Friday, March 17, 2006

Battle Fatigue


Several years ago I attended a seminar given by a high ranking Isshinryu karate instuctor who spoke of having passion for the martial arts. Passion here means devoting time and effort to do something you love. However, if we become overly-attached to our endeavor, especially when not partaking in it causes us anxiety or depression, passion is then transmuted into obsession. Obsession, then, is rooted not in love, but in fear.

Given all the virtues and positive attributes assigned to the martial arts, it's easy to see how something like obsession can sneak its way in. When this happens, synchronistically, we hit a wall. This is nature's way of saying "Back off!". Training is the catalyst to the growth and progress of a budoka, but it is through rest (a Taoist would say "non-doing") where the integration of our effort and learning manifests into true development.

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4 Comments:

Blogger supergroup7 said...

I LOVE how you hit the very center of concepts, John. I can see how a deep passion for something (It can be anything like baking, golf, karate) can turn into an obsession. Obsession destroys your life by interfering with your relationships with others, and with yourself. Suddenly your karate training is more important than your own health, and wellness. Instead of supporting your life, your training starts to drain you of life.

How can one who is obsessed with the arts become aware of this so that they can give themselves the breaks that they need without feeling that "guilt" or "fear"?

9:08 AM  
Blogger John Vesia said...

Thanks Mireille,

Obviously people who are obsessed (the object of their obsession isn't really important here) aren't aware of it. The traditional path to self-awareness is through meditation.

John

12:01 PM  
Blogger [Mat] said...

A good point.

A very good point. In french too. that's nice.

It's all about awareness. Know yourself, know your surroundings.

Zanshin.

Nothing that is said hasn't been said before.

11:51 AM  
Blogger sji said...

Awareness is everything. It's what makes you alive. Not just the shallow "being aware of your surroundings to avoid attack", but being aware of your own fears and limitations of why you think someone might want to attack you.

But also being aware of the good things in life, and understand the illusion of both.

Must go - I have leaves to sweep ;)

4:23 PM  

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