Sunday, July 07, 2013

The passion of compassion

Everything in martial arts begins with compassion.  It is the compassion of our parents that brings us into this world; the compassion of our friends that nurtures us; the compassion of our partner that sustains us; the compassion of our family that comforts us.  In martial arts it is the compassion of our teachers that train us; the compassion of our brothers and sisters to polish us.  It is our manifest destiny to exhibit this compassion to others, thus creating a positive spiral that makes our world a better place.

People who think of martial arts as simply "punching and kicking" are those shallow people who think of Christianity as simply "wafers and wine".  The essence of what we do; what we must do - must always start with compassion.

Proper martial arts training yields a few keys of understanding:  First of all, we must come to understand the inherent frailty and weakness of the human body.  Every technique we learn and train is designed to illustrate the weakness of our opponent(s).  We attack not just their vital points, but also their structure, taking away their balance and position - and ultimately their strength and their ability to resist.  This practice should make it very clear that we are frail creatures and easily broken. Our further studies in health, wellness, fitness/conditioning educate us in how important it is to control the body in order to prevent disease and injury, which can occur in us all too easily.  Because we decay, maintenance of our physical selves is a full-time occupation.  The result is a higher awareness of humans as precious and delicate, and that all living beings are worthy of our protection and needful of our vigilance.

However, our training also reveals the unlimited power of our minds and the indomitable spirit of our will. We humans are endowed with a miraculous ability to transcend our physical limitations and overcome the dimensions of our existence to become more.  Unlike other creatures, we can go beyond habit and instinct to do more than just "be" (sadly sometimes, to also do less than just "be") .  We alone have the capability to achieve spiritual awareness and keep the connection to our immortal souls.  We alone have the ability to be spiritually connected to our surroundings and through meditation to achieve an enhanced awareness of our place in the universe and to experience "oneness".

Martial arts training is about goal setting and goal achievement.  It is about taking responsibility for our life choices and controlling our own future.  It is about being able to become a better human being not through luck, but through leveraging our experiences and our training to deliberately be more than we were.  It is about finding, establishing and maintaining our connection to each other and to the "oneness" that is central to our being.  Thus, it is natural that we should continue to marvel in the wonder of what it is to be human and to experience compassion as the starting point of our journey.

"We are not a drop in the ocean, we are the entire ocean in a drop".

No comments: