Lessons in Mindfulness is a powerful program to help students of any martial art understand the deeper philosophical aspects of the practice. It is a supplemental vehicle to help carry the practice from the training room and into the student’s everyday life.
Instead of just going through the motions, the full spectrum of the physical movements, philosophical ideas, and daily meditation is how the martial arts become a vehicle for personal and spiritual growth.
Those who have been taking the time to complete the monthly activities have shared some profound experiences. Real progress from the practice happens in your everyday life, and those who’ve been doing the work have been noticing the changes the most. What may appear to be subtle changes in the way we act or react to situations in our lives can go a long way towards major positive changes.
People are naturally lazy and most will choose to do the least they can. Unfortunately, as the Dalai Lama once said, “The easy way is the hard way, and the hard way is the easy way.” The more you put in, the more you get out. Make an extra effort beyond your minimum requirements. Do more than you’re expected to do and you’ll discover a level of happiness few ever experience.
People robotically go through their daily lives with little to no attention at all. “Just getting by” or “keeping busy” is not only acceptable, its considered a good thing. Well, this is the very point of your “Lessons”: to become more introspective and aware of who you are, what you are doing, and what you want for your life. Time to turn off autopilot!
The Lessons are to help get you to take some time out to work on YOU. What kind of life are you creating? You are creating it, but is it consciously of unconsciously? You become what you think about. You can go day to day and year to year mindlessly or mindfully.
When most people reach adulthood, they tend to get stuck in life. They get stuck in their career; stuck in a bad relationship; stuck in their limited perspective. Remember, anything that isn’t growing is dying.
Life is time. How much of it do you want to waste? Taking a good long look at yourself and your life can be intimidating. Most are afraid what they’ll find. That’s why most people go through life maintaining their distractions: so they can avoid the truth.
Haven’t you heard, “the truth will set you free?” How is that? Because knowing your true Self, your true nature, is what can bring real peace into your life.
The “Lessons” are designed for just that: to help you find YOU. And in that process, you’ll stop doing things just to do something. You’ll begin to do more of what has meaning for you.
End the chaos. Start spending some time on YOU. And do your “Lessons.”
Originally published June, 2004 under the title “The Lesson of the “Lessons”