Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Yoga, as a warrior science, an inner focus

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Do not hate and your enemy will not know
that you bring his destruction.
Do not fear and you will not be controlled
Do not rejoice and you will maintain your awareness
Do not get possessive with your love,
and you will have nothing to lose.
Do not allow the heart to become cluttered
with the chatter of your mind.
Colour it with the way you want to see things,
or twist it, to fit the way you feel things should be.

Two Man Form (Ta Lowie Shang)

I have been doing Muay Thai for the last eight years, because for me it develops a more meditative focus. For those who do not relate or understand their bodies, this may seem strange. Even more strange, for those who do not appreciate the amorphous thing called the mind. But for those who do physical things for the love of all things beautiful, this idea of stillness (of mind) in the rhythms of their bodies, will make immense sense.

I see people do martial arts for a lot of things, including fitness or for other ridiculous reasons (some girls had signed up for my self-defence class because they find the trainer cute, for heaven's sake!).. but for me it is pure meditation. It is odd to practice with others who do not see it your way -- and Indians and their bodies are so far removed that even a few who do any form of fitness still never reach this space in their practice, a matter of cringing concern for me, as a teacher. Also, when you are not really into this attitude, you would always look  outwards, to some equally silly fool, to tell you  how wonderful you are. So, it is puzzle to me, this aspect of the human nature and it becomes so apparent as a teacher, how students veer off ... So, often in some classes where the teacher had originally intended to share his skills as a fighter he has been forced -- by `marketing' concerns, to become a fitness instructor .. and the immense expansion of the spirit that all physical sciences inspire is sacrificed along the way. I saw that in a kalari class I did walk-ins for... and u can see that the teacher cannot be blamed when he has to deal with fussy or silly students, with an intention far off the mark of what is required as a soul warrior..

The warrior of merit collects his victory,
in ways that do not cause others to feel defeat.
He wins before the conflict erupts,
succeeds before the challenge appears,
and possesses his prize
before anyone thinks to oppose him.
(From the book The Art of Stick Fighting, by Christopher Fernandes)

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