Impatience in the Dojo…
“Are we there yet Papa Smurf?”
A lot of times, class feels like a constant rush to “get somewhere else.”
It feels like everything is a matter of "so-that-we-can."
We bow in so that we can meditate.
We meditate so that we can start our warm-up exercises.
We do our exercises so that we can start our drills.
We do our drills so that we can learn a new skill.
We learned a new skill so that we can apply it, e.g. “roll/spar.”
Once we “roll/spar,” we start our cool-down exercises, which we do so that we can meditate.
We meditate so that we can bow out.
We bow out so that we can leave.
It seems like everything is done so that we can get someplace else. I know that I’ve caught myself thinking, “As soon as we get done meditating, we can get started teaching something.”
It reminds me of Brainy Smurf constantly asking how much farther the destination is while ignoring the scenery in getting there.
The purpose behind everything we do is to do everything that we do, with every bit of us.
The purpose behind meditating is to meditate, period!
The purpose behind jumping jacks is to do jumping jacks. It is not preparation for something else.
This fundamental attitude is at the core of martial arts as we practice it.
This is Ichigjo Samadhi-one act concentration - complete focus on the task at hand.
This fundamental patience, this practice at staying present for the moment is, in my estimation, one of the essential characteristics of a masterful martial artist. Please note masterful is not the same as a master level martial artist. There are many master level martial artists whom are not masterful, and many “beginner” martial artists who are extremely masterful.
This is, as I see it, the essence of patience.
We tend to picture patience as being able to delay gratification.
But patience is not “waiting for something.”
It is being present with whatever is happening and accepting it as important in and of itself while allowing it to change to the next ”important thing.”
Noticing that everything is an important thing is what allows me to not rush through the mundane. Tying my obi is as important as completing that choke!
When I can really see that and really feel that? The rushing around, the rushing through… stops.
At least, that’s my theory.
I’ll let you know if I ever get there.