Empty Your Mind
I believe a lot of our power and success can be achieved with the convergence of our Mind and Body. All too often our mind is occupied and sometimes cluttered with thoughts. These thoughts are usually from looking behind or looking ahead. But if we become in the moment and again “empty our mind” than we can make it available for the current state, and we will do what is called live in the moment!!
An OPEN and EMPTY Mind can access our full processing power. This can be the key to accessing our KI (internal Energy). Our mind is so powerful it dictates and controls our voluntary body movements. It can influence us to supress or over do an action. That is why an empty mind can make for your best physical performance,, leaving emotion and expectations out of the equation. In Martial Arts we train our body to make our physical motions instinctual and therefore not require any mind intervention, leaving the mind open in other capacities. In fact when you train a certain technique using your mind to coordinate and execute I call it practicing. When you execute a technique or move without thinking that is instinctual!!
In The Picture
In the picture to the right, I am cutting bamboo with my sword which is an aspect of Gumdo (Korean Sword Art). It is a challenging task because the correct angle of the blade combined with proper muscle control is what is needed for an accurate effortless cut. Initial reaction with a sword in hand is to whack the bamboo. Similar to breaking a piece of wood with a TaeKwonDo technique, an untrained mind and body might rare back and think all the power will be accumulated as tension is thrown or swung at the object intended to be sliced or broken. When our mind is tamed and empty and understands muscle tension, and our body is trained to exercise it, the proper execution will be performed. A skillful task requires Mind and Body Convergence!!
As I mention all over this website all creatures here on earth are subject to Earth’s Forces with the biggest one being Gravity. How we deal with these forces determines our performance level in many areas. How other creatures here on Earth deal with them and use them to their advantage has much to be considered and understood.
What Are Natures Ninjas?
Almost all creatures have some sort of defense weather it’s a Turtle retreating into it’s shell, or some Spiders that curl up into a ball. or other creatures that simply use speed to maneuver out of a threatening situation.The common thread they all share are quietness and fluidity (economy of their movements) that enable their speed and stealthy moves. Predatory creatures like, Sharks, Wolfs, Birds of Prey also move with stealthy like qualities and fluidity . These movements are coordinated efforts between these creatures Body & Mind. There is no thought process about it as thoughts would consume way too much time so Instinct is what enables the Fluidity and quick reflexes these creatures deploy. A Human has a larger capacity to think and reason which in most cases hinders our defensive postures as well as can cause us to overreact to a situation. This is why we need to seed and train our Body & Mind for proper Instinctual behavior and reactions to any particular situation. This will enable us to respond effortlessly and more effectively. I admire and am always looking to further understand creatures movements to possibly adopt in my repertoire to further economize and increase my fluidity and speed. I call this Natures Ninjas as many Martial Art techniques and systems strive to poses these same qualities as well.
Balance Your Mind & Body To Master Life
Balanced courses of instinctual sources to master Earth’s forces.
Please see my Blog for an interesting Post related to Nature’s Ninjas. Here’s the link: http://woofdriverproject.com/2014/12/a-dogs-jaw-strength/#.
I am really enlightened and passionate about the mental and mind aspects of the Martial Arts. When I was a kid I definitely had temper issues. I would punch wholes in walls and get myself so upset when I had disagreements with others or became frustrated with Life. I was very concerned about being right and making my point to others. This stubbornness wasn’t a good path for me and didn’t have any positive results, than I found TaeKwonDo!! I started TaeKwonDo when I was 18. I enrolled because I thought it was cool, and would give me some fighting ability for self defense. All of the EGO was flowing in my mind, but would soon be neutralized.
At my new TaeKwonDo School, I was immediately introduced to Respect!! Bowing to the Flags of The USA and South Korea (where my style TaeKwonDo is headquartered). I was also taught to bow to follow students, and of course instructors at my TaeKwonDo school. This was to me, a little disingenuous, bowing to someone I don’t even know. I eventually understood the importance bowing. In fact, in some ways it can be equivocated to our western culture of a handshake. I also understood more importantly, it was something called Respect!! It didn’t signify I was any better or worse than the person I was bowing to, I was just acknowledging mutual Respect for them. A new feeling was entering my mind, Respect!! I have learned to Respect almost everyone. Respect doesn’t just mean for their Martial Arts ability, but more importantly for My personal feelings, admiration, and understanding of life. I was then starting to understand humility!! Humility to me, is understanding equality, and it is also to be compassionate for my fellow mankind as well as all of my surroundings!! I consider one of my most important qualities, is in fact, my ability to Respect!! You may be asking yourself what does Respect have to do with a bad temper or stubborn behavior. My answer is everything!!
Respect slows me down. When I have interactions with someone, I now have open ears which allows me to listen to them, but more importantly I have an open mind!! I don’t have to agree with them, but I can always Respectfully disagree!! I also have learned my disagreements don’t have to be venomous or obnoxious, in fact I don’t even have to make them known to the others. As Bruce Lee said “The art of fighting, without fighting”!! To me this means, just because you are knowledgeable about something doesn’t make it worth fighting to prove your knowledge, in fact your knowledge actually enables you to avoid having to prove yourself!!
Meditation is the key to learning to empty our mind and breathe power. Meditation has many aspects and practices, that can really improve our quality of Life as it manages our stress levels and can neutralize anxiety and uncontrolled energies.
Quiet Our Mind
Mediation to me is about quieting our minds where our only awareness is our breathing. Imagine when you are confronted with a stressful situation and you could control how it effects you. You would obviously still have to deal with the situation but with a calm mind. A calm mind can help you make non-emotional choices and therefore possibly let your best attributes contribute to the situation.
Meditation practices usually teach us to start with a trigger word. A trigger word is something that you say and it signals to our mind to stop the clutter and just focus our breathing. A trigger word could be anything you desire. An example would be, I personally like the word “Relax”. In addition to traditional meditation settings where we try to get into a particular position, some meditations can be open eyed and even standing. These styles to me are a little more challenging but as our meditative ability increases, we can approach tougher positions to help simulate real world practices where we will need to be able to call on our mind calming meditative practices to cope and manage our stressful situations.
Mind Over Matter
Our minds are one of the most powerful influenced parts of our existence. It controls most of the aspects of our lives. Unfortunately it is a mystery and puzzle to fully understand and manage in a masterful way. The mind to me having so much impact in our lives, inspires me to understand it to my utmost potential. The more knowledge and comprehension how my mind works, the more I should be able to understand and control my life!!
Mind & Body Dependency
My first enlightenment is how our mind and body are so dependent and reflective of each other. For example, If you are mad your body is usually tense. If you are sad your body is sometimes hanging low and vulnerable. When we are happy we are usually walking tall and bouncing with our actions!! Now on the other side if our body feels pain than usually our mind becomes apprehensive. When our body feels cold our mind tells us to look for warmer conditions such as more clothing. If our body feels resistance to something we usually push harder. I am trying to define how our mind and body are so automatically dependent on each other. I believe these are instinctual reactions we have learned at a young age and they become so entwined in our lives.
Break & Refine The Cycle
I want to break the reaction and or typical course how our mind and body respond to each other!! If we can retrain logically now from an older and wiser perspective our mind and body unity then we can master our lives!! If we know anger has no real benefit to our quality of life than lets create reactions to channel anger away from us with the least destructive or evasive path we can. So If we make anger a trigger point to relax our body by losing all tension, feeling the weight of your shoulders almost drooping and our legs, back, hands entire body just loose. We could also assure our breath is slow and evenly paced trying to imagine it is reaching all points in our body as it freely circulates through!! We could even go as far to feel and focus the breath going in to our lower abdomen as it fills it up and than deflates the lower abdomen on the exhale. The lower abdomen being our bodies center can provide stability and power when we engage it!! Now I know this is a great bit of detail that requires training but can be the saving and mastery of our time and even life.
This Is It!!
If we can take normally energy depleting negative situations and retrain ourselves to let them trigger calming, soothing, and positive actions than we can truly master our existence!! I like to remind myself and everyone else reading this, that we are human and not a machine without emotions. Obviously we don’t want to lose our human side but if we can increase our tolerance levels and decrease our negative responses than we can enjoy more of OUR human Life. Actually this is what Martial Arts and Meditation are all about. Now I realize this is not instant change or results but remember almost anything worthwhile takes a commitment and time investment. Please keep in mind we can try to reverse or do the opposite of what maybe perceived as normal reactions to situations because these reactions are just energy and mind drains. If we train our reaction to be a trigger to a relaxing moment than our life will take on a whole new dimension that will keep us feeling so good and in hot pursuit of our goals!!
Flexibility Over Rigidity
Let your Mind and Body be at ease at all times. Rigid objects have limited flexibility and will absorb little impact before breaking. Bendable or softer objects are usually harder to break relatively speaking because they will absorb the energy or force and it therefore takes more to overcome the flexible object to break it.
Bend Don’t Break
Trees especially their branches will sway and flow in the wind, if they remained rigid and had no flexibility they would be so much more susceptible to wind destruction. From my understanding towers for broadcasting are built to have some sway and absorption as well this will help them to tolerate and weather higher winds and forceful vibrations.
Mind & Body Flexibility
The more Flexibility our Bodies can obtain usually the less susceptible we will be to muscle injury. Similarly the more our minds can tolerate and accept the more we can control our anger, temper, and other emotions.
Be Your Hero
Be your own Hero!! In a world today where morals and courtesies are sometimes left behind we need to define our own code of conduct and live by our personal ethics. A confidence in ourselves will provide a foundation that we can believe in and trust to accomplish tasks and feel comfortable and safe with in ourselves!!
Confidence In Ourselves
Through achievement and completion of goals we can develop this powerful confidence. Determination and internal fire will inspire us to complete our tasks and pursue others that we want to grasp. Through my pursuit and perseverance to accomplish my goals the knowledge I have gained has made me adapt and accept issues and people with a wonderful disposition.
This acceptance has allowed me to stay focused on my goals and rids myself of negative thoughts and energies. The less I can be set back by negative energy the more good life I can experience. Remember my Martial Art saying: we try to deliver the maximum amount of force with the minimal amount of effort. Well when we get distracted, discouraged, or disagree with others we are draining our energy. Most times it is easier and more respectful to agree, (even if it is just with yourself) to disagree. Trying to prove ourselves or our point of view can be a waste of energy especially to a hostile environment and can derail or set us back.
Believe In You
The accomplishment of our goals and execution of commitments with ourselves will encourage us to believe in ourselves and become our own pillar of strength able to weather any situation.