structure of Trauma and ways around it, I highly recommend Waking The Tiger By Peter Levine and also listening to these recordings gifted to the world with the Radical Change Group project). Lady Jessica instructs Paul to memorize and feel the litany with his totality. He experiences its magic during the test of pain and many times later. Reciting it aloud, you cannot help but be pulled into it and feel its wisdom. Try it.

I must not fear.
Fear is the mind-killer.
Fear is the little-death that brings total obliteration.
I will face my fear.
I will permit it to pass over me and through me.
And when it has gone past I will turn the inner eye to see its path.
Where the fear has gone there will be nothing.
Only I will remain.

What my experience in the Himalayas taught me was that arriving at the purity of the “I” is critical to dealing with fear.  The lack of control over chaos (which accelerates paranoia) is what causes fear and in its worst case, leads you into deep trauma.  I know this very well from first hand experiences that lasted over a span of few years. I remember the many times this fear caused me to lock myself in rooms and cut myself away from friends, family and the world. For this was my own “Chapel Perilous.”

I was introduced to the idea of Chapel Perilous while reading Timothy Leary’s Game of Life, but it started to make more sense in my interactions with Robert Anton Wilson (read his Cosmic Trigger 2) and Antero Alli (read AngelTech or engage in his 8 Circuit Mind Course.)  Uncle Bob once explained it as “Chapel Perilous”—that vortex where cosmological speculations, coincidences, and paranoia seem to multiply and then collapse, compelling belief or lunacy, wisdom or agnosticism.”

Back in the tub, I knew what I had to do. It was not easy by any stretch of imagination to make that journey from the mind—where the paranoia exists—to the body/heart—where the joy resides. The fear grips you, and you have to let it pass through you. It took me a while, but I stood up, walked to the door, slowly unlocked it, and opened it a crack. I slipped out to the dojo after a few weeks absence. Those were the longest 400 meters I have walked in my life: from my apartment to the park. My students were happy to see me, and I remember Fernando asking me “How are you, Sensei? It’s good to have you back.” He then stepped away to let me lead the class again. And in working out and being with my students, I remembered the magic of the art of Kaze, and the joy it has always given me. The beauty, elegance, and sheer effectiveness of the art had always brought me home to myself. For this art serves as my guidepost to what the Navajo Indians have called the Pollen Path.

beauty 2

 “Oh, beauty before me, beauty behind me, beauty to the right of me, beauty to the left of me, beauty above me, beauty below me, I’m on the pollen path.” Pollen is the life source. The Pollen Path is the path towards one’s center, towards one’s heart. It finally clicked for me that beauty was the marker of the path, and fear was really the absence of beauty, or the absence of the life source itself.

I was once again in somewhat of a state of ecstasy. Over the next few months, I had more episodes of the fear paralyzing me, but now I used beauty as the guidepost to return to my center and towards my deepest sense of embodiment. This embodiment started leading me out of the Chapel Perilous without losing my sanity completely. Beauty and radiance as a state of being now marked the way. I started to understand what Osho had said repeatedly: “Look deep into your heart. Listen to the still small voice within. And remember one thing: life is fulfilled only through longings, never through ambitions. Life becomes blissful only through the heart, never through the mind. Mind creates science, the heart creates religion. The mind can give you better technology, better gadgets. The heart gives you the real, ultimate values: love, bliss, truth, freedom, awareness, God. And a life without these values is valueless.”

In short, my understanding of Chapel Perilous is a place where your soul goes when lost, and it is usually an “out of body experience.” The way out is the return from the mind back to a sense of deep embodiment. This deep embodiment is also “the rapture of being alive” and perhaps the true secret as explained in Hakuin’s Song of Meditation where he ends the poem with “this very body, the Buddha.”

I had made a big decision: to stay true to my martial arts path. Now and again, I would make beauty the true marker and true perspective in my life, and explore the most beautiful places in Nature I could find. I had not done any unmapped backcountry explorations in over ten years, and I yearned for the sense of freedom and expansion I had experienced while crossing through Sar Pass and exploring Ladhak among dozen other ten-plus day explorations during my teen years.

The following  weekend I jumped into my Audi and took off, alone. After a 4 1/2 hour drive I found myself in the  Yosemite National Park’s Visitor Center, collected maps, bought a John Muir book and headed off to explore some trails along the Tioga Pass with my 40-pound backpack. I headed onto the quietest of trails that the tall, blonde Park Ranger had suggested and boy, was he right. Hours of walking absolutely alone and bathing in the beauty was therapeutic. Late afternoon I found a fantastic camping spot with 360 degree views and quickly unpacked the tent. I brewed some green tea and sat down reading the Muir notebooks. This amazing explorer’s perspective spoke deeply to my heart and just by looking all around me I could see why he was so deeply in love with the Sierras. One particular reflection moved me to tears: “When we contemplate the whole globe as one great dewdrop, striped and dotted with continents and islands, flying through space with other stars all singing and shining together as one, the whole universe appears as an infinite storm of beauty. Everybody needs beauty as well as bread, places to play in and pray in, where nature may heal and give strength to body and soul alike.”

After the soul-nourishing weekend, I was back in the dojo the following Tuesday evening. We worked on the basics and I showed them the exquisite elegance of cross blocks in dealing with oncoming attacks. “You know, the thing that sold me on Kaze Arashi Ryu (KAR) was watching Sastri Sensei doing the cross blocks, and in it I saw an answer to a question on body positioning (Tai Sabaki) that I had not resolved even after years of practicing Shotokan Karate, Okinawan Kenpo, and Wushu.  The simplicity and effectiveness of Sastri Sensei executing cross blocks had been enough for me to know this I had to learn this art, embody it, and make it my own. You see, back then I did not know it was the sense of symmetry, elegance, and beauty that had captivated me. It was the gracefulness of Sensei’s movements that had had me entrained completely as though in a trance, in Aesthetic Arrest.”

One of my students asked, “Arrest what?” I smiled, and reminded myself to speak in the language that the others can translate, for the inability of student in understanding something is the failure of the teacher, not the student. I stepped back a bit, took a deep breath, and quieted my mind. I looked at the five students who had gathered around in a circle, waiting to understand, as the night began to creep in. This scene reminded me of the many nights we had stayed back after class while apprenticing under Sastri Sensei: we would hang on to his every word, as though the unraveling of new worlds was happening right before our eyes. Now, it was my turn to pass this forward.

“I have long told you boys to study Joseph Campbell. Campbell similarly studied a literary giant named James Joyce. It was Joyce who first coined the term ‘Aesthetic Arrest’ in his book Portrait of The Artist. The way I understand it, it is the experience of radiance as you behold an object. This radiance is the hidden power behind the world shining through in a physical form. You are arrested or mesmerized in silence by the wholeness, the harmony, and the rapture. You experience an enchantment of the heart. This enchantment is what will bring you from your mind to your heart. This will get you out of the Chapel Perilous that is created by the mind, and bring you to joy that resides in the heart. I am just rediscovering this. And as you rediscover this, you will find that you offer yourself in service to the world and you cherish it all…and perhaps even understand the quote ‘We have met the enemy, and it is us.’”


The class was supposed to be done by seven, and it was way past eight. One of my senior students jumped in, “Sensei, I have a few questions. May we speak about it as we get a bite to eat?” We piled into our cars and rushed to our regular place—a nearby, quaint Chinese Vegetarian restaurant off El Camino Real—and ordered our favorite Singapore noodles, sautéed mushrooms, and fried tofu dishes. Our conversation continued: “Sensei, I have been thinking that I have experienced that arrest you speak about when I listen to Latin Music. Where else can I experience this?”

“It’s good there is something that gives you that wholeness and you experience that beauty that brings the world to a stop. Another way is to experience nature. Perhaps a trip into the backcountry, cut away from everything in civilization.” We cleaned up the plates, sipped some Jasmine tea and, I noticed the emergence of a hunch—an impulse from deep within. I was not sure where this would lead me, yet I knew I had to stay true to it. As we walked back to our cars, I laid out a proposal to the students. “Let’s organize a Shugyo deep into the backcountry of California. We will go away for the weekend and train in the wilderness. Let’s head to Sequoia Redwood Forests—I know this old abandoned trail where the redwoods rise to kiss the heavens. There will be very few people, if any. Let us find that beauty and train in it.”

The students were as excited as I was, and the three of them cancelled their other plans to make the trip three days later. Thus began the marriage of martial arts with backcountry exploration and the training in nature’s own lap. We track our progress by stalking beauty—much like a hunter tracks prey—and allow that beauty to transform us. My love of photography had returned, for I now also worked on creatively capturing that sense of harmony that few of us learn to see. But I know that this beauty was the same marker of Novajo’s Pollen Path and Frank Herbert’s Golden Path (the path leading humanity to infinity).

The results of this marriage were nothing short of stunning. I transformed, and so did my core group of students. Personally, my photography has improved dramatically—for it is the exotic marriage of martial arts, adventure trips, and an aesthetic perspective created by the rather unique expression of the martial arts I have studied for over twenty years. My periods of being frozen by fear have diminished greatly to the point where they are almost non-existent. My relationships with friends, family, and nature have improved.  And my students have opened up to beauty in their lives as well: a few of them have taken up serious hiking, while others returned to dancing. One particular student who was a serious climber in the past, but had not climbed in over seven years, returned to his love of nature and, in his words, “a return to peace.” He transformed so much that he took leave from his high profile job for a month to explore Denali National Park and scale Mt McKinley, fulfilling one of his long cherished dreams. He returned looking ten years younger.

These trips and training have continued over the years, and none of the students have wanted to miss them. On one recent trip to Shasta Trinity National Forest in November of 2012, as I was clicking the picture of old trees, a student asked, “How is that I take the same photograph as you, Sensei, but it does not come out even remotely as beautiful?” I laughed hard, along with the two other students, and I replied, “A teacher’s job is to teach you how to look; however, it’s entirely up to you as to what you see and where you find harmony. Keep at it, and more importantly, do it your way. As you find more and more of yourself, I believe it will show in the pictures or other art you truly create, because you will capture those same trees in your own way. You will capture the trees while being in empathy with them, almost as though they will direct you to that place of perfect harmony. Trust me, this will happen—but you have to keep at it, and ask the tree permission to know it, and, as in the poem Lost, it will respond. You have to learn to listen. This is the same with our martial arts practice of Kaze Arashi Ryu. You have to pay close attention, let its beauty teach you, and then make it uniquely yours. Ultimately, you must transcend it, too.”

By now we had reached the top of Mt. Eddy after a hard, hard climb. We had three injured climbers, but the will and the promise of beauty had bought us to the very top. And then, the views of Shasta to the east, Shasta Lake to the south, the Pinnacles to the west, and Klamath Lakes to the north rejuvenated us completely. All of our tiredness was gone, the pain from our sore muscles and injuries was forgotten: ecstasy rolled in, and we cherished that sight through the night into the morning while on the top of that mountain, all by ourselves. Once again, Beauty had come to the rescue, and the reward was great.


In the early morning, after packing up in the below-freezing temperature, we got ready to head back down to train on the tanto and Kokyo Ho by the emerald-colored Dead Man’s Lakes. As we carefully started to slide down the loose gravel and big rocks at an almost 70 degree angle, I remembered JC’s brilliant insight: “In choosing your god, you choose your way of looking at the universe. There are plenty of gods, choose yours. The god you worship is the god you deserve.” And I said out loud, “I choose this, I choose beauty.” Gods are meant to be role models, masks of eternity and guide-posts to a good life. I choose beauty. My longing was now to find the beauty, elegance, symmetry, and wholeness that the John Muirs, the Joseph Campbells, my Senseis, the Buckminister Fullers, the Ansel Adams, and the Oshos had found before me.

When I relayed this wish to my students later on, one of the more religiously staunch students said to me “Sensei that would be considered sacrilege in many circles.” I did not miss a beat as I said, “Absolutely. This is the beginning of one’s duty of sacred rebellion.” She was taken aback, and I let her sit with it a bit and then recited a Shayari/poem I had written in Urdu not too long ago:

Haar Mazhab Nein Humhe Aab Khafir Karaar Kaar Diya

Iss Liye Uss Ke Darbaar mein Humhe apna karaar kaar diya

Now every religion has  branded me an Infidel Hence in HIS court I have found a seat among his other lovers/heretics

“You are becoming a philosopher in a materialistic world. Careful,” she said, somewhat teasingly. I looked at her and responded, “No, not a philosopher—as what a philosopher does is makes innumerable distinctions, splits things apart. The realm I am speaking about is bringing things together as one. This is the realm of the mystic. Now, I am discovering the mystery, becoming it, and allowing it to just be exactly as it is. You can too!”

With that I close this, and hope you too find yourself on your own pollen path, your golden path by paying attention to its marker—Beauty. For Beauty, I have found, heals, transforms, and enchants your world. This beauty is your guidepost into the lap of infinity. May you be nourished along the pollen/golden path. And may Beauty serve as the GPS to your Soul!

- Mahipal Lunia on the 16th of December, 2012

- Stream of consciousness writing to explain the guiding philosophy of Mt. View Aiki Kai by Mahipal Lunia Sensei. These are his own personal views and do not represent the art/s, system/s, or teacher/s he has studied with.

Embracing Aliveness - Following Your Fascinations Fully

Embracing Aliveness - Following Your Fascinations Fully

“People say that what we're all seeking is a meaning for life. I don't think that's what we're really seeking. I think what we're seeking is an experience of being alive, so that our life experiences on the purely physical plane will have resonance within our own innermost being and reality, so that we actually feel the rapture of being alive. That's what it's all finally about.”   Joseph Campbell on The Power of Myth

 fascination The cold breeze in November at 4 am does more than wake you up, as I ride a few kilometers to pick a friend up for our early morning Kenpo classes. This was a daily routine, been going on for over two years to train with a rather eccentric and rather combat oriented  Sensei (teacher). I would return home at about 7:30 am to my frenzied mom who would make sure I am not late to school, and was our daily ritual for her to ask me “what teenage boy goes to bed at 9 so he can wake up to train at 4 am? what is this madness, what is this fascination with the martial arts, its not going to be profession you know- you are going to either become a doctor or work on growing the family business.” I would hurriedly gobble my breakfast down with a glass of milk and rush to school, and then to repeat the same process day in and out.  Fast forward a few years and the same cycle goes on with my training in Aiki under Sastri Sensei, and I remember that Christmas day clearly in 1996 when Ma’am ( as we referred to Sensei’s wife Terri) just looked at us and told Sastri Sensei “dont you want the boys to go home and celebrate the holiday.” and Sensei said “well they are here to train and I am going to teach them.”

Not many people understand this fascination, not many understand this passion, to many it seems madness and yet this is the path the individual must take in order to find healing, wholeness and give meaning to an otherwise meaningless existence.  However following the impulses that are generated and informed through your body proper is not an easy task, staying true to what emerges and informs you is an even taller order and yet the greatest blessing if you choose to stay true to them. Many disciplines teach you how to get in touch with them, however the hard part is staying true to what emerges. If you wish you explore these mediums I personally would based on my personal study recommend Mythic Body Work, Theatre, 5 Rhythms Dancing and The warrior ways.

These impulses have a way of leading you towards what one needs, they are more or less “postcards from the unconscious” waiting to become/made conscious through ones awareness of the body proper. They also open up new realms and worlds and create what Martin Heidegger once called “throwness.”  Let me share another small story here to show how this works. The training with Sastri Sensei continued 6 days a week for 3 years non stop, Sastri Sensei had left his comfortable life in New York City and come to Bangalore, and my path crossed his as I was getting ready to head out to Australia. I cancelled my plans of Australia and stayed to study with Sensei who had repeatedly said a few times to us “I am giving you three years of my life, the rest you have to do.” A small group (3 of us, of which I am the only one teaching today) worked with him almost 6 days a week while most others showed up 2-4 times a week. After that Sensei returned to the USA, and as life would have it, I found myself in school right in the same town, about 5 miles from Sensei and my training with him continued, and was introduced to Henri Robert Vilaire Shihan – with whom I have studied since 1998. During this time in the early 1990’s Sastri Sensei also introduced the small group to a whole body of knowledge including the works of Napoleon Hill, Anthony Robbins, Earl Nightingale among others.

While going through the Unlimited Power seminar tapes on Sensei’s and Ma’am’s recommendation, I got fascinated with a new subject – Neuro Linguistic Programming. The magic of rapport, the power of modeling, the structure of the subjective experience, the chaos of grammar & the grammar of chaos soon opened whole new worlds.  What followed was a furious learning and seminar attendance around the world to learn about the human mind, the power of discipline, the structure of subjective experience and the ability to learn rapidly. My teachers ranged from world renown trainers to absolutely secluded teachers who had shunned public limelight. This path continued to marvel and fascinate me. In 2003-2004 along with Sergey Berezin we started the Stanford NLP Club at Stanford University, Palo Alto, CA. At the Stanford NLP club I met with Arman Darini. This was the beginning of a beautiful friendship and great collaboration. Around 2006 the three of us got together again on University Avenue over a cup of coffee. I was working for a large software company, Sergey was designing systems and Arman was laying the foundation of his training business. Over coffee based on an impulse I threw out an idea of the three of us collaborating to bring about a new kind of service to the world – 3 perspectives on some of the topics of transformation, with NLP being the common language which we needed, as I was a Strategist (economics, business and martial arts as majors), Sergey was a scientist (Physics and systems science) and Arman was an entrepreneur (Artificial intelligence and Math major) .

Following this impulse we started the Radical Change Group (RCG)with a simple idea of transformation as a gift to all, no advertising or marketing, and a deep dive into topics that touch us deeply. This has from the humble beginnings in 2006 has bought us in touch with such path breakers and pioneers as Paul Rebillot, Richard Roberts, Gabriella Roth, Kathy Altman, Paul Kordis, Antero Alli, Marshall Thurber, David Neenan to name a few. This also got us access to the Nobel Laureate Buckminster Fullers lost tapes, Joseph Campbell's private recordings and the Advaitha vedanta of Arnauld Desjardin.  RCG aslo then worked with Sastri Sensei and Henri Robert Vilaire to bring about the first recordings of the obscure art i practiced and teach Kaze Arashi Ryu to the world in their own words for the first and only time. The results to the date are nothing short of stunning for me – over 210 published recordings, over 1 million downloads from 100 plus countries. That one impulse to study NLP and following it opened a whole new world of learning, that one impulse followed honestly of starting NLP created deep lasting friendships and some unprecedented contributions. This IMHO is the power of following ones impulses honestly, especially when the world does not understand it, and will want you to “get real” or “follow the path/system”

Fast forward a few years, on a Shugyo in the Sequoia Mountains where the redwood trees kiss the heavens, a student asked me “Sensei I am fascinated by so many things, if i followed them all I wont have time to do anything, how do i know which one is the most productive?” I laughed as i remembered having the same question many years ago and no one seemed to be able to help me with it then. I looked at him with both a mischief and some compassion in my eyes and asked “ what brings you ALIVE?” he looked at me more puzzled than ever, and I let him sit with the confusion and silence, which he started to fill with a 100 different things except answering what bought him alive. After a lil while, as he had exhausted himself of all answers from his mind, and noticing an emptying I continued “ there is a difference between curiosity and fascination – when you are truly fascinated by something, you lose track of time/space and there is a union/fusion that happens. The subject (you), the object and the process of relating/knowing between them  become one. There comes about a certain lightness in the being, and doors that were once closed suddenly open up, as though they were always waiting for you to wake up, to become Alive".

“Alive ?? Am I not alive right now??” he asked. “well aliveness is a quality that when you dial in, the world also comes alive. I think most people in the past have seen this as a rather chance happening, or luck. However I will tell you that this is an analogue dance – meaning you can track what happens in the body proper in a specific syntax and if you follow the strategy you will find the same result. Let me be a little more clear – this aliveness is a State of Consciousness and has a method/strategy to access it. By studying modeling you learn how to replicate a behavior in the other,  however what we want is to model ourselves in this state of aliveness, in this state of absolute flow, in this state of you being your best. Once you model this, you now know you a strategy and syntax to get to that state of aliveness. Bingo you are there, as simple as that.”

This analogue dance is what the Sufis pursue when they dance into ecstacy, this state is what elite sports persons dial into to arrive at their best performance, this state is what the Gnostics/Tantrics/Heretics/Magickians have called the “God Code.” In the past this has remained an accidental state for most, however it need not be. Much like The Swan in Rilke’s great poem, one can condescend to glide majestically. The study of NLP helped me learn how not to just model this, but also amplify this state greatly. All one has to do is follow simple steps

  1. Find the state where everything for you has been possible, where you have been totally alive
  2. Model the syntax of how you arrive there – in simple words what has to happen in the body for you to arrive there
  3. Follow the syntax/sequence with precision
  4. Now run through the sequence over and over again, till you can form a circuit with it
  5. Anchor it, and keep dialing into this state of BEING ALIVE”

“as simple as that eh Sensei? Then why does not everyone do it?” asked the student with a smug on his face. I have been used to this and have long given up trying to convince people. “Well simple does not mean easy, nor does it mean everyone does it. All it means is that its simple, it is  elegant that's it. Now I have my theory on why everyone does not do it but that's not relevant, what's relevant is that most people are not alive, so why do what most do? obviously the answer is elsewhere. Aliveness is an individual phenomena, its a creative act, and every truly creative act is also an act of rebellion – a rebellion against the mass hypnosis that society puts on all its members. This kind of aliveness is considered dangerous as it brings forth the true kind of creative acts – acts that change the structure of what is. I have told you guys many a times that I am only interested in making maps that change the territory. This is that realm. Guys I have told you of this other story, when I was training with Henri Robert Vilaire Sensei  this one time, and he was quite sick. I was doubtful whether we would be able to train, esp. since I had flown over a 1000 miles to study with him. He slowly walked put on his gi and as he got on the mat he transformed. He proceeded to throw me around like a rag doll for the rest of the day. This IMHO or rather in my languaging is him dialing into his Aliveness, and the warrior ways are his way. This is not an accidental phenomena, this is a possible state of consciousness available to all who will learn to pay attention to themselves in a new way. Perhaps this is the true meaning of the old adage  Man, know thyself”

If we do not get to know that which is within us and proceeds to act through us, there remains very little chance for us to know truly know anything else. The mystics have always understood this well, esp. the Sufis’.Their poetry always gives a clue or points the finger to the moon so to say. Lets look at these two examples that say so much about this same quality of following your fascinations and that state of aliveness. The first one is by RumiLet yourself be silently drawn by the strong pull of what you truly love.”  and the second is by the Pakistani Poet Sir Allama Iqbal

Pila dey mujhay woh mey pardah soz Key aati nahee fasl-e-gul roz roz Woh mey jis say roshan zameer-e-hayat Who mey jis say hai masti-e-kainat Pour me the wine which burns the veil For the season of the rose does not come everyday That wine which reveals the essence of life That wine which intoxicates the universe


This Maasti-e-Kainat is what we are after my friends, the passion that intoxicates the universe and brings all of it alive. This is the radical creative act, an illogical one, and yet the only wise choice. For within each one of us, there is a very unique template, a very unique experiment of nature itself, waiting to see itself expressed. She speaks to us – sometimes in dreams, sometimes in impulses, sometimes in intuition, sometimes through chance meetings – yet it brings about the same effect when its a true impulse – radical aliveness. So I say pay attention to your whole body and the impulses that emerge from it, then follow it – this is what I mean by following your fascinations to where ever it will lead you. As I have mentioned what started as being fascinated with martial arts, opened new worlds, bought some of my best friends into life, got me to travel the world as though magically. Life suddenly goes from being disjoined to coherence, wholeness and consilence.”


The student continued to listen to me with complete attention, and I could see something inside him had shifted, and he moved a little lighter. We continued driving through the redwood forests of Sequoia National Park for our training. We reached the bottom of the Morro Rock and we decided to race to the top of it. I slowly climbed up with one other student who was not in his best shape on that day. On reaching the top we had unprecedented views of the mountains and this student said to me “I feel I can see my homeland Mexico from here.” We laughed and sat down to enjoy the beauty. The student asked again “Sensei what else should i remember about this aliveness.” I paused a little, as though in deep thought, its amazing what the power of the pause can do, and the students waited on. I finally said “Where your attention goes so does your life, put your attention on what brings you alive. Its usually your fascinations that will bring you totally alive, and lead to what will seem like a magickal life, so put your attention over and over again on coming alive.”

The sunset was in progress and the sky came alive with a fiery shades of orange and red – it seemed like a painting. We were filled with joy and gratitude to be able to see this from over 9000 feet away from the madness of the city and reconnect with nature. As it got dark and we started climbing down slowly I remembered the Joseph Campbell quote and recited it for the students “If you follow your bliss, you put yourself on a kind of track that has been there all the while, waiting for you, and the life that you ought to be living is the one you are living. When you can see that, you begin to meet people who are in your field of bliss, and they open doors to you. I say, follow your bliss and don't be afraid, and doors will open where you didn't know they were going to be." I told them again, like I have numerous times before STUDY CAMPBELL, and if you don't have time to study him at least read this one book Reflections on The Art of Living. The students and I walked down and got into the car and were ready to drive back home, which is about 300 miles away now. As we drove away the question I always get when talking about following your fascinations finally showed by “but this is risky, there is no guarantee of success, I have responsibilities, what will society say, what if this does not work out?”  I remembered asking this exact same question to quite a few people including Paul Rebillot and Osho.

“Mahipal – Betrayal of the heart leads to decay, following it leads to a Heroic Journey. Life will always call you on an adventure, you have to follow it, if you dont – YOU SIMPLY ROT & DIE, your existence was wasted. So do not betray your heart. As my friend Alan Watts told once – better a short life in the direction of your heart than a long one being consumed inside out. So my child dont betray your heart, follow it. Dont fear the unknown, get curious about it. Leave the life you have to go to the life that is waiting for you to answer the call of adventure.”

Osho who always had a flair for jolting you into awakeness said something similar beautifully. “Never follow anybody else's idea -- that is very dangerous because you will become imitative. Always follow your own nature, self-nature; only then will you attain to freedom. It is better to die following one's nature than to live following somebody's else's nature, because that will be a pseudo life. To die following one's nature is beautiful, because that death too will be authentic.” Those words  of both Rebillot and Osho rung true deep inside me,and I shared them with the students and also my struggle when I betrayed the path. I recounted the 6 odd years when I had not heeded to the voice from deep within, and it wreak a havoc in my life, to the point where I was ready to kill myself (that story another time)  and the way out of the madness around me was to wake up to the aliveness and path again, and for me this was returning to my martial ways,  the way of the warrior. As I aligned myself back to it, magic happened again. I found myself training hard, Found Vilaire Sensei in California living with our dojo, RCG came into being, and I moved towards getting my Menkyo/license and dojos being set up in CA, South Dakota, Texas and Mexico City.

It was now time to drive back home after a heavy Mexican dinner in Three Rivers at the base of the redwood Forests, the three students were quite, two fell asleep while I was driving back home. It was well past 11 pm, and I had to be at work at 5 am the next day. In the silence of the night the same student finally said “you know Sensei, this makes a lot of sense, its like what Bruce Lee said - Always be yourself, express yourself, have faith in yourself, do not go out and look for a successful personality and duplicate it - its something like that yea?” A complete circle, back to martial arts, I laughed and remembered the times back in the day when I devoured everything Bruce did and said “something like that, something like that- forget what he said or what I say – listen to what your impulses say and come alive man, come alive the way only you can, that the best gift and legacy you can give yourself and to the world.”

I reached home at a little past 2 am, and took a short nap, and at 5 am it was time to be at work. After what seemed like a long day, wrapped up and it was time to be back at the dojo. A handful students including the two who spend the weekend training with me in the redwood forest showed up and as I got on the grass to teach and workout, all the tiredness was gone, and the aliveness returned, once again refreshed and ready to take on what shows up. Finished with the dojo and on the drive back home found myself humming these lines  I had written not too long ago

Ya Mere Khuda  / My lord, my highest self

Sunn Le Dil Ki Iltaaja  /Listen to my hearts deepest desire

Bande pe diwanigi aisi barsa  / Grant me the kind of passion

Jeete jeete ho jaye fanna  /That burns me like fire with every breath

And my wish to you is may you find that aliveness, that passion that burns deep inside!

- stream of consciousness writing to explain the guiding philosophy of Mt View Aiki Kai by Mahipal Lunia Sensei. These are his own personal views and do not represent the art or system or teacher/s