Archive for August, 2013

It’s A Practice Not A Journey

Posted: August 12, 2013 in Sprituality
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Many students in the martial arts talk about the journey.
“It’s all about the journey not the destination,” they say.
The very definition of a journey means there is an end point. The truth is that there is no end point. There is a start point as we have to begin somewhere.
The fact is that it is a practice.

Lets compare this to a vocation. Let’s take law. The ‘practice of law’ is the correct term. Even though you will spend five years at university, your practice continues. At the end of the five years you graduate as a lawyer but everyone knows that is just a point on the spectrum that we have identified as having meaning.

Ann Lamott wrote an interesting book called, “Bird By Bird.” It documented her growth as a writer. Another of her interests, apart from writing, was meditation. She studied under the Zen master Thich Nhat Hanh.
Quite often she confided with him that she did not have the time to meditate as much as she wanted to. His reply was to make her practice her meditation.
What he meant was to meditate in your performance of your job. Making your job your daily practice. Making the mundane tasks of living your daily meditation.
Thich Nhat Hanh is famous for popularising walking meditation as a practice. He chose the act of walking as a way to immerse himself in the process of a simple action.
To live each step.
To methodically make the action of walking a perfect performance.
He uses this as an example of how to achieve peace and happiness in our daily life.
In our job.
Or in our practice of martial arts.

It’s all the same.
For all of us.

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Interesting response I got from a friend last week. I took a picture of the last page of a book I had finished. It was just a great quote about life so I shared it on Facebook.
Her response to me was that she really enjoyed reading it.
I said I try to read and educate myself a little every day.
Her response was – “I wish I was as dedicated to self improvement. I barely manage to keep up with life at moment let alone move forward!”

It made me think.
I remember being overwhelmed by life on a regular basis.
I remember scattering my attempts at success into many directions.
The only result was that I wore myself out making moderate progress.

Looking back, every time I find I am barely managing to keep up with life, it’s because my dedication to self improvement has stopped.

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