…Through the virtue of training, Enlighten both body and soul — Morihei Sensei

Posts tagged “freedom

Refocusing

I have taken some planned, and some unplanned, time off since completing (read: finishing) Ironman Florida.  In that time, I have had time to reflect on what I want to explore in this blog.  My focus isn’t going to change so much as it is going to narrow.  Heretofore, my focus has been on Warriorship, and in the past 12-18 months or so, specifically on the training aspect of Warriorship.  However, it has occurred to me that all of that really begs the question.

The question seems to be more accurately–How do we actually make things happen?  or What is the mechanism of Manifestation?  These seem to be the questions that go the heart of Warriorship.  The Warrior’s key role is to act.  The question then is, What does it mean to Act?  How does one actually Act?  What is it to transform a Thought, Concept, Idea to  an Action?  and What is involved in Action impacting the larger Reality?

Training and Warriorship remain ideal forums for exploring these questions.

Join me on this new leg of exploration.

–Jalal

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Training the Vehicle

In the gym lifting yesterday, I had an epiphany.  An article tweeted by @EastTriFitCrew drew the analogy of  your body as a vehicle you train and prep for race day–a vehicle that it is then up to you the driver to drive for the race.  I found this analogy striking at the moment, a great distinction between your body, training, and your self who must actually execute on race day, mechanical malfunctions, inadequacies and all.  It is similar, but not exactly, like the guy with the $5000 bike, the bike alone won’t make him go fast.  (I also appreciate the role of the self as the observer)

However, in the gym yesterday, it occurred that this analogy can be extended further, and more meaningfully to Practice and life in general.  We practice for what purpose?  It is not an end in itself.  Nor is it for the purpose of the real side benefits–reduced heart rate, longevity, improved health, better focus–but to prepare ourselves to navigate this life, many of whom’s ultimate goal is to not rinse-and-repeat next life, but ultimate freedom from Samsara.

Practice that only aims for the side benefits, falls far short.  Yoga, zazen, tai chi–whatever your practice, there are many side benefits (so readily marketed to us now), but what is the point if you don’t then use that improved vehicle to navigate this life.

You are the driver.  Your body is a shell.  You will eventually shed your body, your mind even.  Until then, to what use will you put them?

Training is my Practice.  It is what actually keeps me functional in this life.  For me the vehicle and driver analogy is perfect.  My truck with 316,000 miles on it–I do the maintenance so it will remain functional, and continue to help me navigate around town.  I don’t do the maintenance just so it will look nice, or people will think it is cool (though some actually do think it’s cool).  I practice so my mind and body will remain functional (sometimes even at peak performance), and I can use them to help me navigate this universe.


Chief Tecumseh: Words of Wisdom

“So live your life that the fear of death can never enter your heart. Trouble no one about their religion; respect others in their view, and demand that they respect yours. Love your life, perfect your life, beautify all things in your life. Seek to make your life long and its purpose in the service of your people. Prepare a noble death song for the day when you go over the great divide.

Always give a word or a sign of salute when meeting or passing a friend, even a stranger, when in a lonely place. Show respect to all people and grovel to none.

When you arise in the morning give thanks for the food and for the joy of living. If you see no reason for giving thanks, the fault lies only in yourself. Abuse no one and no thing, for abuse turns the wise ones to fools and robs the spirit of its vision.

When it comes your time to die, be not like those whose hearts are filled with the fear of death, so that when their time comes they weep and pray for a little more time to live their lives over again in a different way. Sing your death song and die like a hero going home.”

~ Chief Tecumseh

I simply present the warrior’s words here.  They speak more eloquently for themselves than any commentary I may have in my mind.

http://www.wisdomcommons.org/wisbits/662-chief-tecumseh-s-words-of-wisdom

Additional Chief Tecumseh quotes

 

This poem was quoted, quite appropriately in the 2012 movie Act of Valor.

The abridged version presented in the movie:

“So live your life that the fear of death can never enter your heart. Trouble no one about their religion; respect others in their view, and demand that they respect yours. Love your life, perfect your life, beautify all things in your life. Seek to make your life long and its purpose in the service of your people.

When it comes your time to die, be not like those whose hearts are filled with the fear of death, so that when their time comes they weep and pray for a little more time to live their lives over again in a different way. Sing your death song and die like a hero going home.”

~ Tecumseh


Be Different

We try so hard to change those around us.  The closer we are to people, the more we try to change them.  The closer they are to us, the harder they try to change us.  With so much effort put into changing people, why is there so little change?

Each year we renew our resolve to change ourselves, to turn a new leaf.  By March, we have a hard time even remembering what those resolutions were–Spending the rest of the year focused on what other people are or are not doing.

Therein lies the problem.  We cannot change other people.  All the effort put  into changing folks is utterly wasted effort.  We can only change ourselves.  Once we can effect real change in ourselves, and maintain it consistently for a period of time (three months?  two years?  eight years?), only then will we see a reflection in those who around us.

Changing oneself is the classic “easier said than done”.  Everyone around us is utterly invested in us being as we are.  We are utterly invested in being as we are.  We are utterly invested in everyone around us being as they are.  Consequently, everybody works very hard to keep everybody else from changing.  Pushing buttons.  “Going there”.   Bribing.  Extorting. Doing what we must to pull us and everybody else back into familiar ruts.

If the people we interact with (love, work with, struggle against) change, then either how we interact with them must change, or we must stop interacting with them.  Hence a change in them, causes a change in us, however slight.

And therein lies the key.

If your relationships suck, you must change.  If the world around you needs work, you must change.  If your business is not awesome, you must change.  It’s your only other option.

It is imperative that you be different.

The only way to change others is to be different.

The only way to improve the world is to be different.

Be different.

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— Jalal

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Same Coin

Found this one on “Wise Guys and Renegades”

virtually naked woman and virtually completely coverd woman different sides of same coin of male exploitation


Awesome images: Gregory Colbert

I saw this post on Gregory Colbert today.  Colbert’s photography work is amazing, visit his site and photography: Ashes & Snow.

Read the whole post

image of girl dancing and releasing a hawk in flight

Gregory Colbert image -- http://ashesandsnow.com


Persistence Hunters: African Kalahari Kudu Persistence Hunt — Video