Many of us struggle, trying to find our path, feeling that if we don’t try hard enough, we might miss it. Stemming from my own insecurity, I often forget that I can’t fail at being me. For nine gestational months everything fell into place without my hand, without my guidance. Why would I think that the next chapter would be any different, and the more control I grasp for, the less control I have? Let go, lighten up.
We think we perceive our surroundings. We think that are minds are writing the narrative of what is real.
In fact, we are not perceiving reality, but our perception of it; our own
personal interpretation…not a statement of fact…
Observing our observation is the key out of our own personal hell,
and blindness to it…condemns us to its repetition.
Achieving a Black Belt in Martial Arts is often interpreted as mastery. This is a common misconception. While a worthwhile pursuit on the Martial path, it is important to remember that the Black Belt student is someone who has gained proficiency in the basics of physical technique; far from Mastery.
We often are drawn to Martial Art because we feel physically victimized, or perhaps vulnerable. It seems that the goal then is to become more physically adept, more likely to be victorious in physical battle. As we enter “Martial Middle Age”, we find that there will always be someone faster, always someone slower. Always someone stronger, always someone weaker. At this stage it is easy to wonder: “Have I gone anywhere, or am I still in the same spot, stuck in the middle and going nowhere?”
It is at this stage that most abandon the Martial Way.
As we move along, and the shadows of our lives grow longer, some stay the course and gain the insight that It was never about being stronger, harder, or faster…because no punch can knock out cancer. no kick can assuage the pain of losing a loved one. Martial arts is not about blustering up a storm of physical prowess; its about being able to stand right here, right now, facing the storms of your life. Being still, being silent, being perceptive and therefore able to act in the right way, with the right action and perfect timing. Or perhaps not act at all.
This means being willing to silently face the storm, and act from silence, rather than react from noise.
This…is Martial mastery.
What would it say about you, if you could not be offended, no matter what anyone said; if you remained calm in the face of any storm, and you simply attempted quiet adaptation to any situation? What then, does it say about our culture when we are offended at the slightest suggestion that differs from our own, that we are so enraged at what someone did that we have to verbally attack them via an innocuous bird chirp, and that, when all is said and done, if the world would simply stop being as it is and be what we think it should be…then we could be happy.
What does that say about us?