Saturday, January 17, 2009

A momentary lapse

One of the great benefits of training in a mind-body system is that you learn to handle mistakes better than most people. This point was made by one of Shaival in a Tukong Moosul class. We practiced observation of the breath. This is an incredibly difficult exercise to do corretly.

Observation of Breath

In this exercise we observed our breath. This involves sitting still, closing your eyes and observing how your breath goes in and out accross your upper lip. It is not relaxing your breath and controlling it, nor counting slowly while you breath in and out. This is somewhat difficult, but much easier than simply observing your breath.

In my practice I find this a little disconcerting. If I ignore my breath it takes care of itself. But if I observe it, I need to focus on the in and out, controlling the length and depth of the breath.

Observing without interfering is disturbing to me. I feel the breath go out, and in that moment before it returns I jump in and tell my lungs to inhale. So far I have not been able to watch such a fundamental thing without letting the mind control it.

Martial Arts Application

In Martial Arts there are many tests. The tests may be for a promotion. You may be tested by tring to do something new or simply trying to do a form you have practiced for years. I have noticed that many people are unable to get past a mistake. They are worried about what people think, or concerned about how poorly they do, or how hard it is.

A good martial artist is unconcerned about the past or future. I once read something from Musashi that said a true warrior does not go into battle considering the outcome. If he considers the outcome he will surely fail. *

If, heaven forbid, you are ever in a conflict, the ability to live in the instant of conflict could save your life! Ideally you would never be hit by someone else. A good martial artist has the ability to spring to their feet after being knocked down and continue fighting as though nothing happend ---- of course, a master is never knocked down, but that is another subject.

Yoga Application

My inability to observe my breath is at the core of why Savasana is so hard for me. I will have to work on this.

*I read this and pondered it in Book of Rings. I have since been unable to find the exact quote. If someone can find it, please pass it along.

Application in Life

How powerful would every business dealing be if we live in the moment? If we were unconcerned about our promotion, lay offs, and how good we look to others we would be highly effective in all of our dealings.

Consider how many ventures have been cancelled because people were more concerned with the outcome of the undertaking. In your personal life I encourage you to take Musashi's advice, be a warrior who is unconcerned with the outcome.