Amping Up

This weekend was the Cape Cod Community College Warm-up tournament, and I'm really sad that we couldn't participate. I've been thinking about it all weekend. It's disappointing not to be able to go to every tournament. It's a sad reality, but a good one at the same time as in the Northeastern US, there are more and more BP tournaments on the rise. With that and the West Coast, as well as the Pacific Northwest, there should be more and more tournaments that must be turned down. Can't do them all. One day perhaps, but not now.

Well with that sadness out of the way (and a bit of happiness looking toward the future of BP) I am getting ready for USU Nationals, which kicks off Friday Morning in Vermont. I'm flying to Burlington Thursday afternoon to make sure that I am fully ready to engage in this beast of a tournament.

My students are amping up as well. Today they had their first practice session without me. This is very good. The function of the master is self-effacing.

Teaching is weird - done at its best, it eliminates the doer. One would not want the mind to rest upon the one who brought forth the concepts, but the concepts. In Zen, there is the famous moon koan - "When I point at the moon, do your eyes rest on the finger?" this is a classic teaching koan as well. How do you instruct without trace? Don't the eyes follow the finger to the moon? The finger is still present. Or in more punny words, how do you "moon" someone without giving them the finger?

So I am getting a variety of reports on the quality of the practice. But for the most part it is good. Some looked at the moon, some didn't. And I think a couple saw the reflection of the moon and smiled. And I hope they all get to be that way one day.

I used to say "By the time you are a senior, the most important and deepest question we will share will be 'Where is the tape?'" That was a very policy debate oriented statement, I don't know what the BP equivalent will be.

But it is always the week before a big tournament like this that one sees how far one has come and how far the teaching has left to go.

I am going to try my best to Vlog the US BP Nationals right here on this blog, time depending. Keep tuned in - I might have a pre-nats special or two lined up.