The Home of Steven Barnes
Author, Teacher, Screenwriter

Saturday, January 26, 2008

Threshold Experience coming in November!

All right, my answer: I would be willing to die if I could communicate cleanly to all—or the majority of—people on this planet that they can lift themselves up an entire level by believing they are spiritual beings having a human experience. That would change everything, just everything. And since we all die anyway, I’d choose that. In addition to the usual: for my family, especially my children. I’d die for Nicki or Jason in a heartbeat, and would place my life in jeopardy at insanely long odds for Tananarive—but wouldn’t put a gun in my mouth and pull the trigger for her. Sorry, T.
My flinching at the half-truths and smearing of politics isn’t really a criticism of those doing it. Seems to be the nature of the beast. But I couldn’t do it: it would kill my soul. Since politics seems to be necessary (at least in a dualistic world) I guess I’m glad there are people who can handle it.
Scott’s traffic over at RMAX has been EXPLODING! And the beautiful thing is that a big part of his growth has been associated with the Prasara Yoga books and DVDs. As you know, I think this is kinda advanced stuff, so the new interest suggests that there are a ton of people who are beyond the basics stage in their yoga practice, willing to look at new ideas. Fantastic. My belief: Scott has touched the place where motion originates, and has been waiting for his spiritual/emotional levels to rise up to his intellectual insight of the subjects. I suspect that his marriage to an incredible woman, fatherhood, and work with Amma (one of the two human beings I’ve seen who project their energy beyond the physical form. Pretty spooky. BTW—I understand how crazy that sounds, and that I can’t separate my subjective impressions out enough to be intellectually certain of what I experienced.) have facilitated his growth at a rapid pace. So…he’s ready to do the next Path seminar, what we’re now calling (due to trademark issues) the THRESHOLD EXPERIENCE. Looks like it’s set for the first weekend in November, in Los Angeles. I’ve got eight months to get ready. Wow. Can’t wait! I’ll let you know soon how you can sign up…
Scenario for South Carolina: Obama wins, Edwards and Hillary come in nearly tied. IF that happens, and the black vote is split, Obama isn’t labeled a “race candidate” and Edwards gets momentum enough to have real bargaining position. He could be a king (or queen) maker. If he really wants the vice-presidency, he could campaign for Obama the way Bill is campaigning for Hillary, providing some much needed good cop/ bad cop energy. That would be interesting.
We’re having a meeting of T’s book club at the house tonight. Largest gathering we’ve had since moving to California. I want to have more parties…
As I’ve said, I’ve been trying to work my way through a Century Density cycle for the Gama Cast for two years. My body won’t handle it, but I won’t quit, either, until I’m sure there is just no way. Intermittent Fasting increases my recovery rate, so I want to give it a real shot. But it’s a complex movement, and that may have been my problem. The aftermath went beyond Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness (DOMS) to shoulders that felt wrecked, and I can’t afford that.
I’m starting over, but trying something different. I’m going to break down the Gama Cast into two different segments: a Clean to Order (swinging the Bruiser back between my legs, bringing it up to the front) comes first. I’ll do the behind the head part next—IF I can work through a Century (100 reps without stopping). So Wednesday I did twenty sets of 5 reps, one per minute. It was rough, but manageable. The soreness on subsequent days was OK. I woke up too early in the morning, a sign that my body wasn’t finished recovering…but I can handle that with the Jacuzzi.
A very real possibility: on work-out days, I may have three entirely different workouts I cycle through on a weekly basis: Double Kettlebells, Century Bruiser, and Jumprope/FlowFit 2 cycles. Call these modules the “Work” (just for simplicity’s sake) and my pattern goes:
Alternate days Work and Recovery (Yoga)
Work days:
Warrior Wellness

Recovery days
Yoga (either Ashtanga or Bikram)

Five Minute miracle practice on “Work” Days: Martial arts, KB C&J, Prasara Yoga Chains.

Five Minute Miracle practice on “Recovery” Days:
Martial Arts, Prasara chains.

If I can anchor this in, I may start “waving” it in a “4 x 7” format. Right now, I’ve got enough to balance.

Total morning time: About 40 minutes on Work days, and about 60-90 on Recovery days. Sundays: off, or Recovery Only.


Question of the day: How has reading affected the quality of your life?


Anonymous said...

How has reading affected your life."

maybe more than anything else
excepting in the pre-reading years
when nature held sway

reading has my companion
a trusted companion
through all the bleaker moments
and all the joyous moments as well

and for the past 14 years
only surpassed by my

which is on abundant display at my blog
suzanne's blog

my personal library grows in leaps and bounds
now around 7000 books
many read and reread
the substantive thing
I will leave my sons when I shuck
this beloved skin o mine

and there are others
not sons
who will receive my hard rives
which contain my writing
and which will probably provide much laughter
and some surprises
to the two people
I'm instructing them go to

one of whom is my beloved lifewriting discussion group
pookie . . .

I donlt know how
people get through life
not being
voracious readers


B the II said...

Yo, i know you like to push limits, but i have to ask . . . Isn't "forcing" the century-gama-cast a bit obsessive (kinda like the 'fitness' industry's reification of the six-pack)?

And. . . i wanted to know how clubbells and body-intu/flow has impacted your speed and performance martially.

Steve Perry said...

Barnes, Barnes, Barnes ...

A man your age can't be doing these kinds of things. Sit back on the couch, have a milkshake, watch the tube. What -- you trying to mess up the grading curve here?

Only got so many reps in you, you know. You're gonna pass the speed limit in a couple months agewise, aren't you? Better take it easy. Harder to find parts for antique motors ...

Remember what Gertrude Stein said, after forty, it's patch, patch, patch ...

Steven Barnes said...

I AM an obsessive-compulsive personality. The only reason most people don't notice it is that my primary obsession is balance. I enjoy goals that are transformative, but I am careful to notice when my body hasn't recovered, and back off to try another route.

Anonymous said...

every day
I read Steve Perry's comments
I feel more affinity
with him

yeah one can be healthy
and fit
and strong at advanced ages
I'd be a fool to deny that
but there is also
"going too far"

and while Steve [Barnes}
doesn't fit my definition of old
hell I don't fit my definition of old and I have a fair number of years on Steve!

and while "old"
I've discovered to my delight
is more a stgate of Mind
than mostfolks think
there is no doubt
the body
has lower limits
than when you are
your 20's 30's

you be careful Steve
ya hear!


Steven Barnes said...

Absolutely. Here are the standards I use to determine if I'm overtrained:
1) High resting pulse rate in the morning.
2) Interrupted sleep (especially "false awakening"-I wake up at 4 or 5 am feeling totally rested. Then crash later.)
3) joints or muscle insertion points aching.
4) General overall energy level poor.
5) reduced sex drive.
Any of these and I back off.

Anonymous said...

"A man your age can't be doing these kinds of things."

A man Steve's age is doing them.

--Erich Schwarz

Steven Barnes said...


Perry is older than I am, and in better shape. He's pulling my leg, but also reminding me that I'm mortal. Consider it a sick, twisted sign of affection.

Anonymous said...

Reading has enriched my life in more ways than I can count. It was my trusted companion as a lonely little girl. It has been an escape when I just couldn't bear what was happening in my world any more. It excites me and entices me. Reading has taken me to places that I doubt I will ever see personally and to places that I couldn't have dreamt of until I read of them. I have been introduced to any number of concepts and ideas that would not have come to me through the course of a 'normal' day. I am forever grateful for the gift of reading and have tried to pass that joy on to my children, nieces and nephews at every opportunity.

I get such immeasurable joy out of reading. I cannot imagine my life without it and audio books don't even come close. I am invariably disappointed in films based on books that I have read.

I would rather read than watch TV or a movie or almost anything except have a good conversation or sex. --smile--

Anonymous said...

"Limitations = Imaginations" - Jack LaLanne

Jack, who I am proud to call a friend, did 92 finger tip pushups in front of me for his 92 years young age. He still works out 2 hours a day because it's what keeps him ticking (his words.)

There is no such thing as over-trained; only under-prepared and under-restored.

You're doing great, Steve! I look forward to jazzing with you in Los Angeles at THE THRESHOLD EXPERIENCE!!!

Over at RMAX, we had a HUGE jolt of traffic (nearly 12X average) since announcing it!

Flow Thyself,
Scott Sonnon

Daniel Keys Moran said...

I'd be dead or in prison if I hadn't read when I was younger.

How much is the Flowfit seminar going to cost, is there any reasonable prep work for it, and what's the lower age?

Anonymous said...

The best, and I'd say most politically interesting possibility for the Democratic race would be for Barack to somehow get Al Gore to be his running mate. (I don't know if Hilary could legitimately or legally chose Bill as her running mate, but that would be political insanity to an absolutely insane degree!I mean, just think of it: the adultered wife of/and the so-called 'first black president', running against their former Number 1 and the actual first black presidential candidate! Damn!)

Anonymous said...

Steve, your scenario for SC election seems to have played out. Obama got 25 delegates, Clinton 12, Edwards 8. While Clinton is ahead now, Obama could easily surpass her on Feb 5. I don't know how accurate this analysis of the voting demographics are, but this is what the NYT is reporting:

"White voters under the age of 40 divided their support, with almost 40 percent for Mr. Obama, and about 3 in 10 each for Mr. Edwards and Mrs. Clinton. Almost 80 percent of black women under the age of 40 voted for Mr. Obama.

"Mrs. Clinton and Mr. Edwards divided white voters ages 40 and older equally, with about 40 percent each, according to exit polls. Among older blacks, 80 percent supported Mr. Obama."

I am curious if this win for Obama will translate not into a black candidate (as reported and thus could become a self-fulling prophesy), but into a candidate who is just accepted . I can hear some old shit kicker in the north saying, 'If people in the South voted for him, he must be all right, so I'll vote for him.'

I remember when Jessie Jackson made a run to the Democratic nomination. Of course Jackson's platform and rhetoric were very different, but the commentary around his candidacy was completely different. Right from the start, the language used about both Obama and Clinton have been different. For Clinton, compare it to the discussion of Pat Schroeder, 1988. There was a building of Nora Dunn-esq jabs at Clinton for "tearing up" but her NH win shut that up.

Maybe you, Steve Perry, or someone else can explain why tearing up is a national embarrassment deserving of exile.

Reading is the only way one can stay sane.

Steven Barnes said...

The Threshold Experience Seminar's price hasn't been set, but my guess is "very reasonable." Scott and I are trying to build something here.
Tearing up is no sin. Neither was saying "Yee-Haw" which destroyed a campaign four years ago. The fact is that people are looking for any excuse to tear other people down. Hillary raised herself in my estimation with that moment of emotional reality. I bought it.

Steven Barnes said...

Age. Not sure. Nicki attended a Lifewriting workshop when she was about 9, I think. Scott and I need to talk, but off the top of my head, kids over 12 ACCOMPANIED BY THEIR PARENTS might be fine.

Steve Perry said...

Barnes is being kind -- I am older, but not in better shape. The comment is from an old in-joke: A few years back, I hurt my knee. Either from doing squats, being sideswiped by my German Shepherd Dog at speed, or a combination thereof.

I went to see the doctor, and mine was booked, so I got another MD in the clinic. I gave him my symptoms, he poked and prodded. "How'd you do this?"

Not wanting to say I got knocked on my butt by my dog, I said, "Doing squats."

He looked at me in alarm. "Squats? A man your age shouldn't be doing squats!"

To which I said, "Hey! I'm not a man my age ..."

I try to keep fit, but I'm a lot more easy-going than Barnes, who sometimes does overtrain. Certainly Jack LaLanne is an outstanding example of being able to stay fit to an advanced age, but he'd be the first to tell you he isn't the man at ninety that he was at forty. Age matters -- if it didn't, you'd see ninety-year-olds running the hundred meter dash in the Olympics against the twenty-year-olds.

(Yeah, yeah, I know about senior athletes who can outrun twenty-year-old couch potatoes, but unless you know where Ponce de Leon hid the map, or you have a picture in the attic, nobody lives forever.

Anonymous said...

As a kid I was good for five to seven books a week. My father used to to call me Mr. Horizontal Man, because I was always in bed reading. The largest chunk of this was science fiction. I dreamed of someday going into space myself. I wanted to be a physicist to help make this happen. I am very disappointed that we have abandoned exploring our solar system after landing on the moon.

Steve Perry said...

"There is no such thing as over-trained; only under-prepared and under-restored."

With all due respect, Coach, changing what you call it doesn't change what it is. You can call that little doohickey under the rose a thorn or a fuzzy bunny, but it will still punch a hole in your thumb if you aren't careful enough when you grab it.

Every jock I've ever known has a box full of Ace bandages and braces and liniments and assorted variations of willow-bark, and if you know any who have never had an injury, no muscles pulls or ligament strains or who never waked up sore the next day, I'll be happy to sit at their feet and listen to them.

The human body is a wonderful system, able to repair itself and grow stronger, with proper care; it can, however, be injured, and some of these injuries don't allow a return to 100%.

Connective tissue in particular heals slowly and once scarred is less forgiving. Would that I didn't have reason to know this.

Knowing that you should warm up properly, work on your flexibility, and stay inside your breath is a huge plus; however, even knowing it and trying to do it isn't a guarantee you'll always manage it.

Last I looked, nobody who plays bats a thousand.

I've been around Barnes when he was -- depending on which definition you like -- either overtrained or under-prepared and under-restored.
I joke a lot about it, but the caution is valid.

Part of being properly prepared is recognizing your personal limitations, one of which is that age matters.

I watched Jack LaLanne on TV fifty years ago, and he is quite remarkable for a man of any age. But he can't do now what he could do then, and he certainly knows that and considers it in his training.

Anonymous said...

Steve, :)

You are welcome to that world view.

I hope it serves you best.


Anonymous said...

I get so much out of my leisure reading that it's hard to pinpoint exactly what it does for me.

From marveling at the wordcraft of fiction's masters to reading the exuberant spiritual writings of the fathers of my faith to my love of cookbooks to just the light throwaway entertainment of a mass-market novel, my life has been immeasurably enriched by what I've read.

I was an only child, and although I was hardly lonely, my books were my escape and yet another way of connecting with other people.

Reading fiction also has on occasion helped me find an entry point for thinking about Big Ideas: speculative fiction often gets me thinking about spirituality, romance novels get me going on what feminism is and isn't, and murder mysteries often make me think about how much trust we put in our neighbors -- and strangers -- every day just by walking out of our homes.

Steve Perry said...

Scott --

It's an evolving process, and not for everybody, but my world view has served me pretty well thus far, and I am of the ain't-broke-don't-fix-it school.

Whatever gets you through -- as long as you came by it honestly and offer that way, I'm good.

(And as long as it isn't presented as the one-and-only-bestest path up the mountain ... :-)

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